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58 members gathered at Lowestoft on an usually calm and dry
evening. Instead of the weather, this year's challenge came from works on
the bascule bridge, which was closed to pedestrians from 8pm, coupled with
sundry roadworks on the A47 and A146. However, all arrived in good time
and sat down to enjoy a three course meal. After this, as is now
traditional, the Commodore rose to speak.
This year's speech from Joe Farrow went something like
we are again. 2014 was the last time
I was stood here – does anyone remember the speech? No?
Excellent, then I can recycle most of it for this year.
Since I was stood here last, I’ll be the first to admit that the club has
changed significantly, which I think is worth summarising.
I cannot take credit for what has happened, but I will summarise it.
Before I do though, I think it’s worth saying that in
some ways, the club has stayed exactly the same, and I will mention that a
So, since 2014, the Yare Sailing Club has:
- hosted waterborne treasure hunts, made somewhat
trickier by expecting you to pass at least 3 open pubs en-route to the finish!
- we’ve had a 1920’s themed party, where we all
tried our hand at gambling
- We have enjoyed trips here, to this very building to
enjoy the seaside, and for the very brave we’ve been out to sea, bizarrely
though in our unique style we headed for
the nearest sandbank...
- We’ve sailed the River Orwell, on a Thames Barge.
- We’ve enjoyed linking with other clubs, such as
Beccles Amateur Sailing Club and raced in their ‘3 bridges race’ on the
- We celebrated the 25th anniversary of our
flagship event; Breydon Regatta
- We’ve had social cruises where we’ve sailed
absolutely no-where at all!
- Thanks to individuals in this room, new trophies such
as the ‘Jenner trophy’ have been donated, which has allowed the club to host
youth racing, bringing new blood into the club: something which I’m really
pleased to see…
- We (despite a significant bribe to the bridge
engineers) have built really strong links with EACC), indeed several of them are
here tonight which I think is fantastic.
- Our finest achievement so far, must be however that
we’ve built, victualled and staffed our own pub!
[much applause]. Fed up at
the sobriety of ‘no pub’ at Breydon regatta.
- Finally, we’ve demonstrated our fanatical devotion
to raffles – honestly it’s a fine art these days.
At the Turkey Race, we managed to sell tickets to Phillip Scott, who was
sailing in the Mid-Atlantic at the time. He even won prizes! (It is
rumoured they could hear Terry calling the numbers from there)…
Now – what does that say?
Well it’s questionable we’ve left ourselves enough time to go
sailing, if I’m honest!
More seriously, it’s a tough act to follow all that
lot. Maybe I need to buy a Hot Air
Balloon and offer that to club members?
Earlier though, I spoke of what’s stayed the same.
Firstly, the club has stayed wedded to the principle
that what we do should be fun and enjoyable for everyone.
Secondly, I think like other Commodore’s before me, and I’m sure those after
me, I feel fortunate, and I think it’s amazing to be able to offer my sincere
thanks to all (including those not here tonight); to all those individuals
who’ve stepped forward, contributed, helped out and otherwise aided the club
host this amazing summary of events.
Often it’s behind the scenes, it’s not glamorous but it is very definitely
appreciated. So with that in mind,
I’d just like to say thank you to those Stalwarts of the Club.
As is now customary, the speech was timed, with an eagerly
contested sweepstake hanging on the outcome. It is impossible to say how
long Joe spoke for, as many hecklers lengthened the time that he was on his
feet; especially those who had guessed lengthy times. The official result
was 12 minutes and 40 seconds, with Will Armour being closest - just two seconds
out. He kindly donated his winnings to club funds.
The prize-giving then commenced, with Joe speaking first
about the photographic competition. Nine members had entered a total of
sixteen pictures between them this year and entries by Bob Soutar, Leonie
Dowsett, Margaret Kilner and Steve Burton were singled out as being highly
commended. The winner for the second year running was Margaret, with a
photograph taken at dawn of Reedham swingbridge in the mist.
The club trophies were won by May, Pippinjack, Sabrina 2,
Zingara and Sally, with Eve Cronin being presented with the Crews Cocktail
Shaker. The Luna Barometer went to Sally, the Hiawatha Prize for the
"slow boats" in the club championship to Pixie and the Wherry Trophy
for overall champions to Pippinjack.
A loud and lengthy raffle then followed, with Naomi Potter
ultimately winning the hamper. Members were then able to retire to the bar
to continue catching up and enjoying some convivial companionship.