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Association AGM & Reports

Report of the 2018 AGM

The formal minutes of this AGM will shortly be available to logged-in members from the lower menu on the left.

The 51st Annual General meeting of the Association took place at the RNLI Lifeboat College, Poole. This has proved to be a popular venue with many of our members over the years and all sixty rooms in the hotel were reserved for the Association. Many members arrived on Friday to take advantage of the facilities, including an opportunity of a tour of the All -weather Lifeboat Centre and the talk given by Peter Lees of Crusader Sails. The Riggers Restaurant and Slipway Bar were both full in the evening with members from various Area Groups renewing old friendships or forming new ones.

Saturday morning started early with registration from 9am. There was the usual Boat Jumble run by Liz and Julian Roberts. After many years Liz and Julian now wish to stand down and we are looking for volunteers to take it over, if you think you could help please let us know. In addition to Crusader Sails the following companies all exhibited either in the entrance or in a room along with the jumble, Precision Paints, Harken, ASAP, Beta Marine, Comfort Afloat, Apollo Gas, Tek Tanks, Roger Nantais, XW Rigging and Barrus. From what I heard business was quite brisk and there was plenty of advice on hand.

The formal part of the weekend started promptly at 11am as we had an EGM in addition to the AGM. The EGM was for the membership to vote on a change to the Constitution that would allow Associate Members to serve on committees. A vote was taken, and the proposal was carried however the Commodore assured the meeting that the Committee would look at the question of limiting numbers of AM during the coming year.

The Annual General Meeting followed with the retiring Commodore, George Pickburn, welcoming members from seven of our eight Area Groups plus representatives from Westerly Club Nederland and Germany. We now have 3191 members, 216 of whom are from overseas. It is gratifying to see the membership growing whilst so many other owners’ associations struggle. The Commodore and Treasurer then presented their reports, these are published in full in the AGM minutes and are available on the web site. Finally, the new Committee and the Honorary Auditor were voted in.

Following the formal part of the meeting Jill Pickburn, retiring Magazine Editor, thanked all contributors to the 2017 Magazine. A brief resume of articles and logs submitted was then given before the winners of the various awards were announced.

Jan Smallwood has agreed to take over as Editor.

Tim Harrison, Technical Editor, presented the award for the Best Technical Log to Les Cowan for his articles on 'Ideas for Everyday Use onboard his Griffon'.

Presentation of Special Awards

Tim Harrison proposed a vote of thanks to David Jibb for his work at the show. The meeting was then opened to the floor for General Discussion. The Commodore reported that the Fulmar Nationals are expected to be at again New Quay. Robert Bull advised members to check their engine sound proofing. Dick Leedham - Westerly on Wheels are having their first event in February. The meeting then adjourned for a buffet lunch at 12.57hrs.

The afternoon session began with the handover to the new Flag Officers. There followed a short presentation and video, given by our new Commodore, on Glasgow, the planned venue for our 2019 AGM. It will be in the Golden Jubilee Conference Hotel. A newsletter will be available to keep members informed.

Mary then introduced our first speaker Dr Simon Boxall of the National Oceanographic Institute who gave a fascinating, thought provoking and often amusing talk on The Art of Climate Change in the Artic. Much of his time over the past 15 years has been spent in the Artic sailing on a schooner, Noorderlicht, as part of the Cape Farewell, an artist led organization that works to create an urgent cultural response to climate change. “The voyages bring together scientists, film makers, artists, musicians and writers to provide a commentary on how our planet is changing in one of its most fragile environments.”

From what he said it is not always idyllic, to quote Marcus Brigstocke during a particularly long spell of strong winds and heavy seas in the Greenland Sea “There are two stages of sea sickness, the first, thinking you’re going to die, the second is realising you’re not going to but wishing you could”. More seriously he shared how the lack of ice is changing the way of life of the Greenland people. His summary: Artic – a great place, magical. The Med -horrible.

Our second speaker for the afternoon was Dave Selby, the PBO columnist. Titled Marlin’s Mission he gave an account of his passage from the East Coast up the Thames to London, easier than crossing the estuary and then on to Southampton in Marlin, his Sailfish 18 (the Reliant Robin of the seas). The aim was to demonstrate that cost is no barrier to getting afloat, that today sailing has never been more affordable. Marlin’s Mission was also to raise money for charity. What Dave shared with us later was that during his trip he had to have regular stays in hospital for treatment for a rare viral condition Guillain-Barre Syndrome. So far, he has raised over £9000 for the charity ( that funds research into this rare illness and provides support for those with it. Dave left us with a final thought- Take someone sailing this year who hasn’t sailed before.

Following pre-dinner drinks in the Riggers Bar, the Waterfront Suite was full,120 members and guests, for the New Commodore’s Dinner, with Brian Easteal acting as Our Master of Ceremonies.

Our evening speaker was Johnny Ball, drummer, comedian, Strictly dancer and award-winning writer and presenter for over 50 years. Johnny, who has a half share (the bottom half) in a boat moored on the Thames, shared some of his boating experiences with us, some ‘near death’ in nature. Whilst also including tales of the ancient Greeks and how early navigators tackled, what was for them, the final frontier.

Thanks to our Secretary, Bob Godbold, Commercial Manager, Alan Rand and other members of the Association Committee and Area Groups for all their work in the organisation of a very successful weekend.

Gill Clare - Minutes Secretary

The Commodore's Clock

The Commodore's Clock

The Commodore's Clock was donated to the Association at the beginning of 1990 by the retiring Commodore Mike Williams, to be awarded each year "to the person who, in the opinion of the Flag Officers, has made the best contribution to the Association". In that first year it was presented to Brian Watson, and has since been awarded annually in recognition of a great variety of exceptional services to the Association.

Previous Winners

2016 - Tim and Jackie Pullen for 20 years membership services to the Association.

2015 - Nigel Birch for his contribution to helping JayT set up the new Westerly Owners' Association website.

2014 - Phil Stevens for his work with the Westerly Forum and the Email Discussion Group as moderator for many years.

2013 - Keith Thomas who loaned his beautiful Oceanlord, Dreamtime of Blackwater to the Association for display at the Southampton Boat Show.

2012 - John Ruskin who, in 2012 achieved: 42 pages of WOA/Westerly yachts in the boating media; 88 Westerly pictures in the three key yachting magazines; 4 issues with Westerly as their front cover and a number of press releases with the ‘worlds largest owners’ association’ quoted.

2011 - Gary McGuire for his work and encouragement to re-invigorate the Ireland Group

2010 - Ian Cochrane of Rotostay and XW Rigging for his consistent support of the Association over many years.

2009 - Bill Miller for his outstanding work in re-energising the East Coast Group in 2008, at a time when it was in danger of folding.

2008 - Martin Perry for his outstanding work in maintaining the website over a number of years and laying the foundation for the new site.

2007 - Brian Easteal for his hard work and dedication in producing 'The Westerly Story' for the anniversary year.

2006 - Ian Buchanan who formed the Scottish Area Group and also contributed to the National Committee, attending meetings despite the long distance involved.

The Rayner Challenge Plate

The Rayner Challenge Plate

The Rayner Challenge Plate, our oldest and most prestigious piece of silverware, is awarded annually for 'Best Cruise undertaken in a Westerly'.

The idea is to encourage all WOA members to extend their own cruising horizons; hence the criteria takes into account not simply what has been achieved, but the size of boat, the strength and experience of the crew, the time available and the sense of adventure. If you have stretched your cruising horizons, write it up for us and you will be in with a real chance, even if other members have done similar things before.

Previous Winners

2016 - Jean Marc and Marian Papon for 'Atlantic Crossing'.

2015 - Kathy and Jeremy Spencer for the second year running (much to their surprise).

2014 - Kathy and Jeremy Spencer for their many contributions to the magazine as they sail around the world.

2013 - Mary Buchanan for her account of 40 days and nights anticlockwise round Ireland, on Clar Innis.

2012 - Paul Shave who sailed, single handed, around Scotland on his boat Blue Spindrift and wrote an excellent log "Bo’ness to Bo’ness" with many interesting references, photographs and chart.

2011 - Sue and Bill Redgrove for their challenging adventures in Camomile. An account of their travels can be read in various WOA Magazines under the heading - 'Camomile's Log'.

2010 - Andrew Moncrieff for his largely singlehanded sail around the UK, in a Westerly Fulmar Snow Goose as described in the article 'Twin Keels around Britain' published in the Spring 2009 Magazine.

2009 - John Gozzard (Pippin) for his entry in the Jester Azores Challenge in a Westerly Griffon, published in the Winter 2008 Magazine as the log ‘A Competitors View’.

2008 - The Fenton–Jones family (Tamarisk of Rye) for their North Atlantic Circuit, published in the Spring 2007 Magazine as ‘And the Children came too’.

Entry conditions: All cruising logs submitted to the Magazine Editor by 1st October will be assessed and the Rayner Challenge Plate presented to the winner at the following WOA AGM. The cruise should normally be of at least 7 days duration in a Westerly yacht and have finished not more than 12 months prior to submission. Crew strength, wind and sea conditions should be noted. The log should be accompanied by a diagram of the route if this is not clear from the text. Photographs should accompany the log for publication, but will not be included in the judges' assessment.


Peter and Vicky Warren sailing with the 2012 National Cruise in their Tempest Temptation