The Commodore's Newsletter December 2020

Tue 8 Dec

Dear fellow members

Wishing you a

Very Happy Christmas

and a

Healthy New Year

(and lots of good times on the water in 2021 as well, of course!)

Preparing to write this has been something of a challenge for me. You will have received enough Bulletins from “yours truly,” over the recent months to last a life time (I hear you say!) Mind you, there is a fantastic team of colleague members writing them with me. Thank you for all the feedback.

In fact, we, the members, owe a really big vote of thanks to our Committee and Covid Group members that have been beavering away over the last few months to ensure the Club operates safely (within the Covid Rules and Regulations) and that we, the members, are kept fully informed as to developments.

“Slightly” different this year with a lighter on the water activity and none of those lovely gatherings and parties that we have, in recent years, enjoyed so much. But they will return!

The Club before Covid
These days will return!

It has made me realise just how special all those moments are to us all and how we have missed them! But the recently refurbished Lounge is really looking fantastic…what a lighter, fresher look and is now ready to welcome us back. A great team effort pulled that off….

When I joined the Club 30+ years ago, racing my newly acquired DB 224 was my preoccupation. Had to dry sail for 18 months until a DB berth was available. When Sue T-G (then then DB Class Captain) informed us that we had a DB berth, I can remember to this day how great it was to hear that news! (Dry sailing a 450 pound DB twice a week was a bit of a pain!)

I was walking around the Club just the other day and I still, like so many of us, get a real sense of joy and pleasure as I walk down towards the Race Hut. What a Club!

My thanks go to our staff colleagues for their hard work during this pandemic. I had no idea, before becoming Commodore, and getting more involved in the admin side of things, just what a large range of various tasks our staff team get involved in and “…..then the phone rings and the team have to pull out all the stops (excuse the pun) to rally round to save a member’s boat from sinking in the haven…..”

Earlier in the year, we welcomed Kate Macgregor onto the staff team as our Sailing Professional and Kate and members of Team Sailing and Youth have been working hard on putting together the plans for 2021. We have been able to squeeze in some Club organised racing this year and I do thank the Volunteers that have made it happen, within the “bubble” restrictions.

We are determined (subject to what the then Covid Rules will allow) to squeeze every moment of “on the water available time” as possible.
The 2021 Sailing Programme is now with the printers.

What could be better for our health than a good sail or race in the Harbour or further afield! Talking of being on the water, I took my newly acquired Drascombe Lugger for a jaunt yesterday……pure delight.

The Social Committee (with Kate as Chair) has had a real roller coaster of a journey over the last few months…events on, then off, then on with new/changed restrictions. Many thanks indeed to that hard working team of volunteers.

The Club Forum

Our Club Forum will be held on Tuesday 26th January 2021 and we, the Flag Officers, are looking forward to receiving (and answering) your questions. The Flag Officers and the Honorary Treasurer each will be making opening remarks regarding their respective areas of responsibility.

Our AGM will be held on Saturday 20th March 2021. Full details of both important events will be issued in the near future.

We are working up plans to do some fund raising (mostly on line) in the new year to support the Commodore’s Charity (Julia’s House)….and would welcome any suggestions you may have. It would be good to work with you (and your suggestion) on making it happen.

Please find below, short items written by our fellow Flag Officers.
They are all “champing at the bit” to get activity underway for 2021….but we shall have to take it step by step.

Very best wishes for Christmas and the New Year
Always pleased to hear from you

Poole Yacht Club Commodore John

Poole Yacht Club Rear Commodore - Sailing and On the Water Activity Tracey Lee
Tracey Lee
Rear Commodore - Sailing and On the Water Activity

The sailing programme for 2021 is now in its final, final draft form, ready for issuing in hard copy and on the website in January. While the eagle-eyed amongst you will spot that the Notice of Race and Sailing Instructions have been slimmed down in presentation, the content of our 2021 programme is full of organised activity. We have social sailing, dinghy and cruiser racing, volunteer training, paddleboarding groups and adult and youth training aimed at everyone from beginners to those who want to improve their racing skills. We have put the programme together in expectation of life returning to "normal" however after the year we have just been through, I am very confident that if we need to wiggle the arrangements to keep everyone safe, we will be able to do this.

As well as having a link to the Notice of Race on the website, there will also, new for 2021, be a link to a Sailing Calendar which will show a week by week overview of all events connected to our sailing and on the water activity. If anyone has any trouble at all finding out the information they need on the website, please call either me on 07758 673067 or Kate Macgregor our Sailing Professional on 07741 140258 or via email

Under the overall banner of "Putting sailing at the heart of everything we do" your Sailing Committee, together with the Training and Membership groups, will be continuing to look at how we can grow participation in our on the water and volunteering activities in 2021. For example, we have already held the first Women in Sailing forum, we will be doing a survey to find out how best to promote cruiser racing, and we are thinking about how to make our volunteering fun and welcoming for everyone whatever your background or sailing experience.

As a result of the wholesale disruption to our club sailing plans for 2020, we have seen increased spontaneity and flexibility in how we can get out on the water, and how technology offers an easy way to communicate; if anyone has not taken the plunge into Facebook yet, I highly recommend joining the Poole YC Social and Sailing group as it has all sorts of news on PYC life - last week, I watched youth sailors Toby Griffen and Tom Cluett interviewing member and professional sailor Andrew Walsh in the first of a Meet the Member slot, and there was a call for cruiser owners to take part in a Christmas event where they decorate their boats, go for a sail and come back for a (socially distanced) mince pie!

At the end of whatever event or activity you get involved in, it is great that we have a smart and comfortable club-house to return to, and I look forward to being able to mix and mingle with everyone at some point in 2021…….”

Poole Yacht Club Rear Commodore - House, Bar and Catering Simon
Rear Commodore - House, Bar and Catering

With Christmas now almost upon us we wanted to take the time to reflect on this year. I am sure it has not delivered the summer or sailing season that most of us had envisaged. However, from a HBC point of view, this year has presented us with opportunity to undertake some much needed works within the clubhouse with minimal disruption.

The enforced closure presented us the time and the cashflow was available coupled with “less running overheads” (as a result of some government support).

I’m sure by now you have all noticed the large obvious changes, a fresh coat of paint inside and out, a new ceiling, lighting, carpets, digital signage, curtains & blinds, chairs and tables as well as a number of smaller items that might not have caught your eye yet.

It doesn’t stop there…. your committee are continuing to identify and work on areas that require modernising or tidying and if they cannot be addressed immediately, we are pricing and factoring these in for future developments.
Watch this space!

The social committee are working hard to organise events that are safe for all and fall within current guidelines.

If you feel comfortable to do so, please look at what’s going on and join in…..”

Poole Yacht Club Vice Commodore - Yard and Haven Adam
Vice Commodore - Yard and Haven

Firstly I’d like to echo the Commodore’s wishes for a happy Christmas and healthy new year for all our members and staff. I’d also like to thank all of our members of staff for their efforts throughout the year, and particularly during the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.

Notwithstanding the numerous and varied restrictions that have been placed upon us during 2020, I truly believe we have maximised the services we offer at the club, whilst remaining wholly within the wording and intent of the restrictions, necessary for ensuring our safety and health. I would like to thank all the members for supporting us during these difficult times and look forward to 2021, where the light at the end of the tunnel appears to be expanding…

You will remember earlier in the year I outlined the building blocks of what will probably become to be known as the ‘Yard & Haven Development Plan’.

A key aspect of the development of the Yard is to understand the condition of the sea wall. Over the years much discussion has taken place regarding the condition of the sheet piling. Earlier in the year you may have seen your Yard and Haven Team in the launch, preparing and then scanning the piling. This was to create an accurate picture of the structural integrity, such that the results could be passed to a structural engineer for analysis. We expect the results of this shortly.

We have also received a Rough Order of Magnitude Quotation for a scrub-off basin, something that will almost undoubtedly be required in order to comply with pollution legislation over the coming years. Those of you that have been to Yarmouth or Bucklers Hard recently may have seen the similar installations there.

The Harbour Master has now, subject to certain conditions, given us consent for the driving and parking of vehicles (including event support campervans) on the eastern bund wall. We will continue to work this issue, the intention being to provide a limited amount of car parking spaces at the end of the bund wall.

Whilst the Covid-19 situation has delayed and distracted us somewhat from proceeding apace with this project, much preliminary work has been going on in the background, with some valuable input received from members. All this will be taken into consideration during this early information gathering phase and at this point we have not yet committed to any significant spend. The members will be consulted and informed during the while of this process, as one would expect for a project of such magnitude.

We continue to receive many suggestions for smaller improvements around the yard, for example, wash-off showers closer to the slipway gate, additional kayak/paddleboard racks, permission to use floating docks in berths, we welcome any such inputs and promise to consider fully all that are received.

During the year and I have very much enjoyed the limited time I have spent at the club recreationally, meeting with members likewise enjoying their time, and I thank all those that have provided messages of support and thanks for all the sub-committees, General Committee, Covid-19 Team, who give up so much of their time for the benefit (hopefully!!) of their fellow members.

I particularly would like to thank the ‘Lounge Refurbishment Team’ for a truly amazing transformation of our club Lounge. I recently enjoyed an excellent Sunday Roast at the club and was amazed at how good it looks and what a great job they have done. It looks stunning.

Once again, have a great Christmas, although this will be a different one for us all, I’m sure we will enjoy the company of our friends and family that we can have around us and for the brave souls that venture out for the races over the Christmas break – see you on the water!



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