AQSC Open Weekend
year, another open weekend! Why do we do these things I ask myself? Why
don't we just lock the gates, batten down the hatches and enjoy our
sailing. The answer to that is that course of action would ultimately
spell the demise of the club.
Our membership is not as young as it once was, nor is our
active sailing contingent as large as the membership. These things
conspire towards stagnation and diminishing income. We have to
advertise, train and encourage a new and younger membership to ensure a
future for Aquarius.
Perhaps a once a year event is not enough, perhaps we
need several. We certainly need to involve general membership more in
recruitment activities. Everybody at the club must have friends,
neighbours or relatives that might like to come down and try sailing.
The broader this net the more people are reached to a point when it can
become self perpetuating. Hampton SC has actually reached this point
and Littleton SC has a waiting list.
Apathy is a
killer. Leaving it to someone else is not an option. At every
opportunity, not just for the Open Weekend, everybody needs to promote
the club and encourage people to come sailing. If you don't this club
has no future and despite is history and longevity it will die.
The number of people that we can get to an Annual
Dinner or a Ladies Night should not be interpreted as 'active
membership'. It is a reflection of our membership's preference, i.e.
social over sailing, born out by the number of disused boats lying on
the clubs moorings.
Advertising started well in advance and covered
handouts, posters, Council websites & notice boards, schools,
shops, radio stations and newspapers.
This year's open weekend, held over the 6th and 7th
of May, was one of the best attended that we have had even though the
weather on both days was not particularly good. The majority of
Saturday was still and overcast. Mid afternoon it suddenly blew and for
half an hour the sailing was good, then the wind dropped and the rain
started. Game over. Fortunately visitors started arriving as soon as
the gates opened at 10:30.
Sunday was also a still, warm, day but at
least it didn't rain until the very end when we where packing up. BUT
by lunch time only a couple of visitors had arrived and it seemed as if
we were going to have a terrible day. Then after lunch the flood gates
opened and we were extremely busy.
On Saturday we had 10 groups totaling 22 people and
on Sunday 22 groups totaling 45 people; probable our busiest day ever,
helped by several large family groups. The total number of visitors
even exceed those we had to the Big Blue promotion in 1999. On both
days we had quite a number of youngsters and a lot of interest. It's
always difficult to project the 'take-up' but there was quite a lot of
genuine interest and I think the weekend team were fairly optimistic
that the percentage would be good.
Many thanks to the whole team, at least 21 members
with 9 boats, who worked really hard over the weekend to make the event
a success. These included Pat Irving, Mike Baker, Richard Cannon, Keith
& Madeline Hatton, George & Joan Bray, Bryan Clements, Graham
Thompson, Rodger & Linda Wheeler, Laurie Bridges, Eric Bridgewater,
Diana & Peter Carpenter, Liz Archer, Charles & Mary Dennis,
John Botterill, Leo & Anne Bond. My apologies to anyone I've
Mike (Over Easy) Baker