March Newsletter
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Dear Member

Here is some news of things that have been happening at the Club since the turn of the year..

Following a very successful Grafham Grand Prix in cold but sunny conditions at the beginning of January, the Club settled back into a quieter winter period.  Sunday racing has continued in January and February in generally light winds.  The three race back to back format has certainly meant more people have stayed on for the third race, though most seem keen to leave straight after sailing so the opportunity for chat over lunch or a drink upstairs has diminished.  Something to think about for next year.  In February, Cambridge University, one of our largest members, ran a couple of busy team racing events which were very well attended and equally well organised.

The quieter period over the winter gives us opportunities to carry out maintenance and improvement works.  The midweek working parties continue and last month, with the help of some considerable support from #thisgirlcan Tuesday group, we had a record attendance of thirteen people.  With these numnbers we were able to carry out a variety of tasks; these included clearing vegetation and willow saplings along the foreshore; checking the chairs and tables in the cafe, discarding broken items and making up replacement units from flat packs (we have since ordered further chairs so we are now back up to the desired number); restoring the main staircase to a better state; repairing damaged wood in the MoonShadow; investigating a route for a new ethernet cable link to the coxswains’ shed, and, finally, clearing out the Tornado Shed from the accumulation of decades.  It’s amazing what can be achieved by a large team and a big thank you to all involved.  For those of you who would like to help, the working parties are listed in the Club Calendar but are regularly on the first Tuesday and third Wednesday of each month.

Here is a picture of the assembled team (minus Ann Young who had left for a better lunch, and your Commodore who took the picture).


Work was completed last week on replacing the flooring in the servery area and improving other parts of flooring in the café and the gents changing rooms.  The Race Hut is due for removal by the end of March.  The refurbishment of the gents toilets is now complete.
A few of us were at the Club last Thursday and witnessed winds of remarkable force, with over 60 knots registered.  The Club and its equipment escaped largely unscathed, not least to some superlative efforts from coxswain Andy Taylor: thank you Andy.  Here is a view from the clubhouse:

Last Sunday we held the Race Officer and Safety Boat Driver seminar and dinner: this was an opportunity to say “thank you” to those who give generously of their time, and also to discuss ways in which we can improve in these vital areas.  Nearly fifty people attended, though a few delayed their appearance in order to watch the closing minutes of the England v Italy International!

This coming weekend we have the Dinghy Show at Alexandra Palace.  As usual there will be a Grafham stand throughout the event.  A number of people have already volunteered to help but there are still a few slots to fill on Sunday so if you are willing to help please contact the Office (free entry to the Dinghy Show included).
We are currently sending out the renewal packs for the coming year, which include the Club Programme and Training activities booklet.  You will see from the pack when you get it that we have an active year ahead and we very much hope you will continue with your membership.

Finally, a thank you to all of you who completed the recent survey organised by Mike Edwards.  There is much useful information in there; it is normally the case with these exercises that the trends observed are more interesting than a snapshot at any particular time so it is probably an exercise we will repeat in the future.

Best wishes       

John Aston
1 March 2017
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