Commodore's Note

SC Commodore, Mike Pritchard

For those who were not at the AGM last week I will give an overview of how I see the next year.

Firstly it is a privilege to be Commodore of this great club. Secondly thanks go to Roger Day for leading the club over the last three year.Membership and sailing participation has grown over this period whilst we have also gained Sport England funding for a new clubhouse. The club has also had a period of stability that mean day to day activities run well, whilst club finances have been strengthened.

Moving forward, we are hopefully entering the most exciting period in the club's history and we have a very strong executive committee that can lead us through this period.

The Sport England (SE) funding gives us the opportunity, with our own money and effort, to build a new clubhouse that will incorporate all our requirements in one structure - female and male changing facilities, bar, kitchen, storage and a large social area that can cater for 70 plus people. Whilst still "seaworthy", we will also retain the current clubhouse, although the exact purpose is still be decided. The new building will thus provide modern changing facilities, better facilities for those watching sailing, attract more family members, improved our training area and allow us to hold more and larger social events.  This will however change the nature of club a bit and we will need to engage more with local schools, etc. as one of the grant criteria is that we increase sailing participation at the club.

Roger Day gave an update a few months ago and at the AGM on progress and I have summarised this below. The new committee now have a number of key decisions to make before Christmas.  To gain the grant we need our current break clause removing by our landlord. Unfortunately a strategic review by them has caused delay in getting this removed. At the moment it may not be until 2016 that we get clarity and the clause removed, although I do believe we will have a new clubhouse, just the timing. We should have started work this September, but Sport England have been very understanding and funding is currently not at risk. In addition we are currently pursuing Planning Permission so we can start work once we get the go ahead from SE.

Over the next month the committee will review our options and get more clarity on timing. We also want to maximise use of the winter working parties, on potential ground preparation and other club developments as member availability may be less in the spring/summer period. We have a strong project team in place, led by Dave Bexson and Rob Corner, and their plans are well advanced.  Clearly to make this happen, we will also need a large number of volunteer hours by members and the project team will be shortly circulating their requirements. The intention is to also hold a meeting in late December, maybe at the social event after the Christmas race, to update you on current position and what we propose for 2015.

On more mundane matters, we will continue to push sailing participation and I am sure Gary Cawthorn will have some good ideas, although a number of major events have already been arranged and we will be hosting open events for the Comet, RS300 and Supernova classes.  Training is also thriving, although will need to see how we can meet the increasing demand for training, demand which will rise even more once we have new facilities. Both these sailing activities are led/delivered using sub-committees and I would like something similar, or at least more membership participation, on the social side and in general housekeeping and maintenance of the club. I think we should have more social events but we do need to be arranging events that members wish to support. Thus, linked to this, we will be undertaking a club survey in early 2015 covering all club activities and I hope you can all find the time to fill it in as ultimately this is your club and need to be involved in setting its future direction.

I intend to produce a short update each month on club activities, but meeting minutes will still be posted on this site and the excellent Telltales will continue to be produced on a regular basis with Roger Day as editor. If you have stories, etc. you would like to share then please send them to Roger as it would be good to get more member content, especially during the sailing season.  Facebook is not to everyone's taste but we do have an active site which can be found via the link on our homepage or by link on RHS of all our web pages.

Mike Pritchard


7th November 2014

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