The marque of achievement

The marque of achievement

The Sorrento Sailing Couta Boat Club (SSCBC) on Victoria's Mornington peninsula, may not wax on lyrical about the many things it does so well, but its already esteemed profile recently got a whole lot bigger when it was awarded, Yachting Australia Club of the Year.

When Commodore Andrew Plympton took the reins a while ago, he wanted to enhance the club’s reputation and also put in place thoroughly modern systems to carry it forward. First was the highly qualified and respected former Olympic coach, Adrian Finglas, to be the Sailing Operations Manager. The latter has done so well that the Victorian Institute of Sport even noticed and now share his talents with their Development Squad.

This in turn allowed the SSCBC to employ the very experienced Adam Hawkins to run the multitude of craft in the club’s fleet. Ben Fels has been able to come on board, part time, to look after Sailing Administration, which includes a lot of documentation.

New Club Captain, Drew Marget, got a team together and they set about offering more amenable and desirable water time to both male and female sailors of all ages. There can be no doubt that the high level of member retention, combined with the batch of new members, and a gender balance that stands out industry wide, will both appreciate these new waterborne activities and are also some of the reasons for the award itself.

New faces on that committee, Sally Law and Scott Llewellyn have had immediate impacts with Women on Water and the new pathway from learning to sail and club racing being highlights.

SSCBC’s General Manager, Phil Hall, said, “I have lived and worked on the Mornington Peninsula for the past 30 years. It is a beautiful place to be. For the last eight years I have been the General Manager here at SSCBC and for the 10 years before that I was at the Mornington Golf Club. This current post has got to be the best job I have ever had! The people, the place itself, events and smiles just make it so worthwhile.”

“The best part about my job is the people that I deal with on a day-to-day basis. We understand that the members are at the club to relax and enjoy being with family and friends. It brings great satisfaction to be able to facilitate these enjoyable times.”

“This award to be shared by the whole place. It is the people at the club that deserve the recognition of the award. There are so many that give so willingly of their time to make this a great place to be. I sincerely hope that they also feel richly rewarded when they contribute to such a great place”, said Hall.

The club’s Opening Day was on November 7, 2015, which is kind of fitting, seeing as they won the award the very night before. Speaking about the club during his Address on the day, the great John Bertrand AM was clear about the family orientation being one of the best aspects of the place, and you could see how true it was, for he had his Grandson there with him.

Bertrand said afterwards, “The SSCBC is one of the most impressive family orientated sailing clubs I have ever had the pleasure of being involved in.  The initial design brief for the new clubhouse was simple…'kids had to feel comfortable with sand between their toes'! In other words, a totally user-friendly sailing club. And I think they nailed it!”

“In addition, the club has demonstrated the capacity to host absolute world-class regattas, namely the 29’er and 49’er world championships (’07) and more recently the International Moth class world championship (’15). People from around the globe are still talking about the incredible facilities, the hospitality and the sailing conditions. Who could ask for more?”

“My congratulations to everyone involved in having the SSCBC anointed national ‘Sailing Club of the Year’. A very fitting result”, Bertrand finished by saying.

The next day, the annual Past Commodores’ Lunch was held for the 24 former and current senior Flag Officers. 18 of them are still actively involved in racing and volunteering at the SSCBC.

One of the highlights of Opening Day was the plaque presented to Commodore Plympton by Richard Jackson, the Victorian President of the International Moth Association, in recognition of the successful World Championship the club hosted earlier in the year.

As tremendous as that is, Hall said, “that regatta was held at the busiest time of year. We had over 40 Moth sailors from around the globe billeted at homes – many thanks to those members for going above and beyond. So many sailors said how pleasant and enjoyable their digs really were, so we can only say thank you to those families, for it would not have happened without you.”

Pictured; Opening Day at SSCBC