Local sailing club needs more like Ross

Published Wed 16 Aug 2023

Local sailing club needs more like Ross


Ross Priestman is typical of so many local retirees: enthusiastic, able-bodied, loves the water and loves making a contribution. And, like so many retirees, the Dunsborough resident wanted to continue making a difference when he signed off from his career.

Three years ago a small article in the local media piqued his interest: Dunsborough Bay Yacht Club put out a call for volunteers to help its sailing program. Ross was one of the first to make contact with the Club and has taken his contribution right through to committee level, such is the value of his input on boating and safety. 

“I find it very satisfying,” says Priestman.

“I was looking for a way to make contribution to the community. This allows me to contribute whilst being on the water, which I love. Being part of a team is also personally satisfying.”

Priestman is the unelected leader of a small group who manage the Club’s support fleet, on-water safety and other assets relating to racing and training dinghy and catamaran sailors.

“We are all there for the purpose of keeping sailors safe. However we have also gained so much from meeting like-minded friends with the same goals. The social contact and club social activities make the volunteering particularly enjoyable.”

Now, like many clubs, DBYC finds itself in need of more men and women like Ross and his small team.

“On top of the requirement for having a Skippers Ticket, or the willingness to get one, we are looking for folk who can swim and who like being around boats. Volunteers need a sense of humour, team spirit and have availability on a fairly regular basis during the racing season. Not every Saturday but as regular ad possible to cover shifts.”

According to DBYC Vice Commodore Craig Saunders, the Club will make anyone interested a member in exchange for their contribution and cover any costs associated with a Skippers Ticket or First Aid course, should the prospective volunteer wish to go down that route.

“The volunteer group are pivotal to our activities as a Club,” said Saunders, “and as a sailor myself, I cannot say how much their contribution is valued by the competitors. They make our Club a richer place and embody the true community nature of the place.”

Anyone interested in doing the DBYC as a volunteer, for good times, camaraderie and making a difference, is encouraged to call Ross Priestman on 0432 731 887.