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is-it-1.jpgIs this a legit beef or some sour grapes?

So here is picture from the Australian Youth Championships at the Royal Yacht Club of Tasmania which I took on Friday morning. This a premier event of Australian Sailing.

All up about 75 coach boats were moored on this and the other wharf. At say an average of AUD $60 000 each that makes about AUD $4.5 million. I could not see that too many were privately owned. People wearing national body issued clothing were busy running around. Presumably, these people are being paid handsomely for what they do as well. Again I these people are not privately funded.

Later on Friday I went to usual Friday afternoon drinks at the little sailing club up the road from my house. Just 35 miles south of Hobart by sea is the Port Esperance Sailing Club. Port Esperance has a very proud maritime heritage having been a whaling port then a timber port and presently a major crayfish and abalone centre. It is also the home of both Tassal and Huon Aquaculture which are Australia’s two largest salmon growers.

The Sailing Club dutifully pays affiliation fees which make there way up the tree to Sailing Australia or at least to Sailing Tasmania. The club house is a converted apple packing shed that was built in the late 1800s. One major event is held each year which is the Easter Regatta and this year was 160th Regatta. All types of boats are catered for from classics to rowing skiffs to Mumm 36s and usually about 100 boats turn up.

So next weekend, the Sailing Club is holding a learn to sail weekend. Two days for $50.00, boats and lunch provided. There will be a good turnout for the weekend and it will be a community event for a small town even if not everyone who turns out, wants to learn to sail. The first thing you might notice about the Flyer is that there is no mention of Sailing Australia or any so called “pathway”. Just call “Matt”.

is-it-shed.jpgSo here are a few pictures of the storage shed at the Sailing Club. A few timber Pacers and two newish Optimists. The Optimists were funded by a “dollars for dollar” grant offered by local government. The old Pacer and Lasers were donated.

The baby RIB was funded by the Salmon companies as part of a community engagement programme. Needless to say, there has never been any Sailing Australia support grant money for the Port Esperance Sailing Club.

I don’t expect anyone up the road in Hobart will be asked to make a gold coin donation to use the shower so a second shower can be built. And no doubt there will be a warning from Sailing Australia that the Sailing Club cannot hold a learn to sail course without some special Sailing Australia mandate which sees more money sent up the tree and never to come back down.

Funnily enough I have a problem with the proposition that we can spend AUD $4.5 million dollars on coach boats for one youth event for generally well-heeled kids when at the same time small club that puts on a community event that brings people into the sport asks for a gold coin to use the shower so they can build a second one.

So my first response last Friday was not anger but disappointment in the leadership of the sport. So to each director of Australian Sailing I say this, You are not Sailing Australia just Sailboat Racing Australia. Sports grow from the ground up not the top down. Do not pretend to represent sailing as clearly you do not and have no interest in doing so.

You are becoming more and more irrelevant to those you purport to serve but you don’t seem to understand this. You cannot call yourself a “peak body” of the sport. So time you change your name to reflect all you really do.

If your excuse is we don’t make the funding guidelines then if you are representative of the sport you should be arguing to change the guidelines. If the argument is that small club infrastructure is a local matter then either you are not representative or Sailing Tasmania Office which you operate is not doing its job.

It is not without great irony that the biggest sailing event in the country with the largest public engagement will happen next month in Hobart and you will have no involvement or presence.
So you can sling Port Esperance Sailing Club AUD$ 80 000 out of your “Reptile Fund” so it can build another shower, maybe even as shower block.

It is just the cost of one coach boat after all.

And maybe make “Matt” the Australian Sailor of the Year next year.

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yup - just look at Australian Sailing's Annual Report: https://www.sailing.org.au/about/annualreports/

Expenditure matches income..

(AUD)

$18M revenue.

  • $4.5M from clubs affiliation, training fees, certification, instructor registration etc
  • ~$13M ASC and sports grants (ie: the general taxpayer)

Expenditure ~$18M

  • $8M on employee benefits (! FMD)
  • $1.5M rent and office
  • $1.7M grants to athletes
  • $200k on depreciation of coach boats (not sure how many boats that adds up to?)

I'll note there doesn't seem to be any club-specific expenditure.  That $4.5M effectively goes up the wazoo in admin and paperwork

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Interesting that the sport was more successful (defined as larger grass roots participation) back when the administration was much smaller....

Today we have more medals...(Success!!??) but fewer (and shrinking) participants at grass roots level....and.... we DO HAVE a world class bureaucracy!

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Sounds familiar to the vast majority of volunteer run sailing clubs across Australia I have had the pleasure to visit.

At the larger clubs whom have paid staff and have a strict directive towards the Australian Sailing pathway it feel's to be a different world and if you are not directly involved in this clique, good fucking luck enjoying your sailing.

 

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I would agree generally with this description of the AU national program. It a top down program. Take money from the bottom feed it to the top. Obviously the National level sailors are among the best in the world. However, this has been at the detriment of the rest of the programs. We have chosen as a junior sailing program(25 years old) not to follow the AU sailing line. The National program is Discover Sailing, we have seen little benefit to joining their program. The cost of delivering a Learn2Sail class would go up 50% because we are giving money to AU sailing. We teach out of the same book with AU sailing instructors. We even now have the "correct" boats. 

On the racing side, they decided that the club coaches were not good enough. They funded hundreds of hours of rock star coaches for the top kids in classes like the Opti. They actually took the good kids from each club and promoted them to squads & teams. Draining the talent from the smaller clubs. I couldn't get the better kids to our club races, because they were busy training for the teams. My next generation of kids had no one to compete with week to week. We all know the only way to get better is to sail against better competitors.

We are purely a volunteer program. Our funding comes from selling food, a little bit leftover from the Learn2Sail weeks and larger donations from the civic clubs like Lions and Rotary. We have to beg to borrow a rib from SA sailing for our regattas. They are generally loaned to other States for larger events like the one in the original post.

Very frustrating. Yes, I have had several heated discussions with SA Sailing. We have had several committee meetings about completely removing ourselves from the governing body after they try to up our annual club fees. The reality is we get insurance cover from them. No one can race in AU without a club based AU number.

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Sour grapes.

This is a National event that qualifies for world events, it is reasonable to expect a high level of support for this event. There are over 200 sailing boats on the river and hundreds of youth. This is good. 

Those ribs are owned by Classes, State sporting bodies (TIS, AIS), Australian sailing, clubs and private owners.  The training program that will be held next week at PESC will be supported by the club in the photo (staff and Assets) with a trainer who is Australian Sailing qualified. 

I am not saying Australian Sailing is perfect....but I think this rant is a bit off. 

And if you think I am way off PESC contribute $600 a year to Australian Sailing, the benefit the club sure outways the cost to the club. https://s3-ap-southeast-2.amazonaws.com/piano.revolutionise.com.au/site/ob8hrmg6coksovgf.pdf

 

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I follow US Soccer a lot and they are having s similar debate: whether to prioritize the high level competitions over the grass roots. Except the internet experts there want the grass roots to serve the high level. They want the leagues that a million kids play in to be reorganized to create better professional players and money diverted to create better pro competitions.

You see the exact same contempt for those on the other side. A candidate for USSF President deemed insufficiently devoted to improving the pros was ridiculed. Except there, the locals had the votes and he won.

It's just a matter of priorities and power politics. If Australian YCs want more money, they have to organize and win. The people who run high level regattas seemingly couldn't care less about club racing except to feed them talent. So replace them.

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54 minutes ago, snoopy said:

  The training program that will be held next week at PESC will be supported by ... a trainer who is Australian Sailing qualified. 

Um, sorry, but no it won't. No Australian Sailing trainer just parents and community members providing something for the local kids.

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1 hour ago, (p)Irate said:

Um, sorry, but no it won't. No Australian Sailing trainer just parents and community members providing something for the local kids.

pricey and mike are coming down and they are qualified. not that this matters. 

 

 

 

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Should be mentioned that the Easter regatta is on at PESC. 

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I lost all respect for SA when they decided to split from RYA as a training authority and go it alone.

RYA has to be one of the longest and most respected training organisations globally and if we had decided to split because we could offer a better syllabus? 

I'm all for it.

But I fear it had nothing to do with better training, more like someone who couldn't make the grade had a mate in SA.

Duplication doesn't benefit the sport, and we don't have the critical mass to sustain errant wanderings of our national body. Kinda like yacht clubs trying to be a commercial wedding venue. 

 

 

 

  

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31 minutes ago, snoopy said:

pricey and mike are coming down and they are qualified. not that this matters. 

 

 

 

Well maybe it does. For the first time ever PESC is charging money for a sail training course and instead of using one its few actual sailing members who also happens to be an SA qualified trainer they bring in non-members from the city. I hope that $50 a head isn't paying them.

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It sometimes takes an outsider to see and say what it looks like. It appears that the grass isn't always green even in Tasmania. 

A problem in Australia is ( and has been forever) the lack of a strong mid level professional coaching system, that is easily available and that provides support to the clubs and classes, offers sailors mentoring and knowledge support ( especially in the cross over years from youth to senior) while feeding the higher levels of the sport with a quality stream of  aspirants. 

The Australian Sports Commision that provides all of the AS Gov  funding is changing policy direction at the moment towards greater participation growth in sport. So things may be tighter for AS  in the future . The clubs (PESC) and classes should look to this in the near future for opportunities. 

Thanks for the keen eye and perspective ! 

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I run a junior program at our local club in a regional area of NSW.

The YA rep has made more appts to come and talk to the committee about a variety of issues, everyone has been cancelled by him, the most notice we got was 45min.

We struggle on with our volunteers running 3 large regattas as well as a junior program, Sunday racing for our sailors.

Quite frankly, it is exhausting but we love the sport and want others to have the same opportunities we all have had.

This problem is across many sports, the fight between the Aus Rugby Union and Local clubs. This has been going on for many years with no real end in sight.

The bottom line is the various suppliers of funding (read govt's) had no interest in sailing until a few Olympics ago when sailors won a lot. Suddenly money flowed, cash for medals it was referred to at the AIS. The governing body suddenly had the secret sauce, win medals, get money, but what do they spend it on, why, securing more medals of course, it stands to reason when more medals lead to more money.

So, IMHO, the problem lies with the funding criteria for sports well as the spending of money once it is secured.

I have no doubt a second shower would help OP"s club, walls and a roof on our two unisex showers wouldn't hurt us either but we have been asking for 12 years and nothing has happened. Nothing at all doesn't change much, we will be back out there again this weekend and despite all the problems I would rather being sailing where I do more than anywhere else in the world, special people, special environment and did I mention the people.

 

 

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From what you describe the performance team are cherry picking the upcoming talent.  It shouldn't take long for them to realise that (1) they need to engage earlier to make sure that the kids are learning good technique from the start and (2) they need to have a wide pool of participants to draw talent from. 

 Both of these realisations should have them incentivised to support grass-roots activity in clubs, and force recognition that they don't have the resources to do it all themselves... at which point the savvy club leverages their influence and budget to get facilities upgrades, coach/instructor development sessions, funding for CLUB OWNED ribs and so on... 

 The hard bit is the volunteer time and parent support... you are in a position to manage that... and turn it to your advantage. 

 It does rely on them recognising the realities of their situation, though... if they won't do that, and you are unable to help them to do so, then they are doomed to failure and there's not much you can do to help...

 Not sending (eg) an FX team to Rio was pretty short sighted. They might not have medalled but attending would have helped prospects for Tokyo and Paris.

 This should be well understood already by AS... have a think about how you can exploit the opportunities available to your club+programme, then go and seek out the rep who keeps ghosting you and have a frank discussion about how you can help them, if they get creative about helping you... if it doesn't work first time, keep trying.  They, or their replacement, will get it sooner or later...

Cheers,

               W.

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I play , coach & have administered in two of Australias great Lympix medal generators...sailing & kayaking..(you probably know about sailing's contribution to the medal tally, but for reference check out our kayaking medal history..). Two sports that the general public don't give a toss about....but the govt...Oh yes! They are really keen on those shiny lympix medals...So suddenly the money flows, and the professionals see that money and get interested in the sport...and the administrators and coaches and physios and nutritionists and sports psychs....well they need some athletes to justify their being....so they start a junior program where kids as young as 10 are being "talent scouted"...and parents are told their little darlings have "the right stuff"...and now need a coach and need to go overseas to "world champs" in Europe...and the administrators create "pathways" and "programs" and they weed out the 12 year olds who's parents aren't or can't play by the administrators rules...and the chosen few become "Youth Squad" members and they have to go overseas in the squad and be "in the program" and then there's the "under 23" program for an even smaller select few....and then...they make the exalted Lympix squad! (now with the full finance of their peak body) Hurrah!!, But even then..unless they are ranked with a medal chance....they get flicked. Ah..But for those golden children, youths and real contenders...life is closeted and paid for and completely isolated .....from the grass roots.

And the Govt gets their medal tally. And the administrators rejoice (before demanding more public funding to ensure we hold our place in future medal Tallys!)

And the sports? Well they're fucked! 

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Given our local dam is at about 38% capacity at the moment our membership has dwindled accordingly. We have 4 or 5 regulars who get on the water each week.  The clubhouse is pretty much the same one I used as a kid (30 yrs ago). 

Each year we pay our dues and each year we see nothing for it. Given our dues are getting close to being more than our membership fees is it any wonder we see nothing, our numbers decline and we struggle to remain financially viable. 

Ive sailed all over the world and I still love our comeraderie, none of us are world beaters but each week we have fun, share a beer and a laugh while drifting around our little puddle.  

 

 

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Agree, trying to understand how AS might be able to benefit a 'non-pathway' class, despite some brief engagement was somewhat difficult to follow. 

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Our little dinghy racing club charges the performance team to host winter training sessions, regattas etc. This modest income is significant to the club and offsets membership fees, helps pay for new engines etc.

 Additionally, training is supported to help develop the sport, especially amongst juniors. Mentoring, CPD sessions, certification...

 It's not all directly funded by "Olympic" money but the performance funding complements the club development work. 

We exploit our central location and sheltered waters to try to maximise this. Works for junior classes, not so well for skiffs... 

 The piece at the top of the thread suggests 75 ribs for 160 boats... i f so, that seems generous... I don't think we had that many at last years RYA youths (150 boats?).

Cheers,

               W.

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Sounds to me you and your fellow club members need to get together and craft a position around what you want form SA for your $600 per annum and then a strategy on how you go about getting some value for money, accepting in advance though that you may already be there.

The rest of what you say on numbers of RIBs, cost and ownership of RIBs, Youth Nationals etc is ill-informed. As a sailor who has been a parent in the system for ten or so years I can tell you its not perfect, every club from large to small has challenges, every class association is the same too. Everyone has gripes with the National body - no doubt it could be done better. Most people I know have a gripe with it in some way or another, but most set about doing something to improve it (Matt included) on a volunteer basis, whether that be for their kids, their club, themselves or their sport of sailing.

"Believe me, my young friend, there is nothing — absolutely nothing — half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats. Simply messing... about in boats — or with boats. In or out of ’em, it doesn't matter. Nothing seems really to matter, that's the charm of it. Whether you get away, or whether you don't; whether you arrive at your destination or whether you reach somewhere else, or whether you never get anywhere at all, you're always busy, and you never do anything in particular; and when you've done it there's always something else to do, and you can do it if you like, but you'd much better not."

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On 1/14/2019 at 2:54 PM, lydia said:

Sums it up really!

pesc_shower.png

Sums up what exactly? 

Chip in for the cost of the shower your about to use?  BYO towel? ???

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While I agree with the sentiment, I guarantee plenty of those ribs are privately owned.

Go and park near The Spirit of Tasmania and you'll see dad towing a rib with a Laser and 2 Opti's strapped to it X about 100!!

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19 hours ago, Bob The Builder 123 said:

I run a junior program at our local club in a regional area of NSW.

The YA rep has made more appts to come and talk to the committee about a variety of issues, everyone has been cancelled by him, the most notice we got was 45min.

We struggle on with our volunteers running 3 large regattas as well as a junior program, Sunday racing for our sailors.

Quite frankly, it is exhausting but we love the sport and want others to have the same opportunities we all have had.

This problem is across many sports, the fight between the Aus Rugby Union and Local clubs. This has been going on for many years with no real end in sight.

The bottom line is the various suppliers of funding (read govt's) had no interest in sailing until a few Olympics ago when sailors won a lot. Suddenly money flowed, cash for medals it was referred to at the AIS. The governing body suddenly had the secret sauce, win medals, get money, but what do they spend it on, why, securing more medals of course, it stands to reason when more medals lead to more money.

So, IMHO, the problem lies with the funding criteria for sports well as the spending of money once it is secured.

I have no doubt a second shower would help OP"s club, walls and a roof on our two unisex showers wouldn't hurt us either but we have been asking for 12 years and nothing has happened. Nothing at all doesn't change much, we will be back out there again this weekend and despite all the problems I would rather being sailing where I do more than anywhere else in the world, special people, special environment and did I mention the people.

 

 

Be interested to know what club you are from from Bob the Builder 123. Your profile says your from Sydney area? 

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51 minutes ago, mezaire said:

While I agree with the sentiment, I guarantee plenty of those ribs are privately owned.

Go and park near The Spirit of Tasmania and you'll see dad towing a rib with a Laser and 2 Opti's strapped to it X about 100!!

I would agree, infact counting the boats I saw there was only 8 ‘AS’ owned boats at the regatta. All others were either privately or club owned

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Our club of 20-30 members has struggled along and paid it's dues each year to Yachting Queensland and for what ? We are told that unless we pay up we can't have a " Yacht Race " as the we would be using the racing rules owned be the international federation . Insurance ? I have comprehensive racing risk on my boat . Our club has no sailing dinghies any more as we ended up being a baby sitting service for kids who's parents were too busy to help . So we have become a club with an average age of 50+ sailing older trailer yachts ( we have no marina in the area . Personally yachting Queensland/Australia fuck off if they think they are getting me to donate to their " Pathways " and " Elite Performance Schemes " .

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On 1/14/2019 at 12:12 AM, CFS Klopas said:

It's just a matter of priorities and power politics.... The people who run high level regattas seemingly couldn't care less about club racing except to feed them talent.

Fixed!

Same story in Canada, BTW (except that Canadian sailors rarely medal). If a class is not Olympic-related, Sail Canada doesn't want to know.

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I had a nightmare: The IOC, WS, and the national federations were organized so government/taxpayer funds moved to politicians' pockets through overpriced championships, overpriced boat purchases, and temporary or permanent labor hiring. Then, since their mob could not control "things" at club level, they'd leave no money for the clubs or club racing, and a bare minimum to sailing schools, so they do not run out of (enslaved) athletes.  It was horrible.

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And this just in from our "cough...cough" peak representative body:

Personal Accident (PA) Insurance - Update
The Australian Sailing whole-of-sport policy has been renewed, with cover extending to 1 October 2020.
It is important to note that an exclusion has been added to this policy. Members of affiliated clubs will not be covered if they are participating in an event at a non-affiliated club. Changes to note are summarized below:
Insured persons
Category 1:
- Members must now be registered in the database (not just be a member of the club).
- SailPass participants are now included in cover;

Scope of Cover Special Provisions:
- Now includes a new sentence: This policy does not extend cover to Members of Affiliated clubs whilst participating in an event or on the premises of a non-affiliated Australian sailing club

So...go check...and make sure that you're on the SA database (Club membership alone DOES NOT provide cover!)

And DONT EVEN THINK about competing at an event where the host club is not affiliated......

Brilliant leadership!

Incidentally, the January News email is absolutely packed with articles on the growth of.......Lympic and Lympic Pathway...sailing. Outside of that and IRC....absolutely nothing about grass roots stuff.

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21 minutes ago, Couta said:

And this just in from our "cough...cough" peak representative body:

Personal Accident (PA) Insurance - Update
The Australian Sailing whole-of-sport policy has been renewed, with cover extending to 1 October 2020.
It is important to note that an exclusion has been added to this policy. Members of affiliated clubs will not be covered if they are participating in an event at a non-affiliated club. Changes to note are summarized below:
Insured persons
Category 1:
- Members must now be registered in the database (not just be a member of the club).
- SailPass participants are now included in cover;

Scope of Cover Special Provisions:
- Now includes a new sentence: This policy does not extend cover to Members of Affiliated clubs whilst participating in an event or on the premises of a non-affiliated Australian sailing club

So...go check...and make sure that you're on the SA database (Club membership alone DOES NOT provide cover!)

And DONT EVEN THINK about competing at an event where the host club is not affiliated......

Brilliant leadership!

Incidentally, the January News email is absolutely packed with articles on the growth of.......Lympic and Lympic Pathway...sailing. Outside of that and IRC....absolutely nothing about grass roots stuff.

noice. </sarc>

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On 1/14/2019 at 3:54 AM, lydia said:

Sums it up really!

pesc_shower.png

That would have been a luxury at one of the dinghy clubs I sailed at as a kid. You really had to like sailing in the early and end of the season in dinghies. You had to toughen up. 

Though the lack of hot water may have been us prewarming our wetsuits before getting out to launch. 

That club produced some very good offshore sailors including a couple of repeat Volvo guys

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On 1/13/2019 at 10:54 PM, lydia said:

Sums it up really!

pesc_shower.png

well at least they are not asking  golden showers for coins...

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Just checked-in on the Sailing Australia member login.

Only PESC has registered me as a member on the Sailing Australia data base and that was back in October 2018.

RYCT and RQYS have not. 

No one updated the database?

So insurance cover depends on when the Secretary updates the data base if you a member of one club.

The RYCT fees were paid on about 2 May 2018 btw and RQYS about mid July.

Noice work.

A director of RYCT will be along soon no doubt!

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Correction  (and sorry Snoppy)

After a few phone calls I get this.

So I now have two different Australia Sailing user names and member numbers.

Notwithstanding the same personal details and email address I can only log in on the new identity/nos.

PESC have registered me under the new number while RYCT and RQYS have registered me under the old identity/nos.

And that is why only the PESC registration showed up on the member log in it seems.

I have asked that the records be combined.

So you might want to check that with the new member system you do not have the same problem if you a member of more than one club.

 

 

 

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I just logged into my Australian Sailing account and found that my Instructor's qualifications expired in June 2013!!! Thanks for the reminder AS. But I did get to download some nice Instructor Certificates that I had never seen before so that was a bonus.

I like the fact that one certificate says:

Initial Attainment Date: Friday 1 January 2010

Expiry Date: Sunday 30 June 2013

And then... Note: this certificate was issued  5 years prior to expiry date.

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We argued for a year with South AU Sailing about our club numbers. The annual fees are based on member numbers. Half of our Learn2Sail kids are holiday kids from the city. We give them a temp membership for insurance reasons. They do our class for a week and we might see them the next summer at best. YSA counts them. We race on Sundays. Every other club races on Saturdays. About half of our adult fleet are also members of larger clubs. YSA tried to double dip and count them twice. They count the size of the bar against you in terms of income. More beer = more fees. There is an attached restaurant/event  place. We have nothing to do with it. Ding...they count them. We are part of a larger aquatics club. Speed boats, rowers, etc. Ding...they count them. All of this pushed us from a small club to a medium club. Idiots would not listen to us. That year we gave  them $1500 instead of the $5k they wanted. We get little for that money. Other than them telling us we need to be part of Discover Sailing. The reality is we don't need their insurance.  We have AU instructors, we follow the AU curriculum, we won't pay them more money. 

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