by Ian Grant
Whitsunday Sailing Club President Ian Davey experienced a special sense of pride and achievement when he joined fellow members and friends to celebrate the club’s 40th birthday.
Whitsunday Sailing Club
Ian, known throughout the local community and the Australian yachting fraternity under the nick-name of Frog has seen the WSC grow in stature from a small off the beach sailing facility into one of Australia’s leading dinghy and yacht racing destinations.
He was there in 1971 when the inaugural meeting was held and has over the past 40 years ‘rolled his sleeves up’ to help build the WSC into being recognised by sailors, visiting tourists and local residents as the friendly club.
The original membership started with 30 energetic local sailors and now boasts a membership from the support of local, national and international sailors and tourists.
Most of this support is credited to the staff and management who offer a friendly greeting and service with a smile to the first time visitors and the regular patrons.
They understand the importance of making people enjoy their hospitality which has helped to generate the cash flow and profit to build the ongoing expansion of the facilities.
As expected Ian Davey and the present principal flag officer Commodore Kevin Fogarty and life member Jim Hayes have a long list of treasured experiences.
Collectively the trio will again be on hand when the WSC conducts their signature regatta event the 22nd Meridien Marinas Airlie Beach Race Week in mid August.
The attraction to plan an escape route from the colder mid-winter climate promises to build another high standard fleet with yacht owners from New Zealand, Tasmania, Victoria, South Australia West Australia New South Wales and South Queensland listing the dates in their log books.
Every sailor has accepted the true spirit of Airlie Beach Race Week and will pack their sea-bag with the customary floral printed shirts when they line up to contest the 2011 series.
Meanwhile President Ian Davey and his hard working team of dedicated volunteers remain focused on making this year’s Race Week a spectacular event.
The duel for the important Grand Prix IRC trophy promises to be a regatta highlight with the 2010 champion the Michael Hiatt owned and skippered Victorian yacht Living Doll returning while 2008 series winner Ray Roberts and his Evolution Racing crew also expected to be on the start line.
Meanwhile the WSC fleet will continue to refine their crew skills with point score racing on Pioneer Bay and the longer distance passage race courses.
Predicting the class winners before the sails are tensioned can only be described as a wild guess but the Living Doll crew who are in line to become the first to win three Grand Prix class trophies in a row have the required tactical strategy and crew skills to again present a winning result.