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Yachting Australia AGM - New President, New Directors

by Phil Jones on 2 Nov 2013
Yachting Australia .. .
Well known offshore racer and owner of Ichiban, Matt Allen, was elected as President of Yachting Australia at the AGM in Sydney on Saturday 19 October.

Matt has competed in 23 Sydney to Hobart Races and was overall winner in 1983; is a past World Champion in the 11 Meter Class; and four times winner of the Kings Cup. He has a strong background in the governance of the sport as Chairman of the Volvo Ocean Race Australian Challenge in 2005/06; Commodore of the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia from 2007 to 2010, Past Treasurer of the International Farr 40 Class, Chairman of the CYCA SOLAS Trusts since 2005 and a director of Yachting Australia since 2011, serving as Vice President and a member of the Planning and Finance and Nominations Committee.

Allen is former Regional CEO and President of UBS AG Japan and Managing Director of Swiss Bank Corporation in Australia. Never one to stand still, Matt takes delivery of the latest Ichiban in Australia in mid-November and will be on the start line for the 2013 Rolex Sydney to Hobart Race on Boxing Day.

Sarah Kenny was elected Vice President at the same meeting. Sarah became a director of Yachting Australia in late 2010.

From a dinghy racing background, Sarah went to the Olympic Games in 1984 in Los Angeles, competing in the Windsurfing demonstration event. She was Sportswoman of the Year at University of Sydney in 1984 and awarded a Blue for outstanding sporting achievement in windsurfing. She represents Australia Internationally as a member of the International Sailing Federation (ISAF) Events Committee and Women's Forum. Closer to home she sits on the Yachting Australia Nominations Committee and was member of both the 2008 and 2012 Olympic Nomination Panels.

Sarah is a Partner at Herbert Smith Freehills and a member of the Australian and New Zealand Sports Law Association and the Australian Institute of Company Directors. Sarah is involved in junior sailing through her sons, who are keen Optimist and 29er sailors.

Three new directors joined the Board of Yachting Australia at the AGM. Under changes made to the Yachting Australia constitution two years ago, long serving directors David Kellett, Rupert Leslie and Wally Rantanen all reached their maximum terms and retired as directors. Their contributions to the organisation were recognised by President David Gotze at the Annual Australian Yachting Awards on Friday evening. David Kellett received special recognition for his contribution to the administration of the sport at local, state, national and international level over some 35 years, receiving the prestigious Yachting Australia President's Award.

Garry Langford, President of Yachting Tasmania until February 2013, was elected to the Board. Garry's sailing career began in an International Cadets and he has sailed in the Diamond, Dragon and Etchell Classes, as well as competing three Sydney to Hobart’s in the 1980’s. He has cruised extensively on the Australian east coast and spent six months in the South West Pacific visiting New Zealand, Tonga, Fiji and Vanuatu.


At Yachting Tasmania, Garry had a strong interest in establishing a pathway for Tasmanian sailing athletes that resulted in the establishment of a formal agreement with the Tasmanian Institute of Sport in 2008. In his professional life, Garry manages the intellectual property portfolio at Apple and Pear Australia Ltd.

Appointed director Rosemary Collins brings extensive governance experience to the Board, having been involved in the Governance and other Committees at the University of Technology Sydney (UTS), whilst also finding time to graduate in 2007 with a Bachelor of Engineering Science (Mechanical Major) and a Bachelor of Laws (First Class Honours). Until recently she was a director of Yachting Queensland and the Royal Queensland Yacht Squadron, with specific responsibility for membership.

Rosemary has competed for over fifteen years in local, state, national and international events. After retiring from her Laser Radial in 2012, she is now a keen yacht crew. She has had an active involvement in training and mentoring younger sailors, with particular emphasis on training women. Rosemary is a National Judge and has officiated at numerous World Championship and ISAF Grade 1 events both nationally and internationally. Professionally she worked in a number of law firms before taking up a role as legal counsel at Telstra in July 2013.

Doug Kerr’s appointment to the Yachting Australia Board follows his two-year tenure as President of Yachting Western Australia, having served on the Board of Management since 2009. Doug guided the organisation during and the immediately following the ISAF 2011 World Sailing Championship in Fremantle.

Doug’s interest in sailing has spanned a period of 56 years. He started sailing Pelicans in 1957 moving through the classes of National Cadet Dinghy, Moth, 16’ Skiff and Soling. In 1977 Doug gained selection as crew on the America’s Cup contender 'Australia' but due to ill health, had to withdraw a day before departure. Doug is now a committed Etchells sailor, regularly competing in state, national and world championships.

Doug has been involved in the motor industry since 1969. He is Managing Director of Shacks Holden Group, Time Magazine dealer of the year 1984 and 1994. He was inducted into the Fremantle Business Hall of Fame in 2011. As a Fellow of Australian Society of Practicing Accountants, it not surprising that his fellow Yachting Australia directors elected him Treasurer immediately following the AGM.

The new directors join Karyn Gojnich, Phil Coombs and retiring President David Gotze in making up the Yachting Australia Board.

'I am honored to serve the sport as President of the national body and to have such a committed and expert group to work with,' said Matt Allen, commenting on the new line up and his new role as President. 'Sailing is going through an exciting time, but there is lot’s to do if we are to capitalise on the opportunities and build a strong and sustainable future. People’s lifestyles and expectations are changing and we, Clubs, State Associations and Yachting Australia, must respond accordingly.'

'I would like to thank outgoing President David Gotze for the strong leadership he has shown as President. His collegiate way of running meetings and dealing with issues has made our sport stronger and better managed. I’m pleased that David has agreed to continue to serve on the board'

Directors are elected annually to the Yachting Australia Board. The Board elects the President, Vice President and Treasurer annually.

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