Spring 2003


Commodore’s Report
Thing’s we need to know
Message from Joan Bray

Annual Club Fee
Work Party

Calendar To May
Start of Season Party
Open Weekend
Very Windy Sunday
Sailing Secretary Report
2002 Prizes
Annual Dinner 1
Annual Dinner 2
For Sale/Want
Murder Mystery Evening
Valentines Dinner
Land of Pasty Factories
Richmond Theatre
Tower of London
AGM & Prize Giving
In The Money
Web Site

The Sailing Program
The Last Race Day
Carrot and Coriander Soup

Web Site:

Editor: Richard Cannon 01932 786636


Commodores Report

Where to start? that is the question! Start at the beginning; continue to the end, then stop … where have I heard that before?

The first thing has to be to thank Rodger for all his work over the last five years. Rodger was an exceptional Commodore who brought to the job consummate management skills and an infectious enthusiasm for everything he undertook. When he took up the reins he told me that he thought I was going to be a hard act to follow. I must say that I feel the same way about him as I begin my second term as Commodore.

Rodger steps down leaving the club in good order. We have a new roof on the clubhouse and our finances are back to pre-safety boat engine levels. We have a good handle on the external politics surrounding Aquarius, including the Unitary Development proposals, issues surrounding the building of the upstream bridge and the ongoing saga of our lease.

We have a programme of work laid out for early 2003 including structural and electrical improvements to the club, all of which Rodger instigated. So thanks Rodger, I’ll try and keep things moving along.

One of the first things to be addressed this year was the growing need for a club Health & Safety plan. This came up at last years Sailboat Commodores Conference and all clubs were encouraged to get such a policy in place before it perhaps became a legal requirement. We now have such a document. It’s currently in its final stages of approval by the Management Committee and when finished will be available for all club members to read.

Another issue requiring urgent attention is our falling active sailing membership, especially amongst our youngsters. Many of our existing junior members are now at College or University and have less time to sail. This directly affects the number of boats we can expect on the water for Sunday racing. Considering the number of boats we have at the club, the turn out on Sundays is disappointing to say the least. This is another reason for encouraging the younger element who wants to race, who want to get their handicaps down, who want to sail at other venues and win races. We all really need to get behind our Open Day this year with both advertising and encouraging our colleagues and friends to come down and try sailing.

The clubs social side is in very good hands this year. Diana Carpenter has taken over from Madeline and has already organised a couple of excellent events. Many thanks go to Madeline for all her work over the last couple of years and our best wishes to her and Keith for there impending move to Sussex. Our Annual Dinner in the clubhouse has proved a great success over the last few years and I’m pleased to say that this years dinner has already been arranged with ‘Tasty Morsels’, the catering company that we use.

On the domestic front and despite repeated warnings about properly laying up boats for the winter the early January floods obviously caught several members out. Rodger, Keith, George and I spent a very cold and soggy New Years Day morning wading around in the river at the club trying to secure several dinghies that were in serious danger of floating away. I noted that a number of weather covers were also well past their ‘sell buy’ dates and doing little more than channeling rain water into the craft rather than keeping them dry.

In two days the river had risen such that it was lapping the transoms of the Lasers pulled up on the bank just beyond the reservoir overflow. Downstream of the car park ramp one of the cruisers sank and was dragged several yards downstream. Despite the depth of the flooding and the strength of the stream several members were seen wading up the towpath, on their own! and without buoyancy aids on! Now I understand that there is concern for craft during these sorts of river conditions but this behaviour is madness. The risk of being washed away is a very real one.

I’ll try again … before next winter go down to TAM Leisure on the Kingston Road at New Malden and buy a pair of screw in pickets. These are chrome steel, about two feet long with a third of that length formed like a 2” diameter corkscrew. At the other end is a large handhold or ring. Screw that fully into the ground either side of your dinghy adjacent to the side stays until only the top ring is showing. Secure a good length of rope to one of the pickets. With the free end take a turn around the mast stay, then up around the mast and down to the opposite side stay and finally down to the other picket. The dinghy now can’t rise or roll. For complete peace of mind the dinghies painter should also be tied securely to the nearest tree.

This years sailing and social programme is about to go to the printers and you will soon be receiving from our Secretary Joan Bray, invitations to renew your club membership for 2003/4. Finally and before I stop, the start of season party is set for the night of 29 March, 7:30 for 8:00, and I look forward to welcoming you all there.

Mike (Commodore but still Over Easy) Baker