Report of AGM 5th December 2010

Commodore’s 2010 Report

Our year began well with the pre-rigging party on 13 March. The event was beautifully organised by Steve Locke and his wife Sharon and daughter Claire. The sailing snakes and ladders game that evening was our first introduction to Steve’s collection of remote controlled spiders!

The first day of sailing on 15 March was a foretaste of a season when there was often either too little wind or a little too much. By Easter Sunday capsizes were providing spectacular entertainment for Colemere Country Park strollers. Paul Bullock’s superb Blog has recorded, in a very entertaining and accessible manner, most of this year’s more memorable sailing escapades.

The Special Race Event on 10 May saw a total of 14 boats on the water but, again, by 1 June white capped waves were charging down the lake and the “Colemere Real Men” title was deservedly earned by the four sailors who survived the afternoon. The Fun Regatta on 13 July was, again, superbly organised by Steve and family, including a magnificent barbeque with all the trimmings plus chocolate cake for dessert. The second race on 18 July saw three out of five boats capsize before the race had even started and 30 August saw another day for Colemere’s Real Men with Matt being the only person not to capsize. Despite all the drama, we of course have had some superb sailing this year, and it was good to see some excellent sailing by younger crews.

The  season has perhaps come to an unusually abrupt end (although we may be lucky and have some beautiful days later in December),  but for next year, lets hope to see even more members sailing and also joining in racing. Our friendly club and superb facilities warrant more extensive use!

I would like to thank all those who have worked so hard over this past year to make sure that the club operates smoothly and amicably. We are so lucky to have members and officers with such a wide range of skills – from running the race programme; keeping our finances in order; organising our social events; maintaining the clubhouse and grounds; publishing our news on the web-site; acting as OD or assistant, and all the other tasks over the year.

One of our older members commented recently that he had not seen the clubhouse and grounds looking so good in the last 40 years as it was at the present time. We also have Steve’s wife Clair to thank for looking after the inside of the clubhouse so well.

In July this year we invited members to put forward ideas for club development to the Development Sub-committee and received around twenty useful and constructive replies. These have all been discussed and several are being actively pursued at present. The main areas under consideration are the following: 

  1. Improvement of the rescue boat speed.
  2. Improvement of launching facilities.
  3. Encouragement of younger sailors.

We recognise, particularly as many of us are getting older, that it is essential that we develop the younger element of our membership and sailing – this is the key to our future continuing existence as a sailing club! Unlike, for example, West London sailing clubs, we do not have a vast catchment area for potential members and there has also undoubtedly been a change in dinghy sailing since the heady days of the 1960’s and 70’s, with much more singlehanded sailing and much less family sailing.

For this coming year we are hoping to recruit onto the Committee a key person who will take charge of Youth Sailing Development and in our programme for next year we will also planning to include more racing and other events to specifically appeal to junior sailors. If you feel that you might be the person to take on this challenge please contact Rob Sears or myself.

I would like to take this opportunity to wish you all a very happy Christmas and New Year and look forward to seeing you on the water.

Bob Oak  (Commodore).



Captain’s 2010 Report


Ok, let’s remember the  2010 season started at the end of 2009 with the Snowflake Series.  I can’t find any blog entries dating back that far (maybe it didn’t exist then?).  Anyway  there were about 7 competitors who braved the winter winds & 4 qualified.  In 3rd position, Hugh Farrington; in 2nd position, Mike Harris & the winner was … Martin Cushing.

The n
ext event was the Christmas Cracker which is held on boxing day.  You may remember we had quite a cold winter last year.  A few brave souls made it down to the club & huddled around the starting hut.  Since about half the lake was frozen over and there wasn’t much wind, the consensus of opinion was to go home and get some mulled wine.

The cold weather continued but, in spite of this, working parties were held as normal.  Many thanks to all those who put in time and effort and as Captain, I was particularly pleased to get the starting hut re-vamped.  Two dead birds and several thousand dead spiders were replaced with a smart new roof and internal cladding.  Also the electrics were completely re-done so now we have a reliable starting horn.  I also discovered that the club ladder was showing its age and needed replacing – in the process I found a convenient excuse for not doing any more working parties!

Just before the racing season started again this year we held the annual OOD training day.  A number of new members attended to be initiated into the rites of running races and rescuing those who haven’t made it safely back to shore.  For this I updated a number of the instruction sheets / aide memoirs & a number of people have asked if these can be circulated.  So in early March I will email these out to all members.  If any one wants hard copy, just let me know.

2010 racing got started in mid March with the Spring series.   We had really good winds in the early part of the year and only 1 race in this series was abandoned. 21 sailors participated in this series and 5 completed the 9 races needed to qualify.  In 3rd place, Mike Harris, 2nd place, Paul Bullock and 1st place, Martin Cushing – so the lasers won that one!

As I’m sure you all know we ran a personal handicap series in parallel with the main series last year & this has kept going this year.  In the Spring series, in 3rd place, Mike Harris; 2nd place, Paul Bullock and the winner was Pete Williams.

The Early Bird series comprises the first race of the day across a number of Sundays throughout the year.  22 sailors participated in this series and 6 completed the 5 races needed to qualify.  In 3rd place, Matt Gilbert, 2nd place, Hugh Farrington and 1st place, me – so that’s 1 all for the Solos v Lasers!

On 9th May we had our special event.  This is a one off & prizes were awarded on the day.  We had a total of 14 boats out on the water and it was great to see some faces who don’t normally race.  The wind was a bit fickle which created some good tactical sailing.  Nick Edmunds won the day with a race to spare, which he elected to spend in the bar!  Second place was taken by Mike Harris & third by Paul Bullock.  So that’s 1 for the Lasers.

In mid May the Thursday series got going, again with generally good winds.  This year we ran the Thursday series later into the year, not finishing until the end of September when the light was really starting to go early and we had to start the races earlier to prevent completing them after dark.  In spite of this, the latter races were well attended (thanks to Hugh for sending our sunset times!) and I think we’ll do this again next year.  So we managed to sail 22 races and there were 21 competitors.  A total of 8 boats qualified.  In 3rd place, Roy Davies, 2nd place, Martin Cushing and 1st place, me.

The Will O’the Wisp trophy was not well attended this year.  This is the 3rd race of the day on some Sundays and the we had particularly poor attendance on the last race of the day throughout the year.  Only 4 boats participated in this series and only 2 qualified the 2 races required!  Second place is taken by Pete Williams and first by Hugh Farrington.

Now, I have alluded to the fact that we had some good winds during the early part of the year.  During May we had some particularly good winds, so good in fact that many elected to remain within the confines of the club house.  Not so, however, an intrepid group of Men (for there were no women amongst them) for whom no wind is too strong, no wave to big.  I am referring, of course, to the Real Men; Martin Cushing, Pete Williams, Matt Gilbert & Paul Bullock.  In order to keep your strength up, I have brought you a little something…(A pack of Weatabix each)

On the subject of windy days, I had real trouble with deciding who to award the Swimming Trophy to this year as there are so many contenders.  After much agonising, I have decided to award it to Tom Harris, who I believe has been swimming more than anyone else in spite of his tendency to use his storm sail in any wind greater than Force 2.

The Old Crocks Pot is awarded by the Captain to a senior sailor for reasons chosen by the Captain.  I would like to award this to Mike Brain, who has had a rather interrupted sailing year, but has kindly helped out with OOD’s whenever he can.  I understand you are buying a new sail Mike, so lets see how it works next year.

The Summer Series saw 15 out of the 20 races being sailed.   24 sailors participated in this series and 5 completed the 8 races needed to qualify.  In 3rd place, Hugh Farrington, 2nd place, Paul Bullock and 1st place, Tom Harris.

In the personal handicap Summer Series, 3rd place goes to Paul Bullock, 2nd to Mike Harris and 1st to Pete Williams again (honest his handicap is being adjusted downwards!).  I’m also awarding the John Lycett Trophy to Mike Harris, who is always out there on the water, always near the font, but never quite wins!

During the summer we had the annual Fun Regatta.  Steve Locke organised the whole event and made some welcome changes to the format which was becoming a bit staid.  Everyone who turned up had a great day.  The wind was just right – enough of it to keep boats sailing and the occasional gust to keep the spectators amused.  We had some interesting events on the water – that mostly involved trying to ram an inflatable dinghy & some equally interesting events off the water.  Steve put on an excellent bar-be-que & desert.  So many thanks to Steve and I would like to award you the Colemere Vase as thanks for organising this event as well as the pre-rigging party.

The Theo Dodd Trophy is awarded for 2 handed boats sailed single handed.  There weren’t any qualifiers for this this year, but the Colemere Plate is run in conjunction with the Theo Dodd for singlehanders.  As with the Will O’the Wisp this is the last race of the day and was not well attended.  In this case, only 3 boats participated and 2 qualified.  2nd place goes to Pete Williams and 1st place to Hugh Farrington.

The Spirit of Sailing Trophy goes to someone who has shown the true spirit of sailing.  This person has also demonstrated his swimming abilities – when rescuing stranded sailors – Ian Ramage.

The Autumn Series saw 15 out of the 20 races being sailed.   24 sailors participated in this series and 5 completed the 8 races needed to qualify – identical statistics to the summer series.  In 3rd place, Pete Williams, 2nd place, Martin Cushing and 1st place, Hugh Farrington.

In the personal handicap Summer Series, 3rd place goes to Paul Bullock, 2nd to Hugh Farrington and 1st to Pete Williams again (I really must check how his handicap is being calculated!).

And that of course brings us to the Snowflake again which has been extended and is running through until 19 December, so I look forward to seeing you all out on the water!

I have been very pleased to see a few juniors joining in with racing this year, both crewing for parents and giving it a go themselves.  Next year we hope to be running a junior sailing calendar & training, which Steve Murphy has kindly offered to organise.  So I really hope that we will see more juniors out on the water over the next few years.  This year, I would like to award the Junior Trophy to 2 juniors who have joined in with the adult racing.  I would also like to award them the Lilleshall Trophy.  This trophy goes to the helm who has showed the most improvement in the current season.  Ben & Ryan Cushing.

I would also like to award the Ladies Trophy to Felicity Ramage.  Now you have your boat, there are no excuses for getting out on the water even more!

So this brings me to the grand count down.  In keeping with tradition set by Paul, I am going to do the top ten.  In 10th place, Derek Farnfield, 9th place, Mike Harris, 8th place, Matt Gilbert, 7th place, Paul Bullock, 6th place, Peter Williams, 5th place Roy Davies, 4th place, Hugh Farrington.  Hugh also takes the Seniors Trophy.  3rd place, Tom Harris, 2nd place, me.  I also take the Solo Trophy.  And the winner is Martin Cushing who gets the Laser Trophy and Masters Trophy.

Rob Sears

For those interested Personal Handicap adjusted results are here

Full Racing Results are here

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