Water sports clubs clash over amalgamation

The stretch of beach which is utilised by Point Yacht Club.

A MEETING was held this month to discuss the latest developments regarding the dispute between the Point water sports clubs and the proposed relocation and amalgamation as a result of the Point Waterfront Development plans.

Hundreds of concerned club members attended the open forum meeting in the Point Yacht Club (PYC) on Thursday, 2 February to discuss the way forward regarding the issues facing PYC with respect to the amalgamation of the water sports club into the Point Watersports Club (PWC), and its relations with the Durban Undersea Club (DUC) and Durban Ski Boat Club (DSBC).

According to Johnny Vassilaros from Durban Paddle Ski Club (DPSC), DUC and DSBC have deviated hugely from the original agreement they signed in 2008 and are refusing to accept the DPSC as an equal party within PWC. He said this was not acceptable to DPSC and PYC.

“In 2008, the DUC, PYC and the DSBC signed an agreement with the developers, Durban Point Development Company (DPDC) setting out the format that the clubs would operate, that being under an umbrella body as PWC, and each club would retain its own constitutions and run its own affairs. We envisaged a country club scenario. All clubs would share some common facilities such as kitchens, restaurants, ablutions and parking. All this took place while the little paddle ski club chose to go to court and oppose the small craft harbour, so we were not included in this agreement,” he said.

He said in 2012, the DPSC with Save Vetch's Association came to an agreement with DPDC in which the beach was saved and the small craft harbour to be seriously reduced. He said the agreement also stated that DPSC would become the fourth club of PWC and be accommodated under the same terms as the other clubs as stated in the 2008 agreement. Vassilaros said DUC and DSBC were now trying to prevent the club from being accepted into PWC as an equal party.

Speaking at the meeting this month, Craig Millar, Commodore of PYC, said the four clubs have equal rights to exist in the proposed new development.

“The leaders of the DUC and the DSBC, for no explained or apparent logical reason, aim to deprive the DPSC of this right, despite their enormous sacrifice to save Vetch’s beach for all of us. The PYC supports our friends at the DPSC 100 per cent in their rights to equal inclusion in any future development,” he said.

Millar said the DPSC and the PYC have been excluded from negotiations and perhaps agreements with the developer by the leaders of the DUC and the DSBC.

Speaking to Berea Mail, Cuane Hall, DUC chairman and chairman of the PWC, said a Memorandum of Incorporation has been produced for PWC to satisfy the four clubs. He said it still stands that each club would have its own constitution and committee.

“DPSC was initially trying to negotiate a way forward with the developers and went the litigation route, but the other three clubs saw no joy in trying to fight for establishment on private land where we have no legal rights. We have formed a sub-committee with senior members of DUC to deal with issues between the clubs and hope to meet with members of PYC,” he said.

Hall said DPSC and PYC were always fully included in the PWC and there was no truth that DPSC was not included.

Hilton Kidger, Commodore of DSBC, said DPSC was approached 10 years ago to join PWC but this was declined by the committee.

“We are willing to accommodate the club as they are part of the water sports community. The club will have its own commodore and constitution and can get on board and get on with it. The final offer is now on the table, we have been given an opportunity second to none by the developers, 180m of beachfront, and DPDC is going to build for us, we will have a long lease and it will not cost us anything to set it up. We are grateful for this opportunity. The four clubs now need to sit around the table and discuss this,” he said.

  AUTHOR
Lauren Walford
Journalist

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