The Commodore's speech :
It’s an honour and a pleasure to stand
before you as your new Commodore. I
am the 13th person to hold this position – so fingers crossed.
My speech is based on the triumphs and
tragedies of 2010. For those involved in the sweepstake on how long this
speech will last, it will be somewhere between 5,000 and 10,000 deciseconds.
My first task is to thank Joe, your new
President. Firstly for inviting Ros
and I to join the club, but mainly for the leadership his has given the club
over the last four years. In 2007
membership had fallen to about 50/60 people, both the Secretary and Treasurer
had retired and we had no Vice Commodore. The
club was in recession. Now
four years later we have over 100 members, and that is after a cull to weed out
some of the lapsed members who haven’t paid for several years.
Significantly almost 90% of members attend several events per year.
More boats take part in our regattas.
Indeed at Cantley we needed two signing in sheets, not previously need
for several years. More
‘Northern’ boats are taking part.
It’s also nice to see TOG sailing
again with Joe at the helm. Although
sailing may not be the correct word at Cantley when TOG couldn’t get round the
downstream buoy and ended in the trees. History
So its my pleasure to present Joe with
some gifts from your committee. [Joe was presented with a drawing of TOG
sailing past the Reedcutter at Cantley, drawn by Bob Soutar, and a pair of
Waterford crystal whiskey tumblers with a wee drop of malt to fill them, for
which he gave a short speech expressing his gratitude.]
I would also like to thank your
committee for all their hard work, with special thanks to Julia – well for
being Julia really but also for the brilliant job she does as our secretary.
To Bob for the stewardship of the club’s finances, not only are the
finances in a healthy state we also know that they are accurate and up to date.
I also thank Margaret for her work as Vice Commodore and also the work
she does on the web site and other publicity in the EDP and Cruiser magazine.
2010 – our 25th
Anniversary. The Frolic, what a
triumph. Special thanks to Margaret
and Lesley for all their excellent work in organising the event. And
what an event, beautiful weather, great pub, and two days of very serious FUN.
Two highlights, the greasy pole, brilliant, seeing an ex
commodore and founder of the club being knocked off the pole into the water by
his son was great. Then the Miss Frolic
competition, quite frankly it was a bit worrying seeing the competitors walking
in their high heels, I think some of them do it more often than they care to
tell us. Sadly Miss Frolic –
Titiana cannot be with us tonight but she/he sends their love.
The Frolic was a great event with
everyone coming together to help out, but I want to just give a special mention
to two people. I’ve already
mentioned Margaret and Lesley, but these other two people did a huge amount of
work behind the scenes. They were at
Surlingham two days before the event putting up marquees etc and organising the
site, and importantly they were there after the event, when everyone had left,
clearing the site. I refer to Bob
and Terry Cole, known to you as Wiggy.
The sailing in 2010: often too much wind
or not enough wind. The early races
were dominated by one boat, but more of that later in the presentation of the
trophies. However it is good to see
the high handicap boats doing well. Lucky
Breeze hopes to emulate this in the coming season. One
of many highlights was seeing Chris Sales and his crew bringing home Kingfisher
to win the Breydon Passage race. And
the Crystal Ball. Chris has
nominated the Cantley Saturday pm race for this years Crystal Ball race, so
perhaps we may see some more Northern boats at Cantley trying to win the Crystal
Talking of Cantley reminds me of my
worst moment in 2010. It was Cantley
Autumn regatta, and I had a new crew, Terry was on Officer of the Day duties.
Big winds were forecast so we arrived early on the Friday and decided to
have a practice sail. Soon we were aground
in the reeds on the opposite bank. My
friend Chay Blyth often said to me “David, if you’ve never gone aground
you’ve never tried hard enough. But
I was not trying, I was just not concentrating, explaining to Neil how the jib
furling gear worked.
OK we were aground, well hard aground,
trying to ignore the catcalls from so called friends sat outside the Reedcutter.
Then it happened. Around the
bend came the last person you wanted to see.
It was Mike White, Idleflite Mike, the most immaculate sailor on the
broads. So we had to suffer the
humiliation of being towed of the reeds by Idleflight.
Interestingly the next day Anne chose the same spot to also run aground.
I said at the beginning of my speech
that it was one of triumph and tragedy. So
it is with great sadness that I have to report the drowning of our club engine.
Sometime in October our club boat was sunk by vandals and sadly the
engine passed away. The good news though is that
the insurance claim has been accepted and we may have more funds coming through
grants from the RYA, so fingers crossed we will have a new club engine for 2011.
So in conclusion, your club is in good
shape. My aim is to continue Joe’s
vision. To make the Yare Sailing
Club the friendliest club on the broads, with great social events and serious
but fun river cruiser races on rivers.
Members and guests I ask you to join me
in a toast to the Yare Sailing Club.