Page 6 - Yachter Spring 2024
P. 6

                                A MISSIVE FROM THE PAST COMMODORE
Since my last missive for the Yachter in the Autumn, the Club has moved to it’s Winter mode where less activity is observed. However, like the proverbial swan, there is a lot going on under the surface. This has prompted me to reflect on my time as Commodore, at the end of my tenure.
       These last two years have been a mixed bag of fortunes. We have seen a downturn in trading due to the cost-of-living crisis, and a modest decline in membership due to a changing attitude towards private clubs and boat ownership. These two influences have forced us to re-examine what we do and how we do it, and as with any analysis, there often follows change.
Whilst we have never lost sight of the importance of recruitment, it has been stepped-up to stem the ebb, and this has proved both positive and successful with a steady stream of new faces joining the Club, 70 of whom joined in the last year alone. Our marketing has become more focused to attract those more likely to benefit from our location and the facilities we are able to offer. This campaign will continue, and we will introduce new initiatives as and when they emerge.
Our catering operation also came under the microscope and did not escape criticism. With falling demand, it became imperative to reduce our overheads in this area and some fundamental changes were made. However,
our attempt to provide a restaurant service using externally produced dishes proved less successful than we had hoped, and you let us know this. Now, after six months of pushing up-hill, the catering has undergone a ‘facelift’ to improve our offering and I am delighted that we have now appointed Albi MaClaren in the kitchen. His background and pedigree are impeccable, and he brings with him a wealth of experience and food knowledge. If you have not tasted his food yet I highly recommend you book for Lunch and give it a go.
Externally, our relationship with the Royal Southern Yacht Club continues to develop and this will help sustain our Clubs’ activities, both on and off the water. This is helped in no small way by the sponsorship arrangement with MDL Marinas, who provide a haven
for our Race Management Vessels at Ocean Village Marina.
It seems hardly possible that two years have passed since you first elected me as your Commodore. However, my term has come to an end and in time honoured fashion I now return my Broad Pennant and lapel pin in
exchange for those of a Past Commodore and pass on the baton.
During my time as Commodore, I have been helped and supported by my fellow Flag Officers, who have worked tirelessly for the betterment of the Club. They in turn are supported by the members of their respective Committees, without whom the Club would be a decidedly less attractive place. My sincere thanks to all of them and for the continued contribution they make.
I am delighted that my stepping down makes way for a fine chap to take up this office, and therefore may I commend to you your new Commodore, Guy Darby.
Thank you for the honour and privilege to have been your Commodore.
Robin Funnell Commodore (past)

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