The annual Christmas party was held on the 12th of December with our new skipper John Disney hosting his first meeting. Although he seemed to struggle at first, ringing the bell in quite a timid fashion and, to much dismay of many club members, completely forgetting the ceremonial unfurling of the flag, it soon became apparent that he will relish his new found power. Some might say too much. Many thanks to our outgoing skipper Peter Burton for all his great work over the last few years.
Prior to the meeting, I had lunch aboard Rioja with Mark and Lynda, where Mark gloated that he would start the year ahead of me in Rally points as he intends to take part in the first Rally of the season to Fambridge on New Years day. I am unfortunately unable to attend and jokingly told him I would influence the committee to have the points for Fambridge removed. Later on at the meeting, David announced that there would be no rally points awarded for the Fambridge rally and naturally Mark and Lynda were upset and accused me of foul play. I would like to take this opportunity to point out that most of the committee members are beyond reproach and some of them do not even take bribes.
Brian Youd kindly paid for drinks for all members attending to celebrate his 80th birthday. So many thanks and well wishes to him. It is rumoured that his birthday was celebrated well into the small hours.
After the meeting, food was served by David and Tracey. David was nearly run over by a wreckless driver outside the Constitution Club while unloading the food. So I would also like to take this opportunity to apologise to him for that.
The winner of this year’s photo competition was Irina Magner. Sailing down the Roach in late June aboard My Haven. the crew encountered a group of seals staging a peaceful protest against the increasing prevalence of power boats speeding in the vicinity of Potton Creek. The seal photographed below had climbed aboard a marker buoy where he erected his placard. There had been a discreet police presence at the demonstration and despite a few minor skirmishes, there were no major incidents and no seals were arrested.
In second place was also Irina. Sailing out of Baie de last Somme in early June, she snapped the French yacht pictured below doing an imitation of a submarine. Given the sea conditions, she did well to keep the camera straight.
And in third place was John Hasselgren who took the below photograph of the five yachts when he was working at an RN Sea Scout Camp last May – 200 kids and 80 adults – based at HMS Bristol in Portsmouth Harbour. He was running the Camp’s daily newspaper. The activities on offer were kayaking, dinghy sailing, orienteering, power boating, a passage to the Isle of Wight and back, and coastal sailing. This last activity took place in four new S700 yachts and one older Fox Terrier, all belonging to the Sea Cadets, but loaned for the week. The person who looks after these yachts for the Cadets had only just taken delivery of the four new ones and asked John if he could photograph all four, and an older one, all together.
He arranged with the Skippers to be waiting when they returned to harbour at a specified time, and how he wanted them to line up. He was out in a small powerboat, directing the driver, as they came back up to the harbour. He could have hoped to get them closer to one another, but they were running an activity for the kids and not parading especially for him.
The picture was published in the Bristol Times (the Camp newspaper), thus scooping the Sea Cadets who had not at that time sent out a Press release about the purchase of these yachts.