A New Year ahead and a new face at the helm
Following, no doubt, several surprising dishes involving turkey, may I wish you all a happier and safer New Year and ask you to look ahead a few months – and with luck and the NHS’s help, we’ll be sailing again on our lake! As the Club’s new Commodore, I should probably introduce myself. I’ve sailed dinghies since the age of thirteen, in estuaries and harbours. Various dinghies have graced our garage, Fireflies, a Laser, National 12’s, then a Laser 4000 and now again a Firefly or two and a Solo. So dinghy sailing is my first sporting love. My joining Llangorse SC in ‘98 due to career relocation was a saving grace, who knew such an amazing sailing water existed in land-locked Herefordshire/Powys? I didn’t for sure!
So now looking ahead, after such a challenging year, we aim to get afloat as soon as the lake level and lockdowns allow, usually mid-March or onwards. Our sailing programme is in progress and the “Thursday Club,” (some well-meaning older members, with more time on their hands than is good for them!), are gearing up to clean the winter debris away at the site as soon as permitted. We’re always seeking more volunteers for this elite force – so do get in touch!…
After our restricted last season there will be an eager backlog of youngsters and adults viewing the sailing and powerboat handling RYA courses we offer. Our racing community will, as ever, in the spring months be dislodging mice from sail-bags and polishing hulls in anticipation of the first race Sunday. Or maybe you just like cruising around the lake, shooting the breeze and sighting the Great White or Little Egrets, (yes both reside in our SSSI). “Much to look forward to” is the message!
But sailing or racing at Llangorse is so much more than just that. It gives us the chance to exercise, take lung-fulls of mountain air, picnic on the Club balcony, take in the magnificent views and be updated on latest Welsh Government and Defra farm guidance by our farming member – something as an owner of three ewes, I really appreciate. More than all the above, we make friends both on and off the water. 2020 reduced all of this, and so in 2021 the Social Secretary is fired-up to arrange some long overdue social events, more announcements to follow.
With the new season ahead, the Exec committee, Flag officers and Club Trustees are all looking forward to seeing us all enjoying again this special place, so check under the boat cover soon and gear up for a much improved sailing season. Can’t wait to meet up with you all.
PS: Can’t sign off without thanking again Ben Williams our last Commodore for all his work along with the Exec team in such challenging times and their achievements in keeping us safe and sailing!
Getting-Going: Commodore Guy reports on priorities and progress in the Club’s first Executive Committee meeting
Planning for the 2021 season’s all-go despite the pandemic’s restrictions. This was our focus in the first meeting of the new Executive Committee on zoom in the first week of the year. We have to be optimistic, we have to be – and be seen to be – a club which can hit the ground running if – when – lockdown is lifted this spring. We’re being realistic, however. All plans are provisional: we’ll create a programme including training, Family Week, some Open Days, racing and socials – all with Covid 19 protocols in place, of course – under the warning: “subject to possible change.”
We’re pleased to welcome new officers and new blood on the committee. You’ve already met me in my first blog. Jacquie Layton is our Vice Commodore – she joined the Club, learned to sail and race – all from scratch in the recent past. No sense of “Old School” here. Richard McCulloch’s become a Flag Officer as Rear Commodore. He’s played a great role in further developing our Covid 19 Protocols and is turning his analytical eye on how we can improve our presence in social media. These are both important and sizeable jobs. We’re delighted to welcome relatively recent Club-joiner Paul Atwell to the Committee. He has immediately started to approach Club challenges from new angles. And finally we welcome John Mason to the Committee. One of our most loyal and regular sailors, we look forward to his insights.
New to the role of Sailing Secretary, Nicky Griffin has long been a member of the Club, but she brings welcome expertise, knowledge of sailing’s wider world and – above all – intense enthusiasm. Already we have a draft programme for the year: reading it compels you to reach for your kit-bag in Lockdownuary.
The Club’s finances are sound – in fact the Committee agreed to return the members loans drawn to support the purchase of the 3 new Comet Trios purchased with a SportsWales grant last year. These boats give us another reason to look forward to the season. A fleet of 7 Trios enables us to be more creative about their use. Our finances have also been supported by some funding associated with Covid resilience. Training Principal Lorina Walden successfully applied for funding to sustain medical-hygiene resources which help us sustain our Covid 19 protocols.
Health of the Club’s finances boil down to membership. (New) Membership Secretary, Claire Taylor proposed a subs structure which offers the best possible value for renewal and new members. These are very competitive compared with other sports and other sailing clubs. We’re confident that members will feel renewal is well worthwhile – and new members will look to join us. We’ll post details soon.
Unfinished business? Yes, plenty. We’re looking at prospects for children’s sailing and the Commodore’s mission has been for us all to don our thinking-caps about teenagers’ and young adult attraction to the sport at Llangorse. And then there’s the site. We have ditches to clear, herbage to cut, fences to mend (thankfully real ones, not metaphorical ones!) – And we have some maintenance to carry out on the clubhouse. We are also optioneering protection of the front bank from flood erosion. And finally – yes, the site’s been inundated again, but we’ve seen how quickly it can recover – since Christmas it has already receded considerably. In fact the “moat” is a helpful source of security.
The Committee meets again in about 4 weeks’ time. Members will be pleased that momentum’s not been lost and we’re committed to deliver a season in 2021 – whatever the little green spikey virus has in mind.
Guy Davison, Commodore.