Dear Members Festive greetings to you all. I don’t think many of us will be sad to see the back of 2020. As we endure yet another lockdown here in the Democratic Peoples’ Republic of Cymru, March seems a distant memory when we were assured that the tide would be turned in just twelve weeks. However, the vaccines mean that we can at least now look forward to next year with real optimism and a genuine expectation that the summer months will see us on the path back to normal life. With hope on the horizon, and the days now getting longer, I am sure that you will be keen to know how the Club has fared over the last year and what you can look forward to at the Club in the coming season.
Financial position – where are we now?
The accounts will be available as soon as they are finalised but it will come as no surprise to learn that income was impacted significantly by last year’s enforced closure and restrictions on operations. Income fell by almost £200k mainly due to the loss of bar sales and event income. However, I am pleased to report that through rigorous control over the P & L we have largely maintained our cash balances and are confident that we have the reserves to weather what are likely to be a barren few months until the spring. We continue, as we must, with measures to protect cash reserves until we are able to resume operations and have, effectively, placed the Club into a state of hibernation. Other than the office opening for two half-days a week, all staff are now furloughed and will remain so for the time being.
The messaging – backed up by actions such as extending the furlough scheme until the end of April – is that we will be living with severe restrictions until spring but can look forward to an easing over the course of the summer. We will therefore aim to provide members with as normal a season as we are able to, both on and off the water. Our expectation is that whilst distancing and other measures will ease through the summer, they will continue beyond Easter, so the likelihood is that last season’s members-only policy will remain in place, and extend into the summer months.
On the waterside, whilst we operated no formal race-programme last season, most fleets spent time on the water and our experience was that the smaller waterside team coped well, albeit with periodic support during pinch-points from members. Our waterside team is now furloughed to preserve cash, and we have no idea when the Welsh government will allow larger gatherings and events. Our plans, therefore, are to ensure that we have sufficient waterside resource ready to operate a Club race programme for members this season, but to restrict commitments to non-member events and championships; commitments that will involve the expense of scaling-up in readiness to host events but which may well be wasted if we are unable to hold those events. Specifically:
We aim to operate a normal full race programme for the Club fleets, which we are confident of being able to manage with a limited waterside team and in compliance with existing restrictions. This will include Keelboat Week which will, again, probably be members-only.
You will have received a note that was sent out last week on Dinghy Week. We are planning to host a “Dinghy Week-Lite” week of beach-based racing but with no clubhouse social programme. A copy of the note is included with this email.
We will monitor the situation and make a decision on Mirror Week early next year.
We plan to host the Squib National Championships during the second week of September. The original plan had been to stage the Nationals in June but we think the chances of being able to offer the full waterside and social experience expected will be increased by deferring the proposed date to September. We are particularly keen to host the Squib Nationals because it’s highly likely that one of the SCYC fleet will win! Other than the Squibs, we will not be hosting any other championships in 2021.
On the shoreside, the refurbishment of the clubhouse interior, and completion of the exterior steelwork repainting project mean that members have exclusive use of the smartest premises in one of the finest locations in the UK. It is our intention to develop a programme of social attractions throughout the season, aiming to offer something to all membership categories. Plans included a season-opening hog-roast party and Members’ summer BBQ with complimentary Prosecco reception. These plans obviously fell victim to Covid in 2020 and restrictions next year will dictate what we are able to do, but Chris and Esther are primed to get to work as and when circumstances allow. We want to ensure that the Club is the automatic choice for all members when out in Abersoch – a real members club.
The funeral of our great friend Tim Little was held earlier this month. A photograph is attached of his friends from the RC Lasers giving Tim a moving and fitting salute on his final passage through the village.
Annual and Special General Meetings
As has been reported previously, emergency legislation has permitted the deferral of our AGM and given me a perfect excuse to dodge awkward questions. I have always seen the General Meetings as more than a box-ticking exercise and very much an opportunity for members to gather, discuss Club business and enjoy each other’s company whilst boosting bar profits. We had all anticipated being able to hold a meeting before now but, as time moves on with no prospect of being able to hold a large gathering in the near future, I think we may need to consider dealing with the various matters in an online meeting early next year. As someone who sat maths O- Level armed with a slide-rule and log tables, I’d be very happy to hear from any techies out there able to assist.
SCYC Facebook Members Group
Anna has asked me to encourage members to join the SCYC Members Group. It is a great way for members to maintain contact during this period of enforced closure and whilst many of us remain subject to travel restrictions.
Subscriptions for the year from October 2020 to September 2021 are due on 1 st January. I know it’s hardly ideal timing that the latest lockdown should coincide with subscription renewals but we will ensure that the Club provides as full a range of membership benefits this season as is possible. Can I thank the many members who have already paid and urge others to help the Club by paying promptly? The new direct debit scheme is proving extremely popular and Stacey will be happy to help members wishing to set up direct debit arrangements.
Finally, your Council and all the Club’s staff send our very best wishes for Christmas and the New Year. We will all miss our usual celebrations over New Year in the company of friends at the Club, but the end is in sight and we look forward to welcoming you all back to the Club in the spring for the start of a cracking 2021 season.