COMMODORES ANNUAL NEWSLETTER – 2020

Dear Club Members,

Welcome to 2020 the first sailing season of the twenty-twenties. There was much to celebrate in 2019 which was indeed a fabulous year; big successes: New Balcony, Wet Floors, Club Boats, IT systems c/o of our Hon Treasurers spectacular VAT rebate in February 2019. Furthermore, our Sailing School achieved another record year too with nearly 900 participants on our Junior Courses, that’s 10% up from last year. Our traditional boat owning membership and attendance at Sunday Club racing has remained largely stable, ahead of industry trends. We also achieved steady growth of QM Sailability and Saturday Club, which is now one of our biggest sailing groups. Therefore, you will be pleased to hear that we have decided to hold traditional membership fees flat for 2020. Enjoy the ride sailors, here are some of our successes on the water from 2019 and exciting new offerings for the coming year:

An important reminder, before we get going: Insurance 2020 ‘With effect from 1st April 2020 all club members, visiting day sailors and open meeting sailors, either sailing or windsurfing with their own equipment, are required to have £3M third party liability insurance cover. Please check this level is included when renewing your policy’

Bloody Mary 2019 and 2020: In 2019 Monique Vennis-Ozanne at 16yrs 4mths was the youngest junior female winner of the Bloody Mary. So this year’s stunning Bloody Mary 2020, with winds around 20kts, gusting 26-29kts on occasion, was not for the faint hearted. 288 boats registered to race, in some 59 different dinghy classes which battled the elements. 17-year-old juniors Dylan McPherson and Jack Lewis, representing the RYA won the day in a 420. Congratulations to Competitors, Staff and our wonderful army volunteers for making the day simply unforgettable. For two years running now, Junior/youth sailors have led the way. On display and a joy to see were focus, dedication and absolute commitment to superb competitive racing, a true inspiration for the future success of sail sports and a proud day for Queen Mary.

Picking out a few more Junior/youth racing successes: Bjorn Handley won the 4.2 Topper National series, was 2nd in the 4.2 worlds and has now joined the GB National squad. Our youth windsurfers led by Millie Searle and Elektra Day-San starting to rule the waves at home and abroad. Chief Instructors Ross and Ben are striving hard to support our youth sailors and windsurfers with training throughout the year, at all levels of ability and experience. Ben is also spending the winter working with our Junior RYA Windsurfing Zone Squad.

Senior Sailors achievements:
RS400 Fleet: QMSC was top travelling club in the southern circuit, with a strong club presence both at the Nationals and Europeans at Garda. Highlights: Special Endeavour prize to QMSC; Howard and Lou placing 2nd to Steve Cockerill, the southern circuit sponsor; and overtaking Nick Craig in the nationals to win a race.
RS200 Fleet: South East Area Series: Last races for final results was at Island Barn, with 8 QMSC boats in this series: Alex Curtis and Raffi Gracie placing 4th.
Lasers Fleet: Roger O’Gorman was 3rd in the Masters at the National Championships, with Mark Lyttle 4th. Mike Hicks came 3rd in the masters at the World Championships.
Cherubs: Andy and Gill Peters 2nd in the Nationals.
NSSA: QMSC retained the team cup at National School Sailing Association, for the second year in a row.

Tony Woods: Awarded the prestigious RYA Community Award in 2019 for his Outstanding Contribution to the Sailing Industry. Tony has been QMSC Laser Fleet Captain for some nine years now. He has organised the UK Laser Nationals and Social Programme for the last 2 years. Tony can be seen most weekends, running his Legendary Sunday morning Coaching Sessions after Club Racing as well as organizing the Fleet’s Social events, with his wife Nette.

Volunteers of the Year 2019: As a way of recognizing Volunteers who have made an outstanding contribution this year, we will display the following information in the clubhouse:

  • David Bithell – Hon Treasurer, Endeavour Award
  • John Hobbs Mallyon – former Deputy Chairman of Sailability
  • Les Everett (and Janet) – Lifetime Membership
  • Terri Pilgrim – Runnymede and Spelthorne Award, Marketing and Special Needs Schools work
  • Paul Stainsby – B and S Teapot
  • Alan Livermore – Sailability and Saturday Club Volunteering
  • Andrew Craig – Sailability Ops Manager
  • Tony Woods – RYA Community Award 2019
  • Alan Woolford – Chairman Sailability, Lifetime Achievement Award
  • Peter Castleton – Saturday Club Volunteering

David Bithell – Endeavour Award – QMSC Hon Treasurer received the Endeavour Trophy. The Club voluntarily engaged with HMRC to consolidate and correct our VAT status and David’s hard work resulted in a £92k rebate in Feb last year. David has also worked tirelessly to help Petra streamline our financial and accounting systems as a result.

Alan Woolford – Lifetime Achievement Award – Chairman Queen Mary Sailability. Alan was the driving force for the establishment of QMSC Sailability. In a typical year QMS now runs 350 student sailing sessions. Alan was responsible for finding and taking Alexandra Rickham to Paralympic medal glory in 2012 and 2016. As well as all this, in 2002-2011 Alan was RYA Thames Valley Sailability Regional Organiser. Alan was also an RYA Senior Instructor and RYA Area Coach in the Thames Valley for 27 years. During this time Sarah Ayton and Sarah Webb started sailing at QMSC. The two Sarah’s went on to win Gold at the 2004 Athens and 2008 Beijing Olympics. Alan is still going strong attending Sailability on most Thursdays to this day.

Race Officers: Many thanks to Andrew Craig as Principle Race Officer, Bob Joce as Chair of the Sailing Committee and all the Race Officers and Assistants who give of their time whatever the weather to run Club and Open racing so successfully throughout the year.

With heartfelt thanks:

  • Safety team: a big Thank You to Paul Adams, Ross Malloy, Ben Luckett, Oli Harman and all the QM wet team for their hard work.
  • Engineering and Grounds team: Bosun Wayne, Adam and Kevin, our unsung heroes, keeping the operation running behind the scenes.
  • Office team: Huge thanks GM Tony Bishop, Caroline Fitzwater, Janet Hawkins, Charlie Tippett, Ella Martin and Susan Drewett for their consistent work behind the scenes keeping the club in good shape and being nice all of the time.
  • Catering team: Thank you to Blue Wave: Debbie, Tracey, Sue and all the team

And finally: RS21 keelboats They will be back in 2020 for: The Inland Championships, an RYA Introduction to Keelboat Racing training day and The British Keelboat League Round 1, a busy April and May. Thank you to all who took the keelboat survey in December, watch this space sailors.

Enjoy your sailing at Queen Mary Sailing Club everyone, 2020 is going to be a great year.

Richard Steele – Commodore QMSC

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