Sail club turmoil

THE Fremantle Sailing Club has been thrown into more turmoil, with the club’s commodore standing down and its general manager suspended on full pay.

At a board meeting on February 6, commodore Graeme Allen voluntarily stood aside while allegations about a “human resources issue” are investigated.

At the same meeting general manager Amanda Silk was suspended on full pay pending the outcome of the investigation.

Vice commodore Michael Walker has stepped in to fill both roles.

Mr Walker told the Herald the allegations had been raised by staff members and would be investigated independently, as the board had decided it was not in a position to form a view about their veracity.

Mr Walker said he was hopeful the process could be completed within two weeks; he’s had to take time off his own work to hold the fort together.

Open day

“I’m enjoying this–not,” Mr Walker said with obvious frustration.

It comes at a bad time for the club, which is gearing up for an open day on March 31 where it was hoping to attract new members and patch up the relationship with its South Fremantle neighbours, who are wary after the unsuccessful bid to annex part of dog beach for a dinghy launching ramp in 2016.

Mr Walker said each of the club’s sections would have displays and presentations, including fishing, diving, power boats, juniors and dinghies.

“This club is one of the most diverse of all clubs,” Mr Walker said.

Back in 2017 half of the club’s board resigned, principally over how an asbestos issue was handled, but the Herald heard there was also an internal power struggle at play.

Then in February last year it was rocked when popular vice commodore Robert Thomas, an experienced ocean racer, was drowned when his boat Finistere capsized in rough seas during the Bunbury and Return Ocean Race.

by STEVE GRANT

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