Thanks to Mark Wells for the use of EPIC for this AGM and committee meetings during the year. The year was interesting as it started with a New Commodore, New Vice Commodore, New Secretary, New Treasurer, No Sailing Secretary and a very out of date web site. Nonetheless, it has been a successful year overall and we’ve been able to have a full programme of racing and social events. We have had improved attendance at both.
Shortly after you were good enough to elect me I thought about where we were and felt that we had experienced a period where membership levels had stagnated and we’d had some natural wastage and I felt it was important to reverse the position. The strategy was simple: to do what we could to increase membership by continuing to do what we had always done: but doing it better if possible. It paid off and as a result membership has now grown by over 10% terms of people and nearly the same in River Cruiser boats.
There has been a great deal of support to me and the club from many people including your officers, committee members and many club members, much of it behind the scenes. Racing has been willingly OODed by your VC Terry with Jean, Chris and Leonie supporting him, and David Reedham Walker helping when available. Social events have been splendidly organized by Your Hon Sec. and other committee members. Your Treasurer has now got to grips fully with the accounts and other general administration. The website has been improved dramatically by Margaret and is now entertaining and informative. Other examples of willing support include Mike and Kate who provided the committee boat for Breydon and compiled and printed the programmes, at no charge; Joe Farrow and Bob Soutar who have whizzed about in small boats laying marks, and dealing with any difficulties that have arisen. Joe has also contributed to the web site and he and Jacqui are starting to deal with the press. But this is the tip of the iceberg: there are so many others who have cheerfully given their time and if I went on it would sound like an Oscar presentation. I am grateful to you all.
If re-elected I plan to try to continue to develop the club in the same way as in the last year, and with greater promotion of our Open events. These are not well attended by non club boats and we need to promote them better. This is very difficult and may call for a working party to be co-opted to get to grips with the various issues.