2017 Awards Evening report

Awards Evening 2017 held at The Nottingham Golf & Country Club

Many thanks to the 103 adults and 17 juniors who attended the annual awards evening. 88 individuals received prizes for their sailing endeavours during the 2016 season.

After pre dinner drinks and moving into the dining room the evening commenced with a presentation of a cheque for £637 to Lincs and Notts Air Ambulance to a representative followed by a thank you speech and special thanks from Will Gardner. Norman Parr kindly gave grace followed by a four course meal.

During the meal there was plenty of chatter and laughter and relaxing for those that had sailed at Staunton Harold (Brian Fisher, Ian Firth, Kev Nicholls, Richard Mason and Pip and James Logan). Over coffee as is traditional, the Commodore Ross Ryan gave a passionate and heartfelt speech reviewing the last year (copy attached) and looking forward to the coming season and use of the new club facilities. The speech was interspersed with photos of the past year (thanks to Dave Eberlin and Viv Weston for following the plot).

Adrian Jones as Vice Commodore commenced the prize giving to great applause as he kept to perfect time with Ross Ryan presenting the array of glassware and Amy Hinsliff-Smith taking memento photos (a few attached, more available from Kathryn if required).

There were a few surprises and many juniors collected prizes galore, the next generation sitting beautifully whilst listening for over an hour. There was a special presentation of the Puddleduck trophy from David and Sheila Stevens who originally donated the trophy when their daughter was 6 and learning to sail in an Optimist. This year’s recipient was 6 year old Cillian who crewed in a RS200 and Xenon on a Thursday evening, the only junior to compete the whole series. Three special NCSC annual endeavour trophies were awarded – Jack North Trophy to Olly Bednall, Adult endeavour Theo Pangraz and Starboard Junior Endeavour Molly Hinsliff-Smith.

Following the prize giving there was a free raffle! Prizes ranged from the 2017 club calendar, to the 2017 club calendar and then the 2017 club calendar plus three pairs of gloves – no excuses for getting the sailing dates wrong now.

Dancing followed to 1.00 am when tired legs limped home or to the new boutique hotel at the venue. We hope everyone had a thoroughly fabulous night, wishing you a great sailing season whatever your goals and aspirations and we look forward to seeing you at the 2018 Awards Evening on Saturday 3rd February at The Nottinghamshire.

Below are photos taken by Amy Hinsliff-Smith, if anyone would like copies please contact her direct (through Kathryn or Commodore) she would like some support for her summer charity work.

Below the photos is the Commodore’s speech.

Commodore’s Speech – 2017 – Awards night

Dear Mr President .. fellow members of Nottinghamshire County Sailing Club …and their guests.
This evening is about acknowledging the achievements of our sailors throughout last season … there are 88 individual award winners who have won one or more of the … 170 “Awards” including 44 trophies ..

Before I hand over to the Vice Commodore to announce the award winners I’d like to reflect on developments at the club over the past year.

This time last year we had secured a £75k Sport England grant but needed to negotiate a few changes with our lease to have the award confirmed ..   after a tendering process the contract for major building works was let in August …

Building work started in earnest in Oct … so much of it has been completed in our “low Season” we don’t now have a closed season .. as our facilities are used all year round ..

The extended ladies with new shower will give us much overdue capacity for the ladies & girls to change in greater comfort .

The new multi-purpose meeting / training room will provide extra space for our socials, a dedicated enclosed meeting room that will work well for a range of training activities. It provides our Training Centre a modern facility to teach the skills of training and will work for other club groups.

The new west facing decking area will become a popular spot for socialising in the evening sun ..

Additional private showers in the gents help to bring our male changing area up to modern day standards of privacy for all age groups.

The reconfiguring of the race hut will offer better space utilisation with replacement windows & new access arrangements and David Snutch & Nicki T are leading on it’s re-construction.

The large wooden windows facing north have been replaced with aluminium double glazed and glare reducing panels and the drafts and thermal insulation improved.

The remaining exterior wooden panels have been removed, the insulation upgraded and Cedral panels which are a concrete fibre composites – being maintenance free now give the clubhouse a completely new look.

My thanks to Nicki Theokrittoff who was influential in the original architectural design, who researched specifications & used his interior design talent to shape the facility we now have.

To Mark Adams who provided the original cost estimates , structured the tender specification and has handled the contract management aspects extremely professionally and we are expecting all of the major contractual works to be concluded in a week or two’s time.

As well as improving the physical facilities we have reviewed the back office administrative systems that help the club to function more effectively. We evaluated and adopted Sailing Club Manager as an integrated facility to improve our membership interactions, including a distributed contact database, news letter and other communications facility, providing a new platform to manage duties and volunteering. Going forward we plan to improve our boat park management capability and my thanks to Adrian Jones who has been a driving force around the system implementation.

Analysis of our membership patterns showed a concerning decline in numbers and changing demographics so we’ve needed to be creative to improve the underlying financial stability of the club and this has partly been done through partnerships with complementary groups like the scouts & the University – last April we started a new collaboration with the National Open Water Coaching Association which has seen the establishment of Nottingham Open Waters Swimming attracting local sportspeople to swim in our lakes in what is a rapidly growing new sport . The swimmers have  brought in over £3k of additional income last year and this could potentially double in the coming season.

Our collaboration with the Scouts is about to enter a new phase as they become near neighbours. They have taken on a lease from Trinity College for the railway lake and are building a Water Sports centre that will serve the local scouting community. The club house is nearly completed and will offer tuition to Nottinghamshire Scout groups and hopefully a feeder to us of new members once they pass scouting age. I’m sure we all would like to wish Steve Day, Ben Thomas and the Scout supporters all the success in this new exciting venture.

Our focus on youth development and community outreach was recognised formally by the RYA through the award of “On-Board” status. This centred around Saturday Club and our renewed link with a local primary school Willow Farm. The up-scaled Saturday Club now has a dedicated co-ordinator in Debra Pennington and was run last year by Beach Masters Gary Williamson , Chris Roberts & Paul Mathews with Group Leaders Martin & Stephanie Gunn in the Oppies & Jayne Wheway in the Toppers. Last year saw 83 children participate over the extended 18 week programme . I’m very pleased that Martin Payne, Phil Dyne, Ian Ward and Adrian Jones will be joining the Saturday Club as we push towards 100 participants this year.

In addition a new Oppie group lead by Sarah Mason started as a new pathway for enhancing skills of young sailors.

The Youth Squad with 22 budding racers …. now co-ordinated by Kathryn and supported by Club Coaches .. Martin Stott , Luke Steaggles, Rebecca Ogden, Kev Nichols , Ian Firth , Alex Piggott, Andy & Tom Smith concluded another successful year.

Under the Sailability banner Notts County has a proud track record of working with those with disabilities including our nationally recognised annual Access – now Hansa Open. Organised through a team of volunteers linked to our Training section and lead by Anne Clarke. Last year we gained formal recognition from the RYA as a Sailability centre and I hope this is an area where we can expand our activities though more volunteer support.

I’d like to recognise the great contribution our Training Centre brings to our club through the stewardship of Charles Ferrar & Chief Instructor George Stanton plus a group of nearly 60 volunteers, skilfully co-ordinated by the training secretary Sarah Read. They encourage new people into our sport and train sailors to standards recognised throughout the world.

This awards night focuses on our club activities but many members fly our flag at Open Meetings, Regional, national and international events. A big contingent of Scorpions at the nationals including the full Willars family, the Solo’s have had a broad group of travellers including Brian Fisher as their grand master .. 400’s were seen at their nationals and the famous Ullswater mass start in challenging conditions. Laser fleet have been out on the circuit including today at Staunton’s blaster . Andy Smith is worthy of particular note as he became the first Englishman to win Kiel Week in the 505 for 20 years and went on to win the pre-world nationals and whilst finishing 7th out of 130 boats at the worlds but for a false start he would have been in the top 2 . His Son Tom campaigning the 420 was selected to represent UK at the worlds in Italy and gained a place in the 420 Youth Squad .

At the end of last year 3 of our squad sailors qualified for Midlands Topper Zone training – William Thomas , Ben Payling & Molly Hinsliff-Smith .

Looking forward … we will have a greatly upgraded clubhouse facility, a spectacular lake and a comprehensive sailing programme – giving members a great opportunity our club is blessed with great people who care passion

for all ages and abilities. .. with opportunities to progress with your sailing skills and to help others …

I’m blessed to be supported by a strong and talented Executive Team but special mention to our bosun who in the last 12 months had both kidneys removed and whilst Ian Pilkington took up much of the bosun responsibility Tim was regularly supporting the club in between dialysis sessions .. and post kidney transplant operation. I’m pleased to say he is back in post looking after our menagerie of power boats. One other unsung heroine is a lady who throughout the summer comes down to cater for others on a Tuesday evening with a box of highly sort after home made anzac biscuits . Karen Ferrar has done this for 12 years and Tuesday evening just wouldn’t be the same without the chipper banter that emanates from the kitchen .

The success of our club is built on the commitment and dedication of so many club members ..volunteering to help run it … on committee’s … on training courses .. at socials .. as part of race management duties even down to our grounds work . I want to thank you all for what you have done in the past 12 months hope you will continue over the coming year so that we can all enjoy the sport and friendship that Notts County has to offer .




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