Opening Day on 7 October provided the opportunity to christen our Ozi Opti fleet and new Junior Sailing rescue boat.
As many of you will know, Dave McKeogh was a long standing member and past Commodore of WSC. He generously left his boat White Knight to the Club with the intention that it, or proceeds from its sale, would be used by the Club for training purposes. This generous donation, along with funding from the Port of Melbourne Authority, was used to purchase our six Ozi Opti training boats and begin what has become a very successful move by the Club into TACKERS Training, TACKERS Fleet sailing and now Junior Sailing. In recognition of Dave’s generous gift to the Club, we have decided to name two of these boats in his honour, plus our new rescue boat.
The driving force behind the establishment of TACKERS and Junior Sailing was our very active and passionate past-Commodore, Lois Hunt.
We also ran a competition inviting our TACKERS juniors to name the boats that met the criteria of being, firstly, the name of a boat you’d look forward to sailing in, plus something that had a link to the Club, the local area, its history or sailing in general. We received a large number of well-researched and creative entries and the Junior Sailing Working Group narrowed these down to the 3 winning entries.
The final names are:
- Knight: Dave donated his boat, White Knight, to the Club. This boat continues to sail with WSC on the transom, with Simon van den Berg at the helm.
- Bulldog: Dave was a passionate Western Bulldogs supporter and it is fitting then that we name one of our Opti’s after his beloved team. Go Doggies!
- Hunter: Naming an Opti after Lois would not adequately recognise her contribution to the Club and junior sailing. But we can never forget Lois Hunt’s contribution to the establishment of TACKERS sailing at the Club. Hence the name.
- Firefly: The name of the first ferry that sailed between Williamstown and Melbourne.
- Seagull: Because there are a lot of seagulls around the Club and it’s the name of the local VFL team.
- Stingray: Because of the stingrays that live under the Club deck that the Tackers love to look for while having a break from sailing.
- The new rescue boat will be named the DA McKeogh, allowing Dave to continue to watch over the fleet of budding young trainee sailors.
We were very pleased on Opening Day to be joined by Liz McKeag, Dave McKeogh’s partner. Fittingly, Liz, Lois Hunt and Louise Graham, one of our Opti naming competition winners, released the water balloons that burst on the bows of the Optis, christening our fleet.