Scuttlebutt - Club News


SCUTTLEBUTT – MARCH 2021 – RMYC Toronto News, the Swansea Channel and Board Member Succession Plan



It has been a while – September 2020, since our last Scuttlebutt issue and a lot has been happening in that time. Of course, we were just over the Covid19 lockdown back then and since, we have had our annual AGM where new board members were elected, we have had changes in the restaurant staffing, we started and have nearly finished our summer sailing calendar, our cruising members have been out and about, the Swansea Channel has again silted up, and council released what was their preliminary Toronto Foreshore Master Plan and have now released their Draft Toronto Foreshore Master Plan, and so, let us fill in the detail.


The AGM was held in September and 2 new members were elected to the board – Chris Stratten and Jan Conlon, replacing Mark Godwin and Mike Williams. Peter Mayo was appointed Rear Commodore swapping roles with Ken Tully. All other positions were unchanged. Not surprisingly – after being closed for some three months and taking advantage of the closedown to renovate the kitchen and carpet the upstairs deck, the club posted a loss of $161,130 for the 2019 – 2020 Financial Year. Whilst we are still in Covid19 recovery mode and finances are not yet back to normal, we can say our financial position for the 2020 – 2021 year is looking healthier.


There have been a few staff changes at the club, but first we need to recognise and say goodbye to Karen Richmond. After 17 years at the club, Karen has decided she needs a break and finished up duties on Sunday Mar 7th. Karen is hoping international travel will soon resume so she can go visit family in the US. Greg Hopper has appointed a new Executive Chef – Mark Luntungan and Sous Chef – Raj Singh. He has also bought on board Briony Schofield – a full time trainee in Hospitality and Paige Rowbottom – a full time first year apprentice. If you dine in the restaurant, you would probably have met our new casual restaurant supervisor – Mandy Lam. when you do meet our new restaurant staff, please make them feel welcome. Paul Tracey was employed by Greg but was doing bar duties under a financially beneficial arrangement that was available during the Covid19 lockdown. Paul has now taken up a full-time role as bar manager for the club. There are quite a few casual staff changes – too many to mention, but we welcome them on board at the RMYC Toronto.


The Summer Sailing season is nearly at an end with the Wednesday Twilight Series winding up last Wednesday and 3 races to go in our Saturday competition. Placings in the Twilight Series were:

Division 1, Inner Circle – D Cooney (1st) Stampede – M McDonald (2nd) Indigo 2 – R Dawes (3rd)

Division 2, Emmenar – M Steiner (1st) Hows Trix – G Parr (2nd) Wild Cherry – A Laverick (3rd)

Division 3, Therapy – T Savage (1st) Runnaway Shopping Trolley – S Kay (2nd) and Rat Trap – M Hamilton (3rd)

The Saturday competition looks to have the lead positions locked in and only the placings look in doubt.

February saw the inaugural RMYC She Skippers race with some 25 boats from around the lake competing. Wendy Watson – our She Sails coordinator, pulled the event together and arranged for it to be held under the Lakefest umbrella. Funds raised from the event are being donated to the Heaven Can Wait charities.

February also saw the start of Lakefest – an umbrella under which several events from various clubs are promoted and held. The first event was the first leg of the Lake Macquarie Yacht Club (LMYC) regatta – part of the Interclub series which runs through the sailing season.

Week 2 of Lakefest featured the Heaven Can Wait Regatta in which 51 Yachts competed. The regatta started with the annual Charity Dinner – this year featuring 5 young sailors who are already making their mark in international events. Prior to the start of racing, Paul Bennet of Paul Bennet Air-shows, put on a spectacular aerobatic display in front of the RMYC clubhouse. This is the 4th year that Paul has performed for the HCW Regatta and we are naturally grateful for his support. Proceeds are still be tabulated but it is expected that we will raise around $38,000 in support of the charities – The Hunter Branch of Cancer Council NSW and their Home Help Program, and Marine Rescue who provide on water support during the regatta. The amount raised will be down some 25% - mainly due to the after-effects of Covid19 and limitations caused by silting up in the Swansea Channel. The better news is that over the 15 years this event has been running – and including this year, we expect to have raised some $470,000. Also in week 2, the Lake Macquarie Classic Boat Association started its Open House week and held a Boat Bits Bonanza at their Rathmines facility.

Week 3 rounded out Lakefest for 2021 and featured a combined Friday Twilight race out of the Wangi Amatuer Club, the second leg of the LMYC regatta and the Lakefest Charity Ball held this year at LMYC.


The cruising division have had several successful events including a long weekend trip to RMYC Broken Bay, The Coal Trophy,  and a raft up at Browns Bay on the lake with a band on board one of the cruisers, a great afternoon, and a first for the club and the musicians.

A number of the cruisers including Paydirt and Silenus also took members of the local Probus group on their boats for a lunch at Valentine Bowling Club, Probus donated $1000 to the division which was passed onto the Heaven Can Wait fundraising event. The division also supplied start boats -  Paydirt and Sea Flight and one of the turning mark monitoring vessels - Ourtime 2, for the Heaven Can Wait Regatta.

A full calendar of events is scheduled including a raft up at Swan Bay and a Newcastle trip over Easter


The club continues to have local contractor Hunter Wharf and Barge install new poles. The southern section recently had 6 new poles installed. An underwater survey has recently been done of the entire marina to identify deteriorated poles and where new poles will be needed for the ongoing security of the structure. Ken Tully continues to keep a close eye on all the maintenance needs and replaces decking boards promptly when new boards are needed.

The public boat ramp that the club owns is also in need of some new boards and these will be installed once the sawmill makes delivery.


Lake Macquarie City Council have now issued their draft Toronto Foreshore Master Plan. This follows a preliminary release late in 2020 where council were looking for feedback prior to current draft release. The RMYC - and many others, provided feedback on the preliminary plan late in 2020, essentially indicating that the plan was a vast improvement on the proposed original plan and 4-6 story development on Bath Street but had some significant shortcomings – not the least of which was parking for foreshore visitors. Activation of the foreshore – aka Increased visitation, was a stated objective of the redeveloped foreshore. When reported, the public positive opinion for the 2020 preliminary plan was highlighted but the negatives (shortcomings) were essentially bypassed and now completely ignored in the now draft plan. The RMYC has submitted a response to the draft plan – again highlighting the shortcoming, but more importantly, pointing out to council the negative impact it will have on the RMYC’s ability to trade. A copy of the RMYC response can be viewed and printed by clicking RMYC FMP. The board encourages all members to provide their feed back on the draft plan and copy their local councillor and the Mayor on their response. Plan details and feedback options are available on the Lake Macquarie City Council Website - contact details for the West Ward councillors and the Mayor are:

 Councillor David Belcher – Telephone: 0429 914 623 Email: 

 Councillor Jason Pauling – Telephone: 0417 416 577 Email: 

 Councillor Luke Cubis – Telephone: 0429 939 475 Email: 

 Councillor Wendy Harrison – Telephone: 0409 775 432 Email: 

 Mayor Kay Fraser - Telephone: 02 4921 0223 Email:


We continue to seek feedback from members and guests utilising the clubs facilities and in particular, we would like to know how our members feel about the way the club is managing the health restrictions, the bar service and the current food regime in the restaurant. The use of forms to get this feedback is difficult with the current Covid19 restrictions, so instead you can use the following QR code or click on RMYC SURVEY to access an on-line feedback form. 











Mel Steiner

Vice Commodore


You are probably aware that there was a petition running in regards to the maintenance dredging of the Swansea Channel. It was recently presented to the state government and responded to by Andrew Constance. The petition wording - as presented, is:

To the Speaker and Members of the Legislative Assembly, Lake Macquarie is the largest coastal saltwater lake in the Southern Hemisphere, and twice the size of Sydney Harbour. Swansea Channel is the only marine access route in or out of Lake Macquarie and provides a gateway to the lake, beaches and mountains; beyond that to Greater Newcastle and the Hunter Valley; a world class tourist attraction with facilities, activities and events to meet all walks of life. Unfortunately the channel gets silted up severely restricting access in or out of the lake, putting property and lives at risk and taking up the resources of vital services such as Marine Rescue and Maritime Services. This situation is so wrong on so many levels; The economic impact to the Lake Macquarie area. The reputation of Lake Macquarie – “don’t bother, too hard, not worth the effort”. The inconvenience to Marine Rescue – even they are running aground at the moment. The inconvenience to the wider boating fraternity. It is a safety and economic issue! The problem is the dredging is reactive, what is needed is a proactive dredging schedule, one that the dredging contractor can schedule into his business plan/calendar. A schedule that takes into consideration and works around peak periods of use, and one that in the event of a delay, for whatever reason, will not result in the channel being closed to much of the sailing/boating community. We request a permanent dredging solution for the Swansea Channel.

The response from Andrew Constance can be viewed by clicking RESPONSE



For some time now, the board has been considering the design and implemention of a board succession plan. The Club constitution does put limitations on puttig hard and fast rules in place when it comes to a Board Succession Program and therefore needs to be designed around those limitations. A draft plan has been developed and you can view it by clicking Succession Plan. If you have any comments or feedback, please let our club manager know by emailing


Mel Steiner

Vice Commodore