The honour of Life Membership was awarded to John Chatham at the AGM on Tuesday 24 November.
John Chatham joined Sandringham Yacht Club in November 1978. For over 40 years he has made a significant contribution to the success and high standing of the club.
His involvement with the life of the club has covered:
· Serving twice on general committee for a total of six years
· Being a member of the club’s sail committee for over 12 years
· Club captain sail 2003-2006
· Founder and initial organiser of the highly successful SYC Sunday sailors in which he regularly competes
· Founder and inaugural chairman of the SYC Sail Training Committee
· Member of the SYC Sail Foundation 2002-2003
For club racers who were looking for a competitive racing handicap system John in 1997 created the Australian Measurement System (AMS) which was readily embraced by yacht owners both within Victoria and Interstate.
Since then it has been updated in 2012 to accommodate modern yacht designs with a Sportsboat Measurement System also introduced which has had international acceptance. He continues to be directly involved with maintaining the technology and update of the system.
As an active sailor John has successfully competed in both club and ocean racing events winning numerous races including:
· 1999-2000 AMS Commodores Trophy in “Island Trader“
· 2002-2003 AMS Commodore in Chief Trophy in “Island Trader“
· 2009-2010 First Division Trophy in “South 38“
· Competing in his yacht “Island Trader” in four Melbourne to Hobart races with two firsts and a second.
John has taken numerous new sailors to the sport under his wing who have grown to love sailing and become competent sailors due to his tutoring, patience and caring for them.
Additionally John has encouraged women to participate in sailing through generously making his yacht available over the years for “Women in Sailing“ events which he has enthusiastically supported and spent time coaching the crews.
In 2003 he was a member of the Melbourne to Osaka Race Management Committee including being Chairman of the Race Safety Committee and attended the race finish ceremony in Osaka as a SYC representative.
As a AYF Yachtmaster Instructor he has conducted over the years “sell out” information nights for SYC saillors on Rules, Safety, Navigation, Boat Handling, Sail Trim, Tactics and Race Management.
Due to demand John has extended these programs to other clubs around the bay which has resulted in improving the knowledge of their sailors for the overall benefit of the sport.
Additionally John has been a member of the previous VYC Executive Committee, Chairman of the Interclub Keelboat Committee including the responsibility for risk management and a member of the Planning Committee.
In 2001 he was awarded the Yachting Victoria “Services to Yachting” award for his on going commitment in so many diverse ares to improving standards and knowledge of the sailors for their enjoyment of sailing.
In 2010 John’s contribution to the sport was further recognised by the then Yachting Australia with him being awarded their “Club Volunteer of the Year” in recognition of his unstinting support over the years as a club volunteer.
Through knowing David Rogers who is the CEO of the charity “Challenge – Supporting Kids with Cancer” John saw the opportunity to have SYC involved in fund raising for this cause and giving the kids the opportunity to have some fun sailing. John has therefore been the driving force behind the organising of an annual fund raising event and providing enjoyment for kids who are contending with cancer which has resulted in raising over $100,000 to assist with research to overcome this unfortunate disease.
There is no doubting John Chatham’s love of sailing , his continuing dedication and unselfish giving of his time and knowledge for the benefit of Sandringham Yacht Club members and making an outstanding contribution to the recognition that SYC receives as a leader in the sport and within the community.