Minutes of AGM of Queen Mary Reservoir Sailing Club Ltd
28th September 2014 at 2pm
There were 38 members present, with 25 members required as a quorum
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Apologies for Absence
Apologies were received from Hamish Griffiths, John Hobbs-Mallyon, Alan Woolford, Chris Stanton and Francesca Martin.
Minutes of previous meeting
The minutes of the previous meeting were accepted as being a true record. Proposed by Rob Truefitt and seconded by Mike Adams
There were no matters arising
2013 was another very successful year for Queen Mary Sailing Club. Membership grew and training days taken, especially for kids’ summer courses, increased. This success is reflected in the accounts and leaves us in the strongest position financially that we have been in for many years as will be covered later.
The sailing highlights for me over the last twelve months have been another Bloody Mary with over 300 entries, the launch of stand up paddle boarding, the inaugural Battle of the Fleets held in J80s (and won by the Laser entry) and the start of Wednesday morning sailing, particularly aimed at women.
Away from the Club, we had our first Round the Island race entry skippered by Freddie, and our largest and windiest Club trip yet, to Vassiliki in Greece. The positive feedback from all these events has been very rewarding to see and we will continue with them.
Club racing continues to prove very popular both on Sundays and Wednesday evenings and Saturday Club has a solid following of regulars.
Sailability continues from strength to strength with now six Hansa dinghies and a Drascombe longboat in their fleet. The RYA have appointed QMSC as one of two high performance centres in the country with a fleet of shiny 2.4s in which potential Paralympics sailors can develop their skills.
Away from the Club, our members have achieved success at the RS 200 Europeans, RS 400 Nationals, Laser Masters and Topper World championships, with Alexandra Rickham winning gold in the Skud worlds in 2013 and silver in 2014.
The sailing highlight for me over the past week has of course been Bart’s Bash. From a simple idea from Tony, the event became a global phenomenon. Instead of the usual 50 Sunday racers we had over 200 boats racing here last week. We are very fortunate in having a great team of people who know how to step up to running such an event and I would like to thank them all now. Clearly having Sir Ben Ainslie here acted as a magnet for both club and visitors alike and he was a delight to work with throughout the day as an ambassador for the sport. Club members raised an amazing £8,000 for the Andrew Simpson Sailing Foundation, an extraordinary achievement. There are plans to make Bart’s Bash an annual event.
Back to QMSC where a healthy financial position is needed since the clubhouse and grounds are always calling for attention. This year with both a SITA and Sport England grant won by Tony, we added an additional 12 boats and boards to the club fleet, refreshed our stock of engines and added the much need training marquee. We have started extending the matting in the windsurf launching areas and we are sorely aware that the lift needs fixing, though how is not yet clear, it may need replacing.
When I took over as, Commodore three years ago I had no idea what a challenging but immensely rewarding experience it would be. In those three years we have seen a change of Club Secretary, sailing manager, sailing secretary, chief instructor, caterers and chandlery. Virtual Rigger and Thyme Lords are delivering a great service. Senior Instructor Ben Kimbell left us to replace Tim Anderton as RYA Thames Valley Sailing Development Officer. Tim moved on to join the Andrew Simpson Sailing Foundation Centre as Sailing Manager. Phil Dickinson moved on to be manager of Willen Watersports in Milton Keynes and Julie Harrison from Island Barn has just joined us to replace him. Well done to all of them and good luck in their new roles.
We are very fortunate in having Tony Bishop following in Catherine Rawson’s footsteps. Tony’s enthusiasm, energy and creativity can be hard to keep up with at times but is just what this Club needs to keep a high profile at a time when there are so many calls on everyone’s time and resources. It has been a pleasure working with him.
Looking to the future, we will repeat the success of Lap the Lake on 26th October, and run the 42nd Bloody Mary on 10th January next year. We will continue to develop our Clubhouse by overhauling the hot water system and looking at the possibility of extending the balcony at the front. We will continue to extend the matting for launching as far as possible and improve the robustness of pontoons to withstand storm damage. We will also install a permanent public address system for use at Club events and open meeting briefings and prize giving.
As we come to a change in Flag Officers and Council I would also like to thank each and every one of them for their hard work and support, and to wish them all the very best of luck in the coming year in their new roles.
Your council made two important changes to the accounts for 2013/2014. Firstly we merged the accounts of sailsports with those of club. Secondly we extended the period of the accounts to fifteen months.
We merged the accounts to cut down on office costs of keeping separate records and the need to keep track of which company owed what to who.
We have changed the year end to March to coincide the financial year with our membership year and to avoid a December balance sheet which historically always is the worst time for cash flows.
I am pleased to report the club/sailsports shows a surplus of £8,831, the best result for several years. A full set of statutory accounts in format for submission to companies house. Operational results on page 10. Comparatives for club only and for one year so pretty meaningless but a snap shot of the financial position at 31st March 2014. Notes on page 8/9 give more detail on balances and loans on track to be repaid.
Council strategy is to show a modest surplus with a view to build up a cash reserve of £50,000 to enable us to get over the November to January period every year, when little funds are coming in and substantial amounts are going out.
Thank you to Martin Hunt our new reporting accountant who has helped us realise accounts in a new format and overseen the financial aspects of the merger. He has taken over from Richard Cambrook our former accountant who has retired after looking after us and the complexities of our partial exemption VAT. Lastly thank you to Jan our book keeper.
In conclusion I would like to propose these accounts for your acceptance.
Proposed by Neil Beaton, seconded by David Bithell and passed unanimously
Appointment of Amersham Accountants as Reporting Accountant
Neil Beaton proposed that Amersham Accountants be appointed as reporting accountant. The motion was seconded by Paul Schroeder and passed unanimously
Honorary Life Membership Proposal – Hugh Brooman
Hugh Brooman joined the Club in the 70s as a Fireball sailor when Egham Lake was turned into Thorpe Park and when the club only had a ground floor.
He joined Council in 1980 on the house and grounds committee and was elected Rear Commodore in 1984, Vice Commodore in 1985 and Commodore in 1986. He served again as Rear Commodore in 1993.
Hugh was a member of Sailing Committee for many years and Principal Race Officer for many more. He holds qualifications as Regional Race Officer and National Umpire and for several years he chaired the RYA match racing committee.
Hugh has acted as Club and Open Meeting Race Officer on many occasions including Race Officer for the Bloody Mary, supporting over 25 of these events in many different roles, and sailing in just two.
As PRO he worked with the RYA to develop the initial Club Racing training course. He then delivered it many times to new Race Officers at our Club, and mentored them through their initial career.
In recognition of this sustained and outstanding achievement Council is proposing to the members that we appoint Hugh Brooman to Honorary Life Membership, and was passed unanimously.
Election of Officers
The Commodore read out the list of those standing, remaining and retiring for the new council.
Standing for Re-election as Officers:
John Hobbs-Mallyon Rear Commodore
Neil Beaton Honorary Treasurer
Standing for Election as Officers:
Sophie Jezierski Commodore
Robert Joce Vice Commodore
Alison Benz Rear Commodore
Standing for Election as Members:
Chris Stanton Council Member
Richard Lloyd Council Member
Andrew Craig Council Member
Remaining on Council:
Paul Schroeder Council Member
Tony Bishop Council Member ex officio
Francesca Martin Council Member
Mike Farrie Council Member
Richard Steele Council Member
David Bithell Council Member
Retiring as Members (2 of 8, the required third):
Hamish Griffiths Council Member
John Speller Council Member
The one proposal was unanimously carried to elect all council members.
The Commodore thanked John Speller and Hamish Griffiths who are standing down from Council for their contribution over many years.
He then congratulated Richard Lloyd and Chris Stanton on their election to Council, Alison Benz on her election to Rear Commodore and Bob Joce on his election to Vice Commodore.
He particularly congratulated Sophie Jezierski on her election to Commodore and then passed the Chair of the meeting to her, the new Commodore.
B&S Teapot Award
The new Commodore handed the meeting back to Council Member Andrew Craig, as the B&S teapot was his to award as out going Commodore this year.
Andrew thanked all the volunteers that have helped run the Club this year, Council, Sailing Committee, Fleet Captains, Race Officers, Rules Advisors, Youth Committee, Sailability leaders and the Facilities Committee.
He then explained that this award, donated by a previous Commodore, was for someone in the Club not the Chair of a Committee but who had made an outstanding contribution to the Club.
The windsurfing membership is an important group to the Club and significant in number. We are very keen that they have a good identity as members of the Club and are well represented in the facilities and activities we offer.
One person who has really understood that need and done something about it is Mike Farrie. He has represented windsurfing interests both on Sailing Committee and on Council. He has worked with the Club to drive through improvements for storage and launching. He has worked with our Chief Windsurfing Instructor Paul Adams to lay on an enticing and well attended series of talks and on water coaching sessions.
He has also acted as a great catalyst in setting up and getting a record number of Club members to attend the windsurfing summer trip to Vassiliki in Greece. Tough, but someone had to do it. Windsurfing at QM is in the best shape it has been for many years and Mike can take the lion’s share of the credit for that.
Andrew expressed delight in presenting Mike with the B & S Teapot Award in recognition of all these achievements. Mike was reminded to make sure he brewed up and drank a cup of tea from the pot to link him to all the previous equally worthy winners.
- RYA Lifetime Commitment Award
Council member Andrew Craig informed the meeting that the RYA has conferred a Lifetime Commitment Award on Paul Stainsby.
Paul Stainsby has been a member of Queen Mary Sailing Club for over 30 years. Throughout that time he has not only sailed a variety of dinghy classes to a very high standard, including winning the club championships four times, but has given a significant amount of time in support of a huge variety of activities at the Club.
He has served on Council as Vice Commodore. He has been a fleet representative on Sailing Committee. He is a Regional Race Officer and has run Club and Open Meeting racing countless times. Paul has also stepped up to the ultimate challenge at Queen Mary and has acted as Race Officer for the Bloody Mary on three occasions.
Paul is particularly keen to support youth classes. He is a qualified RYA Club racing coach and has shared his enthusiasm for team and match racing with them. He is very encouraging in his approach to youth events from the manner of the briefing through a flexible approach to race management to acting as rules advisor.
However it is Paul’s support to Team15 Windsurfing that makes his contribution to sailing at QMSC really stand out. For the last ten years or so, Paul has been out on the water almost every time that Team15 has been operating, driving a powerboat and providing safety and race management support.
Paul is always very encouraging to the less experienced to help them climb the learning curve rather than give up. He also uses his own racing experience to help the top end of the fleet become high achievers.
From this QM Team15 we have a regular and enthusiastic group of windsurfers and some top end racing sailors: Joanne Evans, Kirstin O’Callaghan and most recently Hugo Thomas have all made the National Squad.
Please join me in congratulating Paul on this RYA Lifetime Commitment Award.
- RYA Outstanding Contribution Award
The Commodore informed the meeting that the RYA has conferred an Outstanding Contribution Award on Andrew Craig.
As Club member, Council member, Sailing Committee chair, Rear Commodore, Vice Commodore and Commodore, Andrew has contributed his time, energy and skills to developing sailing and ensuring the Club’s supporting infrastructure remains strong and responsive. He has broadened the appeal of sailing at QMSC and beyond, encouraging core activities and developing handicapping at QM and, with his work on the Great Lakes group, at other flat water clubs.
He is a familiar figure in the clubhouse, boat park, on the water, and on the Committee Boat doing more than his share of Race Officer duties. At the club almost every weekend, he always has time for people and gives generously of his expertise.
A strong supporter of QMSC’s flourishing Youth and Sailability programmes, Andrew has kept in mind the wide variety of interests at the club and ensured that it develops and encourages dinghy and board sailors of all ages and abilities. He initiated and continues to support Saturday Club and has encouraged its links with QM Sailability, bringing people together to practise techniques, try racing and enjoy social sailing fortnightly in a friendly group.
As well as developing sailing for non-racers, Andrew has devoted remarkable amounts of time and energy to supporting regular club and open racing and to the annual Bloody Mary pursuit race. He has driven overall management of the event in the year-long preparation and on the day, striving for excellence in every area from car park to water and back.
Andrew has been a calm and inspiring leader, willing to take difficult decisions when necessary, and will undoubtedly continue to be an outstanding and invaluable ambassador for Queen Mary Sailiing Club and sailing.
Please join me in congratulating Andrew on this well-deserved recognition.
Andrew thanked Sophie and all involved in supporting his nomination and added that Alan Woolford would also be at the RYA awards lunch in recognition of his time as chair of the RYA Thames valley Committee
- Spelthorne & Surrey Sports awards
The Commodore informed the meeting about the 2013 and 2014 Spelthorne & Surrey Sports awards
The Spelthorne Sports Awards 2014 organised by Spelthorne Council and Spelthorne Sports Council are awarded to celebrate the achievements of those who have excelled at sport in Spelthorne in the last year, be it as a coach, team player or an individual. Providing they meet the county nomination criteria, winners of local awards are automatically put through to the assessment panel for the Surrey Sports Awards.
In 2013 Alan Woolford & QM Sailability won the local Spelthorne Disability Sport awards and subsequently the Surrey County sports 3wise Disability Sport award in a worthy recognition of QM Sailability’s activities and of the much valued contribution Alan and many other volunteers make to Sailability’s continued success at QM.
Please join me in congratulating Alan and QM Sailability for these two awards.
Now in 2014, the QM Youth group has been shortlisted for the Spelthorne Youth Team of the year for their achievements this year including a great performance at the National School Sailing Association (NSSA) National Youth Regatta. coming overall 2nd to the home team of Kent and beating many other countywide teams - a magnificent achievement for a team drawn from only one club. The team posted some splendid individual results too, including 1st & 4th in the Singled Handed Trophy, 2nd in the Mount Haes Trophy and 3rd & 4th in the Topper 4.2 Fleet. The Topper sailors then continued the remarkable year for the QMSC Youth Group with the team achieving superb 1st, 4th and 8th places in the 2014 Topper 4.2 World Championships.
I congratulate the Youth Group on all their achievements this year and wish them the best for when the sports awards winners are announced later in October.
- A member noted Nauticalia in Shepperton as a resource for sailing-related gift items. Meeting was also reminded that for sailing chandlery VR provided an excellent onsite service which members are encouraged to support.
- The maintenance of flower pots around Club grounds was raised as an area for floral improvement.
- The latest status re excavation of bund was discussed and it likely to be topic for many years to come.
- The new matting in the launch area was welcomed and more matting to be developed over the winter. It was also commented that the pontoons should be reviewed and improved.
- A suggestion to place feather flags to mark road entrance to the Club, this would help with visiting sailors especially the Bloody Mary
- A request that website be updated/fixed, particularly weather and race results.
- A request to ensure communication re events, using website, social media but also Club Notice Boards which are not currently used.
The Commodore thanked all retiring, reappointed and new Council members and particularly
Andrew Craig as retiring Commodore and Tony Bishop as Club Secretary for their service.
There being no further business, the meeting closed at 14:47.