Page 23 - Yachter Autumn 2023
P. 23

                                REAR COMMODORE HOUSE
My latest report rather reflects the weather we’ve been having in 2023 – some highs during the late Spring and early Summer where we saw lots of members at the Club and some lows during July and early August when frankly no one fancied going out on the water for fear of being drenched or blown away. Luckily the tail end of the Summer into Autumn has been brighter and we saw footfall increase with sell-outs most weekends for the Sunday Carvery, a full house for the end of Summer Party (that was great) and Quiz Nights /Skittles/Speakers Suppers continuing to be popular .
But let’s go back to how the Spring/Summer Season started.
In March we held our first ‘RSYC Gins Open Day’ to advertise the Club and attract new members. Support from helper members on the day showcasing our offering was fantastic and we succeeded in attracting
some new members who would not have joined had it not been for the enthusiasm
and professionalism of everyone on the day. We will definitely be holding another Open Day in Spring 2024 as membership numbers have declined again this year mainly due to the ‘Covid Cohort’ resigning and effects of the cost of living. We must remember that
we are not alone in experiencing a reduction in membership as many Yacht Clubs/Private Members Clubs are in the same situation and like them we have to do as much as we can to attract new members and vary our offering
to meet members changing requirements.
With Richard Colegrave’s election to the House Committee, and the co-option of Sally O’Donoghue and Trevor Watson, we’ve had an injection of new ideas, creative talent and, importantly, a ‘can do’ attitude, which is already helping.
Without our volunteers putting together programmes for racing , cruising and social it would be impossible so we need more of you to chip in to help move the Club forward.
We introduced the ‘Your Club needs YOU’ initiative in September hoping to get input from members who have particular expertise in IT/Digital/Media/Marketing etc. to help with specific projects to widen our profile and improve technology in the Clubhouse. If you have skill sets in these area, please e-mail me to have a chat.
The membership survey earlier this year gave us valuable feedback. We’ve already made a number of changes including requests for the Club to be open more during the week extended opening times to offer a breakfast service and late dining on Sundays. Sadly this hasn’t proved popular, so with increasing staff costs we have revisited the opening times during off peak season to better reflect the actual footfall. We varied the menus adding back some traditional favourites and generally tried to improve the quality of food offering by sourcing produce locally. We bought a new BBQ, so during the summer we were able to spread the food offering using the kitchen but also cooking from the BBQ. This proved a hit particularly at big events like this year’s Regatta and the Coronation Celebrations, where unlike last year, we could offer food all day round.
We have had lots of visiting rallies this year, Little Ships, RCC, RORC, LTSC, to name a few and has been great for business
but we mustn’t be complacent and with food costs increasing by 24% in 2023, staff costs rising and membership numbers dipping
we decided to increase our Food & Beverage prices slightly. We have also had to introduce a pre-payment system at events due to the number of ‘no-shows’ or cancellations on
the day. We also ask for a small deposit for table booking of 8 people and over to reduce food wastage. Stuart, our Business Manager, continues to manage costs to meet our budget however without members footfall increasing, especially for evening dining, it will have impact on what we do.
In my first report, I mentioned I was really keen to improve our website as we need to
get much better at marketing and a great website is the ‘shop window’ for potential new members and business opportunities alike.
I am delighted to report that we haven’t just improved the site but have invested in a totally new one, with feed-back received so far being immensely positive. We’ll continue to develop the site further to provide even more useful and up-to-date information, which we believe will enable you to enjoy greater benefit from your membership.
All the social events through to early 2024 are listed on the website and remember to book through
Finally, a big ‘Thank You’ to all our wonderful staff at RSYC who work very hard to make it a great place to be and also to my team on the House Committee, and my fellow Flag Officers, without them it would be a very hard job and definitely no fun!
If you are interested in volunteering please contact me:
Virginia Boyle
Rear Commodore House
             REAR COMMODORE HOUSE 23

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