The Commodore's Newsletter July 2017


Team MAC (Macgregor) GBR wins Woman’s Match Racing World Championship! Well done Lucy and your team including Rosie Watkins, fantastic achievement, they sailed 24 races and won 22! Academy America’s Cup

While New Zealand were demonstrating how to “fly” boats in the final of the America’s Cup and thoroughly trouncing the USA. Our British (BAR) youth team were winners in the America’s Cup Academy competition. Congratulations to the team but especially to another one of our members, Andrew Walsh who is coach to the BAR Youth Team.

General Committee

The General Committee has completed their deliberations on the Senior Membership Category and there are some changes:

  • We will retain the category of Senior Member with the same eligibility criteria.
  • To clarify when a member becomes eligible the member must meet the requirements before the 1st of October for membership for that coming year. There is no partial membership, if a member becomes eligible after the cut-off date, they will need to wait to the following year.
  • Members will now need to inform the office before the 1st September of the coming membership year, by email or in writing or by calling at the office if they wish to take up the senior membership benefit.
  • The senior membership discount currently 50% will be reduced gradually over the next 3 years to 25%. This will apply to all senior members both current and future.

I have attached a detailed note with reasons and rationale for these changes.


What’s happening?


The Osprey and Contender Open was blessed with good winds and very enjoyable racing. One of the highlights off the water was the Saturday night “Summer Madness” two band evening. Wow I have never seen the club so packed with so many members and guests enjoying the music and dancing. It was literally elbow to elbow across the whole club. Our bar staff did an amazing job managing to keep a very thirsty membership well served. We even had a last minute burger bar set up below in the BBQ area which went down very well, thank you to those members who organised all of the burger bar and raised money for the commodore’s charity. The raffle in aid of our Julia’s House charity raised a very impressive £555 along with money from the sale of Burgers the evening will have raised well over £600. Thank you to all members who bought tickets.

The annual club regatta was a great success with a record 110 entries. Warm weather, blue skies and just enough wind to race (could have done with just a bit more). The organising committee did a great job and whilst I do not normally name volunteers I need to highlight the efforts of Tracey Lee worked so hard to pull everything together. Saturday night was another great evening, our evening entertainment and the enthusiasm of members seems to be growing and growing. If you have not yet joined in these social events come along, you will have a great time.

R19 have just completed their “Worlds” annual championship with 20 boats competing on a lovely Sunday afternoon. Again very well organised and supported. There is definitely a theme developing here where the atmosphere and team spirit in sailing are carried forward to each event and delivering great sailing for our members.

Coming up we have a very big Topper event and the Osprey Nationals

Our Youth Section

Our Youth and Junior members continue to shine at regional and national level. Angus has just won the Topper class National events, Series 6, this crowns his securing the South Area Traveller Series last weekend, great stuff Angus.

We have sailors going off to the Mirror, Laser Radial, Opi, Feva and RS200 Nationals and the 420 worlds Good luck to James, Sophie, Freddie, Sam, Midge, Harriett, Libby and Alice. I will let you know how they get on.

House, Bar and Catering

It has been a busy time for Maddie and her team, with open events and the club regatta. I am delighted to report back from members their appreciation for all the hard work in helping make these events such a success.

Now the new climate control units are in place (what a difference during the recent hot weather!) the Pelmets will shortly be refurbished to be followed by the Ceiling which is under discussion as to the best option.


What great social events we have had this year, please check the web site and the notices in the club house for the up and coming events. There is a FREE Jaz evening in memory of Martin Clayton on the 25th August.


Please will all members observe the no-smoking rules relating to the clubhouse, balcony and the perimeter of the clubhouse. We are receiving an increasing number of complaints about these rules being flouted and the large number of cigarette ends thrown on the ground on the balcony and just outside the clubhouse.

Commodores Charity

A really good start in raising money for Julia’s House, over £600 raised in one evening. Thank you all for your generosity. More money was raised by the sale of cakes at the club regatta, thank you to the cake makers very delicious. I will keep you posted on the running total towards our target of £5,000.

I will not be writing a newsletter in August, I wish all members a great summer and will catch up on the news in my September newsletter.

Nye Davies

Senior Membership

With the implementation of the new IT systems in the office and the “tidying up” of the membership categories it became easy to identify the membership categories and accurately list the number of members in each category. The accurate information provided has helped the membership committee in identifying new membership areas we need to target to ensure the vibrant future of our club.

The information also allowed us to accurately identify membership numbers in other categories and look at their impact on our club.

The area that really stood out was the percentage of members in the Senior Membership category, currently standing at 32% of our total membership, and growing. As senior members they benefit from a discount to their membership fees of 50%. This discount reduces the income from membership fees currently by £76,000 per annum.

When a Senior Membership category was established there was no idea that such a high proportion of members would be in that category and that such large sums of money would be involved in the discount. Under our constitution no discount amount is specified and it has always been down to the General Committee to set the annual fees.

Some 10 years ago the General Committee identified the large discount to increasing number of members as being unequitable and unsustainable and in need of correction. As such a proposition to abolish the senior membership category was put before an AGM and the proposition approved, thus closing the category.

The following year at that AGM the membership chose to reinstate the category.

As Flag Officers and General Committee members we have already identified these issues to all our members. It has been flagged as an important issue that the GC would be addressing at our annual club forum, at the AGM in my statement to members, in my monthly newsletter and of course in the minutes of the GC meetings.

After all our discussions and consultations clear issues have been identified

We cannot ignore the situation where such a high proportion of members have such a large discount.

We understand that members value the category having reached 65 years of age and been full members for at least 30 years.

Any reduction in the discount needs to be phased in and not addressed in one lump sum.

We need to dispense with the type of “ring fencing” that has gone on in the past (I don’t mind future members being treated differently but don’t affect me).

Whilst we do not need to compare our club with what is happening to clubs in the rest of the UK it is interesting to note that many clubs have just got rid of the category.

At the various receptions I attend when speaking with other commodores and Flag Officers discussing senior membership categories, they were “amazed” at the discount we offer our senior members.

The monies saved by reducing the discount will be used, in full or in part, to fund the club’s strategic reserve fund, a commitment that the GC has made for the last 5 years.

The proposition below was carried unanimously at June’s General Committee meeting and will be implemented from This October.


Senior Membership discount will be reduced from the current 50% to 25%. This reduction in the benefit will be phased over the next three years. Starting October 2017 the discount will be 42%, in October 2018 the discount will be 36% and in October 2019 the discount will be 25%. The new discount rates will apply to all members both current and new. Any member who believes that they now meet the criteria for Senior Membership needs to apply to the office in person, by email or in writing, by the 1st September in the year they become eligible, for the discount to be applied.



Committee Minutes

Elite Live