Summer 2004


Commodore’s Bit
Annual Open Weekend
Anti-Social Behaviour
Bewl Water
Bodgett & Son
Commodores Conference
Dinghy Show
Dinghy's go walkabout
Farewell to Maggie
First Sail of Year
Greenwich Walk
Hampton SC Regatta
May Bank Holiday
Mid Thames Trophy
News of Members
Ode to Joan Bray
Quiz Night
Regatta and Barbecue
Sailing Secretary Report
Social Calendar
ST Open Grafham Water
ST Open Paxton Lakes
Start of Season Party
Trailer Park
Virus Strikes Again
Wed. afternoon Racing

The RYA Commodores Conference

This is always held on the first morning of the Dinghy Show in the Londesborough Room. It usually starts around 10:00am with registration and coffee and kicks off an hour later.

This year John Bagnall, the RYA's Marketing Manager welcomed everybody and outlined the agenda for the conference. He was followed by Dave Ritchie (National Sailing Coach) and Alan Oliver (Coach Development Manager) with a talk on 'Your club and the RYA'.

Edmund Whelan (RYA Legal & Government Affairs Manager) was up next to cover 'Club Officials and their Legal Liabilities'. This included some useful, and worrying, information about insurance for club officials and the new liquor licensing requirements for clubs shortly being introduced. These and other items replaced the earlier agenda item concerning risk assessment.

Sources of club funding was then covered by an external sponsorship consultant. This was very interesting and focused on sponsorship and what it can do for the sponsor and the sponsored.

The perception is far removed from the reality. If you ever thought it was about being given loads of money for putting a few stickers on your boat, think again. More information can be found at and

The meeting ended with Jon White (RYA Windsurfing/Onboard Manager and Jenny Anderson (Head of the Maritime Leisure Research Group) at Southampton University talking about a national programme to recruit, retain, recognize and reward volunteers. Have a look at for details.

John Bagnall then took questions from the floor. One item was about the RYA's growing concerns about entrapment under modern dinghies. This has result in fatalities because self bailing hulls have little or no air pockets when they invert and buoyancy aids make it difficult to dive down and out.

Although 'formal' by necessity these conferences are actually quite laid back and in addition to providing information to the delegates they are also a forum for Commodores from all over the country to meet and exchange experiences and ideas. Over a hundred and forty clubs were represented this year.

The RYA has worked hard to present itself as a much more user friendly organization and the success of our Olympic yachtsmen and women has helped this aim. As a result there is now a lot more Government money available to help fund many of their initiatives, such as 'Onboard'. All together a very worthwhile start to the 2004 Dinghy Show and the lunch wasn't bad either!

Mike (With Commodore's hat on) Baker