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Southern Spars

The Prince amongst a King of Yacht Clubs.

by John Curnow on 19 Apr 2013
RPAYC Commodore, Rob Curtis with the new Sailing Manager, David Ritchard. Paul Borel
The Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club (RPAYC) has very recently appointed David Ritchard as their new Sailing Manager. As part of RPAYC’s continuing efforts to ensure the very best of yachting is available to all areas of its membership, this assignment brings a person of not only wonderful stature to the office, but also great humanity. This is a mix that ensures this club will continue to own its regal status.

David has been a practicing accountant for over 40 years and has been intimately involved in many aspects of business. He has served Alfred’s on both the Yacht Race Committee and the General Committee, as Treasurer, during his 30 years of membership.

RPAYC Commodore Rob Curtis said, 'I am really pleased to announce this new appointment. David is a fantastic club person, has vast experience, many competencies and brings tremendous business acumen with him, as well. We definitely look forward to working with David as part of the management team and the significant contributions he will make.'

In terms of specific qualifications for the post, David continues his very long association with the International Etchells class, for which he is an International Governor, Treasurer and has also been responsible for the conduct of several large Etchells regattas, including World, National and State Championships. David is a Special Equipment Auditor in addition to holding many other Yachting Australia certificates of capability.

David said of taking on this wonderful role, 'I am thoroughly delighted to be doing something again for the club I love. The combination of all the activities we run from our picturesque location will certainly be a great challenge, but one I am focussed on. If you’re at the club and want to talk about anything, please come to the sailing office near the main entrance. It would be good to say hi and hear what you think about our wonderful club.'


RPAYC’s strong sailing office team, which successfully runs one of the biggest sailing and training programs in the country will now have David as it’s head. He is charged with further increasing participation in the sport, by working closely with the Yacht Race Committee, growing the sportsboat class, developing better crew connections, ensuring a pool of strong well trained volunteers are available to continue providing high calibre racing and continuing the unbelievable in-roads into training and youth sailing.

Alfred’s is currently training almost 800 kids a year and this is reflected in the growth in youth sailing on Pittwater. Commodore Rob Curtis commented, 'We are extremely proud of our training program and pathways. To see so many children learn to sail each year is a great honour. Of course, it is also so unbelievably healthy for our sport to have this next generation of sailors coming through and for many, getting their children or grandchildren into the sport they love, sits high on their list of priorities. Having Alfred’s in a position to offer this opportunity is a wonderful thing for the local community and something our members are very supportive of.'

The RPAYC has a couple of key programs for getting youngsters interested in sailing. The largest of these programs is the School Holiday Learn to Sail Camps and the second is the Tackers program, which is run on Sundays during school terms. The latter has grown by 40% in the last 12 months and Alfred’s saw 65 kids go through the most recent program.
The programs are conducted by experienced instructors who work to create a fun environment, which allows for everyone involved to feel comfortable and in turn, this provides for the best possible learning environment.

So it would seem that the newest Prince at Alfred’s is going to be a very busy man indeed. Having worked with him for several years now, I can attest to the fact that there is no-one better suited to assisting Alfred’s attain its goals and delivering fantastic and fun sailing at this King of clubs.

If you live on Sydney’s North shores and either you or your own little princes and princesses wish to get involved with sailing, then make a beeline for the Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club in Newport. You will be in great hands. See www.rpayc.com.au/ for more details.

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