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SYC J70 Sailing Program Update

Thursday, 31st August 2023

Hello Fellow Members,

We are delighted to announce that the first two J70s have landed at SYC with the second two boats on their way, due to arrive in early October.  It’s now time to prepare for the launch of our exciting SYC J70 Sailing Program in late October once the four boats are fully commissioned.

As it almost four months since our members approved the purchase of up to six J70s, it is a timely reminder of why we are embarking on the SYC J70 Sailing Program.  As with all other sports, we recognise we have a membership retention issue where only 10% of our membership is aged between 20 to 40 years of age.  We intend to address this through the exciting SYC J70 Sailing Program which we have based on successful and long-standing programs run at other clubs including CYCA and RNZYS designed to:

  • Attract and retain younger members to the club.
  • Develop a group of high-quality sailors who can compete nationally and internationally in keelboats.
  • Train youth and intermediate sailors as a source of crew to SYC boat owners.

The J70s are the enablers of the SYC J70 Sailing Program which will provide a range of activities with three areas of focus:

  • Social – young members having fun in boats on the water at SYC
  • Development – a training program designed to provide pathways for our youth sailors and to teach the basics of small keelboat sailing
  • Advanced – a comprehensive program designed to help our competent young members take the next step in their sailing journey

We sent out a request for expressions of interest from younger members to gauge interest in the type of programs they are most interested in.  We have already received over 70 expressions of interest with an age range of 14 to 40 and a good balance of interest across all three areas of focus. You can still register your expression of interest here if you have not done so yet!  Our plan is to roll out two age groups, under 18 and 18 plus, with social activities across Wednesday, Thursday and Friday nights.  The development program will be offered in half day formats on weekends with a number of training blocks throughout the year. Our advanced program will take place on Saturdays, avoiding our aggregate racing days, and places will be available by application – we have several upcoming J70 one design regattas in our sight for this group.

We have developed a five-year business plan which factors in both anticipated benefits, including improved young member retention and contributions to the programs, and expenditure, which includes maintenance, insurance, regatta costs, uniforms and coaching resources as well as consideration for depreciation.  This plan will continue to be refined as the participant numbers and areas of focus are being finalised. 

When we sought member approval to purchase up to six J70s at the OGM in April of this year, we embarked on a fundraising campaign to raise 50% of the cost of the boats.  To date we have raised $230K of the $300K which has enabled us to purchase the first four J70s.  We are indebted to those generous members who made tax deductible donations through the SYC Foundation, and we thank you very much.  For those members who would like to make a tax-deductible donation, you can still do so here to help us to get to the target $300K to purchase a total of six boats.

We plan to bless the four boats on Opening Day on 7 October when all our members are gathered to celebrate the opening of the new season, ahead of the official launch of the SYC J70 Sailing Program which we will announce the date of soon.

We look forward to bringing you further detail behind the programs, the participants, the timing and when we will hold the official on water launch of the SYC J70 Sailing Program.

It’s great to belong.

Sue Bowes