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Channel Islands: Jersey Boat Show
29th April 2017 - 1st May 2017
For the second year running, with the generous financial support of our sponsors Boatworks+ Guernsey and an approved budget allowance from the WOA National Committee, the CIG were able to go ahead making arrangements for booking a Stand at the 2017 Jersey Boat Show during the Early Spring Bank Holiday weekend.
Previous investigations revealed that a fair number of Westerly owners in the Channel Islands and along the Brittany coast were either non-WOA members or had allowed their membership to lapse. So hopefully the WOA Stand would be the ideal venue for the recruitment of non- or lapsed members, especially those in France. In that respect, Remy Giraud had done a sterling job in translating the JBS poster and the WOA Membership Application Form from English to French.
All the boat show equipment and sundry boxes, including WOA regalia, were duly collected from David Jibb in Margate over the Easter Bank Holiday weekend. Other items such as the latest Year Book and Spring Magazine were sent separately to Mike by post. Well wishes were received from George Pickburn, Commodore and from David Jibb, Vice Commodore and Boat Show Organiser.
On Thursday 27th April, Magic Legend departed from St Peter Port to St Helier with all the equipment on board. The WOA Stand were duly set up on the following day. Following that, Julie and I were delighted to be joined by Andy and Liz Truscott who flew in earlier that morning from Exeter specially for the JBS. After a glass of welcoming drinks on board Magic Legend, already appropriately dressed for the occasion, we adjourned to SHYC a short walking distance away. Before the evening supper, there was a Committee Meeting held in the Chart Room upstairs, which was also open to other CIG members as non-voting observers. For further details please refer to the Minutes of the meeting already circulated.
After the meeting, we were joined by others in the Bar for an informal get together pre-show Supper. There were 25 of us in 2 tables, including a group of GYC motor boaters and members of Yacht Club Pays de Saint-Brieuc from La Legue. The latter was made up of 11 sailors in 6 yachts, led by Christian Lamy of Gwennili. It turned out that one of the French skippers was previously the proud owner of a Centaur!
During that evening, a rota of volunteers manning the Stand and helping out at the Pontoon Party was finalised. Needless to say, their enthusiastic involvement and support was very much appreciated. They were:
• Jan Ballingall (Sea Mixy – David was away in Cork)
• Chris & Jean Ellyatt (Summer Breeze)
• Brian & Liz Stuttard (Lady Sinclair)
• Mike Tai & Julie Payne (Magic Legend)
• Andy & Liz Truscott (Drongo)
• Peter & Vicky Warren (Temptation of St Helier)
The boat show opened with fanfare on Saturday morning, in the presence of 2 Royal Navy corvettes and a Royal Marine Band. It was a warm and sunny day and so all went well, with apparently the highest numbers of visitors to the JBS recorded since its inception. A large number of visitors signed in at our stand and each person was duly presented with a goodies bag with the compliments of Boatworks+ Guernsey. During the day, our French visitors were invited to the RCIYC marquee for drinks and clearly they all had a great time!
After closing the show stand, a very pleasant Saturday evening was spent in the stunning clubhouse of RCIYC St Brelade, overlooking across St Aubin Bay. Our party was made up of 32 people and we all enjoyed a sumptuous dinner efficiently served by the Club Stewardess Wendy and her staff, all cooked deliciously to order by their new chef! During the dinner, Mike Tai, with the help of Vicky Warren doing the French translation, proposed a Toast to the WOA and at the same time welcoming members of Yacht Club Pays de Saint-Brieuc to Jersey. That was duly responded by Christian Lamy, translated most capably into English by Brigette.
Unfortunately the inclement weather with strong wind and heavy rain set in for the next 2 days, both Sunday and Monday. In spite of that, it was decided to go ahead regardless with the Pontoon Party on Sunday afternoon. Miraculously it turned out to be an unbeatable and enjoyable event, with the help of umbrellas and well organised refreshments and food! Our French visitors were particularly most hospitable as they brought along with them their home made pâtisserie and bottles of bubbly cidre! In line with tradition, the Commodores and Flag Officers of local yacht clubs were all sent prior invitations to attend and we were delighted that they were able to join us. In total, about 50 members and invited guests were there to enjoy a continuous downpour and wet social get together!
By Monday, most of the exhibitors had decided to cut their losses in packing up their stands. We too followed likewise and put away everything smoothly on board Magic Legend.
Tuesday after the Bank Holiday was a fine day with a gentle NE breeze, enabling us to enjoy the sail back to St Peter Port in time to get into her berth safely inside QEII Marina.
All being well, the plan is to let David Jibb have the boat show equipment and sundry boxes back in Margate, in time for the Southampton Boat Show in September.
In summary, in spite of planning the Pontoon Party for Sunday to coincide with day trippers from St Malo, disappointingly visitors from France never became materialised due to the unpredictable adverse weather resulting in the cancellation of the fast ferry. On the other hand, we were delighted to have the good company of our friends from Yacht Club Pays de Saint-Brieuc throughout the show period and no doubt we would welcome to have them joining us again in other CIG events in the future. All the visitors to our stand were appreciative of the goodies bags from Boatworks+ Guernsey, our sponsors. Out of the 7 Membership Packs provided for the show, only 3 packs have remained unused. Thus 2 new members (1 new and 1 lapsed) were recruited at the show and 2 more potential new members (1 new and 1 lapsed) are in the process for follow up to be recruited.