Life Members

Christopher Kelly

Chris Kelly is a well known and well respected figure in WA’s yachting community. Commencing sailing at age 7, he completed his first offshore race at the age of 14 – a testing 5 days event.

His 45 years interest in offshore sailing has culminated in his election to the Chair of the Yachting WA Offshore Committee. During his two years in the position his outstanding contribution has seen:

  •        Considerable growth in numbers competing in each offshore race;

  •        An increase in the number of Clubs competing in offshore racing;

  •        The establishment of a State IRC Championship for WA; and

  •        The creation of awards for Skipper of the Year and Young Crew Member of Year.

Chris has been involved in monitoring yachts for appropriate offshore safety equipment since safety inspections started 37 years ago. In 1980 the Australian Yachting Federation commenced offshore training with the introduction of offshore keelboat training courses. Chris has continued to conduct and improve these courses over the past 30 years establishing an outstanding contribution to the safety of the sport.

He was a foundation member of the Yachting WA Safety Committee in 1988 and remains actively involved. Chris has been involved with the Yachting WA Westsail Development Program for over 20 years. He has successfully applied the program to develop sailors and coaches in conjunction with the Yachting WA coaching initiative with the WAIS High Performance Program.

In the early 1990’s Chris became active in the officiating sector of yachting. He was a foundation member of the Yachting WA Race Management Committee and is qualified as an International Race Officer. He has recently applied his considerable experience, leadership, and skill in the preparation of the Hillarys Yacht Club’s team for the Perth 2011 Regatta.

Since joining the Hillarys Yacht Club team, Chris has overseen significant growth in club sailing. His outstanding professionalism and dedication to training and development has had dramatic impact on the club – especially on the younger dinghy sailors. This together with his deserved reputation for the pursuit of yachting excellence at state, national and international level made Chris Kelly a worthy recipient of the Outstanding Contribution to Yachting Award for 2011.

Reprinted from Making Waves.