It is with much sadness that we advise you of the passing of SYC Past Commodore and Life Member Chris Carlile.
Chris was a highly esteemed, charismatic and well regarded member of our great Club for 50 years – in fact he celebrated his 50 years of membership only recently on 9 June 2023.
Chris filled countless honorary roles in the Club going back the entire term of his membership. His contribution to the governance and leadership of the Club has been immense and started by serving as the Treasurer in the late seventies. Chris served as a member of the Sail Committee for multiple terms including as Sail Captain. He served as a member of the General Committee also over multiple terms. He commenced his six year period as a Flag Officer in 2008 and was Commodore of SYC for a two year term in 2012 and 2013.
Chris’ professional background was in finance – initially in chartered accounting, then in international consulting, and finally as Finance Director of two corporations. He drew extensively on his considerable commercial skills for the direct benefit of his beloved SYC. Chris’ long lasting legacy and most significant contribution can be traced to his years as a Flag Officer and as a member of the Finance and Audit Committee.
From 2006 to 2017, in consultation with the General Committee of the day, Chris refined the capital funding strategy and financial parameters which underlie the SYC ‘financial model’. Over the years, this model has guided long term strategy, annual plans and budgets. It concurrently equipped successive committees with strategic, responsible and practical financial information and is a primary reason for our current sound financial position. In short, Chris was the brains behind a lot of the key decision making at SYC during these years and he gave the committees of the day the confidence to proceed with the various projects most notably construction of the then new clubhouse in 2007. Chris’ ground work continues to underpin and guide the financial affairs of the Club.
Chris was delighted and highly honoured to be awarded SYC Life Membership in 2018.
On the water Chris built a well-earned reputation as a competitive and successful yachtsman, having participated in club, Victorian, national and international events.
Chris became a prominent competitor from 1982 after his return from London where he competed in events on the Solent, sailing out of Lymington. The record books testify to many successes, initially in his Boomaroo 22 (Elbereth), then in his Farr 740 Sport (Farr Better), then his 11-Metre One Design (Blue Chip). Beyond the Bay, Chris has 13 Sydney-Hobart races and many other coastal ocean races to his credit and has competed in three 11-Metre world championships. Chris was renowned as a fierce competitor.
Beyond club boundaries, Chris elevated the profile and reputation of SYC, both locally, nationally and internationally. He served as Treasurer of the Victorian Yachting Council in the eighties and was instrumental in SYC being a part of the International Committee of Yacht Clubs (ICOYC). Chris commented at the time “I am particularly appreciative of the invitation for SYC to join the ICOYC as the issues facing sporting clubs generally and yacht clubs in particular, seem to be common around the world. Attracting, developing and retaining members, particularly junior and intermediate members, is towards the top of the list for all of us. We all face the financial pressures of developing and maintaining facilities to support members and the opportunity to learn from each other’s experiences, and share insights into common problems is the defining hallmark of the ICOYC”. Chris represented SYC at ICOYC forums and served as a director for several years including a term as Vice President Asia/Pacific.
Chris was a highly visible, sociable and well-regarded member who introduced many people to sailing. He was forever the advocate for the Club and sailing in general. Over many years, Chris was consulted by and was a mentor to fellow members and staff. His comments and advice were always well considered and often given with a degree of good humour. Chris was every member’s friend, always willing to lend a hand and you knew when he was around…at some stage we were all hailed with a “G’day mate” and his trademark response when asked how he was, “just bloody terrific”. In addition to sailing, golf was another great love of Chris’ and if he wasn’t at SYC or answering the mobile, there was every chance he was with his great bunch of mates on the golf course.
All in all, Chris made an incredible contribution to the Sandringham Yacht Club over an extended period and on behalf of all SYC Members we express our gratitude and condolences to his wife Di and the Carlile family.
RIP Chris Carlile: 29 November 1947 – 14 June 2023.
Please note a Private Family Memorial will be held.
Then next Friday 23 June, from 3pm onwards, there will be a Gathering of Chris’ Mates at SYC in the Members Harbour View. Please come along and join in. From 3.30pm those in attendance will be invited to share their favourite Chris stories as well as paying their respects & toasting Chris.