Commodore’s View – Summer 2019

Here we are in August two thirds through our sailing year for 2019 and although we haven’t had quite the sunny weather, we had last year, we have managed to put on every rally so far in 2019. That’s given the remaining rallies for 2019 the kiss of death for sure! So far, all the unpleasant weekend weather has been on non-rally weekends. I believe it may be called exceptional planning, although some may say we were just lucky!

As you know, the Club celebrated its 10th anniversary this year and we combined this event with the Commodore’s annual reception. It was a relaxed affair attended by over 60 of us and we were fortunate to be joined by some members of the inaugural meeting from 2009. In addition to existing members, Brian and Dawne Dunton, we were pleased to welcome Mike de Lisle, Gina Lindholme, and Chris Furner. They were genuinely pleased that through their initial sterling efforts the Club has grown and is flourishing. Brian Dunton gave an excellent speech with facts and anecdotes of the early days and he was followed by Grahame Solway, the second commodore of the Club who gave us an amusing account of the interim years.

It was a pleasure to have Ben Lippiett, Haslar Marina Manager, par excellence, join us for the evening along with Maurice Owens, our nonagenarian sailor from ‘Old Possum’, who is an Honorary Member of the Club. We also welcomed Paul and Marion Oliver; Paul is Commodore of the Royal Air Force Yacht Club in the Hamble. They thoroughly enjoyed the evening and commented on how friendly and welcoming our members are and what a lovely club is Haslar Yacht Club. Far be it from me to disagree!

Given that this is our tenth anniversary year, the committee felt that it would be most appropriate to offer Honorary Membership to Brian and Dawne Dunton for all the hard work and dedication they have given to the club over 9 of its ten years. Having sold their boat, Tallulah, to focus on other interests, it was an even more fitting tribute, which, I am pleased to say they have accepted graciously.

We were looked after very well by Melissa and the team at Hornet Sailing Club, who served us a lovely hot buffet with three choices of main, followed by dessert or cheese and biscuits. Hornet’s friendly helpful staff could not do enough for us and even the tables were decorated in the Club’s colours of green and white! Thanks too, to Arty Shaw, Hornet SC Secretary, for making all the arrangements.

Katy Kelly, our entertaining singer for the evening has a lovely voice and had most of us on the dance floor for the remainder of the night.

Finally, it remains for me to thank our Events Officer, Stewart Velzian, for organising yet another splendid occasion.

We have been very fortunate to have the strong support of the Dean & Reddyhoff Board, as well as Ben, over the years. Rather than accept their support on an ad hoc basis, this year we applied for a budget to help fund specific events for a total similar to that of previous years. The Board very graciously granted us that budget, so we were able to apply half that funding to the 10th Anniversary evening and with the Club picking up the rest, enabled us to fund a drink on arrival, all the food plus wine to members together with the entertainment. In addition, we used £300 towards the New Members and Prospective members event held on the Lightship earlier this year. This was a successful lunchtime event excellently hosted by Maria and her staff. Quite a few new members signed up to join our happy band and we welcome them to the Club and look forward to getting to know them better on our rallies and future events.

Our attempts at holding informal gatherings on occasion on a Friday evening have not met with much success in the past and we think that is due to lack of focus. To test this theory, we will be planning some evenings in the winter, with a speaker, relevant to boating and coastal environment topics. Some of our budget from Dean & Reddyhoff will be applied to provide some support for these evenings. An impromptu dinner at the Lightship, earlier in the year, when we were due to join Portland YC for their 10th anniversary was thoroughly enjoyed by all, despite the sad fact that Portland had to cry off in the face of bad weather forecasts. A straw poll showed that everyone was up for a repeat of this type of event.

If you are planning to visit the Southampton Boat Show this year (September 13th through 22nd), please note that Tuesday 17th is the day set aside for members of Haslar Yacht Club to join the Dean & Reddyhoff stand to chat with them and amongst ourselves and enjoy their hospitality. We will post suggested timings on the HYC site nearer the time.

It remains for me to wish you fair winds and happy times for the remainder of the season.


David Whitehead










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