Commodore’s Report to Annual General Meeting November 2010
Once again I am pleased to report that your club has had a successful year. This is due to your excellent committee’s hard work throughout the entire year and not just the season. We have continued with the strategy of incorporating social events into your club programmes, which are mainly but not always, associated with competitive events. I believe that the approach of strengthening our social events, but without compromising any of our usual racing activities, has been effective.
A number of members come to social events and do not compete. Others come to race and enjoy the social side of things and all this goes to move towards my ambition for YSC as having a reputation for and being the friendliest and most welcoming sailing club on the Broads, despite not having a smart club house or private waters.
This approach has led to Membership at highest levels ever since the re formation of the club. This is in the face of your flag officers being much tougher on non payers, who have been removed from mailing lists etc. Of course these ex members are not eligible to win some trophies should they enter a race which includes a club trophy. It happened once, when a winner was demoted, but I didn’t embarrass the competitor, despite being tempted.
We have continued with our regular OOD system that was started when Terry Secker was good enough to take on the duty. This has been continued by Chris Duke, helped by Joe Farrow and Terry Cole, known as Wiggy, named after his old boat. I suppose we should call him Starlight now after his new boat, but it hasn’t got the same ring. This new team has done well; far better than ad hoc people recruited for the day.
A full racing programme has been undertaken. In most cases we have continued with the well established system of having a weekend of activities, instead of holding odd Saturday or Sunday races. There are exceptions such as the Coldham Hall Challenge, which we try to combine with something like a barbeque, and the Turkey Race. In any respect, adding more racing to the Turkey Race and the excesses of our traditional lunch is probably more than the medical people recommend.
All our races have been enjoyable despite the rather usual mixed weather conditions. There has been slightly poorer regatta attendance overall (lack of TOG) but Breydon competitor numbers were up. Again this was back at the Berney who looked after us pretty well.
The highlight of our social events was the Water Frolic held at Surlingham to celebrate twenty five years since reforming the club. This needed huge amounts of willing and enthusiastic efforts by your committee and other members and a great deal of all round support from Sonia and Andy at the pub. I believe it was our most successful social event ever, despite the expense.
We have had some problems with one pub but after intensive discussions we think that service and value for money will improve if we return. And, speaking of disasters, we had a problem when the club boat sank at Cantley. This has become the subject of an insurance claim after it was discovered that it was caused by an attempted theft of the engine followed by a deliberate sinking by opening the seals into the hull. This claim is ongoing.
Once again the Web Site has been maintained very effectively by Margaret with excellent photos. In all it’s a brilliant album and very informative about race results and so on. It could be used more by members and you are all welcome to use it to advertise anything for sale or anything you want, or to express any views you have.
We’ve had some publicity too. You will have noticed that we have fairly regular articles in the EDP sailing feature on Thursdays. This is entirely due to submissions from members, not the keen reporters from the paper. In my view these pieces are better than those from the EDP regular sailing correspondent who rarely ventures south. Margaret has also been reporting on our events and disasters in the River Cruiser Class magazine. In addition, you may have seen Mels and Dick and, possibly Bob on Farthing on the BBC programme Coast. Although it took some time to record you have to be quick to see it.
I will finish as I started by repeating my thanks to your Flag Officers, Bob and Julia and the rest of the committee for their sterling work which has helped enormously to make this a successful year.
Vote of Thanks to Joe Kilner by David Walker (New Commodore)
Firstly may I say it is a great honour to be elected as your Commodore, Joe has set a high benchmark and will be a hard act to follow. My election has caused problems for Ros, she quite liked been called Madam Vice and is not sure about Madam Commode! Margaret’s election to Vice Commodore will also give problems to Denis, perhaps Vice Controller!!
Four years ago when Joe took over, membership had fallen and the number of competitors at regattas had also fallen. In addition a new Vice Commodore, Treasurer and Secretary were needed. The club was in recession.
Since then, through Joe’s leadership and vision the club has been transformed. Membership has increased by 30% and significantly most members attend several events each year. Entries for regattas have also increased with many more boats coming from the northern rivers; perhaps they prefer our proper river racing compared to their racing around cans.
The success of the 25th Anniversary Water Frolic symbolises Joe’s vision of being the ‘friendliest sailing club on the broads.’ This was all achieved by Joe’s gentle persuasion, almost like a swan gliding along but working like hell under the surface.
As I said Joe will be a hard act to follow as Commodore.
It is therefore my pleasure to propose to you that Joe becomes our new President. The committee propose that this is an annual election, as for the rest of the Flag Officers and committee.