I hope everyone had a very enjoyable Christmas and New Year. It is such a pleasure to be writing this note to you as I am able to illustrate just how positive and active our club is and how our members support each other and our local community. As always nothing happens without the willingness of our volunteers to put themselves forward to make things happen.
On Christmas Eve our clubhouse was packed in the evening to celebrate the arrival of Christmas with our traditional Carol festival. Led by Barrie Walsh and thoroughly enjoyed by all. Thank you again Barrie for all your efforts and again making such a memorable evening.
Just after Christmas was the annual Commodores Challenge. Each year our Youth team match races Parkstone Youth Team in a best out of 5 series. The Challenge was due to be raced on the 27th but due to high winds was postponed to the next day. The Thursday dawned bright and sunny with light winds so the Challenge was on! The races were held just outside the haven entrance roughly between the Easterly yellow transit post and Hutchins Buoy. A good sized fleet of spectator boats was afloat, eager to observe the racing. Although calm on the outside I was bubbling with excitement and raring to see how well our team performed. I know how hard they had all worked and how determined they all were to perform well. Steve Thompson had been making sure that I knew how much older and more experienced the Parkstone Team were and not to get too excited just yet!
After race 1 which we won after coming back from behind, I realised just how well our Team was performing and how well their team work and practicing was paying dividends. I was hosting Howard, the Vice Commodore of Parkstone, on my boat and the banter between us was very entertaining!
We then had to swap boats for races 2 and 3 before swapping back again for races 4 and 5.
Races 2 and 3 did not go quite according to plan as we fought hard and sailed well but lost both of those races. I was now looking forward to us swapping back to our boat for the last two races and I had high hopes of a nail biting finish. Sadly the ebb tide strengthened and the wind dropped and racing was abandoned. This left Parkstone 2 - 1 ahead and they were declared the winners. Well done to Parkstone and congratulations.
Well done to our whole team for racing so well and a special mention to Fern Jones who was instrumental in bringing the team together with her communication skills. The real winners out of the challenge were both youth teams with their dedication and sportsmanship. They had a really enjoyable joint party later that evening to celebrate the end of the challenge for another year.
During the presentations where Howard and I presented certificates to all involved, I did try to keep the trophy by awarding it to Poole, unfortunately spotted by Howard and the Parkstone team. Next Year!
It was wonderful to see the gratitude that our youth sailors had for all our volunteers who had been involved in the loan of boats, the huge amount of time spent in training and coaching and the advice and guidance freely given. A huge thank you from me as well to Steve Thompson, Lucy Macgregor, Dave Hale, Joe Cross, Andy Macgregor, Rob and Juliette Kemp. Thank you to Jim & Kate Macgregor and Nicky Walsh (nee Macgregor) for race management.
Long may this annual challenge continue and bring such huge benefits to our clubs and all those involved.
Why is this event featuring in my newsletter? This event has been taking place every New Year's Day for close on 40 years. A decision was made to cancel the event this year for safety reasons. The event was reinstated as a result of Poole Yacht Club volunteering to help with the safety cover for the event along with Powerboat Training UK and the RNLI.
Gary Walker was amazing in rushing around to bring all the safety support so that the event could take place. Not only was Gary coordinating our team but he also managed to get permission for a street collection to be made on behalf of our club's commodore's charity, Julia's House. This involved a street collection application; this normally takes 30 days but was done overnight along with Julia's House letter of permission. This let loose our collection team of Amanda Jones, Anna Walker and Alison Consolos supported by the Poole Pirates! They collected a fantastic £659.81 from the public on the quay. Absolutely brilliant and thank you to our collectors.
Gary was supported by a host of our club members willing to give their time and expertise to ensure that the event could not only take place, but safely. Simon Robinson and Michael Jones helmed two safety boats supported by Kyriakos and Carlo Consolos, Jacky and Alex Robinson and James Walker in his Boston Whaler. What a fantastic effort from our club and well done to all those involved. Gary your efforts were amazing.
Before Christmas Allan Ryder wrote to the General Committee proposing that those who wished to go cruising, meet new members, use their boats more, meet socially, cruise in company and have fun. Those interested could meet on a Wednesday and hopefully achieve some or all of the above. The proposal was enthusiastically received and Allan arranged an information meeting on the 10th January. The meeting was packed showing a huge level of enthusiasm for Allan's proposal; I think that close to 100 members attended. There were many suggestions about how this could be organised but it is clear that the club needs to support Allan and his proposal and that it should be organised simply and with a "light touch" approach. Well done Allan for this proposal and we look forward to the development of cruiser sailing on a Wednesday. There is a follow up meeting arranged for the 21st February at 10.00 to review how things are going.
A packed club house enjoyed a very well prepared and fascinating presentation on the early history of our club, covering the first 100 years. The evening was in two parts with Sue Thornton-Grimes taking us through the development of our club and the sometimes very colourful commodores who were in post for these early years. In the second half Richard Cake took the audience down memory lane with the development of sailing and in particular the early dinghy fleets. It made for a very enjoyable and informative evening with a collection in aid of our Julia's House Charity. A very big thank you to Sue and Richard
The Flag Officers and General Committee are very pleased to welcome Katie Hopper to the team at the club. This is a new development for the club; namely having a full time, paid employee on the staff being fully involved in the sailing and water based activities.
In just 10 months our members contributed to and help raise over £3,000 towards our target of £5,000. Most recently with the collection during the bath race and members contributions during the history talk. Again thank you so much for your generosity and for those who help with the collections. As we approach our target I will let all members know the impact that every penny of our collections will have on the lives of the children and their parents who are supported by Julia's house.
The annual club forum is being held on Tuesday 30th January in the skylight lounge. Start time is 19.30 hrs. and the meal deal will be available from 18.30 hrs.