A Message From Our New Commodore Barrie Winship
Published 11:55 on 13 May 2020
First of all, thank you for electing me as your Commodore of this great Club, although it is not quite how I imagined it would be under the current circumstances.
I would like to thank BSC President Fiona Brown for coordinating and Chairing our first online AGM, and Club Trustee Alan Hicks for acting as our Returning Officer for the online voting. On behalf of your General Committee I have also invited Fiona to continue as our President for another year and she has graciously accepted. I must also thank two outgoing officers for their contributions to our club sailing: Simon Redfearn, who has done a sterling job as Vice Commodore Sailing, and Warren Tudor, Cadet Captain for looking after the interests of our younger members.
I understand that it is customary to say a few words on my vision of where I think the club will be going over the next 5 years. I would like to tackle this in two stages, beginning with 2020/2021 and moving on from there. 2020 thus far has been very challenging both for the Club and all of its members and now we have the uncertainty over the way forward during the next few weeks and months obviously a great deal will depend on the advice from the Government and the RYA. Rest assured, that as soon as it is safe to do so, the Club will open, possibly with some restrictions to start and then when circumstances allow, these will be lifted. Normally, we would be comparing the Club's performance against the targets on our 5-Year Plan but the Covid-19 virus has impacted our ability to carry out some of the tasks set for this year. I have attached a copy the 5-Year Plan for information (see link at the bottom of this message) and one of my main objectives is to update the plan going forward. One notable achievement for 2020 was the completion in March of the new Sail Management Centre, which now stands proudly overlooking the Creek!
As you are aware, with the club facilities closed, there will be financial implications this year, as our main sources of revenue i.e. subscriptions, sailing, bar and galley are due to be considerably less than previous years. Sadly, many of our planned events such as the Town Regatta and open meetings have been cancelled due to the virus and club sailing is postponed but with a view to trying to reschedule some of our trophy races to later in the year when circumstances permit. The financial problem will roll into 2021 with a discounted membership for those who are full members in 2020 the amount of this discount is yet to be decided.
Having said all this, the club is still functioning at one level, currently with the weekly Buzz letter (thank you Fiona). Buzz helps to keep members informed of the current situation and the online virtual sailing for members to race against each other is a welcome addition, even though we are not actually on the water. If we take the virus issue out of the equation and the impact this has had on the club so far, the club is doing remarkably well. We will continue to focus on maintaining our membership numbers and the fact that we are still bucking the downward trend of other clubs is also encouraging; we also have a strong cadet force and a very buoyant Training School. The skill levels within the club will enable us to continue to host large open meetings and championships. For example, the very successful Tera Nationals last year has prompted enquiries from other classes to hold similar events over the next few years.
The club is functioning well in all major areas, however there is one area that does give me cause for concern and that is the galley, which for several years has suffered from not having enough volunteers to manage it at weekends. Major events such as Pyefleet and large Open Meetings are covered. What we really need are some volunteers to come forward to operate the galley over normal weekends. If there is someone or a group of members who are willing to become involved with the galley, please do not hesitate to contact me firstname.lastname@example.org or just feel free to speak to me down at the club once we re-open. I would be more than willing to listen to your ideas, don't be shy, it really would help the club.
I feel sure that with our membership and our can-do attitude, it will not take long to get the club back up to speed and then it is all about encouraging members to come back to sailing. Moving on from that it is all about growing the membership and looking at areas of the club that we feel could grow more such as training, cadets and social activities.
Thanking you in advance for your support and I look forward to seeing as many of you as possible at the Club when normal service resumes! Keep safe and well.
Last updated 10:48 on 10 March 2021