Happy New Year to all members. The 2014 sailing season is approaching and this newsletter is intended to make you aware of what is happening at the Club now, and the plans your committee have in hand for the season. As always, feedback is welcome either to the responsible committee member (email addresses on the website) or to the Commodore (email@example.com)
- Sailing Matters
- St Ayles Skiff
- Training Matters
- RYA Affiliation
- Membership Renewal
- Cleaner Wanted
- Ross & Cromarty Sports Awards
Following a comprehensive review by Richard Evans of all dinghy results, the outcome of the Aggregate Series result for 2013 has been revised. Thomas Hardie is the overall winner of the Dave Watson Quaich and Magnus Henry is the winner of the Junior Trophy. Many congratulations to both and apologies for any upset caused by the initial confusion.
The season begins for dinghy sailors on the 6th April with an informal sail followed on the 13th April by the start of the Sunday series races. Sunday morning sailing will also start on the 13th April and will follow a similar format to last year with boat tuning, practice starts, team racing, etc (further details to follow).
The cruiser season begins on the 17th and 19th April with the crane-in. All mooring holders are requested to return their strops to the Club by 8th March. The first race in the Moray Yachting Series takes place at Invergordon on 10th May. Diarmid Hogan has already circulated a list of other planned races and cruises-in-company and these will be published on the website. As last year, Diarmid (firstname.lastname@example.org) would be very happy to find berths for any members wishing to crew on yachts either for races or cruises.
Some key dates for the sailing calendar are:
- 22nd June - Grenville's Sail
- 28th June - RNLI and Open Day, and Cruiser Regatta
- 29th June - Ness Cup
- 2nd/3rd August - Dinghy Regatta
- 20th September - Black Isle Challenge Cup
Dutyman has been loaded with race and safety officer duties for the whole season and members may volunteer now for their preferred dates. It is hoped/expected that each member will cover approximately 5 duties over the course of the year. At the end of March, members who have not volunteered will be allocated dates (that may be swapped). Please note that if you volunteer for duties you will do no more than members who are allocated dates; you will just get to choose when you do them.
St Ayles Skiff
Our Skiff kit arrived shortly before Christmas and we have an excellent space in the Avoch Community Hall (next to the Primary School and courtesy of Avoch Sea Scouts) in which to build our boat. We are turning pre-marked sheets of plywood into a beautiful craft with the aid of a simple set of plans, whatever tools we can muster and – most importantly- much enthusiasm! This enthusiasm compensates for our very limited experience in boatbuilding, but the idea is we have fun, learn from others who have built skiffs, develop our skills and end with a boat that the whole Club can be proud of and use for both leisure and competitive rowing.
The builders meet at 2pm Sunday and 7pm Wednesday until the sailing season starts, and some individuals spend additional time working on the project. We hope many members will contribute to the build and especially seek those with more advanced joinery skills as we move into the mysterious realms of scarf joints and epoxy gluing. But anyone can help with many of the tasks and if you would like to be involved then we want to hear from you. The Skiff project leaders are Donnie Macleod and Steve Bramwell- contact details on the Club website. Please get in touch if you want to know more or can help.
The websites www.scottishcoastalrowing.org and www.facebook.com/ullapool-coastal-rowing-club give a good flavour of what we are trying to achieve.
Gaelforce have made a generous donation to enable us to start work but on 15th February we are holding a fund-raising Quiz Night (hot food and bar and Mairi Macleod will be selling her very clever and intricate ropework items). If you would like a table (£5 per head), please book with the Social Secretary (email@example.com).
Bookings are being taken for the following courses all at the clubhouse - if you would like a place please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01463 811080.
- Splicing with Tony Daly - 25 January, 1000 - 1500, £15. Recap on 3 strand splices followed by braid on braid.
- RYA Essential Navigation & Seamanship - 1 & 2 February, £50. A classroom course leading to a RYA certificate and a great introduction for all water users to navigation, tides, weather and safety. The course includes a comprehensive pack of a booklet, practice charts, training almanac, course plotter, dividers and even some practice chart plotter software and is exceptional value for club members. NB cut off for application is 23 January to allow time for training material to be ordered & supplied.
- Reading Charts - 12 & 13 February, £5 to cover both sessions. Two midweek evening sessions where we will unlock some of the mysteries of the Admiralty Charts - recognizing hazards to navigation, understanding depths, measuring bearings & distance.
- First Aid with Willie Wilson – 15 February, £30. Emergency First Aid at Work course approved by RYA for instructors & coaches.
Assistant Training Principal
We are seeking a club member to help the Training Principal with course administration. The Assistant Training Principal would take course bookings, send out joining instructions and keep an up-to-date training diary and help the Principal (Richard Jenner) with other administration such as grant applications. It would not involve being on the committee and the majority of the work would be done on-line from home (the Assistant Training Principal would need internet access at home and be comfortable with email and basic word processing). If you are interested and feel that you could commit to this for at least 2 years, please contact Richard via email@example.com or call 01463 811080.
The club affiliated to the RYA in May 1956 and has maintained that status ever since. The fee for 2014 will be £395 so what are the benefits for the club?
Through affiliation we can and do access all sorts of relevant advice covering legal matters, child protection, constitutions, insurance, event management, club development and training etc. Two little known benefits are that we can use the Racing Rules of Sailing – these international rules are copyright to the National Governing Body (the RYA) and can only be used (legally) by organizations affiliated to the NGB; the other benefit is that while we pay an affiliation fee we do not have to pay a recognition fee for our Recognized Training Centre activities (currently worth £294/year).
Membership renewal time is upon us and renewal forms will be issued to current members via Dutyman during January. All fees and forms must be returned by 28th February when the database will be updated. As in previous years, members who haven’t renewed by this date will be removed from the database and must pay the joining fee to re-join. Direct debits will be claimed towards the end of February and relevant members will be contacted with the exact date. Please contact the membership secretary (Joanne Johnson – firstname.lastname@example.org) if you have any questions regarding renewal.
It is essential that updated membership forms be completed and returned with payment to maintain accurate records and ensure correspondence is sent to the correct address. Dutyman has the facility for members to update their details throughout the season and members are issued with a login and password on renewal. New membership and discount cards will be sent out on 1st March.
After freezing membership fees for 2013, the committee has agreed a minor increase in fees (approx 2.2%) for 2014 and the new rates are below. This figure reflects the increase in the Consumer Price index for the year and ensures that the value of subscription income to the Club is not reduced in real terms
As you may have heard, our cleaner Ann Geddes has retired after 28 years with the Club and we wish her all the best for the future. This leaves a vacancy - we are looking for a self-employed cleaner for the Clubhouse for about 6 hours/ week in the main sailing season, fewer in the "off" season. If you know anyone who may be interested in this opportunity please contact Helen Jenner."
At the Ross & Cromarty Sports Awards event on 16th January Richard Evans, against some very stiff competition, was the runner-up in the “Administrator/Volunteer of the Year” category. Many congratulations to Richard and also thanks for the very considerable contribution he makes to the running of the Club.