Last Saturday, clear skies and fair winds greeted the many Lane Cove 12ft Skiff Club sailors, young and old, for the Opening of the 100th Season of racing boats on the river, the joy and expectation of a landmark season were shattered in the early hours of the following morning when the primary storage shed for all the clubs junior boats was razed to the ground.
No boats stored in the shed or adjacent dinghy lockers were able to be saved, arson is suspected. Over 60 boats have been lost.
See news reports here.
Up in flames went boats, many built by club members, that had been passed from family to family, been lovingly cared for and some had competed in every State and National Champions for more than 10 years. A number of families lost two and one family three boats. The shed was also the childhood cubby house for generations of sailor kids.
You cannot go and buy a fleet of boats off the shelf to replace what has been senselessly lost, so rebuilding and reequipping the sailors will take time and money. Lane Cove is a small community volunteer run club, racing on the waters west of the Sydney Harbour Bridge. The club is strongly focused on the promotion of junior sailing – starting out in Sabots, then move to Flying 11s and on to Cherubs and Laser and finally 12ft Skiffs. This even is a setback for the club, its members and the wider sailing community but;
We will rebuild. We will keep sailing
As Commodore Max Gundy says in his newsletter update – This Saturday sees us return to the water after what has simply been an awful week. What has been written up on FaceBook as the, “Farewell BBQ and Re-Build Project Launch,” is going to be a day for all of us to get together and rally around our friends who lost boats and to give friendship to all of us who have enjoyed our club so much over the years. Read on right here.
In the time since the fire the Club has been overwhelmed with offers of help, but if you would like to help this club’s junior sailors get back out on the water a gofundme page has been set up.