Sailing at clapham on the 7th March.

March 8, 2010 at 5:19 pm | Posted in News | Leave a comment

The weather was beautiful with brilliant sunshine all day, but a cold wind. The wind was a problem for some of us, ranging from hard gusts that almost overwhelmed the boats to no wind at all which left us drifting. Having said that it was a good day for all. Attendance was good, nine members and six boats of varying designs. We also had a film crew from the Media Studies Group at the University of Westminster who had asked if they might come and film the activities on the Common. They kept out of our way, although I was asked to give a brief interview on the history of the Club. I doubt though if we shall ever see the result of the filming.
What with one thing and another we started late, something that is getting to be the usual thing these days I regret to say, and we only got five races completed. Hugh,s WIDGET design being well to the fore in the hands of both Hugh and Leslie. Grant,s new purchase, one of the Club,s original fleet of COMICK,s, did well giving its owner great delight. Jim, with his somewhat older design, did well, as always, proving that the skipper has as much, or possibly more, influence on the outcome of a race than the design of the boat he is sailing.
The results were as follows-,
Race 1. Leslie, Grant, Jim.
race 2. Leslie, Jim, Derek.
Race 3. Hugh,Jim, Derek.
Race 4. Grant, Jim, Leslie.
Race 5. Jim, Grant, Leslie.
We had a fairly early close to the meeting, no one going out again after the lunch break. A good day,s racing in spite of a not very helpful wind.
NOTE. The Vintage Club will be at the pond on the 14th March.

As Chairman I am concerned about the point mentioned above. We are becoming a bit of a “laid back” Club were there is a seeming lack of commitment to getting to the Club at a reasonable time on a Sunday morning and getting down to racing, which after all is the main purpose of the Club. It was noticeable on Sunday the 7th that racing did not commence untill almost midday, members having drifted into the Clubhouse from times varying from 10.15 to past 11.30. When racing did eventually get under way there was no overall direction and the few races that followed were very leisurely. I feel members must decide what they want frrom the Club. Is it to be a racing Club with a bit of social chit chat at times, or a social club with time for a bit of racing. If it is to be the former then it is becoming obvious that there needs to be someone who will take on the task of a “racing secretary”, one who will stir people up to get their boats on the water and start racing, and once started keep the races following on with a minimum of delay. Sunday was a case in point. Jim put the buoys out and the starter box, but from then on no-one seemed keen to take control, although there were a few members who were not racing who could have taken that control. No-one seemed keen to record the finishers in order and put them down on the score sheet, and in case the point is made that there was no score sheet initially, surely a bit of initiative could have solved the problem, as in fact I did. Even when the score sheet was available it was still left to me to record the scores, even though other members were standing by the finish line and could well have done it.
If the Club is to continue to flourish I feel that more of the members must become involved, and take some responsibility for doing the few jobs that are neccessary, such as putting out the buoys, the starter box (after checking the batteries are OK) and, if nor racing themselves, stand by the finish line and record the finishers in order. There is also a problem in the turning off of the starter box when the countdown is finished, a job which I did on several occasions at risk of losing control of my boat, untill I did ask a non racing member to do it.
These are all such simple things but they will go some considerable way to making the meetings more enjoyable for all, and I ask that all members make an effort to get involved and take some responsibility in the runing of the Club. The Chairman.

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