Another year passed, another year sailed. This year we continued with the now standard schedule of Wednesday evening racing, Sailing in Company and special weekend events. RS200, Fireflies and Club Regatta were well supported by many Volunteers, too many to list and risk missing someone out, I would like to thank everyone involved with those events.
The clubs interaction with external classes is growing with more events this year and several future events already in the works. The International Cadet Class has used the club as a training base three times this year cited as one of their best locations to get practice out at sea.
The Club Regatta had 19 boats instead of the previously seen 30 however it’s important to note that we had no visiting classes, showing that engagement by club sailors was up on previous years. For 2024 I am reaching out to classes to boost these numbers.
Wednesday evening racing was slightly down on numbers but enjoyed as ever by all. The Crow’s Nest Team have worked wonders and the evenings of racing have run like clockwork with Richard setting the courses. I would like to thank Richard for his contributions during his time in post as Sailing Captain. I look forward to working with anyone willing to step up and be involved in the Sailing Section whether it be maintenance, safety, crows nest or the Race Officer role.
The Safety Boat team continues to be magnificent with a slightly larger pool of volunteers than previous years with a core of stalwart volunteers. Both rib trailers were at the end of their life and following numerous repairs have finally been replaced with brand new units, their purchase made possible by the contributions made by the environment Agency. The tractor continues to be a concern however it is being kept going through its annual service and additional maintenance carried out by Pete Fisk, Nick Read and Nick Stones.
What cannot be fixed in house any further is rib Giles which over winter will be sent away for much needed transom and floor rebuild. Additionally the current transom is low and the boat becomes swamped when reversing or operating at sea. The new transom will be raised with a new long shaft engine being fitted. Both engines are “tired” and have the highest hours that pass through Sea Mark Nunn. The opportunity to raise the transom and fit a new engine come hand in hand. The club can withstand the cost of replacing one engine, not both. The old engine will be retained as a spare for Miss Deben. This puts us in a good position of having a new engine on Giles and Miss Deben’s old engine having a spare. This is one of several projects that the club “needs” to do, therefore I hope you can all support the increase in membership to support the continued operation and future aspirations of sailing at the club.
You will see in the Accounts that the Training Centre appears to have operated at a loss, however as explained in the Treasurers Report the cost of boat repairs and fuel have been attributed to the Training Centre which of course presents itself in a concerning manner. This issue has already been addressed for next year. The pool of instructors needs to be grown. We passed our inspection with flying colours many thanks to Alan and his continued oversight.
I look forward to 2024 which will see the return of the National 12 National Championships and hopefully a Club Regatta pushing 30 boats.