Well its the end of a year, and I have submitted my report for the AGM. For those that can’t make the AGM on Sunday, I have reproduced it below. I’ll leave it to others to judge and comment on the sailing this year, but I have tried to automate the results processes a bit more, and think about sailing formats and how to bring the different sections of the club together next season. We will see how that goes but to survive and prosper as a club change is essential. Please make the effort to come down, remember the club depends on everyone pulling their weight in what ever way best suits their skills to keep subs reasonably low and keep up our fantastic facilities.
We held the Albacore and Enterprise Open 2 weeks ago – thanks to Brian Corfield for these photos. Steve Sutton had a fantastic day in his Albacore being pushed all the time by his crew James Firkins into second place overall – well done both of them. It was also great to see a big enterprise fleet out, including Dave and Margaret Burnham taking first Ruydard Boat back in their Enterprise – one last outing or sign of the times for next season!?
The annual dinner was also a great event with a table full of Jybaz, a fantastic live band and a great evening. Steve Sutton was the eventual winner of the Broken Rudder Award, thanks to all that voted. If you missed it, here is the nomination video. A huge number of people made the evening a success, thank you so much.
So as promised, my report on 2014. Thanks to all those that have helped me in so many ways as Sailing Secretary this year. Sorry I won’t be there for the AGM, I have my dads funeral on the Monday so will be in Northumberland.
This year has been characterized by smooth running of the sailing programme (thanks to my committee for all they have done to make this happen), some major events taking part including Bart’s Bash – a world record event and working on a restructuring of the Sailing Programme for 2015 to bring together Sunday Racing and Jybaz for part of the season.
RLSC Base camp at Southport
Racing has run smoothly and further improvements to the results system has removed the need for paper and coming down to the club to collect results – thanks to Ian Smethurst for his ongoing support and development of the race software. Eric and Beth Haselden have been sorting the online results all season – thanks to them. We need a volunteer to do that next year – it is fairly easy to do and you don’t need to come down to the club to process the results, you just need a PC at home.
I have focused on allocating clear ownership of specific events and left the owners to manage them. I’d like to say a huge thank you to all the members of the sailing committee for delivering a major series of events including open meetings, Southport 24 and 12 hour events, the racing programme and much more. In particular Paul Gimson has been a great support; particularly in the latter part of the season arranging the trophies for the annual dinner – a thankless task that is taken for granted if done with no errors and if not……!
We successfully introduced Go Sailing Sessions on a Saturday after Jybaz for those wanting to make the transition from a course or sailing a long while ago to confident sailors. This has proved really successful with over 15-20 boats going out each time. It has been one of the key reasons that prompted a rethink of the sailing formats for 2015.
We took part in the Bart’s Bash World Record Event. Many people worked hard to organise this, and the day was also attended by past members. I was pleased to see how well the Sunday and Jybaz sections of the club came together on that day. The buzz at the club augers well for the proposed changes to the sailing format.
Olympic sailor Ali and Erin racing the club Enterprise
Training continues to be run by Larry Muir, he is one of the unsung heroes of the club giving up much time to ensure we have a steady flow of courses running and a supply of new sailors into the club. Jane Andrews is also key to the organisation of the courses and membership.
Alan Evans and the Bosun team have also been fantastic at keeping the rescue boats going, again unsung heroes that quietly do jobs that enable the rest of us to sail. It’s not till you are running things you really appreciate how much goes on to enable us to come down, jump in a boat and sail. Have you asked yourself whether you are making an appropriate contribution of time and skills as well as paying your member ship fee? The alternative is far higher fees and a paid member of staff – which is a route some other clubs follow.
On that topic, I’d like to touch on duties. It is an obligation of everyone to do duties and we know this year the system of volunteering did not work well. We will revert next year to allocating duties. Hon Race Officer and Cox are available to those who are qualified/ trained; let us know if you want to do this. Otherwise you will be allocated either Galley or Officer of the Day or General Duty member roles. If you cannot make your date, it is your responsibility to arrange a swap and you can use Dutyman to do this.
Now for sailing formats. Having observed over a number of years various conversations about the decline in Sunday racing and “why don’t the juniors come racing on Sunday”, I have worked with the sailing committee to look at different race formats. The final result attempts to create something different that is a combination of the best bits of Sunday Racing and Jybaz for a series of Sundays in June/July. I hope we have achieved this with the new format for next year. It is an experiment and relies on everyone taking part. Jybaz are being very flexible and changing their Sailing day for part of the season, and support from experienced sailors in the mornings will be crucial to help coach less experienced sailors. These are our future sailors, committee members and volunteers. Please do not see it as a morning off and then just come down for the race in the afternoon. I’d like to thank my fleet captains and also Chris Smith, Dave Burnham and Geoff Holmes for their work on and support for the proposals.
Lastly, communications. I hope you have found the regular blogs and updates useful, timely and hopefully at times entertaining. Whilst I will carry on doing the blogs, if someone would like to be PR officer and look after publicity/press articles etc., that would be great. Please let me know.