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SEPTEMBER 2022 the cobbled together edition in the absence of a newsletter editor

AGM: For those who did not attend, the Annual General Meeting was held on schedule for the first time since 2019 after two years punctuated by COVID-19 delays. A good roll-up of about 50 members came out on a cold 29th July night to vote for a new committee and for an updated constitution and rules for the club. As was explained in the letter accompanying the AGM notice, the club was still working under rules first drafted in 1981, and the state government had prepared new model rules for incorporated associations in 2012. The new rules presented to the AGM were carefully prepared by Alan Williamson. Unlike the old rules, they are available electronically and are posted on the club’s brand new website (a work in progress) at . The AGM approved the new rules unanimously. One consequence is that fee changes are to be approved by the AGM, with the result that future fee renewals will be sent out after the AGM. The AGM also voted in a new committee. Ingrid von Diebitsch was elected President. Tim Walsh was elected Vice President. Thanks to Grant Rochow who has fulfilled that role since 2020. The indefatigable Bernie Costa was re elected as Secretary while David Uren was elected Treasurer. Other committee members are Peter Jerabek, who has taken on the role as yard manager, Rob Ford, Mick Reid, Ivan Saric and Paul Donnellan. Paul has decided to go on a long road trip since the AGM and has stood down to be replaced by Roland Burrowes. Members washed down the proceedings with a convivial drink afterwards. Alan Williamson, who has been an invaluable source of legal advice to successive club committees over the years, was granted the President’s Award.

NEW WEBSITE: With thanks to the great efforts of Jeffrey Richardson, WBBC now has a new website. There is still more work to be done to fill in all the ‘pages’, but it already posts both the new club constitution and rules, and a series of forms and documents. Ingrid and Alan Williamson have put a lot of painstaking work into putting some of the things that the club has always done on a nod and a wink onto a more formal basis. This includes agreements for people buying or hiring moorings at the club, setting out their rights and responsibilities, as well as forms for members putting their boats onto hard-stands in the yard, and slipping their boats. The website also includes the membership application form. Jeffrey will value input and assistance with the website from other members once its format is more firmly established. For expressions of interest, contact Jeffrey via email at

SLIPWAY: The biggest project of the past year has been the construction of a new cradle (Catherine) for the slipway. The old top cradle was too much corroded, raising safety concerns. The new cradle was built by highly regarded Geelong engineering firm Austeng, after the club obtained a series of quotes. As well as the new cradle, the slipway area has been upgraded with concrete, fencing and gates, all designed to improve safety and accessibility for those working on their boats. We have purchased new ladders and new scaffolding & planks are coming, after an exhaustive research process (thank you Tim W). The result will be that members working on their boats will no longer have to hang onto ancient ladders by their fingers while using sanders etc metres from the ground.

The slipway also boasts a new winch cable – again about safety. All members using the slipway are reminded to ensure that no bilge water or solvents are spilt and all EPA requirements are met. And tidy/clean up afterwards.

YARD: Anyone visiting the club, who hasn’t been there for a while, will notice that it is much tidier than in living memory, thanks to the sterling efforts of yard manager Pete Jerabek and those who have assisted him (thanks Al and Al). Note the new hose reel for washing down the area outside the clubhouse – there is also a gurney in the cage the back of the dinghy shed which members are encouraged to use to clean up the dinghy ramp when it gets slippery. The gurney is locked in the cage – Ingrid, Bernie, Pete J and Al Wright all have keys. As well as a tidier yard – note the lack of dead masts and cables on the side of the clubhouse – the workshop is barely recognisable. It is now organised, useless bits of metal, timber etc have been cleared and there is a new workbench. Visitors will also note the sad demise of Sybaris, being cut into small pieces and taken away. Honeybun, as the yellow barge is affectionately known, is about to follow suit, as it is no longer seaworthy (ie sinking) and no longer needed.

MOORINGS: A big decision taken by the club two years ago was to outsource mooring inspections to Tim Bonney and his team at Geelong Diving Services. It was on a trial basis for the first year, but the arrangement has since been confirmed. It was no longer practical (and there were safety concerns) for the grid inspections to be managed by a small group of club volunteers. The arrangement with GDS is going well: if club members have any concerns about their moorings, they are encouraged to communicate with Bernie.

MEMBERSHIP: The club has welcomed a number of new members over the past year: Chris Oldaker, Alberto Andolfo, Christian Cashmore, Michael Clayden, John Fardy and Nick Sanders. We have also lost a few. John Azzopardi, who owned Temar, sadly died late last year and the committee extended condolences to his family. Members should not forget it's almost a year since Marty Rowe drowned; and, of course, we remember Edna. The club has also had a number of members resign as their lives have taken different turns. As a result, the club is in the rare position of having some moorings available for new members.

NAVAL WHALER PROJECT: The Naval Whaler project, which the club embarked upon two years ago, is advancing thanks to the great efforts of Peter Jerabek, Al Gandy and Paul Donnellan in particular. For those not familiar with it, the club has been donated a 1940 naval whaler – it is a distinct vessel: it is 27 foot clinker open boat designed for a the British/Commonwealth navy to use on their warships as tenders. They are relatively light and can be sailed with a yawl rig or rowed with a crew of four plus coxswain. The club has applied for a grant to assist with the restoration of the boat from the “Healthy and Connected Communities” program run by the Geelong City Council. The club’s plan is to use the boat for community outreach, aiming to engage community clubs in water activity. The committee believes that the boat (it is a beauty) will also attract club members wanting to make use of their practical skills: anyone wanting to get engaged in the project should contact Peter Jerabek. To date, the whaler has been worked on at the paper mills at Fyansford however it will be moving to the club workshop in the near future. The club is also (thanks to Bill Ethel) planning to house one of the St Ayles rowing skiffs built at the Fyansford mill by refugees under the direction of Royal Geelong Yacht Club. Bill will be running a rowing program for women using the skiff over the summer. Anyone able to help with this, should contact Bill. As most club members would be aware, our clubhouse originally belonged to the Corio Bay Rowing Club, so the skiffs program takes us back to our history.

BAR/SOCIAL: As was mentioned earlier in the piece, Paul Donnellan is stepping down from official duties at the boat club, including as bar manager. His Irish lilt and friendly presence behind the bar on most Friday evenings and many a club or members' function have been greatly appreciated. Taking his place in the role of Bar Manager will be Mick Reid. Friday Happy Hour is still a feature, but please remember it is subject to the availability of a member with an RSA certificate and a bar key; in other words a trusted member volunteering their time.

UPCOMING EVENTS: We are having a working bee at the club on 29 October. You will get a further email about this, detailing the jobs to be done. All club members are encouraged to assist.

The Gordon McAllister sailing series is earmarked to start on 22 October. We’re still looking for a sailing event coordinator, but that shouldn't stop members testing their skills around the course. You'll be kept posted The club will have an OPEN DAY on 5 November (following what will hopefully be the second Gordon McAllister event) with wood-oven pizza and music, dinghy races, etc. The day is both an opportunity for club members to get together and also to invite passing members of the public to see who we are and what we do!

See you on the water...jetty....slip ?

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WBBC 5 and 10 Day Booking Calendar

Please use the calendar below to find a 'Free' slip time that suits you, then send a message to ................ requesting those dates and WBBC Slip management shall confirm.


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