Unfortunately this year we have had the worst sailing conditions though out the year I can remember since I started sailing in 1969. There have generally been light winds and in mid April we were unable to sail for two consecutive Sundays due to the strong current; the first time this has happened since I started I joined the Club in 1992. Then at the end of the season we had the floods with the water level up to 2 feet over the path and we were unable to sail for the last 5 Sundays.
In spite of this we have had good support although slightly down on the record 1999 season.
The normal entry was about 6 to 9 boats per race and the best was 11 boats; it was a real pleasure having a good number of boats to race against. A total of 51 people helmed or crewed in at least one race.
The Club boats were well used with generally 1 to 2 boats in use and on two occasions four club boats were in use.
The Open day and Regatta were made two-day events again. The National Big Blue Go Boating weekend was combined with the Open days but it seemed to have very little impact compared to last year. The Regatta was very poor because it was one of our no wind days.
There were the usual visits to Bewl for the Spring and August Bank Holiday weekends. The Spring Meeting was extremely wet and windy on Saturday, and extremely windy Sunday but a good sail in a F3-4 on Monday;
we packed up in a torrential thunder storm. The August visit was a big improvement and gave some of the most enjoyable sailing of the year.
With the influx of new members, including a number of very keen juniors, training was organised for Wednesday afternoons from the beginning of July to the beginning of September. These were very popular and at times there were more than ten people at the Club. Leah Farmer was very active in organising groups of youngsters to come and Brian Clements was a big help.
AQSC members supported all the SigneT Meetings and came away with the majority of the prizes. At the Signet National Championships Richard Cannon, with Robert Britton as crew, and Mark Hollamby tied for overall first place with Mark winning on tiebreak. Robert did very well to come 1st in the Crew invitation race helming for Richard, and to finish 12th in the single-handed race.
Bob Jones has supported many Skipper and Catapult meetings and has travelled away from the Club more than anyone.
There was a major addition to the Club fleet at the end of the season with the purchase of Aquarius 2000, a Pico one/two handed boat obtained with a Millennium Awards for All Grant; Charles Dennis is to be thanked for his effort in achieving this for us. Due to the bad conditions it has only been out once with Charles on the last Sunday of the season when it was the only boat out. It will be in great demand next year.
The AQSC Web site and E-mail continue to be useful communication media. The latest race results are generally available on the web site by the evening following Sunday racing. Pictures of the storm and flood damage at the Club were also published there. I hope members are finding it useful. A list of Members with Email is on the notice board; if anyone is missing would they please let me have details. I would welcome any suggestions on improving the communication, marketing and presentation aspects of the web site.
As usual all trophies have been allocated to Personal Handicap results and this gives much closer Series results and usually helps spread the Trophies amongst the competitors instead of all going to one helm. But this year it has failed baldly again and Michael Stevens won three trophies. Some results were very close with only 4.75 points between the first 5 PH places in the Sprint series.
I would welcome suggestions that might improve support for events. Am I giving members what they want?, should racing be different times or days, too much or too little racing, alternative events. Please let me know so I have a chance to incorporate any suggestions in next year’s programme.