Annual General Meeting 2010

Report by Ken Surplice

Our AGM was held in February in Weymouth this year. Member support was very strong. Was this due to the attractions of Weymouth, or the lure of the National Sailing Academy or the excitement of the AGM itself? I forgot to ask.

Those making a weekend of it first gathered at Weymouth Sailing Club for Saturday lunch. I was not able to arrive in time to join in but by all accounts we Seals filled the place up and had a very agreeable (euphemism) time. The club welcomes visiting yachtsman so do drop in on your next visit and enjoy great views of the harbour and the lifeboat just outside.

During the afternoon, almost thirty members split into two groups to enjoy a tour of Portland Coastguard premises. These are of course on Weymouth quayside. Each session was oversubscribed but nevertheless ran smoothly and was very much appreciated.

During the afternoon, it reminded me of being stormbound in France ports. You’d wander around town and keep bumping into other members. The same was true in Weymouth, especially with most people choosing hotels at the Pavilion end. I can highly recommend the hotels in the crescent with either sea or harbour view. I confess that I achieved one of my ambitions. Next time you sail into Weymouth, after passing the Sea Cat quay look up to the crescent of hotels on the right. Only one room has a balcony, a tiny one with two chairs. I have at last sat there, drinking tea, watching the world go by. Elsewhere, there is plenty to do in Weymouth on a winters day, or you might, as some did, hop up to Portland Bill to watch a very rough sea.

We met in the Royal Dorset Yacht Club at 6.30pm. Contrary to rumours, food is still prepared and served there. Over forty of us sat down in this fine room to enjoy a meal and catch up on winter gossip.

On Sunday morning we headed across to Portland to the Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy. This is a very modern looking site and before we arrived there was a lot going on. I was amazed to learn that an Olympic crew from the USA was visiting, amongst many others around that day, to get used to the local conditions. All this two years before the Olympics. Crikey. We moved up to Spinnakers Restaurant where we stayed for both AGM and lunch. This was the perfect size for our sixty-four members in attendance, with a huge panoramic window overlooking the bay.

Pre-meeting, we enjoyed tea and coffee, a good chat, views from the balcony and the opportunity to cast a vote in the closing moments of the annual photo competition. Geoff our webmaster, and partner Beth, set up an impressive display. Beth – I do hope you managed to smuggle the display board back into your office without it being missed. It seemed to me that the photo content corner was in competition with the regalia corner where Di, our Regalia Officer, had set up shop. Either way, it all looked very smart, in keeping with the smartness of the sailing academy.

You will be able to read the minutes of the AGM when Tim our secretary has prepared them. Let me give you some highlights.

  • We gave thanks to Phil Walden and Jonathan Houston, who stood down from committee posts of Publicity/Press Officer and Sailing Secretary. Both have contributed many years of duties and contributions to the national committee. In addition we showed appreciation to all committee and area officers for their support during the year.
  • No national cruise was organised last year. We do want to offer this to the members each year but with unpredictable weather, it is become more of a challenge to find an organiser. For the 2010 season, we will co-ordinate groups who want to cruise in company according to whether they want to go west, south, east or possibly north. If you know your intentions, and would like some company please contact me (until we get a new Sailing Secretary).
  • Steve our Treasurer reported on a very sound financial year, assisted by cost reduction efforts on our newsletter thanks to Barbara our editor who is waiting for me to hurry up so she can visit the publishers. Steve asks you all to pay by standing order, please. Membership fees remained unchanged.
  • Philip Linsell explained his special resolution to rename the association back to SSA. After a polite debate covering pros and cons, a vote was taken with a clear majority in favour of not changing. We did all agree that we are all sail under a Seal burgee and should be very happy to address each other as Seals.
  • Peter Forster kindly stepped in to run the elections after the existing committee stepped down. All standing for re-electing were vote in. Did I mention we have a vacancy for Sailing Secretary?


After the formalities of the AGM, we move to presentation of awards. Congratulations to all those receiving their well deserved awards for the 2009 season.

Silver Jubilee Trophy In recognition of service in promoting the success and objects of the association John Coyle
Newsletter award For outstanding contribution to newsletter "A family affair in London" by Pat and Pam Morgan
Angus Primrose Memorial Trophy For meritorious achievements in an Angus Primrose designed boat David Bamber
Parker 21/235 Trophy For meritorious achievement in a Parker 21 or 235 Peter Scrivens
Photo competition Winner of member-judged annual competition "Ariel at Iken" by Martin Gray
Devonshire Boule Winner of annual boule competition Stephen and Julie Roy
Sandcastle trophy Winner of annual sandcastle competition Robert Lowry
Eastern Area Award Most valuable contribution in supporting the activities in the area To be revealed after presentation in Eastern Area
Solent Area trophy Most valuable contribution in supporting the activities in the area Michael and Jenny Mead
South West Area award Most valuable contribution in supporting the activities in the area Not awarded
Randell Plate First Seal 22 to finish in RIOW Richard Tanner, Skylark
Super Seal trophy First Seal 26 or Parker 27/275 to finish in RIOW Peter Lowry, Cleo
Annual racing trophy First boat overall in RIOW Geoff Turner, Dawn

Photos by Sue Surplice