From the president’s spraydeck [80]

by GEORGE JESSUP

Like all my experiences with the NSWSKC, I’m sure I will enjoy my time as President (pending elevation, like our previous President, to the status of Commodore). I have always admired the huge amount of work put into the club by the committee, the trainers and the trip leaders. Now it is my turn!

The NSWSKC offers a wide range of experiences for every type of paddler. As a relative newcomer to sea kayaking, I have found training a key element in my enjoyment of the sport. It took me a while (with more than my fair share of training sessions) but I was delighted when I finally got my Sea Skills Award. I had initially only planned on being a flat water paddler but now primarily enjoy ‘going outside’. I still have a long list of skills I would like to develop over the next few years. The sea will always have my respect but having a base level of skill has allowed me to go on some memorable trips around the South Coast, the mid-North Coast and chasing whales around Coogee. And I will never forget our circumnavigation of Sydney!

I urge all paddlers to participate in this training but more importantly to practice these skills when on routine paddles. The times I have been most grateful for this training were when totally unexpected incidents occurred. These remained minor incidents often because of the skills learnt in training.

My thanks to Michael Steinfeld who had three years as President/Commodore. As I reflect on his three years, the highlights have been an emphasis on safety, training and an increase in trips, particularly for Grade 2 paddlers. All with good humour, poise and a distinctive dress sense!

At the recent AGM, the other new faces elected to the committee are: Claus Busseler (replacing Rob Richmond as Rock‘n’Roll coordinator), Dee Ratcliffe (replacing Jacqui Stone as Editor) and Matt Bezzina (replacing Sally Jacobs as trips coordinator).  Thanks Rob, Jacqui and Sally.   Rock‘n’Roll, the NSW Sea Kayaker magazine and the wide range of trips were highlights for me over the last couple of years and I am sure for large numbers of members. Ken Day (Vice President), David Fisher (Treasurer), John Piotrowski (Training Coordinator) and Peter Kappelmann (Internet Coordinator) will continue on in their roles, with Peter Osman coming onboard as Minutes Secretary.

The club membership has now grown to more than 300, with a wide diversity of members. The impressive attendance at the AGM shows the high level of interest among members in the club and its activities. If you feel we are not dealing with the needs of a specific group in the club, please let me know or better still, get on the chatline and start a discussion.

It is time to update your BOM links. On 1 September, 2010, the Bureau of Meteorology went live with a major upgrade of its forecasting services and website.  Further details are included in this magazine.  Warning, don’t start exploring unless you have a spare hour, there is a lot to see.

Finally, please put in your diaries Rock‘n’Roll for 2011.  A booking has been made at Batemans Bay for the weekend of April 2/3, 2011.

See you on the water,

George ‘Raffle Ticket’ Jessup

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