Wednesday, January 2, 2013
Sixty one members attended Exe Sailing Club’s 2012 annual general meeting in the clubhouse, writes Mike Rice.
Commodore Rex Frost reported on a very eventful year in spite of unfavourable weather conditions upsetting some of the club racing fixtures.
In June the club took part in the 1948 Olympic torch relay, receiving the torch from Lympstone SC on a beautiful sunny evening with a great crowd at the club, and sending it off later in the week to Sidmouth SC accompanied by an armada of boats. The torch relay events, superbly organised by Frankie Upton, involved the whole Exmouth community. The club celebrated its centenary in July, with a multi-class pursuit race, organised by Symon Garratt, and a black-and-white themed dinner.
During the Olympic regatta, members packed the clubhouse to watch the TV coverage of Stevie Morrison and Ben Rhodes competing in the 49er medal race. Their four years of hard work and training culminated in a fifth place; not what they would have liked, but nevertheless a notable achievement. Ian Williams, with his GAC Team Pindar, has become World Match Racing champion for a record-breaking fourth time after reaching the quarter-finals of the Monsoon Cup in Malaysia last week.
Exe SC runs a major dinghy championships every other year, and this year it was the club’s turn to host the RS200 nationals, attended by 86 boats. The event was a huge hit with the competitors, who heaped praise on the club for the quality of the racing and the contribution made by the many club volunteers, both on and off the water.
On the club dinghy sailing scene, Andrew and Caroline McAusland won the Trio nationals, Iain Horlock came 14th in the Contender Nationals having already sailed well in the European championships. Alex Horlock came 16th in the RS200 nationals and Victoria Upton with Anna Broad won the 2 Rivers Juniors (slow fleet) and George Melbourne won the fast fleet.
Ben Cornish has worked his way into the top 5 Laser sailors group and is working hard with the RYA squad while Victoria Upton has moved into the Southern Region Zone squad, which will provide top class coaching for her.
The cruisers had four boats in the Round the Island Race this year, with Chris Rhodes doing the best at 3rd in his class. Two yachts did the South Devon cross channel week; Chris Rhodes again winning every race. Five yachts raced at Dartmouth, with Rick Newcombe doing best at 2nd in the PY1 class. Four of Exe SC’s J80s raced in the world championships at Dartmouth. Neil Matson took part in the Triangle race (3rd overall) and then set off for the Canary Islands where his boat Vela Fresca is spending the winter. Neil’s son Sam is working with Artemis Racing in the hope of being the youngest Briton ever to sail in the Vendee Globe, the single-handed non-stop round the world race, whose current edition is in progress at the moment. David Shadrack and Martin Minter are moving David’s boat slowly south and west with an Atlantic crossing being planned shortly.
The roof of the clubhouse is now clad with an array of solar panels, which have reduced the club’s energy bill and provide a useful revenue stream. A big working party re-pointed the brick section of sea wall and the rock gabions along the sea wall have been repacked and renovated.
Bar and catering chair Ted Draper, has worked with assistance from Viv Pearce and Marion Geare and chef Martyn to bring about a range of improvements in the restaurant which have been greatly appreciated by members. Mike Hill has overseen the introduction of a new till system which has speeded up payment and improved service overall.
A major task for the committee this year has been the redrafting of the club’s constitution, to bring it into line with the RYA’s model constitution for community amateur sports clubs. The AGM voted to adopt the new constitution.
Looking ahead to next year, the sailing programme is now almost complete, featuring additional fixtures to encourage more participation in dinghy and cruiser racing, particularly for juniors. The programme will be available on the website at www.exe-sailing-club.org