First, can I wish you all a very Happy New Year and send best wishes for the coming year on behalf of your Council and the Club’s staff. All the signs are that 2022 will be a year in which the worst of the disruptions of the past couple of years are firmly in the rear-view mirror and we can all look forward to an enjoyable and full season both on and off the water.
We had another fantastic season on the membership front, welcoming a record number of new members and ending last season with a membership of just over 1200 individuals, which is the highest it’s been in years. What is particularly encouraging, though, is the number of younger members and young families joining, being as they are the future of the Club. It was impossible not to notice the great atmosphere in the Club during the season with members of all ages enjoying the welcoming, relaxed and safe environment unique to a true members’ club in thespectacular setting that we enjoy. We made particular efforts to control access to the Club’s facilities and I am very keen to ensure the continued protection of members’ rights. SCYC is a members’ club, the benefits of which should be enjoyed only by those entitled to the privileges that come with membership.
2. On the water 2021
It was a cracking season on the water despite covid restrictions limiting our ability to host open events. A full Club programme of racing for all fleets was rounded off with a record entry list of over forty boats in Keelboat Week and SCYC boats taking all
prizes in all classes. Arguably, the Class 2 Captain’s decision to restrict entries to SCYC boats may have been a contributory factor in this triumphant clean sweep but a great performance none the less!
Dinghy Week was, sadly, a casualty of the restrictions on open events as we were unable to secure permission for the anticipated number of competitors to use the slipway to access the beach.
However, we did host two hugely successful events. Great efforts from the teams behind them saw over twenty boats on the water in Mirror Week, and the season at the Club ended on a high with over forty boats contesting the Squib Nationals in September and our own Mike Budd, with crewMark Platt, taking the crown. More success followed just days later when Malcolm Blackburn and Steve Allso took the Squib Inlands title at Rutland.
A new dinghy coaching initiative spearheaded by Chris Hoppins and Andy Wilkins providing supervised dinghy sailing sessions to youngsters proved immensely popular with the younger families who took advantage. It’s early days but we’ll build upon the initiative this season. It’s a great member benefit offering a supervised activity to parents of young children, and will help get the “new blood”, and next generation of Club sailors, onto the water.
3. On the water 2022
A full waterside programme is in the diary for the coming season. We are confident that the Club’s racing programme will not be affected by any lingering restrictions, but mindful of the possibility that larger open events may yet be impacted. As far as the dinghy racing events are concerned, our particular issue is the need to secure permission from the local council for competitors to use the slipway to access the sea.
We were extremely keen to host the Laser Nationals this season, but took the very difficult decision last year to recommend that it would be in their interests to seek an alternative venue. It’s fair to say that the recommendation was not welcomed but, as things stand, the local council’s permission is still needed to use the slipway and, in view of the large number of likely entrants and continuing uncertainty, we can’t with any confidence provide reassurance that permission will be granted, without which it would be impossible to host the event. I think that developments over the past fewweeks on the covid front, particularly in Wales, bear out our concerns.
We are, though, planning for Dinghy Week to return to its traditional slot at the end of July, and to host Mirror Week during the week before Keelboat Week in August. As these events are in our control, we are confident that we will be able tailor them to fit in with any restrictions that may be in place. We are also looking forward to welcoming the Solos for their nationals in July and the Darts for theirs in August, confident that the numbers involved will be manageable in the face of any restrictions. So, a busy and exciting season across dinghy and keelboat fleets to lookforward to.
4. Off the water
Any restrictions in force at the time will obviously have a bearing on what we are able to do on the organised social front but we are aiming to offer a full and varied social programme, catering for all. Some key dates for the diary over the coming few months are:
5th February to 19th March – Six Nations rugby
12th February – ABBAsoch Party Night
12th March – Fitting-out Supper
16th April – Easter Supper
4th June – Jubilee Supper
As I say, we are keen to ensure that all ages and interests are catered for, and always welcome any suggestions and offers of help.
5. Council Newbies
Fortunately, we still have members with the commitment, broad shoulders and rhinoceros skin needed to step into the shoes of those who have effected their escapes. Since my last update Louise Baldwin and Steve Harral have stepped down
from their respective portfolios of Club Secretary and Member Relations, and Anna Fern from her off-Council role handling marketing and communications. A huge thanks to Louise, Steve and Anna for their contributions over the last few years. I’m delighted to welcome three new members to your Council; Adam Collinson as Club Secretary, Selina Collinson, picking up the Communications and Marketing brief, and Rachel Dixon who will handle Member Relations. At less than half the age of most of the rest of the Council Rachel will bring a refreshingly youthful voice, articulating the views of the younger membership contingent! In accordance with the Articles, having been elected by the Council to fill a vacancy, all three will offer themselves for re- election at the next SGM.
It is perhaps worth mentioning, whilst on the subject, that Council membership is not some sort of arcane closed-shop. To ensure the continued smooth functioning of the Club your Council has to act from time to time to fill positions that become vacant, but
it is open to any member with views on the running of the Club to offer themselves for membership of the Council. It can actually be both rewarding and enjoyable – most of the time anyway!
6. ClubV1 Members App
The widespread adoption of the ClubV1 Members App by members has been extremely pleasing. If you’re not yet using it, can I encourage you to give it a go? Being a “Boomer” myself, with a hazy recollection of struggling with a slide-rule in maths O level, I can understand that some of a certain generation are not totally comfortable with some modern technology, but it really is very simple to download onto your smartphone and use. Amongst other things, the app allows you to keep abreast of what’s going on at the Club with information on events and bar opening times, and to manage your bar card, helping you to get full value from your
membership. The guidance on installing the app is included with this email, and Stacey will be happy to help if you give her a call.
Many thanks to everyone who has paid this year’s subscription, in particular those who responded to my request to move to payment by direct debit. It is, as I said in my October missive, a big help to the Club. As a quick refresher of the answers to queries that you may have about payment by direct debit:
The 9% discount for paying subscriptions before the beginning of March will be applied in full to direct debits set up before that date. It is normal practice to levy a charge for payment by monthly direct debit, but we will apply no such charge. The monthly direct debit will simply be the annualsubscription applicable divided by the remaining months in the financial year. Direct debit instructions received by the 5th of the month will be processed, and payments started, that month.
By way of a gentle reminder, subscriptions for the financial year 1st October 2021 to 30th September 2022 were due for payment on 1st January. I know that the timing is hardly ideal, coming hot on the heels of Christmas, but the direct debit option will help to spread the pain. Stacey will be in the office on Mondays and Fridays until about mid-afternoon and happy to assist with any queries.
Something that has been on the “to do” list for years is a review of our subscription categories. In comparison with other members’ clubs we have an abundance of categories, some of which, arguably, do not reflect the way times and demographics have changed since they were introduced. It’s a tricky one because any change means, inevitably, that there will be winners and losers but, if time allows, it is something that I think would be worth considering by the members.
8. Articles of Association
The Club’s Articles – effectively the contract between the Club as a corporate legal entity and the members – are well and truly out of date, having been drafted in accordance with the Companies Act 1985 which was superseded by the Companies Act 2006. Whilst this may seem an irrelevant detail it did, in fact, cause us practical difficulties over the past couple of years because, amongst other things, they do not allow for anything other than fully quorate general meetings in person or for written resolutions. Happily, in Adam, we have the services on your Council of a recently- retired Eversheds partner and he has produced an up to date CA 06 compliant set of Articles. These will be put before the next AGM for adoption.
Hopefully, this gives a taster of what there is to look forward to at the Club this coming season. As your Council, our objective is simply to do our best to ensure that the Club provides the service that you, the members, want. We always welcome feedback on what we’re getting right, as well as what we’re getting wrong, and any suggestions you have on improving the offering from the Club.
The weeks will fly by until the season proper kicks off at Easter and I look forward to seeing you back at the Club in the year ahead.
With best wishes