The Wraysbury Eye April 2013

The season is truly upon us with the long distance skiffing events underway and our first win; the first dragon boat league event took place on the first May Bank Holiday weekend and the Club AGM was quietly held on Thursday 18th April…. punting won’t start till it gets bit warmer.

And even better, there are light evenings, no boards and a lot more people going out on the river!

General Club Stuff –  The committee for 2013 has been finalised. We would like to extend our thanks to those who have stepped down for their service to the Club, in particular Tony Cross for countless years as both Hon. Treasurer and Vice Captain of Punting. Tony was presented with a modern copy of H. M. Winstanley’s book entitled Punting from 1922 and an ‘antique’ print from 1924 showing the stages of the punting stroke, so now Tony has retired at least he will know how to do it!

Hon. Secretary – the Hon. Secretary role seems to have grown as successive ones have taken on more and more; we’d like to change all that and return to the original status quo where the Hon. Secretary just deals with the Committee Meeting minute taking, distribution and chasing, as well as the day-to-day ‘administration’ of the club… all the emails, contacts, dealing with the Council, that sort of stuff. Imo will continue to organise the Regattas hosted by the Club and some of the large events she primarily organises, like the Dinner Dance. Having split this role back down to its constituent parts, do you feel this is a job you could do? Please speak to Imo to find out a bit more about it so we can share the workload.

Annual AccountsTony always ran a tight ship and this will continue to be the case as we try to keep our expenditure in check; there is little if any scope for cuts in expenditure and as a racing club, we will continue to keep our equipment in good condition to enable you to participate; the emphasis this year will be on maximising our income.

How are we going to do this? Below are some suggestions, but others are welcome:

  • We have a full complement of Bar Stewards this year which we hope will see increased sales
  • We would like a Social Secretary so we can organise more events at the Club on top of the standard events like the Dinner Dance, Bonfire Night and the Crew Supper
  • Do you want to use the Club for special event? We haven’t had a wedding for a while, or a special birthday party by the river? (Due to the terms of our planning permission, this is only open to Club members and immediate family)

Club subscriptions – Club subscriptions for the current year are now due; it was decided at the previous AGM to increase the subscriptions, but to defer the rise till this year. These show a modest increase and are still cheap for the facilities and sports offered compared to say a gym or rowing club membership, but are in line with the other skiff clubs. The new rates can be found here.

It normally falls to me to chase those who have not paid their subscriptions at the end of the season, but this year we will be enforcing the club rule that you cannot race if you have not paid your subscriptions, so I will be chasing the active membership to pay their subscriptions as quickly as you can. Why not try and pay yours by the end of May and/or update your standing order amount?

For those who pay by standing order, we would be grateful if you could inform your bank of the new amount to be collected either annually or quarterly, and any shortfall can be paid to me or over the bar.

The BarYou will see that for the first time in many years, we have a full complement of bar stewards and we are grateful to Colin, Greg and Phil for stepping forward to take on these roles; I think we appreciate that we are never going to return to terribly boozy evenings that were common when I first joined the Club in the 1980s (I’m sure some will remember through a drunken haze even earlier years!); that age is truly gone.

However, we will endeavour to return to the Bar Rota, so that the bar is open more often and is manned, encouraging you to stay at the Club, socialise and perhaps partake in the odd drink or two. For those who don’t know how the Bar Rota works, it is quite simple; we try and put a name against all possible 31 days of a month; if the bar is meant to be open when your number comes up, you do the bar; over a season, depending on when your days fall, this would normally be no more than 3 or 4 sessions, sometimes less; if your number falls on a date when there is a function, don’t worry, you are not expected to do the bar on your own; this will be organised by the Bar Stewards on a rota basis, of which you may be a part.

Initially, the bar will be open on Thursday evenings and we hope to expand this quickly to other Club sessions on Tuesday evenings and Sunday lunchtimes as the season progresses. Please support Colin, Greg and Phil in accomplishing this.

Social Secretary – Ian Swinglehurst had some great ideas and organised some great events, but they were not always well supported despite his efforts; you will see later on in the Eye that we would like to encourage more socialising in conjunction with the bar to maximise our income; we are looking here at the organising extra social events on top of our four regular events, these being the Dinner Dance, The Crew Supper, the Bonfire Night Party and the Christmas Nibbles & Drinks Party.

Circuits – Winter circuits finished officially on Wed 1st May; many thanks to Carol for running it and Ian for stepping in when Carol was not available; it made a profit for Club funds and with the money I had left at the end, I purchased a new weights rack for the mezzanine; I hope everyone ‘enjoyed’ them, such as you can enjoy circuits, benefitted from attending and saw the professional way they were run. Summer Circuits will commence on Wed 8th May and will be run by Ian; they are free, but there will be no food provided afterwards; as the weather improves along with the lighter evenings, they will be held outside; all are welcome to attend as usual at 19.00 for a 19.15 start.

Other stuff that is going on around the Club – We have taken delivery of our new safety/punting umpires launch and this is on a trailer in the boat house; the next step is to source a reasonably priced steering conversion kit to link to our engine make, but it can be used without this link. The aluminium workboat has gone for repair and when returned will be anti-fouled and painted. Thursday nights are the most popular Club night and there has been food for the last 2 weeks courtesy of Imo; we would like to provide food each Thursday throughout the season and if you would like to volunteer your culinary skills, then please speak to Imo.

Items for Sale or seeking the identity of their owners – We continue to clear up the boathouse and dispose of non-core items that get left at the club; we would like to dispose of the following unless anyone lays claim to them (we feel these might belong to someone who is still at the club – please claim them):

  • 1 set of Eton College Macon wooden sculls with white spoons, no grips, but tied together
  • 1 set of Jerry Sutton Macon wooden sculls with un-painted plain wood spoons

British Rowing Almanacs 2013As part of the agreement for skiffing to be included in this publication, each affiliated club gets a number of these to sell; sales have been going well, but we have a few left at £23.50 each; they include a write up of last season, this year by Natalie Maclean, captain of DSPC, and details of all the regatta results, so your name could be in print. Please speak to Imo if you want a copy. Going cheap – priced attractively to sell, if you missed previous years and you are an avid collector of such things, there are some behind the bar for sale at £5 each to clear.

Magna Carta – 800 years Celebrations in 2015 – The Club has attended meetings to discuss what will be done to mark this occasion and Egham Regatta has also begun discussions with them about doing something special for that year. The original plans have not been supported by funding applications (see this link http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-surrey-21351093) but we are still working with the Council as one of the interested and organising partners, as this is an opportunity to once and for all try to sort out our access issues with the gate and the ‘loose link’ if there is any development of the gate area and the road. Imo sent you all a questionnaire which you can fill in to comment on the suggestions raised so far.

Moan(s) of the Month – Rubbish/Recycling – I’ll get this in before it happens again…. if you bring down a water bottle/bottle of water, either take it home with you, or if you have finished with it, put it in the blue plastic crate in the kitchen for recycling. Whatever you do, please do not leave them littered around the Club.

On the Water – These are the remaining skiffing & punting regattas for the year.

Sunday 12 May – Gordon Dear Mixed Marathon

Saturday 18 May – Wraysbury Long Distance Sculls

Sunday 30 June – Egham Regatta

Saturday 13 July – TVSC Club Regatta

Sunday 14 Jul –  WBC Junior Marathon

Saturday 20 July – Hampton Court & Dittons

Sunday 21 July – DSPC Junior Regatta

Saturday 27 July – Chertsey & Shepperton

Saturday 3rd August – Wraysbury & Old Windsor

Saturday 10 August – Sunbury

Sunday 11 August – Sunbury Junior Regatta

Saturday 17 August – Walton Reach

Sunday 25 August – Skiff Championships

Saturday 31 August – Skiff Club

Sunday 1 September – Inter Club (at Skiff Club)

Saturday 14 September – DSPC Club

Saturday 21 September – Wargrave Club

Saturday 28 September – WSPC Club

Saturday 12 October – Singles Marathon

Sunday 20 October – Doubles Marathon

Coaching – Once again, we are pleased that Ivan Jones is available to pass on his invaluable knowledge to you and is available by arrangement for both skiffing and punting coaching; he can be contacted on 01784 482246 and as he is ‘retired’, can be available at ‘odd’ times to suite, not just on Club nights.

Boat Cleaning – now it is a lot more pleasant and hopefully people will be down the Club more often, we can continue with this task; when you get the call from Chris, please help!

Blades – same as last month – these have been reviewed and if your favourites are not around, they have been taken for re-leathering or repair…. but some have now been returned; if they have new leathers put plenty of tallow on them so they feather.

Punting poles – All our poles have been reviewed and categorised into racing and practice… with so few punters, it did not seem worthwhile to categorise them by status the same way as the skiffing blades. To help the other clubs new to punting, we arranged for some of our poorer quality ladies poles to go to Skiff Club, who only had 1 ladies pole left and Sunbury Skiff & Punting Club, who had no poles at all. We decided we did not have any spare gents poles. Our next task is to rack the poles more effectively, but in their current location. We have taken the damaged gratings from the two racing 2’s for repair so they will be ready for training and the first regatta.

Mini Meander – as there was insufficient training time over the winter because of the stream conditions, there will not be a full Meander this year, but a mini leisurely trip is planned for the late May Bank Holiday weekend (Sat 25th and Sun 26th May), probably starting from Wargrave Boat Club back to the Club. Please ask Chris for details.

Jui Dashes – watch out for announcements on this annual event for classified & drawn scratch sprint skiff races in memory of Jui Goodchild, which will be on a Thursday evening in Early June.

Junior Boating – There will be a fuller report next month, but the older juniors are out in force skiffing on a Thursday night and a Sunday morning under Mike’s supervision, while the younger ones are also out in the dinghies.

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