History of Chelsea Yacht Club


1937 was probably the beginning of an idea to form a Yacht Club. In this year two canvas covered canoes were built and fitted with sails at the homes of Harold (Bill) Bainbridge and Maurie Miller who were neighbours and lived in Barnes Grove which is adjacent to the present Club- house. The photos shown were taken on the beach where we still rig today.

Both these yachts formed part of our first fleet as you will see as you read on.

The germ was sown one summer evening when Ron Austin and Graham Strachan, who were learning to sail an 18 foot Williamstown punt "San Loon, told me that the owners of some other yachts had suggested organising a few races before the season ended. A meeting was held at my home on 10th March 1938 when Councillor S. Black, Harry Flint, father and son, Tom Broardhurst and Len Hildebrand joined us. After some discussion it was decided to form a Yacht Club to conduct racing and organise some shore assistance.

The 24th March was selected for the first meeting and likely recruits were invited to come along. Some twenty people attended and decided to form a Yacht Club to be known as the Chelsea Yacht Club. The first Officers and Committee were duly elected as follows:-

 

President                      Dr. Ivan Le Souef

Vice-President             Councillor S. Black

Commodore                 Mr. S.O. Bertram

Hon. Secretary            Mr. R. J. Austin

Hon. Treasurer            Mr. T. Broardhurst

Committee                    Messrs. H. Flintsen., G. Strachan & J. Bardin.

 

 

Ten yachts were placed on the register including Vyres (V.J.), San Loo ( 18 Foot punt), Tom Thumb (an 8 footer), Sea Chal ( a 10 footer), and two canvas canoes fitted with sails.

Others present at the meeting included Len & Geoff Hildebrand, Morrie Miller, Ron Scarlett, Harry Flint Jnr., H. (Bill) Bainbridge, Lindsay and Bruce Sykes and Frank Black.

The selection of a President and a Vice-President to guide the fortunes of the Club on shore and a Commodore to control the yachting activities was primarily due to the in- experience of the meeting concerning conventional yacht club procedure, but, over the years, it has proved a happy and successful method of sharing the duties and has given marked flexibility to the control of the Club, especially when most of the administrators were not active sailors and the Commodores preferred to concentrate on sailing including , all the shore based activities which are so necessary to conducting a successful season.

Easter was selected for our first regatta and Frankston Yacht Club, Which had formed about a year previously, promised to help us. Thus started the spirit of friendship and cooperation between the two clubs that has strengthened with the years

Unfortunately, I cannot obtain the results of this meeting, but I well remember all the work that went into the designing and fabrication of our first buoys which had to be light and easily handled so that they could be easily laid and recovered from our yachts, we did not have a workboat then. Even more important, they had to be cheap, as the Club had very little money.

OUR FIRST HOME

During May the Club realised that the building on the foreshore at the end of the Esplanade, Edithvale, was not being fully utilised by the Life Saving and Boating Club that occupied it, so our club members attended a meeting of the Committee of Management in force. So successfully did we press our case that we were granted the use of portion of the lower storage area of the building and five members of our club were elected to the Committee of Management. Thus we gained our first Club Rooms and here also we held our early meetings and entertainments.

On the 19th October 1938 the first regular Annual General Meeting of the Chelsea yacht Club was held. The office of Vice- Commodore was created and John Bardin was elected to fill it, also Graham Strachan was elected Treasurer in place of Tom Broardhurst. The meeting also decided to form a Ladies' Committee from our well wishers to assist at Club Functions. Ever since the "Ladies" have been a wonderful help to the Club.

 

 The original committee consisted of Mrs. D. Cramp - President, Mrs. M. Rogerson- Secretary, Mrs. D. Murray - Treasurer (and still in that office), Mrs. Grendon, Mrs. Pethybridge, Miss Helen Bertram... (now Clarke) Mrs Francis Hosking, Mrs A. Gilding Mrs R. Cornish Miss P. Knight (now Grendon) Mrs Hazel Cady, Mrs E. Flint Mrs E. Cull Mrs Letho, Mrs Connolly were amongst the early members, whilst later they were joined by Mrs Pam Nyman,Mrs N. Hayman, Mrs Timbury, Mrs Barrett, Mrs Rita Griffiths and Mrs M. Colson.

Our first Opening Day Regatta was held on November 20th 1938 when nine yachts from Frankston Yacht Club raced to Edithvale and then competed in the afternoon regatta. The race to Edithvale was won by Mellody - N. Woods with Naree - J.Grice - second and Nymph - F. Watchhorn - third. Vyres - P. Laugier, Sunbeam - J. Uther, C.11 - J. Flint, Scoota - G. Aus- tin, Pep - Ivan Danks and Timor - H. Knight also competed.

After lunch a race over a six mile triangular course resulted in a win for Pep with Maree and Mellody close behind. An open Paired Skiff race was won by H. Scrivenor and P. Forbes also of Frankston whilst a motor boat race was won by Imshi of the Mordialloc Motor Yacht Squadron.  The Mayor of Chelsea, Councillor G. Beardsworth opened the yachting season and presented the trophies, he was supported by the Hon. Mr C. Gartside, M.L.C. and Mr F. Field, M.L.A. This event evinced the first public manifestation of the cordial relations that have existed between the Club and City of Chelsea Council and our local Members of Parliament over the last thirty years

We build our first clubhouse

Whilst the Clubhouse at Edithvale was a very welcome haven during our first year as a club, the accommodation was not really suitable and sharing the area was not satisfactory to either of the clubs using it. Therefore, during the winter, Club Members has inspected the foreshore and approached the City of Chelsea for a lease of a site in Chelsea. After due consideration we were offered an area at the end of Franklin Avenue of 100' by 50 feet and corresponding to the Southern portion of our present location.

Plans for the building were drawn by Bert Smith and were accepted at a General Meeting. Then under the direction of our "Head Carpenter" - Bert Smith - the members laboured well and raised a shed 30' by 33' which was so staunchly built that it has lasted until now despite many storms and alterations. Harry Flint wired it for electric power and the Ladies were in business handing out hot cups of tea and some food to cold and tired sailors

Opening day at the new clubhouse - 19th November 1939

Sunday, 19th November 1939, dawned fine and stayed pleasant all day with a medium strength southerly breeze; just an ideal day to mark the opening of our Clubhouse and the first Opening Day Regatta to be conducted from the present Club site.

On the ebb tide, a fleet of 23 yachts, representing six classes, put to sea accompanied by several motor boats crowded with well wishers. This presented a great spectacle to the many visitors on the beach.

The official party, which was welcomed by the President and the Commodore Stan Bertram, supported by Mrs Bertram and daughters Barbara and Helen, included the Hon. Mr C. Gartside, M.L.C. and Mrs Gartside, Mr F. Field, M.L.A. and Mrs Field, The Mayor of the City of Chelsea - Cr. C. Titchener and Mrs Titchener, Cr. C. Black, Cr. T. Sargeant, The Commodore of Frankston Yacht Club, Mr Bill Corbett and Mrs Corbett. Also present were Dr. R. Le Souef, Mrs Le Souef, Mr P. Laugier, secretary of the Frankston Yacht Club, with fellow members Bob and Ivan Danks, Ken Utber, Jim Proctor and John Grice. The newly erected Clubhouse was opened by the Mayor supported by Mr Gartside and Mr Field, who spoke at length on the amazing growth of the Club which now numbered 5 Vaucluse Senior, 7 Vaucluse Junior and 2 Twelve Square Metre Yachts on its register. In those days their combined value was about $1200.

Starting Procedures

An ingenious clock was constructed to hang on the front of the shed. This was manipulated by the Starter so that the fleet could see the passage of the last 5 minutes before the starting gun sounded. All starts were directly off the Clubhouse no matter what the wind direction and of course you had to be close enough to be able to see the clock.

Who wants boat storage?

This is how it was done in 1942

The need for an enclosed area for the safe storage of yachts and gear outside the Clubhouse led the Committee, in 1942 to approach the Council for permission to erect a fence around the boundaries of the area allotted to us. The Council recommended the application but the Lands Department refused a permit. A year later the Club sent a deputation to the Council and finally received permission to erect a picket fence which provided a protected yard for Club use.

In February 1947 we extended the club premises

During February 1947 the purchase of an army mess hut, 55 feet long and 25 feet wide with three double doors in front, was considered, and finally it was purchased for the sum of $320.

It was decided to dismantle it, transport the parts to Chelsea, and re-erect it 10 feet north of the existing building, using volunteer labour by club members.

A working bee under the direction of the President went up to Darley Camp at Easter and reduced the hut to large but manageable parts and loaded them onto trucks for transport to the Club. On arrival they were off loaded and left to further work parties, under the direction of John Bardin, to re-assemble. This was done so efficiently that the building gave good service for twenty years until it was wrecked to make room for the present buildings. The electrical wiring was installed by Harry Flint and the new club room was opened. So much was this building prized by members that it was felt it should be kept mainly for recreational purposes, indeed a by-law was passed later banning the repairing or painting of boats therein as it was felt that these activities would spoil the floor for dancing.

Strangely, despite the exemplary habits of our members, we found mixed up in the load from the camp a semicircular wooden bar like contraption which was much venerated by two decades of members who used to gather around it for certain strange rites that appeared to cause them much happiness. At other times it was used as a table for dispensing tea and food.

In December 1947 we gain the use of extra land

 

We applied for, and were granted, 100 feet of land to the north of the Club and this has proved an invaluable parking area for members.

A scene outside our army mess hut

During 1950 the work and rescue boat venture really came to life

During 1950 the work and rescue boat venture really came to life, when, after four months search for a suitable design,  our Commodore, Bill Cramp located plans for a boat designed as an army landing craft for Pacific beaches. This was approved in principle by the Club and the Navy then took over and scaled the plan down to sixteen footer. As by now the boat fund had grown to $300 it was decided to build the new boat by Club labour under the direction of Mr. H. Flint. The rate of progress was slow as the construction necessitated careful workmanship and as, despite considerable help from a few members, the bulk of the work devolved on Harry Flint. All of this work of course had to be done in his spare time. The boat was not finally completed until November 1951, but the workmanship was such that, despite rough treatment by seas and sand bars, Vigilant is still carrying out her duties sixteen years later.

 

1953 BRINGS FURTHER EXTENSIONS

 

The year 1953 was marked by two events, firstly Hugh Urquhart, past president of the Club, was elected a life member for outstanding and valuable service to the Club over many years. Secondly a decision was made to build the first permanent portion of the Clubhouse. This consisted of the Tower complex with a Ladies changing room on the ground floor, a committee room above it and the control room at the top, also a wall on our west boundary running north from the tower and a return to the "Old Tin Shed". The newly enclosed space was roofed with corrugated fibro-cement sheets laid on heavy timbers with a timber floored balcony 10 feet wide overlooking the sea to act as a promenade deck for viewing the races. To help finance the venture $1000 was raised from the members by issuing debentures, all of which were repaid in full within four years. The foundation stone of red granite, presented by Mr. H. Urquhart, was laid by the Hon. H.C. Gartside M.L.C. and the building was erected by Messrs. Finn & Stewart, builders, in accordance with the plans as drawn by Mr. Ken Summons. The new building was completed by club labour and officially opened on Opening Day 1954.

IN 1955 THE LADIES GET A NEW KITCHEN

By now the need for a functional kitchen arose and, under the leadership of Bill New- man, we moved the stairs to the tower further back and built the kitchen abutting the Tin Shed and opening into it. The fact that the sewerage pipes from the ladies room passed through it on route to the septic tank was camouflaged by building cupboards and everyone was happy. The only drawback was that the ladies who were working in the kitchen could not watch the racing. This served us well until it was removed when the next stage of our building was commenced and on special days served up to 200 people with afternoon tea, and was eagerly patronised by shivering sailors after a race on a cold day, when a hot "cuppa" really revived them.

 

IN 1956 OUR SABOT TRAINING CLASS IS INTRODUCED

In 1956 the Club decided to cater for younger children by sponsoring a training class yacht for 12 to 16 year olds. The choice fell on the "Sabot", a yacht which is easy to handle, and cheap to build but calls for plenty of skill in racing. This class has been very successful and has been the starting point in the career in most of our best skippers. With the aid of club building schemes, wherein fathers built the hulls under the guidance of more skilled members, fleets of Sabots have been built and maintained and thus a constant flow of experienced crews have become available for senior classes

Club members won the Sabot senior and junior Victorian Titles in 1958, 59, 60 and 61 and in the first Australian Titles held off Frankston in 1964-65 John Platt, sailing Taboo, was well placed for the Championship when he suffered gear trouble in the last heat

OUR EXTRAORDINARY MEMBER - JOHN BERTRAND

From the pages of the News dated 1.11.57 comes the first mention of the rising of a bright new star on the yachting horizon. It records that John Bertrand sailing "Flying J "  won a Club sailing race with his brother Lex in "Flying L " second. Two months later John won the Club Sabot Championship from ten other starters with Bambi - David Nichols second and Flying L - Lex Bertrand third.

Both Lex and John were keen and gifted sailors with more than a drop of salt water in their veins, as grandfather Bill Cull senior had been connected with Port Phillip for many years and Uncle Bill Cull Jnr had been an above average skipper in the Club. They had lived on and in the water all their lives and although Lex, wavered towards athletics for some time, John remained dedicated to the sea. Throughout the years ahead he spent all his spare time sailing and perfecting his mastery over yachts. Encouraged by his parents he annexed, over the years, the Victorian Sabot Championship in 1961, the V.J. Victorian Junior Championship in 1962, 1963 and 1964, and the Victorian Lightweight Sharpie Championship in 1966 and 1967

 His greatest triumphs were in Perth where he became Australian V.J. Junior Champion in the 1963-64 season and in New South Wales and Tasmania where he gained the Australian Lightweight Junior Championship in 1965-66 and 1966-67, capping all with a fine performance at the 1967-68 regatta, when, with brother Lex as trapeze hand and Peter Evans the main sheet he won the Australian Lightweight Sharpie Championship. He has continued to excel in yachting over the years, including a Bronze medal in the Olympics. No doubt his greatest achievement was winning the Americas Cup.

WELL DONE JOHN AND GOOD LUCK IN YOUR FUTURE ENDEAVOURS.

Although John Dawe again won the P.M.S.C. Victorian Championship in 1958 he had to stave off a strong challenge from a fellow club member, Peter Hosking, who was now beginning to exhibit the drive and constructive thinking that was to exert such a tremendous influence over the Club fortunes during the next eight years. He was behind the admission of female members in 1960 and actively worked for the introduction of family membership; he also moved for the reduction of the age limit for Cadet members to eight years. Perfecting his technique in sailing his Lightweight Sharpie and trailing his boat around the bayside regatta's he persuaded other Lightweight skippers to join our Club and thus raised the standard of sailing by keener competition. This worked so well that in 1965 "Rush" - P. Laugier, which formerly sailed at Frankston, won the Victorian Championship breaking the 28 year stranglehold on the title that Black Rock had enjoyed. John Bertrand won the junior title.

In June 1965 Peter, who was now Commodore of the Club, persuaded Max Hamilton (our architect), Peter Lord and myself to join him in a flight to South Australia one Sunday to inspect the Glenelg Yacht Club which he considered would make a good prototype for our completed building. We came, we saw and we agreed. Then Peter set the seal on his achievements by winning the L.W.S. Australian Championship in 1965-66 on Port Jackson. Thank you Peter for all you did for the Club you loved so well.

To return to our own Club, signs of adolescence became more evident in 1960 with the first move to depart from the concept of an all male club, when this decision to admit associate female members was approved by the members. Although this in itself was not really successful, as only a few girls joined, it proved to be the thin edge of the wedge in our development as a family club.

In all things vital and successful timely recognition of the need for change is essential and this year the waning popularity of the P.M.S.C had to be faced and a search initiated for a senior class to replace it, and once again the investigation was done slowly and carefully. Nearly eighteen months elapsed before Peter Hosking applied for registration of his Light- weight Sharpie - Memories, and Bob French for his Flying Dutchman -Jan. 11. Thus Club members were given a chance to evaluate both of these fine classes of yachts and make up their own minds. It was not until February 1963 that the necessary three L.W. Sharpies were on the Club register enabling Peter to move that the class be adopted by the Club and given regular racing.

Presentation night concluded the season; some 200 guests honoured the prize winners. The Best Club Man trophy was presented by the President of the Ladies Committee to Max Funstan for his work during the year, and a special presentation from the racing members was made to the work boat crews as a mark of appreciation of their services during the year, and I am sure that they each still prize their barometer and consult it regularly. The night closed with a rendition of Swan Lake by the club ballet with Kevin Graham starring as the Prince The"Ballerinas" had been trained by Miss Patti Rudd who received a small gift of appreciation from the "Prima Ballerina" - Bernie Tobin.

Opening Day of the 1960-1 was marred by high winds, but the Christmas holidays provided some really good racing when 17 P.M.S. Canoes fought for the Australian Championship. The winner was in doubt until the last few yards of final heat, when Rudolph now sailed by G. O'Shannessy of S.A. rounded the last buoy seconds ahead of Olympic, R.Cohen, and Two Up, W. Hay, to commence the final short beat to the finishing line. Rudolph and Olympic jockeyed for position and allowed Two Up to slip through and win the heat by half a length from Olympic with Rudolph third. This enabled Two Up to win the Championship with Rudolph second. .

The next Australian Championship was held in 1961-62 off Robe, and we lost the title. At home the Club was host to the V.J. Championship regatta. This regatta was successfully run off the Chelsea yacht Club under the direction of Mr. J. Urquhart, President of the Victorian Branch. The organisation of a regatta such as this, where many of  the competitors are teenagers, away from their parents for the first time, needs a great deal of careful planning so that boys are met on arrival, are suitably billetted, and are safely dispatched home again. Here Jack's drive and attention to detail was fully tested and came through with flying colours. In the senior division Dart III - Ian Anderson and in the Juniors Vengeance - M. Edwards be- came the new champions. Vicki - Ken Taylor placed 7th was the best of the Victorian contingent in the seniors, whilst Ballerina - Lex Bertrand, which won one heat, finished in sixth place in the junior Division. Chelsea yachts were successful in the sealed handicap events where Query - D. Nichols and Wayward - J. Howard won the senior and junior events respectively. After the racing finished both placegetters in the junior division were bought by Chelsea members. Blue Streak became the property of Ken Lister.

In October 1962 Mr. John Brain was elected as the first family member of the Club with his wife Lorna, his daughter and his two sons. Jack was an old member of the Club and one of the original members of the work boat crew. Now we had him back with us and he gave his skills freely to the Club as before.

LABOUR DAY WEEKEND 1963

During the Labour Day weekend the Victorian V.J. Championship was sailed off Chelsea. The winners were Daring - P. Kessler in the senior event and Triad - John Bertrand in the junior. By now Triad was finely tuned and her crew, John Augustine, had, and John Bertrand, skipper, were coordinating well. The remainder of the year was devoted to practise and, after a final sharpening up whilst winning the Bertrand Memorial Trophy, Triad and her crew were ready for their last and greatest test - the Australian Championships - to be held in Perth. By winning all five heats of the Junior Division they convincingly proved that they were real Champions.

During this summer a building, known as the Marathon Mansions, situated in Nepean Highway by the Chelsea Park, was brought by Caltex Oil Co. and demolished. The Club asked the company for, and was granted a gift of 10,000 bricks free on the site. With the aid of John Platt and his truck we removed well over this number and stacked them on our site, where club members worked for months cleaning and re-stacking them. Eventually they were all used in the building of stage two of the Clubhouse.  Work soon got underway and the old Tin Shed we erected in 1947 was demolished except for the roof which was retained for a few years. The east wall was built by weekend contract labour with the members acting as labourers. Here most of the bricks from the Marathon Mansions were incorporated in the inner wall, the floor was concreted and steel columns were erected to support the concrete slab that forms the balcony in front of our main hall. This stage cost $3700 and was a great help to our storage problems and was ready to be incorporated in our great leap forward in 1966.

1964 closed on a high note as an inrush of new members for the L.W. Sharpie group helped to lift our membership to 234 men, women and children. Three of our junior members, John Platt in Taboo, Peter Tardrew in Jester and Terry Lister in Hi-Fred gained selection for the Victorian team to contest the first Australian Sabot Championships which was held off Frankston Yacht Club. Three senior members, P. Laugier in Rush, J. Bertrand in Cruncher and Commodore P. Hosking in Rival, were selected for the L.W. Sharpie Australian Championships in South Australia, whilst several of our V.J.s competed in the V.J. Championships sailed off our Club. We were unable to win a title, but John Platt sailing Taboo was unfortunate to develop serious gear trouble when well placed for a win in the Sabot event.

The fourth Australian V.J. Championships to be held in Victoria were conducted without any hitch off Chelsea Club under the skilful administration of Jack Urquhart and his Committee. This event will probably not be held in Victoria again as the class has dwindled to a handful of boats in this State.

However in the Victorian Championships our members were very successful and were able to gain first place in every event in which they entered - L.W. Sharpies, G.P.14, V.J. senior and junior and Sabot. P. Laughier's win in the senior division of the L.W. Sharpies broke the grip that Black Rock Yacht Club had held for 28 years in both the heavy weights and light weights. The win was very popular as "Dick" had been a keen competitor for some 17 years. To seal this victory Cruncher, J. Bertrand, won the junior title.

During the year the City Council, who were desirous of building dressing shelters and toilets in the area, approached the Club suggesting that these adjoin the Club and form one building sharing our septic system. Our architect, Max Hamilton, drew up suitable plans for this building and the Club agreed to co-operate. The Council whilst sitting the shelters found that they would be better placed 10 feet south of our boundary and agreed that we should use the extra frontage provided. This area was enclosed at our own expense in 1965 and provides a temporary storage area for Sabots until Stage 3 of our building progr1964 closed on a high note as an inrush of new members for the L.W. Sharpie group helped to lift our membership to 234 men, women and children. Three of our junior members, John Platt in Taboo, Peter Tardrew in Jester and terry Lister in Hi-Fred gained selection for the Victorian team to contest the first Australian Sabot Championships which was held off Frankston Yacht Club. Three senior members, P. Laugier in Rush, J. Bertrand in Cruncher and Commodore P. Hosking in Rival, were selected for the L.W. Sharpie Australian Championships in South Australia, whilst several of our V.J.s competed in the V.J. Championships sailed off our Club. We were unable to win a title, but John Platt sailing Taboo was unfortunate to develop serious gear trouble when well placed for a win in the Sabot event.

The fourth Australian V.J. Championships to be held in Victoria were conducted without any hitch off Chelsea Club under the skilful administration of Jack Urquhart and his Committee. This event will probably not be held in Victoria again as the class has dwindled to a handful of boats in this State.

However in the Victorian Championships our members were very successful and were able to gain first place in every event in which they entered - L.W. Sharpies, G.P.14, V.J. senior and junior and Sabot. P. Laughier's win in the senior division of the L.W. Sharpies broke the grip that Black Rock Yacht Club had held for 28 years in both the heavy weights and light weights. The win was very popular as "Dick" had been a keen competitor for some 17 years. To seal this victory Cruncher, J. Bertrand, won the junior title.

During the year the City Council, who were desirous of building dressing shelters and toilets in the area, approached the Club suggesting that these adjoin the Club and form one building sharing our septic system. Our architect, Max Hamilton, drew up suitable plans for this building and the Club agreed to co-operate. The Council whilst siting he shelters found that they would be better placed 10 feet south of our boundary and agreed that we should use the extra frontage provided. This area was enclosed at our own expense in 1965 and provides a temporary storage area for Sabots until Stage 3 of our building programme can be completed.

In March 1965 Geoffrey G. McConville ran the first of his famous buffet dances at the Club. They were all very successful and greatly enjoyed, but did not reach their peak until the Club room was built so that food was served in the storage area and dancing was held upstairs.

In the early autumn Peter Hosking set in train two more innovations. One was the purchase of "Sally" the oil heater, this was rather controversial but many who came to scoff remained to warm their rumps at her ardent heat. The other was to lower the age of our cadets to eight years. The reason being the desire to catch them young and train them to sail Sabots. Sabots had been badly neglected for a couple of years and now members realised that more attention must be paid to them. Ron Vivian, Max Lister and John Brain Jnr. decided to run a Sabot building scheme at the Club and Don Nyman as an old hand at the job was seconded to assist. Six or eight boats were built. The scheme prospered and under the able tutelage of Ron and Max has continued to turn out boats each winter.

MORE MOVES TOWARDS STAGE 2 OF THE BUILDING

Our quiet progress was disturbed again by that gadfly Peter Hosking, who pressured Max Hamilton, Peter Lord and myself to accompany him on a day trip to Adelaide because he considered that the Glenelg Clubhouse was a good model on which to base our final plans for the new building. A memorable day started with an early flight by jet to Adelaide airport where we were met by the secretary and a couple of supporters of the Glenelg Yacht Club. They took us to their clubhouse where they showed us every feature of their building which Peter Lord photographed as required their building plans were lent to us and the building stages they had adopted were explained to us. Then we examined their methods of running a big club with the aid of many sub-committees to spread the work. We were told how they raised their finance and paid their debts and we returned home in the wee, small hours sustained by their hospitality but tired by the intense study. 

 In September, after much thought and planning, Max was able to so manoeuvre the areas that those facilities we had found desirable in the Glenelg Clubhouse were able to be incorporated in our plans. The final plan recommended by the building committee consisted of an out- line plan for the finished building with detailed plans for stage 2. This consisted of a steel deck portal frame continued on the existing steel work to form a second storey with three brick walls and a window wall to face the sea. A General Meeting decided to press on with the building as soon as finance became available. The raising of finance was referred to the finance sub-committee for action. This resulted in an increase in the fund raising tempo and the commencement of the work necessary to arrange a government sponsored co-operative lending society. This took time and it was not until near the end of the sailing season that the way be- came clear.

In 1965 the "Skate" class yacht is adopted and will go on to become a strong and successful class, with Kim Clarke winning 2 Australian titles, John Manfield winning 2 Australian titles. A further 4 Victorian titles were also won.

In the Sabot titles this season John Platt again represented us in the Australian Champion- ships and gained third place. Our representatives in the L.W. Sharpie Championships sailed on

Sydney Harbour were - New Statesman - P. Hosking, Rush - P. Laugier, and Crusader - R. McCrindle with Triad - J. Bertrand as our under 21 representative.

The Chelsea News dated 22 January 1966 reported that" Peter Hosking, Commodore of the Chelsea Yacht Club, with Max Bartle and Lex Bertrand as crew won the L.W. Sharpie Australian Title sailed on Sydney Harbour off Clifton Gardens recently.

Indeed he sailed so well that in the final heat he was satisfied to start last and started well clear of trouble, so that he could discard this heat, the first four having given him a comfortable win. Rival 11- R. Allatt of Black Rock Yacht Club was second and Triad - J. Bertrand finished third overall and winner of the Junior Title. John's crews were Geoff Augustine and Peter Evans".

This was only the second time that a Victorian yacht had won the Australian Title and the first time that one State had filled all three places.

THE VICTORIAN TITLES FOLLOWED

By winning all five heats of the 1966 L.W. Sharpie Victorian Championships Triad - J. Bertrand with Geoff Augustine and Peter Evans as crew took the trophy convincingly from Rival II, R. Allatt and Rush, P. Laugier. The B. Division was won by Triton, B. McComb, and C. Division by Rival, B. Lavender.

In the V.J. Championships held off Frankston, Chelsea nearly scooped the pool- results we re:- Senior Division was won by Vengeance, J. ManfieId, from Georgina, B. Tardrew, and Daring, D. Hilderbrand. In the Junior Division Avenger, P. Tardrew won from Blue Streak, K.Lister and Dilemma, Mike Lloyd of Beaumaris. The divisions were sailed concurrently and the star was Peter Tardrew who took line honours in every race.

In August the quote by Mr. B.P. Finn of $17836 was accepted after Mr. Finn has assured the meeting that the building would be completed by Christmas. All yachts were then removed from the Club and the work of wrecking the old buildings was commenced in order to prepare the area for the erection of stage 2.

Whilst the Great Hall was building, it was decided that the men's changing room and showers should be enlarged by club labour to fit in the growing membership. Jack Brain reported that he could obtain a supply of fireproof material at a very good price. This offer was accepted and during the next couple of months Jack and a band of helpers fixed the material to the roof of the storage shed and thus helping to protect our Great Hall.

By Opening Day the building was well on the way to completion and was opened for our visitors to view

 


 By Opening Day the building was well on the way to completion and was opened for our visitors to view, but afternoon tea still had to be served downstairs. The official house warming was held on 18th December 1966, when another of Geoff McConville's Dinner Dances was held. It was a Gala night the food was served in the storage shed, which had been suitably decorated, whilst the Great Hall proved itself as a centre for the Club. All tickets were sold and a profit of $260 was a good start to reducing our liabilities. Indeed the Hall was tested out over the Christmas break when the Skate titles. were held, and it answered every demand made on it.

IN 1971 MORE ADDITIONS

The male changing rooms proving inadequate for the Club, it was decided to build new ones that would be satisfactory for some years. Plans were drawn up by Mr. Wal Hay and submitted to a General Meeting for approval. The plan included wrecking part of the old Sabot shed by voluntary labour, and pouring a concrete floor and ceiling. Finally, the remaining portion of the shed had to be joined to the new work and all had to be made water-tight and vandal-proof. This was done by voluntary labour under the supervision of the Club carpenters. The flat roof of the new work provided a good spot to watch the racing, and for barbecues. It was protected by a steel mesh fence.

From the 26th December 1971 to the 3rd January 1972 the Chelsea Yacht Club hosted the 8th Australian Sabot Championships in conjunction with the "Ivan Le Souef" Sabot Week regatta. The Sabot Week races were held in the morning and the Championship races in the afternoon. The series was efficiently run and included teams from New South Wales, Victoria, North Queensland, South Queensland and Tasmania. Victorians did not produce a winner, that honour going to North Queensland. The Club made a substantial donation towards the cost of the series. Mordialloc and Albert Park sailing clubs assisted by providing their work boats.

February was a busy month for the Club as it hosted the Small Boats Regatta and the One-of-a-Kind regatta for the V.Y.C. as well as running a Family Boats Regatta for the G.P.14 Dinghy Association, in addition to the usual club racing.

IN 1972 CAME A SEVERES TORM AND AS THE OLD SAYING GOES "IT'S AN ILL WIND THAT BLOWS NO GOOD"

Also during the winter a severe storm unroofed and otherwise damaged the shed in which "Viligent" was housed. Fortunately the insurance company paid the Club sufficient money to enable the shed to be repaired and covered with a flat concrete roof, on which the Club later built a committee room on the same level as the Great Hall. This room was of special benefit to the Club as it was insulated and warmed by a gas heater. It was also used by the sailing committee to hear protests and adjudicate thereon.

THE CHAMPIONS KEEP COMING

During the Christmas-New Year period, the 1975 Rainbow/Aust. Championship was sailed off the clubhouse and resulted in "Strangeways" skippered by Geoff Harris with John Short as crew winning the Championship. The conduct of the racing was supervised by Mr. W. Hay acting as Commodore and Mr. Ian Lumley as officer of the day. An inscribed silver plate was presented to the winners by the Club at the welcome home night. The 1975 Victorian Championships were won by R.Drewett who was sailing the Sabot "Woodstock II", by Don Ash in the GP14 Dinghy "Elan" , by Kim Clarke in the Skate "Ratcatcher" and by Geoff Harris in the rainbow "Strangeways"

During February the 125 class was registered and racing was organised for them during the rest of the season.

IN 1975 WE CONTINUE TO LOOK FORWARD

Ideas for the completion of the next stage of the clubhouse building having been discussed for some time, a General Meeting was called to consider the plans and the meeting decided that the plans should be drawn up and displayed in the clubhouse for all members to peruse and criticise, but that the Club should be connected to the sewerage system in the meantime, and that the General Committee should be empowered to call tenders and spend the necessary money to have this completed.

A General Meeting held on the 18th July 1977 decided that the next stage of re-building the clubhouse should commence and that demolition should be carried out by the members. The Club Trustees were empowered to raise a loan to finance the work and that all work be sub-contracted under the supervision of Mr. W. Hay. The Bank of New South Wales advised the Club that $15,500 was available and could be drawn against, thus solving our financial problems.

The old Sabot shed having been wrecked, work now started on pouring concrete and erecting brick walls. Gradually the new Sabot shed took shape with a cement floor and racks for the Sabots. The new ladies changing room was completed and a walk-way was provided in- side the west wall of the clubhouse. Above all this the new stairs rose to the Hall level, whilst another stair-way rose from the Hall level to the tower, which had been enlarged and altered to allow more bench space for the race control officials and to allow the radio operator to use the equipment without interfering with other workers.

The kitchen was removed from where the canteen now stands to enable the ladies to watch the racing from a 180 degrees angle, while the old kitchen became the canteen to store the member's drinks.

THE CLUBHOUSE 1978

The Clubhouse and its facilities appeared to be complete and very workable, and there was no thought of further extension, however with membership steadily growing over the ensuing years, and the need to make better use of the available space, we were at it again. The first alteration was the result of a drawing submitted to Committee for a proposed alteration to increase the serving area at the canteen.

 

 This was accepted and I undertook the responsibility with assistance from Ray Layton to complete the project during the winter period of 1984. The result proved pleasing in appearance and very workable.

In 1985 we were placed in the position of either replacing the front glass and frame of the main hall, due to deterioration, or as it resulted, to move the glassed area forward and provide additional floored space within the Clubhouse. At the same time, working within the agreed budget figures, we were able to extend and completely refurbish the kitchen and enlarge the viewing area of the tower situated above. A new access door was installed to the southern open viewing area and all members seem duly impressed. That is how you see the Club today in 1988. I have no doubt that in the not too distant future we will again see the need to further enhance our Clubhouse.

 John By McGrath