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  Commodore's Report, AGM 2022 New Page 1

There was a disappointing turn out of only 16 people for this year's AGM, held at the New Inn, Rockland.  Commodore Margaret Kilner opened proceedings by remembering two members who had died this year, Duncan Ellis and Will Armour, and a minute's silence was held.  After the usual opening preliminaries, Margaret then gave her report, as follows:

"It has been good to finally be able to enjoy a year completely free of lockdown restrictions, with a return to full on racing and socialising.  We began with a much healthier turn out for the AGM last November, compared to 2019, which left both myself and Julia feeling encouraged about the year ahead.

That optimism has been partially justified, with some excellent social events and reasonable turnouts for the Perryman weekend, both of the Cantley Regattas and the Challenge Cup race.  However, some of the social events were very poorly attended and Breydon had disappointing numbers.  It is fair to say, its future has to be in doubt unless numbers attending pick up, both on the water and for shore-based help.  Your committee have discussed this at length and will be trying to promote this event next summer, but it is probably a case of use it or lose it.

Reedham Regatta has become an issue also, due to the parlous state of the moorings at the Ferry, so this year we trialled an event based at Rockland, which was a great success in terms of the weather, the sailing and the socialising, but again poorly attended.  We will be running the same format next spring and hope to see more boats racing there in future.

Part of our problem has been finding people to run the races, but I have been very grateful this year to Tony and Jan for taking on the Rockland event, Lisa and her team, who refused to let me do anything at Cantley and the Branscombes, who took on the Autumn Regatta at very short notice.  I am also grateful to Joe Farrow for assisting me at Breydon and to Brian & Michelle Thompson, who have been regular volunteers in the dory.  Kevin and Ruth Rhead have also helped in this way, stepping in at short notice for both Breydon and the Autumn Regatta.  A special thank you, as always, to Chris Dowsett for infallibly turning up at every event with his gun.

I ran a survey early in the year, in the hope of creating a definitive database of tasks people were willing to help with.  Unfortunately, this proved of limited use, as many people, who I know are willing to help, chose not to reply and I didn’t want to create a list based on guesses.  I would like to thank the 30 people who did respond, though.

One positive thing to come out of the lack of racing during 2020 was an opportunity to recall all of our trophies, being 37 in total.  As I reported at last year’s AGM, many of these were in a terrible state after over 30 years of polishing and bad treatment and a number were sent off to be resilvered, unbent and attached properly to their bases where possible.  This was a lengthy project, which has now been completed and they all look much better.  It is no longer an embarrassment to present them.  My hope is that they will all eventually end up with some kind of permanent packaging for transportation and that people will take more care of them in future.  The cost ran into thousands and I offer my sincere thanks to all those who donated to the trophy appeal fund, in some cases very generously. 

We have created a safeguarding policy this year, as it was correctly pointed out by a member that we should have one.  I am grateful to Rosemary Winterton and Joe Farrow for putting this in place.  This also meant the creation of a committee-appointed Welfare Officer; a rôle initially undertaken by Rosemary, but now filled by Joe.

Another new venture this year has been our own Christmas cards.  We were able to partially offset the costs of this by involving Sonia at the Ferry House, who took 100 packs of cards to sell, with the profit split between her and the club.  There are still plenty left, so can I please encourage you to support the club by purchasing some.  The calendars, now in their 15th year, continue to sell around 70 copies annually and I am grateful to all who support the club in this way.  You may be interested to know that they have gone around the globe, with copies being sent to Greece, Germany, Sri Lanka, the United States and Australia over the years.

I would like to acknowledge the help I get from Sue Hines, who is always willing to let me have copies of her photographs for the calendars and equally willing to post her pictures on our Facebook page when I have been unable to source images from anywhere else.

Nothing magically happens by itself and, as usual, there are many people to thank, in addition to those I have already mentioned.  John and Rachael at the Blackfriar’s Tavern in Yarmouth hosted an excellent social event last February.  They both put in a lot of hard work to make this happen, especially as they unexpectedly found themselves without a chef on the night.  It is great to have a member with a pub, although I am less sure about their suggestion of mooring on Yarmouth’s South Quay to visit….

When Julia broke her legs in March, Brian Thompson volunteered to assist with any admin.  I don’t think he expected to be temporarily co-opted on to the committee as stand in secretary, but he did an excellent job and certainly made my life easier while Julia was out of action.

Brian again came to the rescue with his chef’s hat on when we unexpectedly found ourselves organising a large barbecue at Beccles after the Perryman Race.  He took on a lot of the organising, as well as an immense amount of onion chopping, ably assisted by Michelle, Andy and Marcus Garnham, Marion Tunwell, Lisa Reed, Kerry Burwood and Denis.  Steve and Lisa Burton and Joe Farrow greatly assisted me with beer manoeuvres and I would also like to acknowledge the assistance received from Humpty Dumpty Brewery.

Steve Burton and his team have ably looked after the dory this year, along with Joe Farrow.  This is a vital task, not noticed by many, and I would also like to thank both of them for all the launches, recoveries and transportation of the dory.  I know if Steve was here, he would say he hadn’t done much, but I seem to have spent the year turning to him at short notice, crying “Help!” so would like to thank him very much for always being there and always stepping up to assist.  We would have been in a sticky muddle many times without him.  (Presentation of bottles of Budweiser).

I am grateful to all committee members and all they have done throughout the year to keep this club running.  We are quite a small band, so please can I encourage a few more people to join us.  We could do with some new faces and some fresh ideas, especially as there are people planning to stand down next year.  We only have eight meetings a year, held in Norwich, so the commitment is not too onerous.

Thank you to Tony for having his arm twisted to stand as Vice Commodore, despite being extremely busy with his other yacht club. I have valued his support and advice, especially as there have been one or two difficult moments this year.

Bob Branscombe is standing down from the committee this year and his support and quiet common sense will be much missed. (Presentation of a bottle of gin)

As always, the people who do the real work in any club are the Secretary and the Treasurer and I would like to thank them both for all they do and for their unfailing support.  I can honestly say that, of the four years I have been Commodore of this club, this one has been the easiest for me, thanks to their experience and efficiency.  Julia, in particular, has had a somewhat eventful year, but has still found time to be an excellent secretary. (Presentation of flowers)

A final thought: the original YSC lasted 31 years before losing its identity as part of the Yare & Bure Sailing Club.  In its reformed version, we have long since passed that milestone and are now approaching our 38th anniversary.  It does feel to me as though we are at a bit of a watershed now, with the original membership inevitably ageing and moving away from being able to participate, but I sincerely hope we can find sufficient new blood to make it to our 40th anniversary and, hopefully in due course, our Golden Anniversary.  I look forward to it!"

After the meeting, members enjoyed a meal and the opportunity to socialise.

last edited on:  21/11/2022 at 21:08   by: The Editor