A good turn out of around 85 people assembled at the Royal Norfolk and Suffolk Yacht Club on the 23rd of February for the Club’s annual dinner and prizegiving. Once we were all gathered for the meal, after the usual pre-prandial snifters, the Commodore, Joe Kilner, opened proceedings with a tribute to our former President, Gordon Winterton, who died at the end of last year. (See the end of this report). This was met with warm applause, then followed by the saying of Grace from the Vice Commodore and a very good meal.
After a short break, we were treated to the Commodorial speech, which was rather more of a non-speech this year, consisting entirely of a list of all the subjects Julia had told him he shouldn’t talk on. Very entertaining and short enough to prevent any complaints. The prize giving was rattled through too, with the trophies this year being presented by guest of honour, Sally Self. Apart from the club trophies for individual races over the last year, the Club Championship awards were also presented. This year Aelfleda won the Hiawatha Prize for the slower boats and Wisp took the overall Wherry Trophy. The fact that she has done far more racing than usual this year was reflected by the fact that Wisp also won the Luna Barometer, after a closely fought contest that went down to the last race.
We then had the usual rowdy raffle, with a Reedham based guest, Tracy Barber, taking more than one prize, prompting comments that this meant she would have to join the club now. Of course, in the way of raffles, there was a certain sense of inevitability when she won the top prize of the hamper too. She really will have to join!
The full list of trophy holders can be seen on the Roll of honour and there are some photographs in the gallery.
Joe’s tribute to Gordon
As most of you know, Gordon Winterton, our President, died in December last year. I first met him in the 1950s when he was a fit and active young man. Between then and now I found him to be a remarkable man with a varied and interesting life. He was active in many fields, including politics and education and was proud of the achievements of his children, who are here tonight.
He was a strong supporter of Broads cruising and occasionally raced. Quite a long time ago he demonstrated a new version of the starboard rule. If you shout “port” loudly enough you, or he, could intimidate the opposition into giving way.
Despite failing health over a number of years he was a true friend and generous to the club both in time and money. He was also one of the founding fathers of the Green Wyvern Yachting Club who introduce people from all backgrounds to sailing on the Broads. On Thursday this week I was at a regular meeting of an informal lunch club of old friends. We are all retired now. We were introduced to sailing by Gordon and his friends when we were teenagers, and when I look around this room I see many more people who would not be here but for Gordon and his friends from those early days.
When you are enjoying yourselves on the river in the coming season and years to come, remember Gordon. We won’t see his like again.