Sails of the century’

Sailors aren’t the only ones celebrating a 100-year milestone at the Fremantle Sailing Club. Hildred Coombes, the mother of a long-term member, lunched at her favourite venue to celebrate reaching her own century last month with daughters Sandra Willis-Jones and Marilyn Burcham, son Leigh Coombs and new commodore Ron Greer. Photo supplied Leigh Coombs.

FREMANTLE Sailing Club is tacking into its second century this year, with a new CEO at the helm whose hoping to sail into some smoother water.

Boasting an active member base of 3000 and a myriad of Australian sailing champions, the club will be celebrating its first century of achievements both on and off the water, with the first big shindig being held last Saturday.

Recently appointed CEO Karen Baldwin said the joyous event showcased the spirit of the sailing community and set a forward-looking tone for the club.

She said it was no secret the club had gone through a turbulent period; that included a commodore standing down, a general manager being suspended, secret investigations into the books, death threats, an asbestos scandal and at one point half the management committee simply resigning.

“Any club goes through periods where people will go off in a different direction,” Ms Baldwin said.

“It’s a little bit like the government, you have two sides in the government and sometimes there can be two sides in the club.”

Hailing from Sydney and running yacht clubs for around 12 years, Ms Baldwin said her past experiences have allowed her to create a more collaborative environment.

“My intention and goal here is to unite the members and make sure we are actually operating as one club and not factions within a club,” she said.

“So far the members have been very happy with the ways things have been transforming.”

After the club’s commodore stood down last year, Ron Greer took over and says with a new board and CEO, the club is ready for a new century of sailing.

by AMELIA CHANNER-HOLMES

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