Commodore's Musings - April 2015
Well that came around quickly!
TSC is now into the sailing season and we had the first Tuesday evening sail on the 7th April and yes, there was virtually no wind for the Merlins that came out. Rob Cage managed to get around all 6 laps in 30 minutes and then gave the club a virtuoso performance describing the difficulties of sailing an International Moth to a packed and buzzing club house. Thank you Rob.
There are a lot of things going on so I am going to attempt each month to explain developments and highlight forthcoming events and socials for your diaries.
In March the General Committee agreed to updating 2 Toppers to prove that they could be successfully rejuvenated. This was duly completed and two were sailed before Easter by me and Jemma. Great fun and proved that they are fully operational including a number of capsizes. The intention now is to bring the rest of the fleet up to the same level (subject to GC approval).
It is important that we promote the Topper as this is one of the Junior RYA pathway classes (the only one that is most suitable to our conditions), with Inland and National Championships with over 300 boats providing a fantastic calendar all over the country. The Topper has produced many Olympic and Development sailors, Alison Young and Giles Scott are the highest profile at the moment. The Toppers are club boats and as such are for all to sail please try them (remember to pay your £5 if you do). Ideally they are best sailed when the sailor is under 60Kg but I sailed one at an inland championships in not much wind and managed a 5th in one race weighing approx 80Kg. If you are worried about rigging them, just ask someone else as they go together easily, it takes 5 minutes. Finally on the Topper front we have set aside the 26th April as a date for a mini Topper fit out and regatta. Please come down in the morning help fit out the boats and learn how they go together and then race in the afternoon – first start 1pm.
I have promoted and GC has approved a new form of membership – The Affiliated Club Weekday Membership. The purpose of this membership is to encourage members of Clubs a significant distance away (over 50miles) to come to TSC during the week and have an enjoyable evening sail and partake in the social calendar of TSC. We are promoting this to a select group of clubs and hope that over the summer we gain a number of new members. Let's see how this works out!!
Development plans - last year the Club was successful in gaining a grant related to flood relief and repair works. We have now managed to get an extension until November 2015 for these works, which is great news. The intention is to replace approximately half of the metal sheet pilling along the face of the lower hard, starting at the slipway and going downstream beyond the Topper storage rack, backfill and add new top beam and facing board. The expected date of these works to start is the 21st September and they should be completed in 4 weeks. The disruption to sailing will be minimised as there will be no works during the weekend when we are sailing.
Now for the Development Plans part 2 - Jemma, Matt and I are working on a revised Development Plan which we are going to take to GC shortly and then we will need to present this to you at an EGM prior to applying for planning permission. The focus of phase one is changing facilities, we hope to present the detail shortly. I will be working with the team to keep Sport England on board with the plans in the hope that we can continue to make use of their grant. The expectation is that we will need to secure extra funding for a Changing Room block; we have a plan to make that process work which we will need your help with. That help will be in the form of you helping us to speak to the right people that you know; we do not intend to ask for donations or bonds from the existing membership.
Now for the Fun stuff
April has a full programme of Tuesday and Sunday sailing with an extra fun Topper Regatta on Sunday 26th. Check out the regular updates on the club website www.thamessailingclub.co.uk remember that the races cannot happen if there is no safety or race box cover so please make sure that you have booked in your duties.
The Tuesday suppers are going well with attendance growing each week. There is an email reminder each week to book a supper, this is important as preparation is done over the weekend and so we need to know volumes as soon as you can tell us. Therefore please make sure that you are on the feedmeontuesday email and book as early as you can.
Fun Fridays start on 1st May for members to come down to the club and mess around in and out of boats, in and out of the water. This is a great way for beginners to get more time on the water, but is generally a relaxed end of the week. We also need some 'old hands' on the balcony and in rescue boats so feel free to help out it is all good fun. The more the merrier!
May Bank Holiday sees the first RYA sail training course, so if you have friends who are interested please promote this.
I would also like to point out the first major social of the year is the Cocktail Party on 9th May, a great excuse for dressing up, Men in Blazers or DJs; Ladies in Cocktail dresses. Please put this in the calendar as it is all set to be a great party.
I wish you all a very successful April.