Dear Members,

I hope you have all had a great summer.

It’s funny how we have grown to measure things in a different light. Any slight improvement on last year would be considered better. However, at Sutton Dinghy Club it has been a GREAT summer, in many ways the best.

Building on the template that brought success last year, Hugh, with the team of Instructors and the CE Project staff, ensured that as many trainees as possible enjoyed this year’s sailing courses. As soon as school was out, the club was a hive of activity during June, July and August. Such was the interest in sailing at SDC that all the courses had active waiting lists. We owe an enormous debt of gratitude to Hugh and his entire team.

We were still operating with certain restrictions, keeping groups within pods, no access to changing rooms, and constant vigilance to maintain a Covid free zone. Thank you to all the volunteers, and parents for your help and patience, much of which was from outside the confines of the clubhouse and the boat park.

As the Annual Regatta was moved from July to August I was unable to attend, but, in the capable hands of the Sailing Committee, a great day’s racing was had by all. Thank you to Ciara for stepping into the breach to welcome visitors and present the trophies. Congratulations to all prizewinners and well done to all participants. And without the safety boats and shore teams these events would not be possible. Thank you all.

Many of our sailors have been attending regattas at other clubs, and ‘on the circuit’ attending regional and national events for their respective classes. I don’t have the results details to hand, but suffice to say well done for broadening your sailing horizons and congratulations to all participants, especially the prizewinners.

The regatta was quickly followed, last weekend, by a visit to Royal Cork Yacht Club in Crosshaven, in a huge effort a) to regain the Junior Book Trophy, and b) to retain the Senior Book Trophy. For those not familiar with this event, it is a Team racing event against Royal Cork Yacht Club dating back to 1944 for the Senior Book, and to 1980 for the Junior Book.

Royal Cork held onto the Junior Book. It was a sharp learning curve for our junior team who had little practice in this format, but great experience was gained. They are now very keen to hone their skills and do battle again next year in Sutton. Well done to the team, and to the parents who got them there. They thoroughly enjoyed the up-close spectator aspect of the racing.

The senior team, with some seasoned team racers (and some not so seasoned!) really put it up to Royal Cork. It was a hard fought battle that got to 3-all, with RCYC narrowly coming out on top in the final 7th race to win back the Senior Book. A super effort by all involved.

Great credit must go to the Sutton team manager, Andy Johnston, for keeping this historical event to the fore in peoples minds in Cork and Sutton. He kept in frequent contact with the RCYC team organiser to ensure that their Tricentennial invitation to host the Book Trophy was carried out. And a big word of thanks to our hosts, Royal Cork, for looking after us so well. Andy will no doubt provide a full report in the near future. Available NOW on the website.

Lastly, and the real reason for this Commodore briefing, is the Clubhouse rejuvenation work.

As the final Regatta flags were being lowered, the office was moved into a caravan, the chairs and tables were put in storage, along with the stainless steel kitchen equipment, microwaves, crockery, glasses, etc. Yes, even the kitchen sink! The Clubhouse is now a shell and the contractor has moved in to start work. This is the culmination of a number of years of work by former Commodores and their committees and the club principle, in applying for, and securing, grant funding to improve the training areas of the premises. Again I request your patience and adherence with building regulations. Please comply with safety requests made by Hugh and/or the builder while work is in progress, and particularly when material and skips are being delivered or removed. Apologies to all for the inconvenience caused but we wait with bated breath for the reopening.

Stay safe, Sail safe.

Ian McCormack