Commodore’s comments

 A Message from the Commodore 22nd June 2015

Post competing in the Philippine Hobie Challenge, I underwent shoulder surgery and am now just under 6 weeks before I can use my shoulder on a boat, and hence you can imagine how frustrating this time period has been given this weekend was both the summer solstice and Dragon Boat Festival. At least it was a very good weekend for the LBC on home turf. It has also been a very good year for the LBC on and off the water with various members of the LBC proving the calibre of our members in events all across the world in numerous boats and disciplines, from an Olympic campaign through to clever moves in the bay. All can be seen at https://www.lantauboatclub.com/news/. Given the nature and spirit of the LBC as a small, voluntary beach water sports club it continues to amaze what our members achieve and where.
Behind the scenes your GC has been moving things forward, as much as a voluntary committee can be with the numerous aspects of running a small, beach water sports club that is now a Limited Company. A couple of major steps forward are worth noting:
– Ulrike, as Treasurer did a wonderful job of streamlining the annual membership renewal process and I am sure you all noticed how much easier, and more professional this process was for members. Similarly the clubs accounts and understanding of the clubs books are about as good as could be had without the LBC hiring a professional book keeper.
– Ross, as Secretary, has made the process of administrating our club far easier, quicker and professional, which brings great comfort to the General Committee.
– In May, after a lot of planning and waiting, our club support boat now has a dry berth in the DB Marina. This was acquired through our friends at the DBYC. This dry berth not only allows our boat to have a more secure home, but a home that will prolong the term of our club’s asset, and allow for greater ease, and co-ordination for the times the support boat is needed on the water.
As always our club has a number of people that are, day by day, helping to build and drive our club. I will leave the section representatives to go into the details and successes of each section; however, I would like to name and thank a few that cross the sections in their support, those being;
– Cindy Chung as our club’s Administrative Coordinator,
– Martin Kidgel as our clubs Beach Master
– Marc Holm as our clubs Helmsman
These three volunteers are hugely valuable assets to our club and are often not appreciated for the work they do quietly behind the scenes.
We are approaching mid-summer and the club will continue to be busy through to the end of year, I thought I would use this letter to update you on the few areas I brought up in September 2014. Increasing numbers of members have talked to me about these subjects, but also, as we approach the AGM later this year, we as members need to start thinking and talking in more detail so our club is best placed for tomorrow.
Growth — our club still fits into the “it is too big to be small, and too small to be big” bracket and this is increasingly becomes a sticking point when looking at sustainable, measured, managed, and dynamic growth that can be backed by the membership and properly funded. I am continuously impressed by how often non-members feel our club is a lot bigger than it actually is and the coming AGM will need to deal with how we, as members, continue to create this impression in a sustainable way. The main area of sustainability is people and hence the conversation of a permanent member of staff for the club in now high on the GC agenda. The other area of growth that comes up more and more frequently when in conversations with members is the housing of more vessels/facilities at the club. Both are being looked into by your GC and a number of ideas are being put forward and looked at. These are connected as conversations and carry large restrictions on moving forward unless our club changes in a number of ways.
Product — you will be hearing more on youth training shortly. As mentioned in September 2014 this continues to be one of the most requested products currently not on offer at our club and is something I feel is a natural extension of what our club offers, specifically given its location in Discovery Bay. Steve Devlin has been working on a development plan, and Jade Wong an active member of our club and a fully qualified trainer proves numerous options.
Finances — our club continues to be in a good position cash-wise. However, current income does not sustain any major change to our club and hence any change would either need to be self-financing, or the finances of the club would need to change.
Participation — as discussed in September 2014 it is the work of the section heads and their committee members that drives the activity on the beach and water and with new members signing up participation, along with the winning of races and events throughout Hong Kong, regionally, and further afield continues to be a strength of our club. The participation of LBC members off the water is the bedrock of our club specifically within the various committees, at the AGM and social events, and I still think this threatens the sustainability and development of our club. With the AGM in around 5 months I encourage all members to become more involved in our club at all levels, and hence I would like to see a full and dynamic AGM later this year, with a General Committee with new faces, drawn from a wider pool of our membership.
Rio Olympics – this was touched on in the September note, but this time round it is very humbling to be able to write that our club has two individuals who have given up everything to campaign to be in the Rio Olympics via the NACRA 17 class. Choi and Ting, whom a number of members have met, are currently campaigning for the 2016 Rio Olympics in the Nacra 17 class. As you can imagine, an Olympic campaign is a costly affair and whilst Choi and Ting have sponsorship it has turned out to be insufficient cash for them to continue on the required Olympic circuit. Choi and Ting only have 3 months left, given the last qualifier in Qingdao ISAF Sailing World Cup is in September which will ensure one spot at Rio of the Asian continent.
In light of this, Choi and Ting are short of money for Qingdao and have decided to sell their boat to raise the necessary funds needed to compete in the Qingdao event. Choi and Ting have asked me to let LBC members know that to facilitate this they are looking to sell their boat, currently on the beach of our club, but would ask the new owner if the handover of the boat to the new owner could only take place after the Qingdao event, thus in October.
Do have a look at https://www.lantauboatclub.com/event-calendar/ and I look forward to hearing all your stories from the activities in the clubhouse, on the beach, on the water and in the committees over the coming weeks and months!
Tacking.

Justin Reynolds
Commodore