PASSION AND PRIDE: Brad and Maryke Barker with GYC commodore Marina Hobbs.
PASSION AND PRIDE: Brad and Maryke Barker with GYC commodore Marina Hobbs. Nick Kossatch GLA050419GYC

Sailing club on the lookout for community support

WITH THE start of the 71st Brisbane to Gladstone Yacht Race just 13 days away, Gladstone Yacht Club commodore Marina Hobbs said the future of the club is under a financial cloud.

But she remains optimistic the heritage-listed GYC, which was built in 1941 and one of two clubs still on its original site, will ride out the storm of uncertainty.

"We are about to send out an expression of interest to lease out the kitchen and there has been interest," Mrs Hobbs said

"We're making a lot of cuts to save on costs."

To put in a nutshell, this part of the business needs to thrive to allow sailing competition to continue.

Sure the upcoming B2G will help, but the business side of things needs to be sustained.

"Unfortunately we find ourselves, as a sailing club, operating a food, beverage and gaming venue, in a highly competitive market," Mrs Hobbs said.

"Our building is an iconic part of the history of the Gladstone waterfront, is heritage listed and provides the only truly waterfront restaurant venue in Gladstone."

Mrs Hobbs said the Gladstone Ports Corporation and MP Glenn Butcher are supportive of the club and are doing their best to retain the GYC building for the future of the sport of sailing in Gladstone along with the enjoyment of the community.

Former GYC commodore Brad Barker also said he wants new members to join the club.

"Basically, what I say is that it's time for the consolidation of the club and it's advantageous to have a big increase in membership and bring in new faces," he said.

"The club has a great history in the town and especially during the Brisbane to Gladstone race and Yachties has always been a place for social gatherings."

Life-member Maryke Barker wants the community to welcome in the sailors to the Harbour City over the Easter weekend.

Mrs Hobbs hopes this will attract new members to the club.

"We are asking the community of Gladstone to support the club during this process, come to our Sunday sessions in the beer garden, trivia on Thursday nights or enjoy a meal and drink and enjoy sunset over the water," she said.

"Gladstone Yacht Club staff and sailing club volunteers are working together to ensure this Easter is a memorable 71st yacht race celebration."

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