I’d like to begin by keeping my first President’s Report short and sweet, similar to how long I’ve been in the position. I’ll use this report to recall my experience and the atmosphere of our most recent sailing day on the 24th of July. As well as putting forward how I will be upholding my obligations in this new role.

I was embarrassingly half an hour early and eager for the sailing day. My enthusiasm was definitely in the right place though. The weather was about as good as it can get during the thick of a Melbourne winter. The sun was shining, ready to greet our club’s crew. As for the wind, it was at the ready to fill our sails and noses with Andrew’s culinary skills.

After Begonia, Graham and a few other members had a wrestle with her rigging, she was launched. There must have been some sore fingers after the altercation, no one raised their hands for Captain. Graham took the initiative... and thrust it upon one of our newest members, Louen. With no hesitation he took the position and crew out on the lake to experience Begonia’s magic.

Our mystical club boat was not alone that day, many of our member’s boats joined the fleet. Hard hitters such as Talisman, Lyndsay Symons, Derry and even David’s ‘transformer in disguise’ dinghy were making waves. There were many charming boats out that day, all documented in Gary’s video. A link to the channel is on the WBA website, including a backlog of many other spectacular sailing days.

The BBQ-fueled wind had an alluring effect on all the sailers and members. We were all carving up the water watching the waves our fleet carved around Gunn Island. Then within the dip-to-black of a blink, we all were all in the conference room with a mouth full of roast pumpkin. I want to thank everyone who contributed to the mile-long table of delicacy. Every mouthful was a taste of home, the home we build within our club.

Once everyone was full of food, Chris pulled out his secret weapon... the AGM. Quite clever on his part, hard to run from a meeting when your belly is as full as our sails were in the first half of the day. He recalled the club’s exciting events of the past year, including the challenging times the committee and he led us through. He spoke on the heartfelt gathering in Colin’s memory, held in the tranquil slice of the world he called home.

“F65!” Graham hollered out into the room of empty plates and raffle tickets. The winning ticket rang in Mick’s ears, he came forth and was awarded the lock to Graham’s skilled artisan secrets. After a little back and forth of whether the key was part of the prize or not, the next two stunning prizes were awarded to Peter and Alex With the heightened adrenaline of a raffle out of the way. It was time for the club to vote and restructure the committee members, with the nominations being top picks and a room full of food-coma affected members, the new committee was elected. Then followed by the long awaited star of the day... dessert!

I do want to thank the club for understanding that I wasn’t feeling too well and had to leave during dessert. Could be something to do with Chris relinquishing the shoulder tension inducing role onto me. With my newly hardened shoulders, enthusiasm, and support from the committee, I will be an ever approachable president (who says he’ll keep it short then talk for a whole page - I couldn’t help myself, it was such a welcoming and warm sailing day we all had).

In the spirit of section (e) of my obligations as president, “to record the history of wooden boatbuilding and boats”, I’d like to put out an expression of interest, for any members who would be comfortable with sharing the stories behind their boat that is a part of the WBA fleet, and their experiences/adventures with wooden boats. Email me at the president@woodenboat. asn.au. I am very interested in record the collective history of WBA members, then wrapping it up in a pleasant video series that we’ll put on the club’s social media. The content will be a great way to capture our club’s history and to attract new members who share our passion.

I look forward to meeting more of you at the next event the WBA holds.
Good winds, Ethan

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