This year we have had by far the best support for the racing this decade and probably for a lot longer. We had 575 race entries compared to 361 last year and 203 in 1993.
There was a big increase in the number of boats that went out in at least one race, 40 compared to 33 last year. The normal entry was about 8 to 10 boats per race and the best was 13 boats; it was a real pleasure having a good number of boats to race against. A total of 67 people helmed or crewed in at least one race.
The Club boats were used more this year than from 1993 to 1998 altogether. Generally 1 to 2 boats were in use and on one occasion all five club boats were in use. Our new junior members were the major users.
Generally the weather and current was reasonable kind to us and no races had to be cancelled.
The Open day and Regatta were made two-day events again and both were very successful. We also joined in the National Big Blue Go Boating weekend, which proved to be extremely successful with over 60 visitors.
There were the usual visits to Bewl for the Spring and August Bank Holiday weekends though the wind was very light for some of the days. Aquarius boats did very well.
A rather different venture was organising a days sailing for a group of children with learning difficulties for the Kingston Social Services. It was very satisfying.
With the good 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. Brian Clements was a big help.
By request there were a number of Saturday sailing days in the Programme but they were very badly supported. AQSC members supported all the SigneT Meetings and came away with the majority of the prizes. At the Signet National Championships Richard Cannon and Mark Hollamby tied for overall first place with Richard winning on tiebreak. Robert Britton did very well to come 5th in the Crew invitation race helming for Laurie Bridges, and to finish in the single-handed race.
Bob and Robert Jones have supported many Skipper and Catapult meetings and have travelled away from the Club more than anyone.
The AQSC Web site was a major addition this year. Twenty four members have an Email address and it is a valuable additional communication media. The latest race results are generally available on the web site by the Tuesday following Sunday racing. 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 very baldly again and Grayham Thompson has won three trophies and Brian Clements has won two. Some results were very close with only 3 points between the first 5 PH places in the Spring series. Charles Dennis has made a Trophy to be used for Boat Handicap results.
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. A Pursuit Series based on Personal Handicaps has been in the programme since 1994 but I may omit it next year as it is very difficult to manage, and some members are not keen on it; please let me have your views.