Commodore’s letter 2014

Dear Members,

It would seem usual at this point for me to say something poetic about the dullest of winters and a solitary walk I made along the cliff path in January, but the weather has been so awful it’s been too dangerous to leave the house.

Let’s just say I’ve been looking forward to this summer for 37 years.

I have it on good authority we are destined for the hottest August on record, but only because the records were lost in a flood.

It’s amazing how a lofty rank can focus one’s mind… already Godzilla is in a dry dock in Valencia having her annual re-skin. As I write her engines are with Admiral Peck and his team at Rolls Royce and I’m pleased to say Ali Thack is nearing the end of her second course of steroids ahead of putting out the buoys at Whitsun. Things, it would seem, are running to plan.

So like a Partington approaching a mooring – let’s barrel straight into this.

The sailing club now has a Twitter account.

It’s really easy to sign up to Twitter and it’s a great way to keep in touch. It’s like Facebook without the ego – or like a website but without the effort – so give it a go.

(If it all seems totally baffling please come and find me on the beach and I’ll bore you about it then.)

You can follow your commodore @NefynCommodore.

Throughout August there’ll be a daily weather forecast, the race courses and of course race results. I’ll be putting photos up there too as we go along.

What else could it include? Suggestions please via twitter @NefynCommodore

Actually there’s already a picture up there – but more about that a little later.

Gwilym has a splendid plan for the Hog Roast and is bringing back the tombola for the kids. More details to follow in August but we will need some prizes donating – so start saving please. It was a great part of the evening in the 80s and back then the prizes were either clockwork or a stick and a ball, so just imagine what the little ones might win this time.

I’m delighted to announce the arrival of yet another first rate sailor in our ranks.

Alexander and Robyn McHale have had a little girl, Sophie, who we look forward to meeting on the beach. Congratulations to Tom and Ann too. The future of the club firmly secure in the McHale gene pool.

In the meantime we can all celebrate the enormous success of James Fowler making the Topper 4.2 UK Squad and showing them how it’s really done. Well done James!

News from Nefyn Museum now which is producing a sound archive of the history of the Llyn Peninsula and they’d like to include the sailing club.

It’s a real treat to have been asked to be involved with something so important to the village itself – so I encourage everyone to pay a visit – and maybe even get yourself on tape.

Jo Menzies is coordinating everything so feel free to give her a call on (01758) 720601.

I know Nicky Seaman has already been in to record her interesting thoughts. It was a quick visit, I believe.

The Lifeboat station over in Porth Dinllaen looks almost ready. RNLI volunteers are making a final push towards reaching their £100,000 target this year

Since August the crew has launched ten times and I’m sure our club will, as ever, do its bit to support them. (And fingers crossed for less fog during this year’s Lifeboat Bay Race.)

Now to some sad news. It is with a heavy heart that I have to announce that Mr Brian Higson, our cherished Honorary Secretary, is to step down.

Only a certain few (they are listed on the club race card under ‘Commodore’) really know the amazing job he does and how vital that work is to this club. It simply wouldn’t work without him.

I’ve thoroughly enjoyed doing club business with Brian over the winter and feel sorry for those Commodores who won’t benefit from his sage advice and sense of humour. The hunt begins now for someone to fill his enormous shoes.

Having made it to his 70th birthday at the end of last year, Brian told me he wants to explore pastures new. In fact he’s already been off testing a replacement for his Dabber in the brutal seas around New Zealand. For photographic proof of his endeavours head to @NefynCommodore on Twitter.

And if you happen upon him at the beach, give him a hug and take a picture of the embrace. It’s ‘Hug a Higgy’ year… and I have a plan.

Speaking of old things, there’s to be a slightly retro feel to a couple of this year’s events. The Pimms Party has been re-branded and will, for one year only, be known as the Sherry Party; and, I announce this with some trepidation, the Dinner Dance is returning to The Woodlands in Edern…

I’m proud to say I am the fourth such Spencer to be Commodore of this marvellous club and as I grapple the levers of power I’m reminded of this old pirate proverb about Bank Holidays:

“It takes longer to put it away than it does to get it out.”

(P.M. Greenhalgh circa. 1982)

So whether you’re a sinner at Inner, a shouter at Outer, or perhaps like me you miss the Point completely and end up at Bodelias, I am convinced this summer is going to be as good as the last 36 I’ve had the pleasure of sharing with you all.

Until August everyone,

Jim

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