Summer 2005


Commodore's Report
Anti Social Behaviour
Bewl Water
Buoyancy Aids
Chinese Takeaway
Club Photographers
Club Refurbishment
Commodore's Conference
Dinghy Show
Easter Egg Trophy
Entrance gate Security
Hog's Back Brewery
Licensing Law Update
MTT Work Party
Mid Thames Trophy
News of Members
Open Weekend
Palm Court Evening
Patrol Boat Service
Pat's Rules Evening
Regatta & BBQ/Jazz Night
River House Barn Concert
Rules & By-laws
Skittles Night
Social Calendar
Start of Season Party
ST Open Paxton
Teddington Theatre Club
Wednesday PM Sailing

AQSC Open Weekend

What a weekend! By Sunday night we'd had twenty-seven individuals, couples or families through the gates!

These weekends are very important and provide a showcase for the club. They are our opportunity to promote Aquarius and attempt to increase membership. This is vital because over the years AQSC membership has been falling and this has an impact on income versus costs.

This year's open weekend was held over 14 & 15 May. Pre advertising was done via local newspapers, Radio Jackie, banners and information leaflets distributed to the members for advertising the event in their local areas.

The weather can have a direct impact on attendance. This year the forecast was sunny with intermittent cloud, wind 15 mph out of the NE on Saturday, so fairly cool, dropping to 10 on Sunday.

At one point I had a dozen boats out on the water and still had people waiting to go afloat; but it wasn't just numbers, this year there was a surprising increase in youngsters. I think something like fifteen to twenty over the weekend ranging from teenage down to eight year olds. We even had a three month old baby being fed in the car park.

Saturday started slowly but eventually yielded about ten individuals, couples or families, many living in the local area. It was encouraging that many of the parents had sailed at some time or another and wanted to get their kids into the sport. The standard of sailing from some of these children was excellent and they took to the water as if to the manor born.

Sunday brought another seventeen families, couples or singles. It also included a number of people from South Africa, Germany and Italy. Again the standard of sailing displayed by some visitors was surprising with quite a number returning to the sport after long lay-offs. The wind on Sunday was disappointing. It was considerably less than the forecast but, I guess, that's one thing we couldn't control.

The main thing now is to work hard and convert as many of these visitors into members as possible. That means a lot of effort. It means that a priority must be given to returning visitors, even over and above racing. Returning visitors mustn't be ignored and left in the clubhouse. They must be encouraged, taken afloat and generally made to feel valued. If not all the hard work put in over the open weekend will count for nothing and this is what has tended to happened in the past. If we are going to grow the club we must pay more attention to potential new members, especially the youngsters.

Finally I would like to say thank you on behalf of the club to everybody who put so much into making the open weekend such a success. That includes everybody in the clubhouse who handled the catering, the bar, greeted our visitors and provided the information they needed; those who helmed the dinghies, sailer cruisers and the patrol boat that took the visitors afloat and to those members who came down to support the weekend and often ended up involved up to their elbows. Thank you all, it was very much appreciated!

Mike (Over Easy) Baker