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Lane Cove rebuilds club, and spirit, stronger than ever before

By Harry Fisher

A fire at Lane Cove 12ft Sailing Skiff Club last year that destroyed about 40 boats.

Just about one year ago, the Lane Cove 12ft Sailing Skiff Club experienced the most devastating event in its history, when a fire tore down its major boat storage shed and decimated a number of prized boats.

The Australian sailing community watched from around the country as a club had so much taken away, but to its credit rallied in support to see them rise from the proverbial ashes and power on to a hugely important season of sailing.

After the fire on September 15, the club had a successful sailing season with many Lane Cove boats doing well at a number of state and national regattas.

The boat shed that was burnt down, the morning after the fire.

Meanwhile in the background, the club’s newly-formed rebuild committee, a sub-committee of the club’s board of management, had been working tirelessly with members and the Lane Cove Council not only to restore what the club had lost, but to take the opportunity to create a new space that would open up the foreshore of the Lane Cove River to the community that had helped so much.

The club’s Commodore, Max Gundy, said the club had done an incredible job of raising money since the fire, which was a testament to the pride these member’s had in the place.

“Since the fire, the club has done a great job raising funds, however the amount needed (to complete the project) we estimate to be about $415,000,” he said.

Some of the Sabots that were lost in the fire had raced at Lane Cove for generations.

“The club has been overwhelmed with such generous support from not only the sailing community but also from local businesses that are not even involved in sailing – this generous spirit is wonderful.”

He said with the help of marine architect David Dickson, the club submitted plans to the council that would accomplish the desired community upgrade, and with an enthusiastic council backing the idea, the club’s vision had finally been put in motion.

With an approved design and a project manager to be put in place to lead the rebuild for the community, members are excited at what the future holds for the club.

Members during a working bee before the shed (visible in the background) was burnt down.

Now this weekend, tomorrow night on Saturday September 7, the club will host what will be the biggest fundraiser during the rebuild process.

Max said it would be a night to remember and one not to miss with well-known band The Enormous Horns on stage at Hunters Hill Sailing Club, with the doors opening at 6pm and the band playing three sets throughout the night.

He said the club’s social committee arranged for some of the most amazing donations from a number of very generous sponsors, with the two most notable being a two-hour sail on Infotrack, one of only four maxi yachts in Australia, for 10 people; and a dinner for eight people in the wine cellar at the Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron.

These are just two of the fabulous donations on offer, for further information head to the fundraising site, which will also bring you to another link where you can purchase raffle tickets, with first prize being a weekend at the Star of the Sea Resort in Terrigal.

“All club members are looking forward to a great night next Saturday and extend their gratitude to everyone who has shown support to the club as we rebuild what we lost,” Max said.

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