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South West: Group AGM and Talk
13th October 2018 @ 8:00 am - 5:00 pm
The Annual General Meeting was held on Saturday 13th October 2018 at Fingle Glen Golf Hotel, Exeter. The Chairman, Barbara Box, welcomed 42 members.
The minutes of the previous AGM in 2017 were accepted.
Barbara welcomed everyone then gave an entertaining report describing the events of the year, thanking all those who had organized events, written reports and taken photographs, which have been in the magazine and on the web site.
On a more serious note she brought up the subject again of members who don’t respond to events until after the deadline. This year one of the committee, was put in a very embarrassing situation, when after much planning on his part and that of Babbacombe Sailing Club, the event had to be cancelled, due not just to lack of support, but people saying they were coming then not following up on that intention, or ringing after the cancellation had been announced. As you can imagine, he and the Commodore of the Yacht Club were not amused. This was discussed with all attendees after the AGM and in committee and it was decided that NO LATE BOOKINGS would be taken after the deadline in future. The deadlines are set as late as possible and mainly decided by the venue.
At the Christmas lunch 2017 the proceeds from the raffle were split between the NCI stations at Polruan and Nare Head.
The secretary, Sally Loynes, reported that we had 15 fewer members this year, 101 in all, and many are still giving up sailing due to ill health or age. She outlined the four main mailings and said that all events are put on the web site with a registration form. Sending reminders about two weeks before the deadline for registering continued to work well for some but at one event half those who attended booked after the deadline. During my extended summer cruise, I asked JayT to send one reminder with a link to the website.
She explained that it had been a particularly busy year with the GDPR and she could not have done the change without the help of Alan Rand.
She also thanked those who wrote magazine reports, but again asked for a greater selection of photos.
The treasurer presented the audited accounts for 2017/2018.
She reported that this year has been a relatively quiet one financially for the Group. The National Cruise visited our shores this year so as the early part of the sailing season was involved with this event, little was organised on the water until the Fowey Rally in early September. The Christmas Lunch and Fitting Out totals both appear to be in significant deficit, however, deposits for both events were paid in the previous financial year. Similarly we have paid a deposit for both the Christmas meal and 2019 Fitting Out already and members’ deposits have been paid into the account. The Group reserve is slightly down on last year as we continued to fund the cost of raffle prizes and gratuities. This may have to be reviewed next year.
As reported last year the Committee intended to investigate the feasibility of electronic payments for events but were advised in the January mailing that this had not been found to be possible with the business account that we hold. Committee members organising events would not be able to scrutinise the payments and the Treasurer would have to have quite a large daily payment allowance in order to pay final balances such as the Fitting Out.
As part of this process we also discussed the option to change our year end date but were advised by National that this would not be easy. This coming year will be her last as Treasurer so the Committee is looking for a replacement. There are copies of the accounts on your chairs for you to examine.
There were no questions and the accounts were accepted at the meeting.
Our National Representative, Chris Strang presented his report. He said that WOA finances are sound but costs are increasing and they may have to consider an annual fee increase in the future. At present an advert goes into PBO every 2 months and a brief discussion followed. 3 new members will be required for the national committee at the AGM. The number of advertisers in the magazine is reducing probably because consent is now required to include the advert. There is an article explaining GDPR in the Spring magazine. He asked what did members think about the new website? – a brief discussion followed. Viv Sullivan has researched a new clothing range with WOA making a small profit, unlike now. WOA wanted to give the current supplier time to respond to this. It is still under discussion. The next national AGM will be in Glasgow and members can subscribe if they are interested by contacting Ian Buchanan – details in the Spring Magazine. The National Cruise will be to Scotland from June 26th – July 2nd tentatively starting at Craobh and finishing at Oban.
Chris explained about Westerly on Wheels and asked what members thought about a non sailing group. There was a lively discussion.
The committee all stood down and seven had agreed to stand again. There were three new nominations so a vote was not necessary. The committee were elected en bloc. Chairman – Barbara Box, Vice Chairman & National Rep. – Chris Strang, Treasurer – Gillian Davies, Secretary – Sally Loynes, Paul Moorhouse, Sparks Beattie, Chris Taylor, Jim Eccles, Peter Surrall and Viv Sullivan.
After Barbara had done her string trick, an open discussion followed on possible events for the coming season, before members headed downstairs.
After lunch we had a fascinating talk from Viv Sullivan titled ‘The Atlantic – One Way’. Viv gave an interesting and entertaining talk about how she came to cross the Atlantic in December 2016. The journey involved three boats, where she gained experience and knowledge of offshore sailing before she finally crossed. She learnt from each skipper, discovered a love of blue water sailing and talked of enduring a 5 day storm off the coast of Portugal. She covered trialling and using a new style Asymmetrical sail, losing it twice overboard; learning to understand cloud formations; the use of iridium phones and offshore communications along with food and clean waste storage. This enabled us all to enjoy a very informative afternoon.
Barbara Box thanked Viv for her presentation.