28 November 2018

2018 will be remembered for some fantastic weather and a great sailing season. I hope everyone enjoyed it as much as I did. It was sad to lose The Yoke, but we will put in a special effort next year to bring it back to its rightful place in the snug bar!

Winter weather is upon us and most boats are in hibernation, but some keen sailors are still out when the weather is fine.

Much work has been done on and outside the Club this year, with working parties around the Club, dinghy park and car park (thanks to all who turn out), the slipway piling completed, various works on the terrace in progress over the winter and, finally, improved security with the installation of electronic security locks on all gates and doors just completed.

We held the well attended launch earlier in November to start the celebrations for the Club’s centenary year with the opportunity to see and buy the new centenary merchandise. Liz Sagues was there to sign copies of her excellent book on the history of the Club – a great read!

Details of all the ESC centenary merchandise, how to see it, order and buy are now on the website. The system is initially manual (download order form and order through the office) but will shortly be followed by an online system using SCM, the Club database, which many people behind the scenes have been working very hard to get ready. There is a lot on offer and I hope many of you will think of the Club (and help celebrate the Centenary) by choosing Christmas presents from our merchandise selection.

I wrote to you shortly after the AGM, where the motion on changing the membership categories and prices was defeated. There has been much discussion since then and with the General Committee (and its five new members) on how to proceed. The second sentence in section 63 of the Club rules says, “No business decided at a general meeting shall be considered again within 6 months of the date of such meeting.” This applies in this case. The 2019 subscription billing run must start shortly, so that we can decide how many new members we need to interview from the waiting list and also to start the billet allocation process. There will therefore be no change to membership categories, joining fees or subscriptions in 2019 during the Centenary year. The General Committee has decided not to seek an interim General Meeting other than the Finance General Meeting but to use the 11 months before the next AGM to look again at the membership structure and consult widely during the process.

The rises that were proposed would have raised about an extra £8k in 2019. The Club has sufficient cash reserves to take this “loss” but we will obviously look closely at how to continue to build reserves in the future, from 2020 onwards.

I would like to thank everyone working either within or outside the Club committees for the tremendous contribution that they all make to the Club – this enables us to keep our subscriptions competitive and make it such an enjoyable and successful club for our members and visitors. Well done to everyone!

Finally, this will go in the last newsletter before the year end and I wish you all a very enjoyable end to the year, as we look forward to the Club’s Centenary celebrations.

Michael Geary



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