The Commodore's Newsletter February 2020

This is my final newsletter before my term ends in March and our new Commodore is elected at the AGM. It has been my absolute privilege to represent you as your Commodore and I have found my three years most rewarding. I hope that my newsletters have brought you a flavour of the multitude of activities going on at our Club.

In my newsletters I have especially enjoyed being able to thank so many of our members for their volunteer services to our Club. This is what makes any Club special and, in our case, very special. I have not been able to name everyone who contributes and my apologies for any member or group of members who I may have overlooked.

I think the activities over the Christmas period seem a long time ago now but were very memorable. The Christmas Eve Carols were great fun and the Club was packed with all generations, very well led by Barry Walsh. The Commodores Youth Challenge was a very special event which I talk about further on. The New Year’s Eve party was also very enjoyable.

In my final newsletter I wish to offer a big thank you to my Vice Commodore and Flag Officers for all their support and hard work on your behalf. They will continue to devote their time, energies and expertise to managing the Club on your behalf. The General Committee has been first class and has provided thought and challenge to all that we discuss and ensures that decisions made are thoroughly debated and all pros and cons aired.

Over the years I have worked closely with Mark, Lorna, Antoinette, Anne and Michael. The implementation of new office systems, new software solutions to Club management and the associated implementation challenges, have been undertaken without any obvious interruption to the Club’s management. Nearly of this is hidden away from members who will outwardly just notice a change in reduced paperwork and the we pay and invoice. Thank you to our office team and especially Mark and Lorna for your hard work in meeting all the challenges. Again, behind the scenes all aspects of our IT systems have been updated with new hardware, upgraded Wi-Fi, better security coverage and so on. Thank you, Chris Playfair who has helped, prioritise and identify what when and how.

I must report on the very positive feedback that I have received from members about the Bar and Catering team. Very professional, friendly, helpful and a credit to themselves. Well done Jack and your team; Tom continues to impress with the quality of the meals prepared, it’s a real pleasure to dine at the Club.

This year marked the 25th anniversary of the Commodores Youth Challenge. The event was celebrated with an “alumni” challenge between past competitors from the youth challenge competing in a best of three “curtain raiser” event. This we won 2-0, well done to Steve Davis in skippering and organising our team and to our helm Joe Cross. What a great scene setter for the main event. Our youth team won the Challenge 3-1 after a thrilling morning’s match racing, congratulations to our youth team and our helm Angus kemp.

It was fantastic to see just how many Club members were involved on the day, in the build-up and pre-challenge training. For me this is certainly a major highlight of the year and as Commodore presenting the certificates to the teams, awarding the trophy and thanking all those who make the Challenge such a success is unforgettable. The Commodores Youth Challenge would not happen without the drive and commitment of Jim Macgregor and Steve Thompson and all those who give up their time to help. Along with Parkstone we are establishing a board of Trustees who will ensure that the future of the Youth Challenge is secure.

One of the issues in racing “matched’’ boats in the Challenge has been the condition of the sails. This year we have had very generous sponsorship from Rob and Juliette Kemp, Kemp sails. They have provided new sails and have committed to maintaining and servicing the sails between the Challenge events. Thank you so much for supporting the Youth Challenge in this way.

The Club Forum was well attended, and the Flag Officers are already responding to issues raised during the meeting. We are looking at tidying up the members handbook and the language of our rules and byelaws. Of course, we are responding to the members comments about the boat monitoring trial, we are taking all the comments on board and will be engaging with the membership over the next few weeks.

For the past three years I chose Julia’s House to be my chosen Commodore’s Charity. Having visited Julia’s House and spoken to some of the staff I know that the monies raised at the Club will be so well spent. We have raised at the Club to date £8,500 with one last fund-raising event on Monday 2nd March, Ladies Night, an evening of fashion! In addition, Gary Walker persuaded the New Year’s Day bathtub race organisers to allow us to collect from the crowds on the quay. This raised a further £650, a fantastic effort from Amanda Jones and her team for collecting from the crowd. I hope in total that we shall reach £10,000 over the three years. Thank you to all our members who have given so generously.

From March I will have significantly more time on my hands. Fortunately, the J24 racing will be very busy this year. We are taking Cacoon to Dartmouth in April, the European Championships in northern Italy early May. The Nationals will be held in Poole at the end of May, down to Plymouth for the Summer Cup in July and then the World Championships in Poole in September.

I hope you have found some enjoyment in receiving regular reports from me on what is going on. I am sure I have omitted to thank everyone I need to, so I will sign out with a massive thank you to My fellow Flag Officers, General Committee members, all of our wonderful staff and the so many members who have volunteered to make our Club so special.

Best Regards

Nye Davies




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