August News

In our August News our president reflects on the current situation and our events over the last month. For this and lots more news see our August E-Newsletter which is mailed to all members. If you don’t receive it, contact the office to get added to our mailing list! 

“At this stage it would be usual to be congratulating our new World Champion after a successful World Championship in Skerries, but I’m afraid Mike will have to wear the crown (or more realistically store the trophies) for another year.

We did however have an e-sailing competition and three superb evening seminars. For anybody (helms and crews) who missed them I urge you to devote a few hours to some of the most instructive opinions on successful GP14 sailing (and any sailing) around.

Thanks to all eight speakers, Ann Penny for putting it all together, Paul Bowmer and Chris Hearn, our Zoom hosts on the night, and finally Vanessa Devereux for the e-racing.

We held our AGM at the planned date and time, but on the Zoom platform and not at Skerries SC. It was a successful meeting with about the usual attendance. Electionbuddy was used for the voting and there were no surprises in the results. I thank everyone who voted for honouring me as your President for the next year.

You will notice that Les Burns has had to relinquish the Secretary’s post due to other pressures. There is therefore an opportunity to put yourself forward for this position and Steve Parry tells you below what is involved (ed. see details here) – and more importantly will help to guide you through your first year in the post.

On a brighter note I welcome Charlie Cotter as our new treasurer,  and I am very pleased that Paul Bowmer will guide her through her first year.

The Covid pandemic continues to dominate every part of our activity world wide and GP14 sailing is no different. With infection rates rising again in the UK (although happily more slowly) and some parts of the country in partial “lockdown” again it is hard to see when life will return to “normal”.

I find the latest guidelines a little more vague and note that while some interpret them very strictly others seem to take a very liberal view of them. It strikes me that on the water there is often reasonable separation between helm and crew when facing each other (e.g. spinnakering downwind with helm sitting to leeward) but at other times the distance is much less although we are then normally facing in the same direction. The problem areas are changing and shower areas, and if to be used care needs to be taken with social distancing. We need to be even more careful for pre and post race socialising when the number of people you can be potentially exposed to is much increased. Taking good care of your friends and family means taking good care of yourself.
Unusually the Finance and General Committee (the core group running the Association) has already had our first meeting. At this stage of the season dates, venues and everything else has normally been decided and we can let things run to early autumn. Of course Covid has changed all this and we are looking to see what of our season can be salvaged.

I notice that in Ireland (ROI) some one day regattas are coming up and the planned Autumn meeting at Blessington SC on the 12/13 Sept is scheduled to go ahead.  Covid guidance in ROI permits helms and crews from different families to sail together in a “bubble” There are also hopes for the Hot Toddy event four weeks later to go ahead in it’s spiritual home of East Antrim BC. We remain in discussion with Royal Windermere about our end of season event and what limits or restrictions may be necessary to allow this longed for event to proceed. The Committee is also working hard at scheduling both racing and training events for next year and details are below.
Cormack MurphyFinally I love Cormac Murphy’s photo of “Trouble no more” sailing at Fenit in Tralee bay (Ed. Curly’s old boat!)

It’s one of the few bits of water in Ireland I’ve never sailed on, so love the idea of an event there some time in the future.
If you’re getting some sailing in do enjoy it and take good care of yourselves. If you’re not I hope you may manage something before the end of the season/year. Happily wind and water should still be there next year.”