RETIRING commodore Jeremy Wallace gave a nautical theme to his report at Lyme Regis Sailing Club’s annual general meeting.
Some members attended the meeting at the clubhouse, while others took part via video conferencing app Zoom to ensure social distancing regulations were met.
Mr Wallace took members through the club’s past year of activity, from smooth sailing in the winter, decks awash and anchoring up at home in March for lockdown, to the efforts of the stalwart deckhands who brought the club back to life as soon as restrictions allowed.
The commodore thanked his key team and awarded them jointly the Sportsman’s Trophy. He also thanked the full committee and members for their continued support, possible only by email for several months.
Sailing, coaching and racing picked up as restrictions lifted, a reduced programme saw maximum use of the tides and minimum use of the slipway and shore facilities.
The club’s 99th year was an unexpected and demanding one, but offering an optional voucher to those renewing for 2021 the commodore hoped would carry the membership forward.
Mr Wallace also hoped that much of the programme of events for the club’s centenary next year in 2021 would be able to go ahead.
“Let’s take this club into the future for another 100 years,” he concluded.
“We remain a strong and buoyant club. We are not letting this ship sink!’
Those in the clubhouse and on Zoom applauded the retiring commodore in appreciation of his leadership.
This was followed by the sailing, social, youth and Sea School reports, which had been circulated in advance with queries answered, and the election of officers and committee.
Incoming commodore Rob Wiscombe was able to thank Jeremy formally.
He said: “Nobody had any idea what was coming when Jeremy and his committee took on their roles last year. They had to cope with and put into effect ever-changing legislation and guidance. They took it on the chin and planned well.
“We were one of the first clubs in the country to get organised club racing up and running. Thank you Jeremy!’
He presented Jeremy with the burgee and an engraved glass tankard, carefully wrapped.
The incoming commodore made an acceptance speech. Knowing that financial viability would be important, he said club members would have to pull together and do jobs themselves which would foster the best club spirit.
Communication would remain essentially internet-based, with a revamped website becoming an information hub.
Mr Wiscombe added: “We will certainly do all we can to keep the club running as fully as possible, keeping it welcoming, inclusive and safe for all our members, but most of all, we will sail at every opportunity and keep that sheer joy of being alive and on the water which sailing has always given us. That’s what we do, that’s why we’re here!”
The upbeat message from the new commodore and his strong committee was applauded by those attending.
A limited programme of racing and youth coaching continues through October, with some hardy winter racers set to continue informally beyond the lift out of boats from moorings.
Reorganisation of storage starts from October 11 with deputy harbourmaster Mike Higgs on hand to organise lift-out of the larger cruisers before the end of the month.
The club thanks harbour management for co-operation throughout a difficult season.