Writing this in the comfort of my new home situated at Lake, near Sandown on the Isle of Wight (a rather appropriately named town considering all the wet weather we have had since moving), I find it hard to believe that I have not been sailing at Island Barn since September, and that this will be my last training officer's report. A nostalgic moment.
Training and fun sailing in the millennium year proved to be excellent for both the club and those taking part. We commenced sessions on the first Tuesday in May, and continued through to mid August. The weather was fine for most evenings, with winds ideal for beginners. I recall that on three evenings we had a really good blow; on these occasions the experienced instructors took students out for a real thrill, planning and getting those bums very wet. Twice crews had to endure early bathtime, but I'm sure that they benefited from the introduction of the capsize drill procedure prior to the formal lecture on the RYA method.
The attendance of students and fun sailing members was well up on the previous year, and the number of new members joining the club was a record. This was thanks to all the hard and enthusiastic work carried out by all the helpers; without them the evenings could not function. The fact that we can now offer a selection of club boats, and a really friendly and social time after sailing, goes a long way to encourage new members. I note that bar takings and tea bar accounts were excellent.
Board sailing attendance was well down this year. This was mainly due to the lack of force five winds; the club board sailors are getting very experienced! On three occasions we did manage some board sailing tuition which went down well, but it does require very experienced instructors for this activity. Safety and rescue instruction also took place - this is an important activity to be encourage. (Ed -those of you who still insist on going out single-handed in a rescue boat, take note!)
An achievement cup (the Barnard trophy) is presented each year, and for last summer's efforts we congratulate young Sarron Ward, who graduated from crewing in Enterprises to helming Toppers and Lasers. His efforts were an example to all the other students, all of whom did very well and deserve a pat on the back.
It was very encouraging for me and all helpers to see both Arthur Phillips and Mike Jones getting very involved in junior sailing, both at the club and for Surrey Schools sailing. I am sure that this is a very positive way forward for the club, and wish them both every success for the coming year.
Finally I must thank once again all the helpers (both instructors and shore crew) for your tremendous support and friendship over many years, and I wish Helen and all the crew a very successful year ahead. The Tuesday evening event is in very good and capable hands, fully supported by a very appreciative committee. Hopefully both Elsie and myself will meet up with you all again soon on our visits to the mainland.
Training Officer 1983 -2000