I would like to convey my very best wishes and sincere thanks to all of you as we wrap up an eventful 2017 and sift our momentum into the next calendar year. The past 12 months have been marked by noteworthy achievements and change. As we reflect on the past year, I believe that we have many reasons to have real pride in our accomplishments and look forward with enthusiasm to next year at the WHSC.
A few examples that stand out include one of our cruisers swept the board in Sovereigns cup (Fool’s Gold) and won the IRC Welsh Open, Fulmar Fever excelled in the Dun Laoghaire to Dingle Race and as icing on the cake, Flyover topped the Scora tables. In the Dinghy section Geoff Power and James McCann ruled supreme in Ireland and got a deserved place at the Worlds in Sanya.
At home small changes made a big impact. Our development squad together with Wexford S.C. proved that cooperation can be fruitful for all and this year we hope to extend this cooperation with one more club. Our Tenner Tuesdays supported by WLR FM turned out to be a huge success with over 200 people taking to the water. A lot of these sailors came back for more and are now joining the club. Our Sea Legs group grew and our new Sailing Buddies group had a great take up and lots of fun…. September showed the result of all the hard work at the younger age group and on the last day of September we had 15 Oppies sailing.
The message that we are open for business is spreading and our newly renovated clubhouse is proving a hit with members new and old.
All of this was made possible by the hard working committee some of whom went far beyond their line of responsibilities and I am sincerely grateful to them for their input. Outside of the committee, a lot of work was done by members for example, painting of tables, repair of Oppies, cleaning after rebuilding, quiz nights, breakfasts, helping with events and so on. I extend my thanks to you all.
I am delighted to be able to tell you that the club received an early Christmas present in the form of a €34,000 grant from the Dept. of Tourism and Sports for the purchase of 2 new rescue ribs. They are urgently needed to supplement our current fleet and these boats will allow us to expand our courses.
This grant was obtained on the basis of our inclusive approach and our work in the community with school sailing, Tenner Tuesdays and cooperation with other clubs.
We increased the diversity of our membership , attracted local people from Dunmore East and our total enrolment has reached 185 members up from 170. With our reduced membership fees we still managed to obtain the same revenue. The increase stemmed mainly from the adult sailing and the very young age groups. These are the building blocks for the future growth of the club. and our sailors of the future. Indeed, there are more than enough reasons to justify real optimism as we move forward. The club is financially stable but continued attention to the finances is a must
The search continues for a new Commodore due to take over at the end of 2018 from me… As in Shackleton’s case his advertisement was able to attract a full crew :
Our journey is hardly as arduous as described above and the rewards are far greater… I promise!
Our club – and all of you who are part of it – will continue to make us proud in 2018.
In January we will be calling on everybody to start helping with maintenance of boats in the boat house and the committee boat Razor which is currently stored in Dunmore Boat Storage Yard. All hands are very welcome to help.
We will maintain our momentum and actively work to shape our own future as one of the nation’s most inclusive and healthy sailing clubs. We will continue to engage actively in the broadening of our member’s base without forgetting all of those who have been members for many years
WHSC is a great club and it is a privilege to be a part of it. My thanks to everyone for helping to make the past year so memorable and I look forward to what we will accomplish together in the new year.
With very best wishes to you all for 2018