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Royal Geelong Yacht Club wins Australian Sailing's Victorian Club of the Year

by Sarah Pettiford 28 Sep 2020 01:20 PDT
RGYC wins Austrlian Sailing Victorian Club of the Year © Jon West

Royal Geelong Yacht Club (RGYC) was yesterday announced as 2020 Victorian Yacht Club of the Year at the Australian Sailing - Victoria Awards, following the biggest sailing season in the club's 161-year history.

RGYC Commodore Stuart Dickson said the award recognises the ongoing delivery and growth of club activity, Sailing, Learn to Sail and inclusive programs, major community infrastructure development projects, and the club's huge "Summer of Sailing" during the 2019/20 season.

"Ours is a club for all community with programs and facilities offering a world class experience, both on and off the water."

"It is an honour to be named the Victorian Yacht Club of the Year after all the hard work put in by our Board, members, volunteers and staff," Commodore Dickson said.

RGYC continues to deliver major events for the region, including the highly popular annual Festival of Sails and biennial Wooden Boat Festival of Geelong.

From the success and growth of these events, RGYC has been able to attract and deliver key Australian and international events including numerous National and World Championships.

Over the 2019/20 sailing season, RGYC hosted an unparalleled 'Summer of Sailing' including the Cadet National Championship; the 49er, 49erFX, Nacra 17 Oceania and World Championships; and the Laser Masters Oceania and Australian Championships.

RGYC has a strong focus upon enhancing its sailing and inclusion processes, adopting the Victorian State Government and Yachting Victoria's 'Inclusive Club Standard for Sailing Clubs in Victoria'.

With the support of the Victorian Government, Federal Government and City of Greater Geelong, the club is currently progressing development of the Geelong Waterfront Safe Harbour Precinct Project, with Stage 1 including a new Victorian Sailing School and Maritime Education Centre.

Commodore Dickson said creating new opportunities for people of all abilities in the sport of sailing is enormously important to the club.

"The club currently hosts the Sailability program and Vision Impaired Sailing as well as supporting the St Ayles Skiff program and offering sailing experiences as part of Cottage by the Sea's enrichment program."

"In 2019, RGYC also established its own SheSails group, providing development opportunities and encouraging women to get involved in the sport.

"Our Geelong Waterfront Safe Harbour Precinct Project includes new on-water and off-water facilities that will offer even greater accessibility to our club and create a wealth of new community assets.

"The soon to be completed 430-meter Wave Attenuator, Wangim Walk, will be one of Australia's longest on-water walkways and a wonderful attraction that will significantly contribute to Geelong's visitor economy," Commodore Dickson said.

Aligning with the club's endeavours to grow junior sailing, Victorian schools and youth groups will benefit from a full maritime education program delivered through the new Victorian Sailing School facilities, in conjunction with Newcomb Secondary College.

The Australian Sailing Victorian Club of the Year award follows the club's receipt of the 2020 Sport Promotion Award on Tuesday, celebrating the club's efforts in promoting the sport of sailing.

RGYC Member and Chair of the SheSails program, Laura Cora Macolino, was also announced yesterday as the recipient of the Australian Sailing Victoria SheSails Award.

To view Australian Sailing - Victoria's full award announcements, please see www.facebook.com/royalgeelongyachtclub.

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