Minutes of the Spring General Meeting
held on 1st April 2011

The Spring General Meeting of the Social Sailing Fleet took place in the Bar at HISC at 11.00 a.m.

Richard Smith, Fleet Captain and Treasurer opened the meeting, welcoming everyone and thanking them for coming.  There were 38 members present, and Colin Ralph, Marine Manager, was in attendance, but Richard explained that Seumas Kilpatrick, the Rear Commodore Cruising, was unable to attend. 

Apologies had been received from John & Mel Ainsworth, Liz & Chris Alder, Jane & Barry Blaydes, Lynne Bodilly, Xan & Edward Carr, Heather & Eddie Lewis, Sheila & Anthony Penfold, Barbara Sparshatt, June Tong and Mike Wright-Anderson.

Richard said that Doreen was very much in our thoughts today and that he did not wish to make any great changes in the way the group would be organized in the future.  He has asked Barbara Beck to continue as secretary, Judy Cave to look after membership lists, Jane Blaydes to continue handling the website and e-mail connexions, and he has asked Angela Wright-Anderson to take over the organizing of flowers, gifts and cards when needed.  She has agreed to fill this role.

Richard also reminded us that he still holds the position of Treasurer and would like to continue in this role until the A.G.M. as he had only just taken over from Geoff Coop and had, in fact, not previously attended a meeting in that capacity.  He felt this would give some continuity for the time being.  This continuation was proposed by Judy Cave and seconded by Mike Baker, all present were in agreement.

Minutes of the A.G.M., 8th October 2010.  Richard asked if there were any matter of accuracy arising from the Minutes.  No matters were raised.  Richard, himself, felt that the actions raised in the Minutes were: 1 The ferry, 2 marina trolleys, 3 early launching of cruisers, 4 flooding in the car park, and 5 the possibility of members driving Selene; no other matters were raised by the members. Action matters were deferred to discussion later with the Marine Manager.  The acceptance of the Minutes was proposed by John Cook and seconded by Roy Barnes.

Minutes of the Extraordinary General Meeting, 4th March 2011  This meeting was held to elect a new Fleet Captain – Richard Smith.  No one raised any matters concerning these Minutes and their acceptance was proposed by Paul Cook and seconded by Mike Baker.

Marine Manager. Richard welcomed Colin Ralph and expressed thanks on behalf of everyone for the super service from his department and remarked how smoothly the launching had gone.  He pointed out that some members may well remember how thing used to be!  He then invited Colin to take the floor to answer the matters raised at the A.G.M. and by members present as follows:

Mike Tong said that he uses his dinghy frequently in mid-week and finds launching in the soft sand either side of the pontoon very difficult, and asked if there are any aids available.  Colin explained that “mats” used during launching for the Youth Nationals will be used to aid members using the tender park, and sand will be cleared as and when possible to provide an easier route for launching.  The new tractor has a larger bucket and will be put into use as soon as a special contraption has been made to counter-balance the rear of the tractor, when the bucket is full, to make it safe.  This means there is now plenty of sand-moving equipment available and work will start as soon as possible.  In fact, Colin had had to launch the cruisers a week earlier than originally planned.

Paul Cook raised the matter of Committee boats occupying the pontoon for long periods, thus preventing cruisers getting alongside for water, etc.  Colin could not promise to keep the pontoon clear, especially during the lunch period when rib crews need to come ashore, they re-embark en masse when racing starts again, so putting ribs on moorings is not practicable.  Also Race Committees decisions were out of his hands, but efforts would be made to keep at least the hammerhead clear.

Monica Rose said she had seen some new marina trolleys and asked if they were for cruisers or staff.  Colin confirmed that 4 new trolleys would be available for sailors and he hoped to keep them close to the staircase at Stocker Block.  A new and different locking system will be used for these trolleys.  Richard Smith suggested a lock at the end of the pontoon and, although Colin said he could fit a lock, Trevor Rose pointed out that he had lost a trolley off the pontoon and felt trolleys should not be kept in such a vulnerable position.

Lyn Smith suggested an “unfriendly” notice be put up on the pontoon telling non-members not to use the end of the pontoon.  Colin confirmed new signs would be going up, now that we can make our own.  Trevor Rose pointed out that visiting support team boats were the worse offenders and they frequently did not know about the “20 minute” rule.  It was suggested that visitors should be informed in their information packs. 

Richard Smith said cruisers did understand the difficulties but, nonetheless, needed to have access to the pontoon hammerhead.

Flooding. Colin was happy to report that the electrics on the new pump had been improved and should now be able to cope with the ground water in the car park.

Insurance for Selene. While members are able to drive ribs it was felt that driving Selene could cause problems if she were to be damaged, but Colin will check the insurance situation.  Carolyn Curties said she believed bringing Selene alongside boats on the moorings, especially in rough conditions, needed expertise and practice which members may not have.  Paul Cook said he did not think we had had any problems with Selene since Colin had arrived.

Richard thanked Colin for his input and said that our comments were not criticisms of the Marine Department, and thanked him again for his department’s efforts.  This was applauded.

Captain’s Report “Ladies & Gentlemen, It has been rather a tough winter, a tough year.  As a fleet we’ve had some knocks, and our members have suffered some sad times.  However, we are a resilient lot, and let me mention just a few members – not in any particular order.

“Belinda Cook lost her sister Anna last year.  Anna was not a “social sailor”, but in past years had been a keen and enthusiastic sailor.  Judy Lockwood’s sister, Susie, died suddenly over the winter, and Judy then lost her brother-in-law shortly afterwards.  Trevor Rose has a new hip, and is now striding down the causeway, appearing as fit as ever.  Mildred Cook continues to improve, and it’s great to see her around so often.  John Bovis too – he has a few problems ahead, but remains cheerful and optimistic.  Julia King has broken her hip, has had an operation to repair it, and is now going from strength to strength.  We are pleased to see her here today.  Jan and Paul Ripley can’t go to France quite as often as they wish right now.  Jan’s aiming for a knee replacement and Paul has to keep going on with endless tests l   Iris Long has moved to a Care Home.  She is a founder member of our fleet and her 90th birthday is coming up very soon.  We wish her all the very best, and all the love in the world.  It’s good to see Tony Mills at the Club.  He has a rotten illness, but he’s an inspiration to us all.  Freddie Kemp has a problem or two.  It is bad timing at the start of the season, but knowing Freddie he’ll be on that boat soon.  Eddie Lewis is rather poorly.  He and Heather send their good wishes and we wish them all the very best. 

And Doreen. Doreen Bennett died in February of this year.  Many of us went to her funeral and it was such a moving occasion.  As a fleet we contributed to the RNLI charity appeal.  Doreen captained this Social Sailing fleet for some 12 years, and encouraged it and us to become such a thriving section of HISC.  She was wonderful.  She will be irreplaceable.

“During our Winter Activities we visited Emsworth SC in January, and Chichester YC in February, and thanks to Judy and Trevor for organising. We have continued our monthly lunches at the Club, so we keep in touch during non-sailing times.

“Boat maintenance tends to dominate our winters!  For those of us laid up at the Club, it’s mostly done and boats are in the water.  Well done us, and well done Colin and the Marine Department for a very smooth launch operation.

“Programme 2011. This programme was put together primarily by Doreen and by Barbara and John Beck.  Thanks Barbara and John.  I’d like to go through the detail briefly if I may, and please shout if you have any queries or comments.  It is available on the website, which supersedes the calendar.

Richard pointed out the list of Co-ordinators for events and said that he would like the organizers to take over the publicity side of their events to offer encouragement, as Doreen had in the past.  He also asked them to come back with a list of attendees, to be passed to Barbara Beck for the records.”

We start with CYC on 20th April, Itchenor SC on May 4th,

John Cook confirmed Haslar Marina and Lighship are booked for 18th May.  John also pointed out  that Yarmouth now has a website for walk-ashore bookings, and there are none at the moment!  Roy Barnes confirmed that bookings have to be paid for at the time of booking and are non-refundable.  Paul Cook said that this year there will be less bookable places and more “pot-luck” places.  Jane Hooper pointed out that it was possible to book Hayles berths without payment.  John Beck confirmed that no bookings had been made this year as most people did not seem to be interested in Hayles.  No bookings have been made for meals in Yarmouth.

No bookings have been made at Poole, but Richard pointed out the possibility of going to Alderney or Cherbourg, not calling in Poole, and several people expressed an interest in doing this.

Buckler’s Hard.  Lyn Smith confirmed booking this venue, using the Marina wherever space is available.  Another option is to use the floating pontoon, but there is no ferry service available and dinghies are needed (Proud Moment will have a tender).  The meal is booked at the Master Builders Hotel - 25 for 3 courses as a set meal, 2 courses are available too.  However, 3 days’ notice must be given for cancellations at the Hotel.

Social Sailing Week.   The Club venues have been booked, although Judy Cave confirmed that Emsworth SC is awaiting approval by the House Committee (usually a formality). 

The matter of the social events in the evenings was discussed and Lyn Smith & Angela Wright-Anderson agreed to organize these events.  There was only limited interest in a Skittles evening on the Tuesday. 

Mike & Jean Baker will organize the BBQ. 

Dell Quay.  Barbara Glasby pointed out that it is imperative that not only Solos and Cruiser numbers should be reported but also those coming by road as the catering is done not by the Club but by members Liz & Jean Sagues themselves!

Southsea Marina on 16th August.  The Marina is booked but John & Barbara Beck will be away so a volunteer is needed to organize this event.

Richard asked for suggestions for fresh venues for next year, and himself suggested Seaview.  He reported that the cost of the ferry has been reduced this year to 10 return per boat.  It is necessary to pick up a strop and the area can be rather choppy, but the food is excellent.  Several people expressed interest in this trip, and it may be possible to fit a visit in this season.

Judy Cave asked all co-ordinators to let her have names and phone numbers of contacts for marinas and restaurants, etc. for a master list.  This will allow coverage of all events if organizers are ill or called away.

“Other Matters. We do need to attract some new members.  Welcome to Patsy & Nick Danby, Christine & John Moore and Geoffrey Palmer who’ve signed up this year, and we very much hope to see you all on the water.”

At this point Judy Cave reported another new member – Ian Wybrew-Bond – to be welcomed.

“We should probably “advertise” our fleet by mailing or by website, but it is down to all of us to encourage some new faces to turn up.

“Jane Blaydes has done a brilliant job for us with the Social Sailing Website.  I urge everybody to use it.  Also – do make sure you are registered for the Club General Newsletter.  All reminders for events etc are notified via the Newsletter.  Instructions are in the Yearbook, and if you have problems give Martin Stainsby a ring.

“On our website are lists of boat owners who are willing to accommodate day sailors to events.  Have a look at the list and if you want to amend, make contact with Jane.

“We had a very charming letter from Joan Thomas letting us know that the hydrangea that we gave her when her husband, Bill, died, is flourishing.  She says that “it is a lovely reminder of a very kind thought, and I thank the Social section again very much”.

“Fleet Representation. We are represented informally by Gary Gledhill and Kevin Crouch on the Cruising Committee, I think this is sufficient, but you may feel differently.  The HISC Yearbook lists a Social Sailing Rep as a Class Captain.  I don’t think Doreen ever became involved.  Do you think we should?”

When the members were keen to be represented Richard asked Gary Gledhill to represent us on the Committee, and he said he was happy to do this, but, so far, apart from Paul Cook, no one has given him any such requests.  Gary and Kevin will be pleased to raise any matters mentioned.

Regarding the Fleet Captains’ Forum, Richard did not feel representation was necessary and Peter Glasby asked “Why?”.  Richard replied he thought it was irrelevant but would have appreciated an opinion from Barry Blaydes.  Mike Tong suggested Richard should ask for a copy of the Minutes to ascertain what goes on at meetings.

“If the new Committee Structure is adopted at the Club SGM in a few weeks, the cruising voice will not be heard at the top table of the Club.  The Rear Commodore Cruising will not sit on the new General Committee.  There will be elected posts on that Committee and I would urge you to think as to whether you would be prepared to stand for election.  The elections won’t be held until September/October 2011.”

Gary Gledhill said he felt this change would be a retrograde step and wanted to know the reason.  Richard said we were not able to go into that at this meeting.  Paul Cook expressed concern that few people had troubled to read all the paperwork.  Richard Curties pointed out that he had never had a seat on the “top table” while Rear Commodore, and he felt that the Sailing Committee was good enough, being the workhorse of the Club. Richard Smith expressed his disagreement.

It was pointed out that there are places for election to the General Committee and these are open to any club member, so if members of our group felt strongly they could stand for election, and Peter Glasby pointed out that there are two places available on the Sailing Committee.  Barbara Glasby made the strong point that, while membership of the committees is rotational at normal times, this year there will be 3 places available, and she urged those present to try for these places.  Also a membership representative  must be elected to the General Committee.

“A Doreen Bennett Trophy.  Just a thought, and I would like your reaction.  We could present a trophy in honour of Doreen, the trophy to be awarded annually.”
This proposal was generally thought a good idea and details will be sorted out later.  Mike Cave suggested a social event instead, but Belinda Cook thought it should be related to sailing.                         End of Captain’s Report.

Financial Position.  As Treasurer’ Richard reported that there was between 150/160 in the kitty and we should get the deposit back from Lymington (78) later in the season.  However, he felt that another round of subs, to increase the holding, would be a good thing and suggested 5 per person, rather than per boat, because then non-boat owners would also contribute.  There would then be monies available for setting up the trophy.  Jane Hooper, who was particularly close to Doreen and her family, said she felt that Doreen would have loved the idea of a memorial trophy but not anything glitzy;  she would rather be remembered in a fun way.  The re -introduction of subs was proposed by Judy Cave and seconded by Monica Rose, and carried unanimously.

Change of Fleet title. Richard said that concern had been expressed that this matter had been raised under Any Other Business at the A.G.M. and Mike Tong pointed out that is was not the correct procedure.  Therefore, Richard asked Trevor Rose to reiterate his three reasons for the proposal thus: 1 Greg Lamb’s perhaps tongue in cheek remark that our outings were to do with wining and dining rather than proper sailing,  2 the new rear Commodore Cruising seemed to want to produce just one big sailing group, which most social sailors did not want, especially if children would be involved, and 3 during the Dell Quay Dash last summer a woman member of some 20 years standing said she did not know our group existed.  Trevor then added that he understood people’s reluctance to accept change.

Judy Cave put the case for retaining the name Social Sailing:  1 we are still given that name in the Yearbook and on the Calendar and 2 it is how we are known around the harbour and at venues generally.  Also keeping the name would be a tribute to Doreen who had worked so hard to make the group the success it is.  Barbara Glasby, one of the founder members pointed out that it was also a tribute to Iris who helped found the group.

Freddie Kemp said he found the title Mid-week Cruising unsuitable as we were not tied to only sailing in mid-week, some of our events running over into the weekends; and we do occasionally join in the weekend events.  Jane Hooper endorsed this view.

John Cook confirmed the reaction of lack of knowledge and Richard Smith reminded everyone of his plan to “market” the group around the Club.  It was felt by some present that “Social Cruising” may be a more suitable title.  Barbara Beck pointed that Jane Blaydes is concerned about a change since this would cause problems with the website and the general e-mail distribution, and may prove costly.  Richard Curties expressed the view that a change could sound elitist and had the effect of dividing sailors into groups.  In fact, Freddie Kemp pointed out that some working people may wish to come to some events during the week.

Richard Smith suggested that a vote be taken on the change, but Paul Cook’s suggestion was that we discuss the matter during the summer ready for the A.G.M. This suggestion was not popular. Mike Tong proposed that we keep the name as Social Sailing and Freddie Kemp seconded this proposal.  The voting was 29 in favour and 2 against, 7 people abstained.  Therefore, the proposal was carried.

Any Other Business

Racing Marks. Peter Glasby drew everyone’s attention to a new Federation Buoy to be named Rizzi, and to be placed east of but fairly close to West Pole.  Adele Rizzi said her son, Nick, had arranged this and thanked Peter for mentioning it.

Paul Cook thanked Richard for taking the meeting to applause from those present.

Richard reminded everyone that the A.G.M. will be held on Friday, October 7th

There being no further business the meeting closed at 1.00 p.m.