The Whitsunday Sailing Club is your club – governed by an elected committee and run by volunteers and paid staff.
The following committee positions were voted on in November 2019 by the Ordinary Members of the Club. For 2019-20, your committee members are:
Leo has been sailing since the age of 12 years and has been a passionate member of the sailing community here in the Whitsundays since the early 90s.
As well competitive offshore racing in recent years, Leo and family have just finished a 3-year sailing odyssey from Greece to Australia.
After a successful career in the corporate world Leo moved here to buy and operate a charter boat. The company grew from one boat into one of the larger skippered charter boat companies in the Whitsundays.
The company was sold in 2002 and Leo moved into the telecommunications and IT field where he is currently still involved with Hosting-Australia.com
Academically Leo holds Advanced Diplomas in Management and Retail Management.
Clayton has been a board member for the last 2 years and Commodore since the end of 2018.
He has been a sailing member of the club for over 10 years, actively competing in club racing. As well as competing in several Sydney to Hobart races he also competes in many regattas nationally and oversees over several classes including multihulls.
Clayton has a lot of external business experience including owning and operating the Airlie Beach Hog’s Breath Café for 15 years, with experience in both food and beverage operation. He also worked in management at the Airlie Beach Hotel, Magnum’s Hotel in Airlie Beach and was the former operations manager at the Port of Airlie.
Clayton loves assisting with maritime training and spends a lot of his time volunteering for sailing for schools.
Rear Commodore - Offshore
I have been involved with sailing since the age of 8 when I got my first boat ( a P Class ) and began sailing at the Pakuranga Sailing Club in Auckland . From there I have progressed through Flying Ants, Paper Tigers and then Trailer Sailers which I cruised and raced.
By my early 20’s I had moved onto Keel boats and this led to a number of offshore races and deliveries to destinations such as Fiji, Noumea, a “round the North Island two handed race” and then Hamilton Island.
Having done Hamilton Island Race Week and an Airlie Beach Race Week (Hogs Breath) the following year I decided that I had no real reason to live in Auckland except to finish the vessel Overdrive which I was in the process of building. Ultimately, I finished Overdrive and spent a season learning the characteristics of multihulls before selling the house and business and heading for the Whitsundays. I have never looked back.
The Whitsundays is home and I plan to represent the Offshore Sailing Fraternity in my role as Rear Commodore Offshore and promote the sport of sailing wherever possible.
Rear Commodore - Off Beach
Heather has been sailing since she was 11 – learning to sail in Gwen 12’s on Lake Tinaroo. She spent her University years sailing and competing in Australian Lightweight Sharpies at Intervarsity’s around Australia before graduating as a Pharmacist and traveling overseas.
She spent 30 years running her own Pharmacy business on the Isle of Wight sailing off beach dinghies out of Brading Haven Yacht Club where she held the position of Rear Commodore Sailing for 3 years and became an RYA Senior Dinghy Instructor.
Heather has sailed from England to Australia participating in the ARC and World ARC before skippering her own boat to Vanuatu with aid after cyclone Pam.
Since arriving in Airlie in 2012, Heather has been an active member of WSC, instructing in the Off Beach Learn to Sail programs as well as skippering and crewing in the Off Shore racing program.
She has been part of the Executive Committee since September 2019.
In her spare time she loves to do Patchwork and Quilting!
Originally from Brisbane, Lisa came for a holiday to the Whitsundays in 2005 and loving the laid-back lifestyle & natural beauty, was living in Airlie Beach just 3 months later and has never looked back!
With a background in varied roles in the real estate industry including property management and finance administration, she currently works with her husband Dale in the family sail making business Ullman Sails Whitsunday (also known as Airlie Sail & Shade Solutions).
Lisa has been a member of the club since 2011 and on the board since November 2019 where she looks forward to seeing the club move forward into the future and be the best it can be.
Special Projects Director
Terry is a long term local and operates a very successful mortgage brokerage for the last 15 years and is also involved in some local property developing.
He has 15 years in the construction industry as a construction administrator and is a qualified depreciation officer.
He participates in both twilight and weekend racing, is a former winner of the Airlie Beach Race Week and has been known to complete a few Sydney to Hobarts in his time.
He is the former off beach commodore and now supports the management team at he club in the finance department.
Originally born a New South Welshman, Mark moved to the Whitsundays in 1998 to work on Hamilton Island. His love of sailing and being on the water stems from growing up sailing with his father and two brothers. Mark says, “we started off like most in the small dinghies, the Manly Juniors, Flying Elevens and then into the NS, the Manly Graduates and the Lasers”. We sailed on the Shoalhaven River at Nowra and battled the tides, the rocks and the sandbanks – it was great fun”
The Whitsundays are certainly a better place to sail and when Mark moved to Hamilton Island he worked in restaurants such as The Beach House, Toucan Tango and the old yacht club Tavern. Mark worked on Banjo Paterson on his days off crewing to take guests sailing to Chalkies Beach before taking the plunge into real estate in Airlie Beach.
19 years on and Mark is married with three beautiful children and runs a large real estate business in the area employing over 40 staff. “Being an avid Wednesday afternoon twilight sailor and Airlie Beach and Hamilton Island Race week entrant, I am looking forward to helping make the sailing club the best club in the area”
Brett and his partner, Tanya, arrived in Airlie Beach to compete in Airlie Beach Race Week in 2016, and fell in love with the place. It didn’t take long for them to make a decision to relocate from Perth, and arrived on the scene, complete with their boat.
Having been an avid racer at his home club of HIllarys, Brett soon had the boat, Haywire, competing in the club’s events.
After a long illness, Brett sold the boat and started on a new challenge, Quadrant Marine.
Brett is involved in many projects around the club.
Kevin joined the Whitsunday Sailing Club in 1991 and was elected to the board in 1996.
He was the Rear Commodore from 1997 -2004, board member 2004 – 2005, Commodore for 6 years 2005 -2012 and Rear Commodore in 2015 – 2018.
Kevin has been on the Airlie Beach Race Week committee for many years and has been a major sponsor for the last 20 years.
He is a keen racer Wednesday Twilights and Weekend racing and is a past national race officer and is currently State Race officer and judge.
Key Staff Members
Whitsunday Sailing Club has a number of key staff members, each responsible for the day to day operations of the club.
Originally a Victorian, Michael discovered a love of hospitality at an early age and earned a Management Degree. He relocated to Queensland in 1995 and arrived in the Sunshine Coast as Manager of Stewarts Alexandra Headland Hotel, probably the largest on the coast, specialising in Touring
Bands among other things. In 1996, when Gaming
Machines were allowed, he was sent off to South Australia
to learn all about them. After several moves, Michael has now arrived in Airlie Beach, looking for a new challenge. He has many ideas to progress the club and make this club the best place in town.
Leonie has been part of the furniture at Whitsunday Sailing Club for over 10 years, with most of that time taken up with keeping the club running day in, day out. As the club secretary, her roles are far reaching, managing the club’s marina and hard stand as well as membership and the general running of the club. She also finds time to assist with enrolments at the Whitsunday Maritime Training Centre.
Leonie has working in hospitality all of her life. After completing a diploma in hospitality, she worked in a range of clubs, including a 20 year stint at Hogs Breath.
She is the go-to person when you need information or assistance at the club.
Our resident sailing manager, Ross has a wealth of knowledge in sailing and sailing clubs, having been involved as a competitor, flag officer, International Race Officer and instructor at many clubs in Australia over many years.
Ross is your point of contact for all things sailing at the club, supporting both Offshore and Off Beach programs throughout the year.
In between international regattas which take him away at times, Ross is also the Principal Race Officer for Airlie Beach Race Week.
Training Co-ordinator - Whitsunday Maritime College