David Cremona was elected as the new Commodore for the Royal Malta Yacht Club, following the recently held Annual General Meeting.
As the new Commodore, he takes over the helm from Godwin Zammit, who decided not to run for another term this year after nine years in charge.
Cremona, a keen sailor, has been a full active member of the club since 2001, competing in several races as well as the Rolex Middle Sea Race.
This will be his second year on the club’s committee, having served as Rear Commodore (House) in 2020.
Despite having garnered the most votes in the election, taking on this role was something he mulled over for a while.
Cremona is unpretentious enough to admit that his intention was never to run for that role, particularly because he does not have the years of committee experience his predecessors had.
“The result was quite unexpected. Initially I was considering on passing on the role to someone more experienced,” Cremona said.
“But the overwhelming amount of encouragement received as soon as the results were announced made me mindful that in doing so, I would be letting the members, who voted for me, down.”
Cremona’s approach to leading the committee will based on years of corporate directorship experience.
He has drawn on the strengths and experience of each committee member to ensure that the role given is one that they understand and that their skills will complement each other.
The prestige of such a role does come laden with a number of challenges. Cremona’s quiet and reserved demeanour belies the enthusiasm and full awareness of the responsibility he has been tasked with.
The current COVID-19 pandemic has not made things easy for the club.
With restaurants and bars being closed, there is not much the club can offer its members, although the sailing programme – with all the necessary protocols in place, has seen some solid participation.
The club’s Sailing School is going from strength to strength.
Cremona expresses his pride in the fact that the school’s students are not just turning up for training but are also competing in national regattas and bring silverware to the club.
The RMYC is also a training ground for international Olympic medallists and hopefuls.
These elite athletes have proven to be a motivating factor for the younger sailors who are heavily and positively influenced by them.
This element is one of the school’s assets in its attempt to instil, amongst the young sailors, a long-term love for sailing, ensuring continuity for the sport.
Whilst the club’s membership list remains relatively consistent, participation has over the years waned – particularly by the younger set of members.
This has also been reflected in keelboat racing participation.
While an exact reason cannot be pinpointed, the club committee is currently working on new membership incentives and an event calendar – once the COVID-19 pandemic will allow it to, to bring back the diverse membership together.
In an upbeat manner, Cremona sees this time as a great opportunity for the club to sit back and take stock of what needs to be improved. The quiet spell that the Club is being faced with is the perfect opportunity for it to start undergoing a refurbishment process.
While there is a lot to be done, Cremona is confident that the new committee can continue to build on what previous administrations have done.
“I take this opportunity to thank outgoing Commodore Godwin Zammit for his years of sterling service to the club,” he said.
“We are sure that he will still be very present at the Club and hopefully still impart his valid advice.
“I also would like to express my gratitude to outgoing members Robert Ciantar, Edgar Warrington and Charles Cronin for their contribution.”
The following Flag Officers will be joining Cremona on the RMYC committee: Anna Rossi (vice commodore); Mark Napier (honorary secretary), Mark Vella (honorary treasurer), Peter Dimech (rear commodore, sailing), Georges Bonello Dupuis (rear commodore, special events), Mario Debono (rear commodore, house), Joe Cross (member, information technology), Luca Lacitignola (member, sailing school).