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Summer has now arrived, albeit in September - for goodness sake who is in charge of the plot these days ? There are only four more races of the Late Season Series and plans are already being sorted out for the intrepid Frostbite sailors for the Winter Series. However despite the difficulties of the weather during the season there has been a regular good turnout of around a dozen boats for Sunday racing and some good sailing has been enjoyed. The weather has sadly taken a greater toll on cruiser outings, with the Cruiser Regatta cancelled in July. Indeed it has been a rare sight to see cruiser sails out in the Bay this season which is most disappointing and frustrating.

Back in May we hosted a CYRCS event (racing practice for local youth). Thanks to all who made this possible especially in view of the rather short notice involved. It was good to see a good turnout from SSC competing in the fleet including James North, Rachel Tudor, Tom & Will Horton, Ben Dancer and Megan Boorman. These and a number of new trainees have contributed to sail training most Saturdays and Ben in particular has been worrying the leader’s heels in Club races. A full week’s training session was well supported at the end of July with the hope of providing new club members for the future.

Coppet Week was as usual a notable highlight in our sailing calendar. This was the 35th Coppet Week since its inception in 1973 and involved 74 competitors in 24 different classes. Despite the weather trying its best to sabotage the event - torrential rain, high winds and fog – the dogged persistence of organisers and sailors alike won out in the end and all 6 races were completed albeit with two long races back-to-back on the final day. A great effort by all helpers on the water – many thanks to you all. The turbo charged flying machines flown by the supermen once again reflected the power of technology by leading the scoreboard, but it was great to see a Topper coming 4th and a Mirror coming 6th in two of the races. Saundersfoot members achieved very creditable honours with Robin Wood (who else) winning the event overall, Paul Griffiths leading the high handicap fleet and Colin & Jenny Harrison proving that experience does count by winning the “Maturity Cup”. There was also considerable effort within the clubhouse and sincere thanks to that team who ensured that snacks and drinks were available throughout the day and the bar was open until midnight each night. Hopefully all our visitors also enjoyed the supporting BBQ, Quiz and live Band on various nights.

The Sprint 15s (Darts) arrived for a combination of fun days and National Championships in the middle of August and surprised many of us who had forgotten how big they were ! After some arboreal work in Coppet Hall Car Park they were manhandled onto the beach for a week of mainly excellent sailing. We hosted them round the club course on our Sunday race (well, one should always allow visitors to go first !) and escorted them to Caldey with some great sailing on the Monday. Rolfe as OOD again assumed his “Jonah” guise and lured us into expecting some really difficult conditions, but he managed it brilliantly during the championships including a “loopy” (inverted P) course which appeared to my inexperienced eyes to encourage boats to ram each other ! They proved to be a really great bunch of guys (& dolls) and reported in superlatives on their event at SSC which is a worthwhile reward to all whose help made it a success.

Our own Regatta followed close on the heels of the Sprint 15s and the conditions allowed some good racing on the Saturday and the first round Caldey race on the Sunday for four years. Robin Wood must have cut across the island somehow to come home in around ninety minutes ! Graham’s BBQ again rewarded competitors and support teams at the end of the day.

Don’t look now but the diary says it is Laying Up Supper in around 4 weeks time. The evening (13th October) will be filled with prize-giving, good cheer, baked potatoes and scrumptious puddings washed down by real ale or other brew.

Also on the social calendar there is a trip to Canaston Bowl (6.45pm arrival) followed by bangers and mash in the clubhouse on Saturday 6th October. Do remember to book so that we have enough lanes for this popular event.

A “Thank-You” evening is planned for Saturday 24th November, the day before the AGM, in order to acknowledge and thank all the efforts of those who have helped with activities on or off the water during the year.

The Christmas Dance has been booked for Saturday 8th December in the Merlewood Hotel where we will again enjoy good food and music but also hope to ensure that social conversation can also prevail. Further details will follow but please book the date in your diary.

Shaping the future of Saundersfoot Harbour we have played an ongoing part in progressing the Harbour Order which will provide a new Constitution for the Harbour Commission. There will be 8 Commissioners including 5 independent members. These will be supported by an Advisory Committee which should include direct representation from the Sailing Club. Whilst relations with the current Commissioners are extremely good, the new format should permit more democratic and open management of our harbour.

Last but by no means least is another plea to all members. Whilst requests for help are fairly common this is one which I urge you not to ignore. All places on your Committee are up for election at the AGM on Sunday 25th November. This year a number of people who have undertaken duties on the Committee for some time are standing down and are not standing for re-election. The list could include Rolfe John, John Griffiths, Paul Griffiths, Sue Groves, Tricia Crewe and Graham Wellman. We need to fill all the roles if we are to operate efficiently and provide an enjoyable and financially sound programme next year. I am asking you all to give thought to nominations. There are 14 positions to fill and from experience we need them all. I know there are some weeks to go, but please don’t put this request aside and do please participate to ensure the successful future of your club.

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