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Home » Club News » Memories of recent times – a few words from our Commodore

Memories of recent times – a few words from our Commodore

Hope you enjoy this write up by our Commodore,  Adrian Mark,  with a brief round up on the last five years! BCSC is certainly a buoyant sailing club and attracts membership from right across our community.  There is always something going on whether your interest is sailing, kayaking,  powerboating or social.

We can’t deny, the last year has been tough for us all,  but do not fear as the club has been busy and we’re primed and ready to start up as soon as we can.  We’ve really missed you and have plenty planned for all our members both on & off water!

“Slightly late but Happy New Year from us all at the Club. Despite all the restrictions I hope you managed to have an enjoyable festive period. This isn’t going to be my usual type of Newsletter as obviously there is little on the immediate horizon because of the increased lock down rules around Covid. So, I thought it would be a good opportunity to highlight just what the Club has achieved over the last five years since 2016. Hopefully, this will remind those of you who have been with the Club just what we’ve done and for the newer members an idea of the hard work your fellow BCSC’ers have put in.

Having said the past five years I should say that in the couple of years up to 2016 the Club repaired and extended the slipway on Oddicombe Beach following very severe storm damage. The work entailed a sizeable grant via Sport England and a very very large amount of concrete. Members also updated, re carpeted and painted the Top Club inside and outside and in 2015 we celebrated the Clubs 80th anniversary with a BBQ in the (CoOp) car park.

Torquay Sailing At Babbacombe Sailing Club

Moving on to 2016, this was the last time we produced a BCSC brochure as in later years we’ve focussed on our website to publicise ourselves. We applied for and received £300 from the Torbay’s Mayor’s fund which went towards the purchase of our three RS Teras for our juniors. We also received £7500 from Sport England to add to our safety boats and that’s when we purchased Orca.

Later that year we sold another of our older safety boats and acquired Juno. July saw our 190th Regatta. In September Sport England agreed we could use some of the remaining slipway grant funding to (a) repair the new (!) slipway where the strong tides had displaced a few of the uprights and (b) we were also able to use the balance to buy our ATV to replace the very old, rusty mini tractor used to pull the boats up and down the slipway.

The later part of 2016 saw five of our juniors (some with their own Teras) join South West Youth Sailing Association and go off regularly to other clubs for training sessions including the Torquay Junior Regatta. To help us support these trips we purchased the multi trailer we still have, to ferry the dinghies around.

As 2017 came around we held our membership fees for another year (the previous change was back in 2012). To comply with hygiene regulations, we added the hot water heater to the Beach Club House galley (it was boiling kettles of water before that!) and put flooring into the galley area. March 2017 saw us increase our bar prices, which is the last time they went up. Those present may remember they went up mid-session much to everyone’s amusement/shock/wonderment and I remember it well as I was on the bar when it happened! Next came the purchase of a single-handed laser, the painting of the mural / window boards for the Beach Club House and in July we hosted a visit from the Westerly Owners with some of us getting the chance to spend time on some big boats and we laid on a bar and BBQ on the beach for everyone. 2017 also saw us sign a new lease for the Beach Club House and Boat Park, this new lease is for forty years with an option to seek a further fifteen years after that. We should therefore be around for a few years more!

2018 saw us being successful in getting £500 from Aviva and later that year £2000 from Tesco’s Bags of Help initiative which eventually went towards the (first) new Laser and Bahia (see below). In March 2018 we aligned our membership and sailing/parking renewal dates and we increased membership fees for seniors, adults and juniors by £5 to the level they are now and will remain for this year, so they will be unchanged for four years now. In the later part of 2018, we agreed to upgrade the galley in the Top Club House and came up with options and designs which we first asked you for your comments and then GC to approve the preferred version. The main work was started in December and completed in time for Burns Night celebrations 2019. In November and December 2018 we added to our training / double handed fleet with the purchase of a Laser 2000 and a Laser Bahia

In 2019 we introduced our on-line membership application, Member MoJo or MMJ for short. For 2019 it was for new members only and it wasn’t until 2020 we used it for all renewals. 2019 also saw us repaint the outside of the Top Club House, replace the projector for the big screen as well as the gents toilets, which were also repainted. At the end of the year the scaffolding / viewing platform was taken down from the Beach Club House and I have to say I think we’ve just finally sorted out the various leaks in the roof left behind!

So that’s a run through of a few of the recent years I’ve not strayed into 2020 as I hope you can remember that from the more recent Newsletters. Through all this period we’ve also been ploughing on very (painfully?) slowly with the Beach Club House replacement/renovation.

I’ve not mentioned any of our usual activities be they our Receptions (and the famous Bring a Plate), Curry Nights, At Homes, Paella and Thai evenings, Italian and French Nights, live music evenings (in house and outside musicians), New Members and Volunteers evenings, Race Nights, the weekly Quiz, films and music on the big screen, the Six Nations, rugby and football world Cups and the annual Dinner Dance. On the sailing side the team have delivered a variety of sailing over the years and we’ve always held the annual Push The Boat Out session(s), now Discover Sailing, picnic cruises around to Ness beach and Anstys cove, Regattas (even if some are postponed, shortened we’ve manged to hold them until 2020). Plus there’s all the training we’ve completed be it adult RYA levels 1 and 2, Power Boat L2 and the increasingly successful and popular OnBoard for juniors. We’ve seen the number of kayakers in the Club grow each year and it feels like even more so in 2020.

What I hope you can see is that a great deal of work goes on by your Officers and volunteers to make the Club what it is today and I would like to say a very sincere thank you to everyone who’s helped in some way. Similarly, the Club has always tried to offer extremely good value for money and as you can see membership fees and bar prices have only been increased once each in the last four or five years, which I feel is a remarkable achievement. As a club I’d like to think we are doing something right as our membership now stands at 341 today and we’d love to see you all in 2021 (hint – renewals start soon).

My apologies if anyone thinks I’ve missed out a significant success, if so please let me know and I will find space in a future Newsletter to mention it.

Finally, some more even older nostalgia (!) on the right of the above picture is what was the Hampton Court Hotel and what you can see is now the CoOp car park outside the Top Club. BCSC occupied what was described as a “Suite of rooms consisting of former masonic rooms and other rooms comprising a separate building in the grounds of the Hampton Court Hotel” and may be part of what is behind the tree trunk.

That’s all folks, Happy New Year once again, please stay safe and see you all later in the year.


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