68 members and guests made it through the fog to this yearís annual dinner and prize-giving. As usual, people were willing to support the club financially by spending their money on the raffle and tombola, before sitting down to an enjoyable meal. Interest was added to the Commodoreís speech by two impromptu sweepstakes on the length of it. Simon even bribed Joe with a glass of port, in an attempt to get him to keep to a certain time, but this failed, with that particular jackpot going to Zippy Wells. The text of the Commodore's speech - as written, rather than as delivered with all the heckling - was as follows:
"Itís 25 years since the YSC was re formed. I have to be careful about how I say that. Re formed does not mean reformed, which sounds like a branch of the temperance league. Not much of that about.
The Club has grown due to the efforts of an excellent committee and continues to attract new members. We think we are friendly and welcoming even to people from Sunderland, like me, and even to people from Newcastle. I welcome our latest members, who are from Newcastle. We have recognised that not everyone wants all their club events to be filled with strained muscles, hypothermia and high drama so we arrange purely social gatherings too.
We are getting known. For example, we had a call from the BBC asking if we could provide a yacht and support boat for the Coast TV programme. Soon Mr Farrar and his fine yacht will be on the show.
To me it seems inconceivable that there were times we didnít have a YSC. Bringing it back to life after a gap of about 60 years was a stroke of genius and filled a bit of a vacuum, although other clubs were active in what we think of as our regular sailing waters. Some of those founder members are here tonight and the rest of us owe our thanks to them. Later we should drink a toast to those who had the foresight to decide to re start the club.
We are going to hold a water frolic at Bramerton (now to be at Surlingham Ferry - ed.) as a celebration during the season, 26th/27th June, rather like those held in the 1980s. We have a sub committee working on the events for the weekend, which will include various activities such as greasy pole competitions, adult racing in Toppers and so on. We will also repeat the competition to choose Miss Bramerton 2010. As in the mid 80s, this will be a competition for gentlemen. I wonít embarrass the previous winner by showing his photograph, or those of some of the bearded ladies taking part.
The committee working on the Frolic would like more support and if anyone wants to join the sub-committee, just ask me or Julia how to get involved and weíll let you know. Anyone who does will be rewarded by seeing the photo of a previous Miss Bramerton and other entrants.
Now, my speeches have a reputation for being incomprehensible. I canít imagine why. Knowing this a certain ex commodore of the club, who should know better, challenged me to use the subject of SchrŲdingerís cat as a topic. Despite protests from the RSPCA, I decided to add Ocramís razor to the er analysis to simplify the muddle and concluded that it was someoneís over clever way of saying that sometimes we know what we donít know. So itís not so clever, after all.
What we do know is that we are in difficult economic times and the country is short of money. A tiny improvement in employment levels is reported. Abroad, there is speculation that Greece may be allowed to go bankrupt, to protect the credibility of the Euro. The USA may be in for a second round of recession, as may we in the UK. Pay levels are static or even being cut. Even the partners in Goldman Sachs have had their bonuses restricted and much restraint is demanded. Norfolk County Council have to save well over £100 million in the next three years. Itís all pretty gloomy.
Well, not quite. Letís not forget the Broads Authority, now living in a smart palace, who want, and will get, an increase in tolls well over inflation. This has gone on for years. When will it end: could they become part of the real world?
Thatís enough of that!
As most of you know, Terry Secker, our vice Commodore for the last few years, has decided to relinquish his position. Over the years Terry and Jean have been stalwart supporters of the club. Much of their contribution has been unseen but very effective. We will miss him in the committee.
I have a lasting memory of Terry in action. A number of years ago when Chris Dowsett had arranged a terrific fireworks display for Breydon Regatta, Terry had the job of assistant firework lighter, using a gas blowlamp. He was wearing shorts and at one point was stepping over the fireworks set out on the grass by the river, outside the pub. He stepped over a rather large firework which was fizzing. A roman candle went off shortly afterwards with enough delay for Terry to keep his pants and parts intact.
This is not the last you will see of Terry: he will be around, and plans to start the Perryman Race in May, and will be at many of the club events. The OOD mantle will be carried mainly by Chris Duke and Joe Farrow and Iím sure you all wish them much success.
I ask you to join me in a toast to the present and founder members of the Yare Sailing Club."
All entries for the first Gordon Winterton Memorial Prize were displayed in the foyer, causing much comment and interest, and the prize-giving kicked off with the first presentation of this award. Chris Duke received a special mention for best humorous picture, with Margaret Kilner achieving two highly commended entries and the 2nd place. The winner, however, was Anthony Knights who takes home the specially mounted pipe and a frame for his entry.
The presentation of the club trophies followed, with the slow boats championship being won by Puck and the overall Wherry Trophy by Pete Charlton on Henrietta. The Luna Barometer, for the Yare Open Championship, was won by Mark Wells on Melody, much to his surprise.
The fun continued with dancing until late, when even the Commodore took to the floor for a while and the festivities generally continued long into the night, with the last stragglers going to bed about 3 in the morning. One of these caused bemusement and entertainment in the morning, with his ability to stay fast asleep through forceful attempts to wake him. Ultimately he was roused only when the cleaning lady threatened to get into bed with him!
A good number of members then enjoyed a very bracing Sunday morning walk along the sea front to Pakefield, where many enjoyed fish and chips for lunch, before we all parted.
As always, many thanks to Julia, our secretary, for all her hard work in pulling together yet another successful club event