31 December, 2020

Happy new year

These are some of my words from my AGM report, and the photos I failed to share with those at the meeting! This is just a summary of what was a difficult year, but there were a lot of positives for the club;

We got back on the water at the soonest opportunity in June, and racing started in July with numbers building over the summer. With limitations on travel and our a members-only policy we were fortunate to attract many new members, including an influx of Toppers which Gareth co-ordinated and they provided a welcome boost to our racing numbers.

The advantage to us goes beyond just their participation in club events as whilst we have an excellent reputation with experienced sailors, as a club we are less well known by Junior fleets. We can now count eight sailors in the RYA Regional Topper squad, and they have competed successfully under the Shoreham SC banner at the events they have been able to do. 

The juniors were also out in force in the Improver sessions, and it was great to see all the club boats being used.

Whilst other club members have also managed to do some open meetings, its mostly been about club sailing, the hi lights of which were the club regatta and Battle of the beaches – both of which attracted good turnouts and were run well by members. 

We have a new fence around the entire compound (which includes additional land), security cameras and a great new committee boat. Purchased through a £10,000 grant from the Rampion fund, and generous loans from a number of members, the boat now resides on its new trailer and the next steps are to create a home for it before we start fitting it out, with a view to having it ready for next season. We have also added two new RS Fevas to our fleet of club boats thanks to a grant from Sport England.

We started the year with work on the slipway and the same thing will happen in 2021, but I am confident that with a new Environment Agency contact in place, there will be a resolution to all our issues. They are looking at a longer term solution to the erosion problems that were hi lighted this year and fully appreciate that the situation is unsatisfactory and that we and the local community are not going to quietly accept it.

I’d like to take this opportunity to thank all those on the committee, who have had a difficult year of it, but its not just the committee that have been putting the hours in, we have a wealth of volunteers who remain under the radar as they have stocked the bar and galley, strimmed, jet washed, drilled, plumbed, maintained our boats and kept the club running, as well as rescuing hedgehogs! A huge thank you to everyone for the time and effort put in, particularly Jeff who steps down this year, and was the driving force behind us becoming a CIO, which was ratified at the EGM in March.

As Philip has said in his report, we are very lucky to have such a great membership, and I would like to reiterate his thanks all our members who have supported us this year simply by paying their subs. Whilst we have weathered the storm of the pandemic so far, the true test will be next season when we hope to re-engage with those that haven’t made it down this year and continue to grow and develop the membership.

To this end the racing calendar and dutyman are online and up running for you to sign up for your duties – a huge thank you to Paul for making this happen. Its a full schedule and includes the Easter Cup, which is open to visitors, a Club regatta on the second may bank holiday weekend and Battle of the Beaches. We will also be running opens for RS200s, Merlin Rockets, Wayfarers, Toppers, hopefully the d-zero’s and the National 12 Championships.

Roll on 2021 and with it some semblance of normality for the club and all our wonderful members.

Wishing you all a very happy New Year.