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© Annette Fitzpatrick
Commodores' Log Booklet
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Commodore's Log of the Decade awarded to Neil Hawkins
© Annette Fitzpatrick
The Commodore's Rescue 2015

Commodores' Log 2005 - 2015

 

The history of the South Staffordshire Sailing Club (1954-2005) was compiled by Carole Danbury.  This 155 page book is packed full of interesting stories and gives us all an insight into the club's history.  You can find extracts from this book in our Archives held on our website. 

The Commodores' Log is a compilation of the club's events and achievements over the past 10 years as summarised by our Commodores.  A copy can be found at the clubhouse, normally behind the bar.

It was developed to try to record the history of our club for generations to come, to read and enjoy.  

To give you a taster here is a quick preview.

 

2005 - Commodore: Martin Parry

Ten years on and it is amazing to read how things have a habit of coming around again.

Martin writes in his log “Following all the celebrations for the previous year (the club’s 50th anniversary) the committee need to get on with the business of preparing to finish re-building the clubhouse”. 

The club was also looking to buy a new cooker, hiring a machine to cut the weed growing in the lake and locating the water pipe and stop cock—I hope they know where this is now!

The clubhouse has been a wonderful asset and we look forward to our next ten years and phase 3 of our clubhouse re-build!

Club achievements included:

Uffa Fox Seamanship Trophy: Dave Young

Peter Waine Trophy: Derek Fleming

Mr & Mrs Race:  Gill and Chris Beddow

 

2006 Commodore: Dave Croxford

Commodore’s most memorable moment:

 “At the very end of December 2006 the old clubhouse was being torn down and I remember standing in the clubhouse thinking, as the entire place was being demolished by enthusiastic members, that I really hope the Grant money would come through smoothly when we need it, mindful that at that point we were still awaiting our formal offer which I had been promised.

Finally the formal offer arrived during the following week and I was pleased to step backwards somewhat and let the highly professional building team take over.”

Club achievements included:

 Junior Honours: Ed Bradburn/Lucy Evans Lark youth Champions

 

2007 Commodore: Martin Evans

Commodore’s Day by Jack Sparrow.

Our Commodore for 2007, Martin Evans, chose to arrive on the prestigious Commodore’s Day in a rowing boat from the boathouse.  Predicting that this would take some time Martin arranged for some distractions (setting off flares).  The idea was that all members would be looking to the sky and Martin dressed as Jack Sparrow and his wife and daughter as his ‘Competent Crew’ would surprise all by arriving across the lake.

As with all Jack Sparrow’s plans this did not quite go to plan.  The flares long ran out and Martin’s slow, and what must have seemed an age, approach to the clubhouse was all but an instantaneous surprising arrival.  Thankfully club members and friends found this far more amusing than perhaps Martin did.

Club achievements included:

Runners up in the RYA Club of the Year awards.

Junior Honours; Adam Parry GP Youth Champion

 

2008 Commodore: Mike Owen

Mike started his year as Commodore announcing that he wanted the club to win the Southport 24 hour race.  A collective groan went up and this will live in Mike’s memory forever, after all, we had been trying to win it for more than 40 years!

In true South Staffs fashion and to Mike’s delight the GP14 and Lark team leaders did him proud.  We not only took first place but 3rd place too.  As an added bonus our GP14 Masters team finish 3rd in the class and 16th overall.  - A proud moment for Mike and one he would not have missed for the world. 

The teams showed their appreciation of his support and his faith in them by throwing him into the lake!   Judging by his smile on the photos he was indeed ‘a very proud Commodore’.

Other Club achievements include:

Junior Honours:

Adam Parry/Lucy Evans Lark Youth Champions

Adam Parry GP Youth Champion

Will Croxford OK Youth Champion

 

2009 Commodore: Anne Pugh

When Anne was asked by Mike Owen if she would be his vice-commodore she initially hesitated—it was something she had thought she would like to do but had anticipated it being further in the future—when she had more time.

There were many highlights to the year including GP14  team winning the 24 hour race at Southport; purchasing the Fireflys for team racing;  the Dave Danbury Day; the refurbishment of the jetties and the development of the new website.  Not bad for a Commodore commuting weekly to and from London.  This demonstrates the quality and commitment of our Commodores!

Anne said at the AGM when handing over to Mike Davies “it is an honour and a privilege to be able to play just a small part in what, in my view, is the best sailing club in the world.”   Little did Anne know the Club’s accolades that lay ahead. 

Club achievements include:

Southport Junior National 12 Hour Race: First and tenth places.

Junior Honours:

Adam Parry GP Youth Champion

Sarah Norbury British Junior Ladies Optimist Champion

Will Croxford OK Youth Champion

 

2010 Commodore: Mike Davies

A highlight of the year for most Commodores is Commodore’s Day and this was not an exception for Mike.  After his initial thoughts of a jet-propelled-scuba-diving-James-Bond style arrival, Mike turned to eBay and acquired a Tuk Tuk!  From the number of laps around the boat park with various passengers this seemed to be a popular choice.

For many of us, Mike‘s Bonfire Night display of fireworks fired from the box, and reflected in the glassy Gailey lake, is second to none.  So much so it is now an annual event.

Mike stated that the Commodore’s dinner gave him an opportunity to thank all those people who work tirelessly behind the scenes to make each year at SSSC a great year.  2010 was no exception to that, thanks Mike.

Club achievements include:

Southport Junior National 12 Hour Race: Second and ninth places.

Junior Honours:

Sarah Norbury  British Ladies Optimist Champion.

Adrian Walker OK Youth Champion

 

2011 Commodore: Neil Hawkins

2011 will always be associated with the RYA Sailing Club of the Year award.  An incredibly proud moment for the club and its years of dedication and development by its loyal membership.

However, 2011 was much more than winning the Club of the Year award as the 16 page SUMMARY Neil drafted out shows.  It is certainly worth the read!

Another prestigious recognition for our club was the RYA Volunteer Awards.  We had triple success, John Edwards, Mike Warbrick and Chris Cook.

What a year of recognition for the club!

Club achievements include:

Southport Junior National 12 Hour Race: First and fourth places.

Sam Blocksidge and Alison Norbury Lark Youth Champions

RYA Sailing Club of the Year Award

 

2012 Commodore: Mark Nichols

The Club had an extremely busy year both on and off the water.  The Magnificent Seven Social Team lead the way running a variety of different social events.  These included: The May Ball, with a black and gold theme reflecting the Olympic year; Olympic silver medallist , Joe Glanfield, visited the club; a new indoor sailing event took place to raise monies for RNLI; a comedy night with hog roast; a fireworks night with pyrotechnic wizardry by Mike Davies and pre-Christmas wine tasting. 

The final event of the year was the Annual Dinner where special congratulations went to Phil Barnfield and Tim Crossley who collected their first club trophy after many years of making everyone else look good.

Club achievements included:

On the water the Club had some great results  including at the GP14 Irish Championships and the GP World in Looe.

Sam Brocksidge OK Youth Champion

Southport Junior National 12 Hour Race: First and eleventh places.

 

2013 Commodore: Nick Brandon

Nick’s year as Commodore was yet another brilliant year for SSSC.  It began with the Commodore’s reunion organised by Mike and Charlotte Davies.    It was the start of Kamila’s rise to fame as she won her age group in the West Midlands.  Southport proved to be a vintage year with both the junior and adult teams winning the 12 and 24 hour events.

When referring to our annual trip to New Quay, Nick simply said “I love New Quay”.  I think that says it all.   A tradition of our Club which has stood the test of time and is loved by all who have taken part over the years.

I expected Nick and Caroline to arrive on Commodore’s Day with a carriage pulled by goats—but alas no, much more sophisticated they settled on a pony and trap driven by an old family friend.

Club achievements included:

The club took four team to Southport 24 hour race coming 1st, 13th, 23rd and 36th.

Sam Blocksidge and Andy Hunter GP Youth Champions

 

2014 Commodore: Martin Warburton

Martin had the almost impossible task of following on from the fantastic 50th anniversary celebrations.  So no pressure on him!

Martin need not have worried as it has been an extra-ordinary year in every way.

The sailing and powerboat competitions, the annual club trips to New Quay and Southport and the social evenings/events were without doubt up there with our best.

Then to put the icing on the cake (quite literally) the Commodore’s weekend highlighted by HRH Princess Royal’s visit, who gave our club the highest praise.  As we understand it, she genuinely and thoroughly enjoyed her visit.  It does not get better than that. Excellent year and thanks to all.

Club achievements included:

West Lancs 24 Hour Race Winners

Kamila Czartolomna—Honda Youth RIB Challenge Winner

 

2015 Commodore: Mike Warbrick 

"It seemed like a good idea at the time"  Mike's Commodore's year took Mike right outside of his comfort zone, instead of watching his trainee sailors progress and develop new skills, Mike found himself developing new skills as our Commodore.

Mike was promised a quiet year following the club's 60th celebrations and Royal visit.  South Staffs Sailing Club never does a quite year !!  

South Staffs not only won the West Lans 24 hour race but also came in second place with only seconds separating the two boats.  Our social boat came in 25th place.  Our most successful year at west Lancs both on and off the water.  As our Sailing Captain, Martin Evans, summarised this when he said  "We were one team, three boats".  Anyone there would totally agree.

Mike and Dawn arrived on Commodore's Day in a life raft (a little late - well it was Mike) and they really did have to be resued as the life raft was designed to stay stationary and stable not too quickly cross our lake!  Slght flow to the plan but again very entertaining for the rest of us.

Great year and great social events.

 

Full copy avaialbe at the Clubhouse.

 

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