ung blood joining the club this years open weekend was seen as pretty important.
Informational flyers were made available to all members for local posting and distribution.
Ads were placed in the Elmbridge and Kingston editions of ‘The Guardian’ newspaper.
Radio Jackie advertised the open weekend via their local community information broadcasts
for two weeks prior to the event. We backed this up with information on our website.
That’s the conventional approach so … a thought …If every existing member introduced
one new ‘potential’ member to the club each year we probably would not need to hold
a open weekend. Bit radical? To much trouble? What do you think?
With an ageing membership and little yoLuckily the road closure at the junctions
of the Lower and Upper Sunbury Roads was lifted a few days before the weekend so
banners were put up on the Thames Water fences directing potential visitors. Signs
were also put up on the Lower Road directing people coming from the Walton direction.
The weekend kicked of with a bright sunny Saturday. Some eighteen people visited
the club throughout the day and most went out on the water in either a SigneT, Bosun,
David Jennings sailor/cruiser or the safety boat.
Sunday was interesting. We had twenty-eight visitors throughout the day. There was
a very strong westerly blowing which at one point, I was reliably informed, gusted
at Force 6 (look that up on your Beaufort Scale). It was deemed far too windy to
take visitors out in the dinghies but the safety boat did sterling service and seemed
to be out most of the day.
The only person who ventured out on Sunday was Rob Britton in club Laser Peanuts.
He had a wild time with the dinghy almost taking off at times. It was very entertaining
for both visitors and members alike but inevitably he capsized. With the first one
he tried to wipe out some spectators with the mast laying over the bank followed
by a classic recovery and he came in to repair the toe strap restraints.
The second capsize proved more problematic. He managed to go over the top again and
onto the plate but then slipped and fell. During the righting it went straight over
the other way and was immediately swept downstream Rob became entangled in the mainsheet
and at one point I think it was around his neck. Because of this he couldn’t right
the Laser. When the safety boat arrived their first priority was to get him out of
the water. After that was achieved the Laser was eventually righted and towed back
to the club. That was ‘sailing’ over for the day and Rob retired to the showers.
My sincere thanks to everybody who helped over the entire weekend especially Joan
and George Bray who handled club information/membership together with Richard. John
Neale, Pete Carpenter and Dave Jennings who took visitors sailing on Saturday. The
safety boat teams on both days including Graham Thompson and Tony Hopkins, Diana
Carpenter and Pat Irving and a number of helpers for looking after the catering on
both days. Many other members also helped to show visitors around and chat with them.
Thank you all you did a great job.
I think almost everybody who came to Aquarius over the weekend will have gone away
with a very positive view of a well equipped and friendly club. Now comes the difficult
bit … converting those visitors into members.