Commodore’s Newsletter 2019 

Dear Members, Supporters and Staff.

A very happy and prosperous New Year to you all. Having started 2018 with the residual effects of drought, new recruits and promotions to our sailing leadership team, and a few unplanned facilities expenditures, who would have thought we would achieve a record breaking year? With a small but perfectly formed surplus going into 2019, we can commence our long overdue programme of planned facilities upgrades, for example the changing room wet floors.  We can also focus on further growth initiatives, such as building on our very successful  junior and youth membership programmes. Then, new funds allowing, we will turn our attention to some club boat replacements and additions. We are ever mindful of external economic pressures on you, our members, so you will notice that we have kept membership increases to the cost of living or below this year. However, we will of course be recognising the contribution of our staff teams, who have worked so hard in achieving the brilliant successes of the 2018 season, maintaining QMSC as an industry leading club.  Finally, we are encouraged by the recent survey results (to be published shortly), showing very good progress. We will be particularly focusing on all your comments, which always tell us the real story.

Thanks must go to our marvellous QM staff, volunteers and supporters:

Thank you to our wonderful Office Team led by Tony, our GM, Caroline, our Office Manager, Janet, our fabulous Sailing Secretary, and hard working Charlie. Building on previous success and using social media and emails, the Sailing School now makes the largest financial contribution to the club. This evolution is indicative of an industry moving quickly towards skills-led experiences for the younger generations. New membership, course booking and access systems have been successfully adopted, enabling us to better understand and connect with our members’ evolving needs.

Thank you to our fantastic new Sailing Principal, Paul together with our new Chief Instructors,  Ben, Ross and the whole beach team, who have managed the huge summer peaks so successfully. They have handled Open meetings, all manner of Courses, including a growing number of personal 1-on1’s and of course the Summer School totalling 656 youngsters and hosting over 100 a day in the last week of the summer holidays. Stay tuned for many new courses and event offerings planned for 2019 and beyond.

Next, our dedicated and heroic Race Officers without whom there would be no racing at all: led by Principal Race Officer, Andrew and Sailing Committee Chair, Bob, thank you ROs and Rules Advisors; having worked with you, I can say  you are a very impressive team close up. In any weather conditions, high pressure management situations and fast moving complexity, it’s all managed with aplomb.

Thank you to our eleven volunteer Council Members for services and advice rendered.  Very special thanks to our new Hon Treasurer David. This year David has spent many complex volunteer hours working with our Bookkeeper, Petra, together with Tony and our accountants. This work is vital in supporting our ambitious future plans and prosperity, as QMSC evolves more towards a Sail Sports Club every year.

Thank you to our Bosun Wayne, with Adam and Kevin, our heavy engineering crew, who successfully kept our new boilers and pumps, lifts and pontoons, working almost to the end of the season, water levels aside, whilst building bespoke new additions, such as our splendid new podium which will be seen at the 45th Bloody Mary this Saturday.

Our volunteer-led Saturday Club has gone from strength to strength, with competitive and relaxed racing and cruising, and as a very successful social club per se. Events include trips to Weymouth and the Greek Islands sailing holiday, both with Saturday Club sailors racing at the front of the fleets I might add, together with cycling, walking etc. The Saturday Club Circus is always moving on to new challenges. So this year there is mention of adding skiing, that’s snow not water, why not!

Thanks from everyone involved to our dedicated band of 20 or so Sailability Supporters, who turn out every Thursday and allow six special needs schools and many disabled adults to enjoy both cruising and racing on the east lake. This typically involves 75 students, carers, supporters and adult sailors every week. Sailability, under the guidance of Andrew, has continued to evolve into a slick highly professional organisation. This year, safety upgrades of boats and equipment, led by Ray, have been a major focus and a source of renewed confidence.

Finally, huge thanks to Blue Wave, our wonderful Catering staff led by Debbie, Tracy and Sue, who have managed the summer peaks and introduction of new menus, and new technologies, with calmness and good humour. Your kind words in the recent survey are much appreciated by the team, scoring their best ‘overall level of service’ in recent years, well done to them.

Sailing successes and our fleet achievements:

Lasers:  Mark Lyttle (Olympian 1996) this year WON the Masters Nationals and Masters Worlds and QMSC also WON the Club Trophy too. Mike Hicks 2nd – Great Grand Master. These are stunning examples of QMSC Laser sailing excellence. The Laser class is in great shape thanks to Fleet Captain Tony Woods’ focus and enthusiasm.

RS400: 1st May Salcombe Race, with 3x2nds the honours went to our own Howie and Lou. Also, 2nd for Howie and Lou at the Eurocup in Carnac and 8th at the Weymouth nationals. Great work, Fleet Captain Jules, success in 2019.

National Schools Sailing Association Regatta: Held at DWSC, the QMSC Topper fleet arrived and swiftly achieved 7 of the top 11 places by the end of the week, exceeding everyone’s expectations. Racing excellence is integral to all our QM fleets, including our junior sailors.

Flying WindSurf Techno fleet: Junior: Iona Shefford, aged 11, WON 4.5 m Techno fleet and Will Ziegler WON the 5.8 m Techno fleet at the Eric Twiname Champs in Rutland.

WindSurf Techno fleets Worlds: Held in Latvia. Millie Searle came 12th as a Junior Female in Techno 293, EJ (Emily Jane) Eldred 13th as a Youth Female too. QMSC gets everywhere.

The Royal Thames Yacht Club: RTYC ran the week long J80 Historic Cumberland Cup here at QMSC. RTYC Commodore, HRH Duke of York also presented QMSC long service awards to John Hobbs Mallyon and Paul Schroeder. HRH’s visit was relaxed, and much appreciated.

Another great success at QM when over 170 youngsters of all ages from more than 40 sailing clubs across London and the South East enjoyed a weekend of sailing fun at the RYA’s 1st Regional Junior Championships.

In memory of Martin:

Martin Pride was an accomplished Sailor and a dedicated supporter of Queen Mary Sailing Club over the years. Martin was very competitive and, whilst always racing to win, would make sure good seamanship and a sense of fun always prevailed. Most recently Martin turned his attention to becoming QM Rear Commodore in 2003 and then served as Vice Commodore in 2007.

To conclude, our raucous Fun Race and Christmas party at the end of 2018 was a great way to round off a fabulous and memorable 2018. The restoration of the Commodore’s table for visiting past club heroes, luminaries and dignitaries seemed to work well too. Thanks must go to Bryan Willis and Chris Simon: their recollections of the start of Queen Mary Sailing Club and past America’s Cup glories were both informative and humbling.

In 2019, we are planning even more exciting events and we have already kick-started the season with the mighty 45th Bloody Mary pursuit race last Saturday.  The prestigious Bloody Mary is never for the faint hearted, force three winds, gusting four and building to five later, certainly tested skills of sailors towards race end.  Well over 300 national and international sailors in 242 boats, representing 56 classes, from 98 clubs went all out to win. To everyone’s astonishment young Monique Vennis-Ozanne in a 29er, along with her crew John Mather just held off a marauding 49er by around 30 metres to win.  Monique is not only the first female winner, but also the first junior to win the Bloody Mary in all its illustrious history, a stunning achievement!

Richard Steele – Commodore – Queen Mary Sailing Club

The GJW Direct 45th Bloody Mary is this weekend!

Happy New Year! 

Note to members (if you did not know) the GJW Direct 45th Bloody Mary is this Saturday. But before we get into that… the water level is back up to 100%, lovely stuff! 

We hope you had a great Christmas and are in good health as we start the new year. We kick off 2019 with the Bloody Mary and with just a few days to go the excitement is building as our plans come together for Saturday. Please note the whole reservoir is used for this event and our focus is 100% on the Bloody Mary, so for this reason the water is closed to general sailing and any other activities on Saturday 12th January. 

Our Bloody Mary is the 5th leg of the Selden SailJuice Winter Series and if you are looking for an excuse to get on the water it’s a perfect way to start your sailing in 2019.

But what is the Bloody Mary?

The Bloody Mary is open to all dinghy classes with a PY number equal to or lower than the International Topper and to selected keelboat classes. The first start is scheduled for 12 noon with the slowest boats starting first and the faster boats starting progressively later. The race lasts 150 minutes.

Online entry will close at midnight Wednesday 9th January (tonight). Entries will be accepted on the day until the entry limit is reached. The Entry desk will open at 8:00am on Saturday 12th and closes at 12:00pm; please arrive early and head to the clubhouse to complete the forms.

We have 180 have signed up so far and with entry still open we’re on track for another epic day!

Thank you to our Volunteers 
Over 100 people make the event happen on the day and it would not be possible with out our volunteer team and the team leaders. We have a full team but it’s not to late to help: if you want to get involved please contact Janet in the office.

To all our helpers please diary the evening of Wednesday 23rd January for the Volunteers Supper and Quiz Night.

Forward into 2019
Thank you to all those who completed the members feedback survey. 109 of you did in total, which is the most we have seen in recent years. Lots of great ideas for continued improvement; with a fair wind we hope to share plans for developing the club in 2019.

We are a bit distracted and very excited with the Bloody Mary, normal service will resume with club racing on Sunday… but we do hope to see you on Saturday if you can make it.

Wishing you a very happy new year, thanks for reading and see you on the water soon.

Best wishes,
Queen Mary Sailing Club.

Countdown to GJW Direct 45th Bloody Mary

It’s now just one month to go as we countdown to the GJW Direct 45th Bloody Mary on Saturday 12th January, 2019. The 5th leg of the Selden SailJuice Winter Series. Make sure you save the date, then enjoy a fantastic Christmas and New Year with the Bloody Mary secured to start your 2019 sailing with a bang!

Online entry will close at midnight Wednesday 9th January. Entries will be accepted on the day until the entry limit is reached. The Entry desk will open at 8:00am on Saturday 12th and close at 12:00pm, please arrive early and head to the clubhouse to complete the forms.

The Bloody Mary is Back – be there!

The GJWDirect 45th Bloody Mary 2019 – Briefing Video

Follow this link to enter

Notice of Race and sailing instructions

We look forward to seeing you this year at Queen Mary Sailing Club.

Congratulations Bryan Willis – Recipient of the Beppe Croce Trophy.

Bryan is one of the founding members of Queen Mary Sailing Club (Member 001) and one of the most experienced officials within the sailing community. Received the Beppe Croce Trophy for his outstanding voluntary contribution to the sport of the sailing.

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Since 1975, Willis has served the sport he loves, holding respected, senior positions within the Royal Yachting Association and at World Sailing.

Willis has served as an International Judge since 1981, when the scheme first started and in 1986 he became an International Umpire as the scheme also began.

He served on numerous committees within World Sailing and acted as Chairman of the Race Officials Committee as well as the Race Management Sub-committee. Furthermore he served as a member of the Racing Rules Committee and the Racing Rules Drafting Working Party.

Alongside this, he was author of more than 20 publications related to the sport of sailing. Willis was directly involved in no fewer than eight America’s Cups, three editions of the Whitbread / Volvo Ocean Race and numerous Class World Championships.

Congratulations Bryan

Windsurfing Evening Talk and Coaching with Simon Winkley

Simon Winkley was the Sailing Manager at QMSC for 10 years from 2002 prior to starting out as a freelancer. In his time at QM he worked with and developed a whole generation of windsurfers and instructors.

Simon is an advanced windsurfing coach, a windfoiling instructor and a Team Rider for Starboard and Severne. He specialises in the delivery of RYA Windsurf Instructor courses and in the coaching of intermediate-to-early-advanced windsurfing. He runs windsurfing holiday clinics in South Africa, Canary Islands, Red Sea, Greece, Weymouth and at QM and writes coaching articles for Windsurfing UK magazine. Simon has a passion for being out on the water and for helping others to make the most of their time afloat.

QM maintain a strong working relationship with Simon and recommend his UK and overseas windsurfing clinics for QM Members who can enjoy a high-quality and social windsurfing experience in a wonderful location before returning to QM refreshed, up-skilled and ready to continue!

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For more information on Simon’s overseas clinics

Bookings: Sportif Travel 01273 844919

  • Langebaan, South Africa 21-29 Jan 2019
  • Costa Teguise, Lazarote 18-25 March 2019
  • Safaga, Red Sea 16-23 May 2019
  • Langebaan, South Africa 25 Nov-3 Dec 2019


Weymouth, Official Test Centre (OTC) – bookings:

  • 8/9 December 2018
  • 30/31 March 2019
  • 27/28 April 2019
  • 8/9 June 2019
  • 27/28 July 2019


  • 28 November 2018: FREE evening talk  1830 -2130. Bar food, such as burgers available along with the usual range of drinks.  Simon’s talk will start at 1900.  This will cover coaching, tuning, tips, anecdotes, There will also be a Q+A session, plus information about his programme of overseas clinics

We are delighted that Simon has also offered to run 2 half-day coaching sessions, which are open to members and non-members alike

  • Saturday 1 December: FREE half-day coaching sessions
    • Session 1 0900-1145 (6 places)
    • Session 2 1300-1545 (6 places)

    Choose either the morning or afternoon slot. On each session Simon will be coaching a range of intermediate to early-advanced skills to suit the group.  In order to secure your place, please phone the QM Office on 01784 248881 – don’t delay, we’re sure this will prove popular!

  • Kit Options:
  1. You can use your own kit
  2. QM Select Members no charge for kit use
  3. QM Standard Members / non-members kit hire £45.00 (make sure you let the office know when booking your place)

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For UK and overseas clinics there will be a mixed group of intermediate to early-advanced windsurfers looking to up their game whilst having a great time on and off the water. So … no beginners or aerial freestylers. That means a focus on real-world core skills to include any of the following: harness, footstraps, planing and speed control, beach starts and water starts, non-planing freestyle, faster tacks, heli-tacks, non-planing gybes and carve gybes plus variants, chop hops and jumps, carving tricks, body drags etc.

Kit set up and tuning are always included to help you make the most of your time afloat. Shore-based coaching prepares for the action afloat where Simon will sail with you and the group, observing and making small tweaks to your technique. When not on the water he will be there for you on the beach to mentor and advise.

On overseas clinics (and where possible on UK clinics) Simon makes use of GoPro POV cameras with both Flymount mast/boom mounts and head mounts, a HD video camera and a DSLR camera. Content is used in debrief sessions ashore and to provide you with those all important memories of your time on the water. His coaching will arm you with all the right ingredients for further improvements long after the holiday or session is over. Most of all – your time on and off the water will be fun and the holiday/session a pleasurable one!

Simon’s overseas clinics

You can find Simon’s technique articles in WSUK from page 50 onwards

Christmas Fun Race and Christmas Lunch, Sunday 16th December 2018

Christmas Fun Race – come and decorate your boat for a festive one-off race, starting 10:30.  In addition to a prize for the overall winner, there is, as ever a prize for the best-decorated boat … what will your theme be this year?

Don’t delay – book your Christmas Lunch place and join us in the Clubhouse for our Annual Prize Giving after a delicious meal.   We expect the meal to start around 14:00, after the end of the Christmas Fun Race.

Christmas Lunch – menu here!

Tickets are £21.95 each.  Please phone the office on 01784 248881 to book and give us your selection and the fleet, or group you’d like to sit with.

Announcing the GJW Direct 45th Bloody Mary

Save the date winter sailing fans! The GJW Direct Bloody Mary will be back for another magical day at Queen Mary Sailing Club on Saturday 12th January, 2019.

This time it’s the 5th leg of the Selden SailJuice Winter Series and bouncing back, like the ultimate come-back kid, it will again hope to attract over 300 boats to make a Bloody Mary at the west London waters.

We are delighted to announce our headline sponsor for 2019 – GJW Direct, The UK’s Largest Direct Boat Insurer.

“The Bloody Mary signals the start of the sailing year and always attracts a massive entry of dinghy sailors from the length and breadth of the country. We’re delighted to be supporting this must-do event and will be on the water bringing you up-to-the-minute photos and updates through our social media channels.”, said Lev Osman, CEO of GJW Direct.

The Bloody Mary is open to all dinghy classes with a PY number equal to or lower than the International Topper. It takes the form of a 150-minute Pursuit Race with the slowest boat starting first at midday and the faster boats starting progressively later, depending on a handicap rating which is set by the Race Committee.

Online entry will close at midnight Wednesday 9th January and there is an entry limit again this year, so enter early to avoid disappointment! Entries will be accepted on the day until the entry limit is reached. The Entry desk will open at 8:00am and close at 12:00pm, please arrive early and head to the clubhouse to complete the forms.

A change made for the 2019 edition is that it is now a non-foiling event. The Bloody Mary is simply too big to get it right for the majority of non-foiling entrants together with our flying friends. This decision has been made after consultation with the classes affected and with the Selden SailJuice Winter Series organisers – and we have new plans for foilers outlined below.

To get a flavour of the event watch the Bloody Mary 2016 winners Tom Gillard and Richard Anderton. These Fireball sailing champions giving a great insight in to what it takes to win this famous dinghy handicap race.

New for foilers in 2019

QMSC has very successfully introduced foiling windsurfing earlier this year, alongside our growing fleet of Waspzs and Moths. QMSC is opening discussions on a new event as part of the Great British Sailing Challenge to meet the rapidly growing number of foilers in these and other classes. Updates will follow our next foiling event, the International Moth Open Meeting on 9-10th March 2019.

We look forward to seeing you this coming year at Queen Mary Sailing Club.

Minutes of the Annual General Meeting held Sunday 7th October, 2018

Minutes of AGM of Queen Mary Reservoir Sailing Club Ltd

held at the Clubhouse on 7th October 2018 at 2pm

Apologies for Absence

Apologies were received from Chris Simon, Paul Schroder and Charles Wand-Tetley.

Minutes of previous meeting

The minutes of the previous meeting were accepted as being a true record and were signed by the Commodore.

Proposed by Steven Fowles and seconded by Chris Harris and passed unanimously.

Matters arising

There were no matters arising.

Commodore’s Report

As the 2018 season has been so exciting and eventful, I thought we would make a change this year from the normal Commodore’s letter, turning it into a Commodore’s diary month-by-month. This will make it easier to navigate around to find particular achievements and successes as they happened. You will see this is a story of resilience, enterprise and commitment by all, to the success of Queen Mary Sailing Club this season.

So here we go:

Nov – Dec – Laser performance Masters: With drought and water access restrictions and 60 entrants, this event was a big success, however it was decided that a heavier 300 boat mixed fleet event would not be safe to run.

Jan – Following the traumas of late 2017 and the Bloody Mary being cancelled, it was a quiet start to 2018. However, the 45th Bloody Mary on 12th Jan 2019, is now approaching fast.

Feb – Rescheduled RS Multi Class Champs EOS: Quickly renamed The Emergence of Season RS Multi Class Championship, low winds and the ‘beast from the east’ made for very testing conditions.

The Student Windsurfing Association’s – London Calling event. Also the first QM investment in Windsurf foiling equipment. First flights are now underway. Lead by Principal Instructor Paul Adams, foiling looks easy enough, but definitely not for the novice.

Spelthorne County Council: SCC confirmed our Community Business status, with a -50% discretionary reduction in business rates, a significant confidence boost for the season ahead.

March – OMG Vicki is leaving: Following extensive interviews, our own Paul Adams took over as Principal Instructor and has proved to be a hugely popular & capable successor. We also knew that Steph Blondell was leaving too, to take up a PhD in Sept. So, a big welcome to Ross Malloy, who started as Chief Dinghy Instructor in Sept, and is now making an impact as a valuable team member.

April – My Race Officers’ course: ARO duties & club racing gave me, personally, a profound insight into the extraordinarily high standards of racing and race management here at QMSC.

We also saw a Wednesday Evening Series resurgence, with 115 entrants and strong racing fleets. I can testify to some fabulous racing, and super social suppers to meet the crews and the best-of-the-best to discuss tactics. Thank you Race Officers and Rules Advisors: I can now say they are a very impressive team close up, in any weather conditions, high pressure management situations and fast moving complexity, which is all managed with aplomb.

May – Flying WindSurf Techno fleet: Junior, Iona Shefford, aged 11, WON 4.5 m Techno fleet and Will Ziegler WON the 5.8 m Techno fleet at the Eric Twiname Champs in Rutland.

The Royal Thames Yacht Club ran the week long J80 Historic Cumberland Cup here at QMSC. RTYC Commodore, HRH Duke of York also presented QMSC long service awards to John Hobbs Mallyon & Paul Schroeder, HRH’s visit was relaxed, & much appreciated by all.

June – GM Tony’s Plastic Bottle Boat Challenge: This attracted over 1000 students locally and 6800 students from 75 schools across the UK. QMSC is promoting plastic education and getting young people afloat. The club is also developing its own plastic strategy with new water filling stations, new water bottles and reducing its plastic usage with a bottle collection cage, well done to GM Tony.

London Youth Games for Schools: – This is the third time that QMSC hosted this event with Andrew Craig.  Youngsters took part in Toppers, Laser Radials, RS Fevas and Hansas, with opportunities to race.  The winners were Hillingdon, with our local team Richmond a creditable 6th place. The organisers were delighted & this event will run for 3 more years.

July – Weymouth Weekend: This is a great QMSC Saturday Club social sailing event, led by Peter Castleton & Andrew Craig. Racing included the RS Zests, RS & Dart Cats, RS Ventures & Laser Stratos’s. Fine weather, raucous suppers, & a flotilla to Weymouth Harbour.

WindSurf Techno fleets Worlds: Held in Latvia. Millie Searle came 12th as a Junior Female in Techno 293, EJ (Emily Jane) Eldred 13th as a Youth Female too. QMSC gets everywhere.

National Schools Sailing Association Regatta, held at DWSC, the QMSC Topper fleet arrived and swiftly achieved 7 of the top 11 places by the end of the week, much to the astonishment of everyone. Racing excellence is integral to all our QM fleets, including our junior sailors.

July/August – Summer Junior Courses: Attendance was at record levels of 676 Children, and even 106 children coming to the last 3 day course of the holidays, care of our super QM Office and QM wet teams.

Changing trends in participation to experiential membership: Pay and Play, hire only. The fastest growing membership is Youth Select where £25/mth gives access to all junior boats. This was an extra load on our office team, Paul and the wet team too, with great results.

Congratulations to Paul Adams and the QM wet team for delivering the busiest year on record for the sailing school, how they did they do that, a truly amazing achievement.

August – Spelthorne Mayor: All Surrey Ward Mayors came to see the Club and to see the SCC match funded a Sailability Longboat, a chance to thank them for their generous support.

Sept – Laser World Masters, held in Dublin Bay, QMSC’s Mark Lyttle WON (Grand Master), Mike Hicks 2nd (Great Grand Master). At the earlier UK Laser Nationals Mark Little WON that and QMSC WON the Club Trophy, stunning examples of QMSC Laser sailing excellence.

QM Holiday Sailing trip to Lemnos: Led by Peter Castleton and Andrew Craig – Feedback was it was windy, then very windy, and then unbelievably windy.

Another great success at QM when over 170 youngsters of all ages from more than 40 sailing clubs across London and the South East enjoyed a weekend of sailing fun at the RYA’s first Regional Junior Championships.

Sailability – Led by Andrew Craig and a fabulous support team. Some major safety upgrades included the Yeoman standard rigging, furling, decking and critically the personal hoist together with enhanced procedures, which is a fine achievement led by Ray Meerabeau & Geoff Eaton and all. Hansa sailing & racing is increasingly attracting youngsters to try their hand with spectacular results. Adult afternoon cruising in our twin Longboats and Yeomans is expanding fast too. Sailability wins hands down in the smiles per miles category, come and join us. A big thank you to Dee,Terri and Gale for managing this weekly event.

Thank you to the catering team – Blue Wave: Congratulations to Debbie, Sue, Tracy and others. It’s been a record summer season with heavy pressure on the team to deliver food and drinks on demand.  They have had challenges with new payment technologies, which are now working fine.

Queen Mary investment in club facilities. We now have a new hot water boiler, new heating boiler & water boosters for the Bloody Mary. Thames Water invested in new entrance gates, replacing the blocker, and they also installed a new membership system for QMSC. The QMSC Council will continue with new investments in 2019, the changing room floor & balcony decking, being top of our list now.

Thanks to Wayne, Adam and Kevin: For keeping the club going through the hot summer and all the above replacement projects and club boat and windsurf repairs and there were many.

Alongside these changes, the club also changed to a new direct debit collection provider, invested and built a new website and a complete overhaul and rebuild of the sailing school booking system, a marvelous achievement with recalcitrant legacy systems to manage.

Thank you to the office team again: Caroline, Janet, Charlie and Petra and, of course, GM Tony for their time and commitment to this extraordinary number of changes in one year.

GDPR: These changes and investments bringing compliance to GDPR, which are mandatory. Thank you, Andrew Craig, for guiding all parts of the Club through this critical process.

Finally a particular personal thank you to our 14 QMSC volunteer council members for services and advice rendered. Also, a special thank you to new Hon Treasurer David Bithell and the work he has done to pursue some new initiatives to improve the Club’s accounting and finances. Many complex volunteer hours have been spent with Tony, Petra & our accountants this year to achieve this.

All in all, it’s been an exciting, very busy, enjoyable and ultimately successful first year of being Commodore to say the least. I believe that QMSC is set fair for an exceptional year in 2018 and we will have more exciting news in 2019. I’m looking forward to the 45th Bloody Mary on 12th Jan 2019 now, what an event this will be. I commend this report to the house.

Treasurer’s Report

David thanked Richard for a most enlightening canter through the Club’s year and reported as follows:

There’s certainly been plenty going on and much to be proud of this year at QMSC. So let’s see how all of that got reflected in the Club’s numbers.

The Club’s year end is 31st March and we’re reviewing the accounts for the year ended 31st March 2018, so some of what Richard just talked about, of course, is after that, in the new financial year. Copies of the accounts are in front of you.

Page 3 – Income Statement or Profit & Loss Account. The aim of the Club is to break even or, more correctly in the long term, to earn enough profit to reinvest in the upkeep and improvement of the Club’s facilities & equipment

We pretty much achieved break even in both the year ended 31st March 2018 and the previous year – a loss of £3,581 in the latest year and £5,156 for the previous year.

But if we add back depreciation of the fixed assets (£68,813 for 2018 and £66,392 for 2017), we actually had a cash surplus of £65,232 (2018) and £61,238 (2017) available to pay down loans and reinvest in the Club.

As we already heard from Richard, this year much of the surplus was reinvested in new boilers and booster pumps for the Club’s heating and hot water – we’ll all appreciate the more comfortable environment especially after a cold winter’s day on the water.

Page 4 – Balance Sheet – Overall Net Assets remain a healthy £424,241, notwithstanding the small losses in the last two years

Tangible Fixed Assets – reduced by £34,762 from £615,726 to £580,964. Mainly due to the depreciation charge, already mentioned – additions were a fairly modest £39,740, being primarily the new boilers/pumps (£16,800 already mentioned, but not all of it planned for this year) and the long boat for Sailability ( £15k, financed by grants and donations). We only made modest and essential additions/replacements to Club other boats, boards and powerboat engines in this year.

Cash in Bank position was lower than last year – £24,847 compared to £56,999 – Due to the investments in boilers and booster pumps and a further repayment of bank loans. It also reflects the timing of a large donation by a member for the Sailability longboat that was received in the previous year and spent in the year to 31st March 2018.

Debtors and creditors (Refer to Notes 7, 8 & 9 on Page 7 &8) – Would just draw members’ attention to:-

Bank loans (included in creditors and split between amounts repayable within 12 months, in Note 8 and amounts repayable after 1 year in Note 9) – reduced in total by £12,759 from £38,568 at 31st March 2017 to £25,809 at 31st March 2018, continuing the policy of recent years to reduce the Club’s reliance on borrowed money. Unless we need new borrowings, the Club will be debt-free in 4 years’ time. We’re currently repaying £1,063 per month of the loans, but this will reduce to £427 per month from 1st Jan 2019.

Grants – carried in creditors at 31st March 2018 is £71,915 being most of the £75,590 long-term other creditors in Note 9. These are grants received to fund capital expenditure which are held as liabilities (to repay) in creditors and released to Profit &Loss in line with the depreciation of the assets they funded.

Detailed Profit &Loss Account  (Pages 9 & 10)

Turnover up from £697k to £707k – but within that membership income was slightly down and training income up a little.

Retaining and growing memberships – There has been a national decline in sailing club memberships over several years now. QMSC is doing better than most sailing clubs but it’s always something of a challenge to retain and grow the membership. Your Council is very aware of the need for us to offer the best facilities we possibly can and a good variety of sailing and windsurfing activities to meet the members’ differing needs from our sports.

Rent, Rates, Energy & Insurance – This reflects the saving on Business Rates due to 50% concession agreed with Spelthorne. £15,000 was accrued in the prior year accounts but not all was needed resulting in a lower Rates charge for 2018. Thank you to the Commodore for leading and securing that concession. We’re also examining the possibility of challenging our Rateable Value which seems high compared to other clubs due to assessment on the reservoir itself. A project for 2019.

Computer and IT – included for this year was the whole cost of the new Website (£25k), an exceptional one-off cost. Also included in this expense category is hardware & software maintenance & support.

Repairs & Renewals – a heavy year for repairs to RIBs and engines – replacement expenditure was limited but inevitably that resulted in higher repairs and maintenance. We also had to buy new covers for quite a few of the Club Boats.

Irrecoverable VAT – we’ve been reviewing the Club’s activities in relation to various VAT exemptions available as a non-profit making sports club and we expect not to be accounting for VAT out of training courses income going forward – although there will be a corresponding cost for higher non-recoverable VAT on expenditure there is a potential net benefit to the Club of up to £40k pa. We also put in a claim for a refund of previous VAT paid which has triggered an HMRC VAT inspection and discussions are on-going. Any VAT savings or refunds will provide useful cash to reinvest in club facilities with changing room floors and refurbishing the balcony timbers being top of the list. But we won’t be counting on any VAT refund until we’re further down the line in the discussions with HMRC.

Looking forward – we’ve just had a very good summer of training income and, without the one-off website costs in 2018/19, I would expect the Club to move into a modest profit in this year. With continued reductions in the loans and maybe some money from the VAT we’re hopeful of an improving cash position going into 2019, allowing further investment in club facilities and equipment.

A few thank you’s:-

To my predecessor, Neil Beaton, for handing over the club finances in good shape and for his many many years of dedication as Hon Treasurer.

To the office team for implementing the changes in membership, booking, gate entry and Direct Debit collection systems. It was pretty tough on them in March/April with having to get to grips with so many system changes all at once, just as we went into the busy part of the year.

Thank you to Petra, our book keeper and, of course, keen RS 400 sailor herself. Especially for the additional time needed to complete tasks on the various projects this year including helping put together our VAT claim.  Petra has been working particularly hard with me on the VAT project and to complete the implementation of the Sage 50 accounting system, which was started 2 years’ ago, but is now almost fully operational.

Thank you also to Amersham Accountancy for work on preparing these accounts – to Martin Hunt and Helen Hadfield.

The Annual Report and Accounts were proposed for adoption by David Bithell, seconded by Julie Harrison and passed unanimously.


Appointment of Amersham Accountants as Reporting Accountant

David Bithell proposed that Amersham Accountants be appointed as reporting accountant.

The motion was seconded by Andrew Craig and passed unanimously.


Honorary Life Membership Nomination: Paul Schroeder

The Commodore asked the AGM to confirm QM Council’s recommendation that Paul Schroeder be appointed an Honorary Life Member of QMSC with the following citation:

Paul has been a member of Queen Mary SC for some 45yrs almost from QM’s inception, longer than he has been married to Heather. Paul has served in almost every role over the years, 2yrs of being General Manager has been the longest serving member of Council, chairing the facilities committee responsible for several successful lottery funded bids resulting in improved facilities e.g. the Restaurant, and Pontoons.

Paul has also been a member of Sailing Committee serving as Principal Race Officer until his retirement from both last month.  Our catch phrase with any unexpected problem we come across is always – what would Paul do, hence the nickname Yoda. This QMSC award recognises directly Paul’s contribution to Queen Mary Sailing Club over many years.

I am delighted to ask the AGM to confirm Council’s unanimous recommendation that Paul Schreoder be appointed an Honorary Life Member of QMSC

The appointment was confirmed unanimously.

Sadly, Paul could not be at the AGM and has sent a note of thanks which Richard read out:

‘First of all I must apologise for not being here but unfortunately I have a commitment that was booked a few months’ ago. I am incredibly honoured to be given Honorary Life Membership of the Club that I have been a member for well over 45 years, in fact longer than I have been married! Queen Mary Sailing Club has always been a major part of my life – as a sailor, as a Council and Committee member, as an Instructor and even as the Manager. I have got a great deal of enjoyment from the Club and I hope that I have given something back.

Thank you for such an incredible honour’.


Election of Officers

The Commodore read out the list of those standing for election as Flag Officers or Council members and also confirmed those members remaining on Council or retiring.

Standing for Re-election as Officers:

Richard Steele                          Commodore

David Bithell                              (Hon) Treasurer

Chris Stanton                            Vice Commodore

Robert Joce                              Rear Commodore

Steven Fowles                          Rear Commodore

Standing for Election as Members:

Max Tosetti                               Council Member

Remaining on Council:

Mark Handley                            Council Member

Ray Meerabeau                        Council Member

Paul Johnson                            Council Member

Andrew Craig                            Council Member

Tony Bishop                             Council Member ex officio


Retiring as Members:

Sophie Jezierski                        Council Member

Retired as Member during the year:

Paul Schroeder                         Council Member


The proposal to elect all Officers and Council members was carried unanimously

The retiring Commodore welcomed the new  member to Council and said a special thank you to retiring members.  He particularly thanked Sophie Jezierski, who was present, for her long years of service to the Club, including as Commodore and wishes her well now that she is spending more time in Norfolk.


Presentation of the B&S Trophy

Richard Steele took great pleasure in announcing the award of the B&S Trophy as follows:

This teapot is the B&S Trophy.  It was donated by Bryan & Sue Willis, hence “B&S”, who at the time were QMSC members numbers one and two, so it can claim to be one of QM’s most historic awards.  In the gift of the Commodore, the trophy is intended to be awarded to someone, not the Chair of a committee, who has made an outstanding contribution to the Club.

The recipients this year are Chris Harris and Sue Preston

The Club and Open Meeting racing depends on a squad of dedicated Race Officials to make everything run smoothly for our own and visiting competitors.  A couple who can always be relied upon to help out when needed, and have been helping out when needed for more years than most of us can count, are Chris Harris and Sue Preston.  In addition to doing more than the minimum race officer duties year in and year out, willing to step in to fill a gap when needed Chris and Sue are the sort of people you can depend on.  We are fortunate to have them (and of course others) to depend on.

So why Chris and Sue for the teapot? Well another role that Chris has fulfilled is as driver of the lead boat for the Bloody Mary, on the water before the race to drive the course then on the water all through the race to track the leader as the race unfolds.  No pressure Chris to help us out here in 2019 but, if you do, at least you can make yourself a lovely warming cup of tea afterwards.


Any Other Business

There was no other business


There being no other business, the Commodore thanked everybody present and declared the

meeting closed at 14:54.


Over 170 youngsters of all ages from more than 40 sailing clubs across London and the South East enjoyed a weekend of sailing fun at the RYA’s first Regional Junior Championships at Queen Mary Sailing Club on 29-30 September.

This was just one event in the UK wide weekend in which British Youth Sailing’s debut Regional Junior Championships was hailed an overwhelming success as more than a thousand youngsters took to the water.

Children aged between six and sixteen travelled from far and wide to eight venues across the UK for two days of fun afloat in British Youth Sailing’s recognised dinghy and windsurfer classes.  Among those taking part were some of the nation’s most promising young racers, as well as a host of kids getting their first taste of sailing.

The Regional Junior Championships were previously known as the RYA Zone Championships, but the decision was taken to change the name so as to truly reflect the nature of the regattas: a fun, inclusive festival of sailing for under 16s regardless of ability, but with a championship element for serious racers.

For the first time, competitors were split into three fleets – a new Fun OnBoard fleet for newcomers, a coached regatta fleet for those developing their racing skills, and a championship fleet for experienced racers.

British Sailing Team’s Olympic 470 helm Amy Seabright was on hand to talk to competitors and give them coaching tips.

At Queen Mary racing unfortunately had to be abandoned on Saturday due to the lack of wind, but Sunday saw a full schedule, with four races for the Championship course, six for the windsurfers, and three for the Regatta fleet which included loads of on the water coaching for those new to racing.

The RYA’s regional high performance manager Paul Wren helped with the coaching and gave a talk to parents about “Supporting your Team”.

Paul said: “It was great to see so many young aspiring sailors of all levels on the water, with varying goals for the weekend. Some were looking for experience and fun, and some for selection for the RYA’s regional squads. It was an event for all abilities.”

The RYA Zone Championships Club Trophy London & South East Region donated by the RYA Regional Committee was awarded to the sailing club with the most entries, and won by the Datchet Water sailing Club

Papercourt Sailing Club took the British Youth Sailing Regional Junior Championship Development Trophy awarded to the sailing club with the largest increase in entry numbers from the 2017 event.

Along with prizes for event winners there were a range of prizes for sailors exhibiting the British Youth Sailing values and behaviours and showing a passion for the sport.

Full results can be found here.

“What a fantastic weekend everyone had at the Regional Junior Championships,” said Mark Nicholls, the RYA’s Youth Racing Manager.

“It was a massive success, with thousands of young sailors from all over the UK taking part in a real celebration of our sport. Seeing so many smiling, happy young people totally involved and engaged both on and off the water was wonderful. We enjoyed the biggest total turnout we’ve ever seen, and there was some real talent on show. The future of sailing is bright.”

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Youngsters who would like to try sailing you can find and how and see the endless possibilities sailing and windsurfing can bring here