Update from the General Committee – Spring 2019


The purpose of this page is to provide approximately quarterly updates on topics that have been on the agenda of the General Committee.

The General Committee meets monthly and has the following members for 2019;

Graham Mills (President)
Ian Videlo (Commodore)
Kim Mayhew (Vice Commodore)
Alan Hall (Rear Commodore)
Roger Challis (Treasurer)
Cathy Fish (Membership Secretary)
Jane Spark (Hon Secretary)
Jamie Whittle (Cadet Squadron Leader)
Peter Mills (Club Captain)
Jon Penn (Vice Club Captain)

Dan Ager,
Steve Carter,
Fiona Gray,
Geoff Harris,
Martin Hawkes,
Catherine Hughes,
Roger May,
David Merritt,
Rani Pert,
Clive Quantrill,
Julian Renselar
Anne Spalding

Update #1 – March 2019

River Wall
The retaining wall for the footpath outside the beach-huts to the south of the clubhouse has a short length where the top of the wall is bowing out. Plans are being made to stabilise this section in such a way that the work would be compatible with a longer-term replacement to a longer length of the wall.

Rear Bank
For well over a year we have been concerned with the state of the wooden section of the wall that retains the steep bank to the west of the clubhouse. Advice from a number of or members who are also Civil Engineers is that we should start working towards replacing the wooden sleepers with a more permanent structure. The approach recommended by these engineers would require approaching the job with heavy machinery from above, but this is not something our neighbouring land owner is happy to allow. We are maintaining friendly dialogue with the land owner and have followed up with contact with some of her advisers to explore other possible approaches including any options to undertake the work from below. Investigations will continue over the coming months, with helpful suggestions made by other club members also under consideration.

Camera monitoring
An unwelcome incident was reported over the early part of the winter which has prompted us to install two cameras on the southern wall of the clubhouse. We should now be better prepared in the unlikely event that something similar should happen again. Improved lighting has also been installed around the patio area.

Galley plans for 2019
There will be a real drive to step up the quality and choice of food and refreshments during Saturdays. We are confident that members will soon notice a difference and the Galley team led by Heidi are looking forward to the opportunity to bring something different to our Saturday afternoons.

RYA Training School
Kay Maddox who has done such an excellent job of running the training programme last year has decided that she cannot continue in the role owing to personal circumstances. With no obvious successor coming forward, we have elected to mothball our RYA training status for the next few months. If anyone would like to help organise training whether under the RYA banner or not, please contact a member of the General Committee.

Although our finances are in good health, we must be conscious that a very significant part of our reserves needs to be earmarked for the repair work to the two retaining walls (see above) that we anticipate will need to go ahead well within the next 5 years.

The committee have been taking heed of feedback from the RYA Membership survey that was carried out last Summer.

We will be continuing to consider what actions might be taken but some already in train are;

  1. This briefing. One piece of feedback was that members didn’t feel that they knew what was being discussed and decided in our committees. We hope that a quarterly update will help give members some perspective as to what the Committee is doing.
  2. A fresh paper newsletter. Again on the theme of communications and giving members a better sense of what is happening throughout the club, the newsletter is no longer just another one of many jobs for the flag officers to fit in, but has a small editorial team in its own right. The first edition is planned to be available for early April. We hope you enjoy it and appreciate the work going into its production.
  3. New member support – A concern highlighted by the survey was that it can be difficult for a new member to find their feet in the club. In fact we had already started to work towards trialling a small team to make themselves available to guide and welcome new members through the early stages of finding their feet. For 2019, all new members will receive a leaflet in their pack to encourage them to reach out to the formative team, of Pete Greatrex and Bill Walker. Another success last year was to invite new members to a reception on the Regatta weekend. This was well attended and gave our new joiners the opportunity to meet the officers and committee.

Legacy from Tony & Margaret Howard’s estate.
The Howards kindly left the club a sum of money to be used to enhance the club. It has been decided that a fitting use for this money would be to build a permanent barbecue into the wall on the southern edge of the patio. We expect this work to be completed well before the Summer and would encourage members to make good use of this facility as I am sure Tony & Margaret would wish.

Laying Up Supper
After a couple of years without a club-wide laying up supper, we will be celebrating the end of the 2019 season with a more formal dinner at Fynn Valley Golf Club. Thanks to Rani Pert for driving this forward. More information to follow.

Upcoming Topics where your input would be welcome

  • RYA Training School – should we strive to remain an RYA training centre, or not? If so, would anyone like to take this on?
  • Should we invest in more club boats? If so, what is needed?
  • Should we invest in non-sailing craft such as Kayaks & SUPs for members to hire and diversify what we offer?
  • Can we now start to invest in modest clubhouse improvements? – what is most urgent?

If you have views on the above, or would like any other topics to be raised, then please speak to one of the committee members listed above, who will then be able to represent your views.