I’ve cut down the newsletters during this 2nd lockdown to alleviate your inboxes!  I am still annoyed at having no choice but to stop sailing and SUP’ing from our club premises, however we had no choice.  Therefore, this is a bit of a bumper issue, but it does have loads of good stuff in it.


AGM (6th December 2020)

This is online using Microsoft Teams, kindly provided by my employer ATS Global.  You can download the Teams app if you don’t have it, or you can use the web-based app via any modern web browser (Safari, Chrome, Firefox, Edge etc) without downloading anything.  You have been sent an invitation but you can also click here.


Please click on the link to our election buddy online voting system that you will have received in a separate email.  Many of you already have voted, but if you haven’t please do so.  You have a voice via the AGM!


We ALWAYS need volunteers.  The club genuinely doesn’t run itself.  The management committee is important, and without the dedication of this team, the club would not exist.  We have a couple of vacancies on the committee that we need to fill as a matter of urgency:

  • Vice Commodore
    This is someone who may, but not necessarily become the next Commodore. They support the Commodore in the day to day running of the club. I need this person as the workload has been very high in 2020 and I suspect 2021 will be just as busy
  • Honorary Secretary
    We need someone to help manage and organise our club. This person needs to be focussed and methodical. A lot of the responsibilities have been moved to other members and the role is a lot lighter than it has been in the past
  • Lettings Coordinator
    Clare Simmonds wants to pass this on after doing it for several years. I’ve persuaded Clare to carry on through 2021 to provide a long handover to her successor. This is an important role for the club, as the lettings revenue runs into £20-30,000 per annum and this directly feeds into our very competitive membership fees.  It’s also important to each wedding party as hopefully it’ll be their super special day!  It’s a rewarding role with the results clear to see after every single event!

That said, we have loads of other opportunities to volunteer, from the bar committee (never any meetings), safety boats (Power boat Level 2 required), site maintenance team, club boat & board maintenance (bosuns).  Please offer to help, and if you have any specific skills shout out.  I said I was an International Project Manager when I joined the club 5 years ago, and look at me now!  On the other hand……


I need to remind ALL members that the club needs every member to do their assigned duties.  We use DutyMan as our system of choice and I will be republishing some guidance on it in the off system.  Duties are important, and people just not bothering to turn up are a real headache for me as the duties manager and each Officer of the day (OoD).  Please try and support your club by “doing you duty” as Nelson said!!

Working parties

Due to the expected Covid restrictions I doubt that we’re going to be able to run our traditional working parties over the winter.  Instead, what I need is for all members to notify Ralph of any work you think needs doing.  Don’t assume that someone else has mentioned it.  Ralph will then collate a list and publish it on the website.  If individual members (or suitable bubbles or socially distanced groups of 6) could volunteer (there’s the V word again!) to carry out specific tasks we can hopefully chip away at the list and do work that simply cannot wait until winter 2022!

Cherry picker

We have the RLSC Arboretum growing in the rain gutter along the back of the clubhouse!  Accessing this area to clear it is super-dangerous trying to use a ladder, due to the steep bank.  We need a cherry picker. 


Do you have access to one, or know of someone who does?  Or do you know of anyone who would rent us one?

New SUP instructors


I am very excited about our newest cohort within our club, our SUP (other sports) members.  They are super keen, enthusiastic and friendly.  They’ve integrated very well into our club.  The next step is to support this new endeavour.  The club management has approved the purchase of 6 club SUP’s.  We’ve also provisionally approved the building of a storage facility for these boards.  To make best use of these boards, we needed to get a training team of SUP instructors organised.  I am very happy to introduce our new SUP instructors:

Marks new rules

When I say Mark, I really mean the RYA Racing Rules 2021 – 2024!  Mark says….
Whilst on the topic of racing rules, the eagle eyed will know that a new set of racing rules take effect on 1st Jan 2021. The rule changes are usually just a few minor tweaks, this time round, the main changes are

  1. The rule for being over the line (as start or finish) is modified FROM any part of the boat or crew TO the hull. This has the effect of boats with poles sticking out the front (technically known as bow sprits!?)  having to keep on sailing till the hull crosses the line. At the start, their bowsprit can be over the line as long as the hull has not crossed the line. Also, if a boat is heeled over on the start line and the mast is over the line but not the hull, that is now OK, before they would have been on course side for the start. Same applies to crew leaning out the boat, they do not count if they are over the line.
  2. If someone sails in an unsporting way e.g. shouting aggressively at someone, the Race officer now has the right to disqualify them from the race (or more severe penalties including disqualifying them from a series or even suspension from the club and notification to the RYA), rather than having to hold a protest meeting. The person in question has the right to appeal. I hope we never have to use this as Rudyard is a very friendly club in which we want to encourage sailors of all levels to take part.
  3. Anyone must help another sailor in distress e.g. capsized and struggling. In the past the rules stated other helms and crews, that now broadens to other people including for example Jybaz parents. This is not because any of our parents would ever stand by and not help, but it is a change in the rules, you have to help now!

If anyone is interested in these rule changes here is a video summarising all the changes. If on watching this you think there are any rule changes of significance Mark has missed, please let us know.

Can I just add to Marks notes above that as per number 2 above I WILL be asking all HRO’s to take account of this when we get a novice being “shouted at” aggressively by racers.  I honestly get the passion involved when racing, but this is not acceptable, puts people off trying to race, or even get on the water on a Sunday and is generally not behaviour I as Commodore will tolerate. 

Dave Clarke’s story

The RYA has a terrific story about Dave Clarke, a former club member, whose son is still a member and one of our instructors.  It’s well worth a read, and very inspirational!!


Crowdfunding for Megaboard

Colin Higham is setting up a crowdfunding endeavour to get match funding for a SUP megaboard.  For those of you, or me for that matter who don’t understand these things a megaboard is a multi-person SUP.  Think of the difference between an Oppi and an Albacore, and that’s what a megaboard is. 


We need 25 or more members to contribute to the appeal, and for the total pledged to exceed £1000.  The match funding will then kick in and double up the amount.  Donate HERE!

Winter series (Jan/Feb)

This is for discussion in the Open Forum after the AGM.  Would you be interested?  What safety measures would be required?  Get your thinking caps on and take part in the debate.

Yoga resumption

Once we get out of lockdown II Yuliya will be resuming the sessions up at the club on Tuesdays (09:30 & 19:00).  During lockdown Yuliya has been running the sessions via zoom and although not ideal it works very well.  I am a convert!  I am fat, unfit and was very inflexible after a 300ft fall in the alps broke lots of bones and snapped tendons and ligaments.  I am happy to report that for the first time in 30 odd years I can touch my toes!  Hopefully by next year I’ll be able to duck under a boom easier!! 


Be aware that due to social distancing the spaces are limited.  Book early 😊.  For more info visit Yuliya’s website. If I can do it anyone can!!!

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