So, where do I start ?
Firstly, thank you to your outgoing President, Tim O'Brien, for being a steady hand on the helm over these unprecedented times. Tim’s calming words and sage advice has resulted in a rescheduled worlds in Australia for February 2023 and Weymouth for 2025. Closer to home, Tim and the team of Bobbie Salmon, Mike Kilbee et al broke unchartered ground and ran the 2021 nationals in the middle of Covid restrictions. Let nobody underestimate this, it was no mean feat and I would particularly like to thank our hosts, the Royal Northern and Clyde Yacht Club and their brilliant members for stepping up and making the event happen.
For those of you who didn’t make it, we had 2 contrasting days of sailing, steadier winds from the sea on day 1 and stronger puffier and shiftier winds from over the mountains on day 2. Our winners Graham and Chris were well deserved, but they were pushed by the likes of Nathan Batchelor and Riggy winning a race in 3942 and it was good to see the new Ginger Boat at the front of the fleet. The wet sailing out of Rhu marina worked well and I felt it really shortened the time to get out on the water. Our sponsors including Glenturret Distillery deserve a mention. Glenturret supplied 36 bottles worth over £1800 to the fleet and I hope the lucky ones amongst you are enjoying a wee dram and reliving those really tricky beats.
Tim also helped our amazing Secretary, Keith Jamieson run our first ever hybrid AGM over zoom. One of the salient points from this meeting raised by Adrian Simpson was from this year onwards, we will look to issue your membership card electronically where possible, saving printing and distribution costs.
Yes ,Covid has interrupted our sailing, but I think the way sailing has restarted firstly with club sailing and then gradually expanding to Open events has reinvigorated our local clubs. I hope the next steps in our return to sailing will see good turnouts at the forthcoming Scottish Championships at Loch Earn ( Sept 25th & 26th) and Inland Championships at Chew Valley (Oct 8th & 9th). I know Bill Chard and the team at Chew are busy trying to organise a package to entice you all to travel to the West Country. There’s a healthy open circuit fast approaching too, with beautiful venues such as Aldeburgh, Llangorse and Royal Windemere.
We’re already thinking about next year’s nationals at Hayling Island. We hope to introduce a seeding system to run in conjunction with the overall event. We still need to think of the name of the 3 fleets (red, white and blue ?) but the idea is to introduce even more competition into the nationals giving everyone something to sail for. Don’t worry, you can still win races and the nationals if you’re in the blue fleet – but it gives you something to fall back on if you’re not beating Graham Vials and Chris Turner.
Historically, the classic and silver fleet has not been well attended at HISC – Hayling Bay can be quite a demanding place in a SW breeze. We would welcome your views on whether next year’s classic nationals would be better served at a specific inland event (e.g. like this year’s Grafham’s Classic Open). Our webmaster Simon Thomson is preparing an on-line questionnaire so we can understand your views.
I hope to catch up with you during the remainder of the sailing season, but if I don’t please feel free to get in contact via email
Flying 15 GBR 4055