Commodore’s Newsletter 2016

Dear all,

2016 has arrived and may I wish you a very Happy New Year.
For those of you who have not seen me around the club house or on the water my name is Clive and I have been given the honour of being elected by the members to be Commodore for 2016. I sail a Comet 704 which is a little like a cut down Laser. It is a boat ideally suited for small water sailing.

My introduction to Shearwater was by attending the Comet Open which the club holds each year. I drove down from London and was stunned by the beauty of the lake and its setting. Whilst sailing I was fascinated by looking up watching buzzards circling high above me as I vainly checked my burgee to try and work out the wind direction. When I returned to my old club I remember saying what a beautiful place to sail but a nightmare to race. Two years later I retired and moved to Bourton, a village near Gillingham. Shearwater was the nearest club and so four years ago I became a member. My views on the sailing have not changed, it’s still a nightmare picking the shifts but I was made very welcome by the friendly Shearwater members and the rest as they say is history. It is a great club!

The high winds and rain have not made me sorry that sailing for the time being has stopped. I should, like many other members cast an eye over my boat and carry out the necessary repairs before the new sailing season starts in March. I regularly fail in this endeavour.
The membership renewal form has been updated and is available on the website. Don’t forget to license your boat with Longleat Estate.

Details of the work parties (two to be held in February) and the first Social events will follow in my next newsletter.

It would be remiss of me not to thank the committee members who have stood down this year. We are a small club and rely heavily on the willing volunteers to ensure its smooth running.
This year there will be change in the organisation of the duty roster. All members are expected to do two duties throughout the year. Early inspection of the roster will enable you to select dates that fit in with you and your family. There are 38 sailing days requiring a minimum of an Officer of the Day (OOD); an Assistant Officer of the Day (AOD) and a Safety boat operative. In windy weather two people are needed on the safety boat. Mathematically, we need a minimum 114 volunteers to run the sailing on Sundays throughout the year. (The Sailing committee have generously volunteered to run the Tuesday evening racing between them). A commitment of two duties is essential if the work load is to be shared. If you do not sign up then you will be allocated your duty days.

2016 looks to be an exciting year. New race formats and a full racing programme. It only takes one sunny day and a good sailing breeze for me to wish I was out on my boat sailing around the lake and watching the buzzards circling. Roll on the 6th of March and the First Bash.

Clive Chapman