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'Westerlys on Wheels' – Valentine’s Rally, 9 - 11 February 2018
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The inaugural Westerly on Wheels event certainly put the group’s motto – “Foul British weather will not deter us” – to the test. We arrived a day early to ensure that everything was prepared; and it was just as well that we did, because, despite several telephone calls with the pub over the previous weeks to confirm pitches, meals, etc, the staff on duty on the day we arrived had no record of us coming! Moreover, of the promised six hard-standings, there were only three available, the rest being already occupied by other campers. The back-up of using the pub’s overspill car park was therefore necessary, but we needed to make an urgent shopping trip (thanks to David Symonds) to purchase a couple of splitters to provide the promised electric.

David and Judith had also arrived on the Thursday, and we set our vans up with the awnings facing each other, which together with the Westerly Gazebo, we hoped would provide a dry meeting place for the pontoon party. In the event, we decided that the wind would be too much for the big Westerly Gazebo and so made do with a small one to extend our van’s awning instead. In any case, the wind increased late in the evening, and we had to take everything back inside.

Next morning, we put it all out again. The temperature had just struggled above zero, although the wind chill made it feel much lower. With Westerly flags flying we were ready to welcome the fleet! By Lunchtime most had arrived and we had our “pontoon party” get-together, just before sunset. David and Judith’s gas-fired “volcano” provided warmth for those huddled around it.

The following morning found us sheltering under the awnings from the wind and rain, for coffee and a Valentines themed quiz, and a wonderful iced sponge cake, specially made by Mandy and Paul Whitney, and featuring the WOW logo, to commemorate the inaugural event. Tim and Michele Burkinshaw were worthy winners of the Quiz and received the prize of a bottle of bubbly. Afterwards, although it was still raining intermittently, we decided to take down the gazebo and furl up the awnings as gale force winds (and rain) were forecast for the afternoon.

After lunch five hardy souls began the 1½ mile trek to visit Keyneston Mill where we had arranged for a visit to the Parterre perfumery and Botanic Café. On the way, we diverted to visit St Mary’s Church and admired the ancient murals on the walls. After tea in the café, we were shown around the perfumery, and given a talk on aromatic plant cultivation and perfume making. Fortunately, the rain held off for the walk back to the camp, and we didn’t get too wet.

In the evening we had arranged dinner in the True Lover’s Knot pub. This was accompanied by a raffle, which raised a total of £66 towards the Ocean Brothers’ target of raising £100,000 towards the British Skin Foundation charity. More information on the Ocean Brothers epic Atlantic rowing challenge can be found on their website. Another cake (chocolate, this time) by Mandy completed a very sociable evening, and we retired to our ‘vans.

On Sunday morning, the pub put on a full English Breakfast for all, before we went our separate ways home. There was even a brief flurry of snow as we packed up the campsite.

In total, 19 people (and three dogs), representing ten boats, attended the event. It was particularly encouraging to meet several couples who had not attended Westerly events before. We are looking forward to organising the next Westerly on Wheels event in the Autumn. Watch the website for details. If you want to be reminded of future WOW events please send us an email.

Contact: Dick Leedham


51st AGM of the Westerly Owners’ Association
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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.

Best Article - Patricia Stanton ‘A Crew Member’s Story’
Best Log – Stewart Gibb ‘The Scottish Island 3 Peaks Race (SIPR)

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

Harken Trophy was awarded to Alan Rand for his article on the ‘Refurbishment of a Westerly Storm Pushpit.’ Matt Davis of Harken presented the trophy.
Navigator and General Photographic Trophy - Hefin Davies – ‘How Many Crew’
The Precision Prize Trophy, is awarded by Area Groups, this Year SW Group, was won by Barbara Pugh for her article ‘A Girl’s View of SW Cruise to Padstow’ or ‘Sorry Obby ‘Oss Another Time’
Commodore’s Clock – John Beattie, WOA Facebook moderator.
The Rayner Challenge Plate – Jeremy Spencer for ‘If You’re Going to San Francisco’
Jeremy and Cathy were unable to attend the meeting but were able to express their thanks for the award in a video they had sent via the internet from the USA.
Special Award – A presentation was made to Sapphire III in recognition of being used as the PBO Stage at London Boat Show. Her owner Aurora Allen received a radar reflector.
The Commodore thanked Aurora for the use of Sapphire III at the show and Crusader Sails for the mainsail they supplied.

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 (gaincharity.org.uk) 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
WOA at the London Boat Show 2018
The Association was at the London Boat Show at ExCel in a big way!
WOA had Centaur Sapphire III on show as the backdrop to the Show’s PBO Theatre, where we presented to the Show on Westerlys and WOA. We thank John Goode for his steadfast support of WOA's presence at the London Boat Show.
WOA’s three Flag Officers and Aurora Allen, Sapphire III’s owner, were on hand to introduce Show visitors to our great boats. Meanwhile, our welcoming team of members was standing by on the Stand to sign-up new members.
Annual General Meeting 2017
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The 50th AGM of the Association took place at The Village Hotel Wirral, Bromborough, Merseyside.

Members started arriving on Thursday taking advantage of the hotel facilities and its proximity to Liverpool and Port Sunlight Village to take an early break and do some sight-seeing although the weather was less than kind.

On Friday evening, approximately 40 people enjoyed two very different, but equally interesting presentations. The first was given by Precision Paints, the donors of our Precision Prize Trophy. An outline of the rebranded company and its products was given which resulted in a thought provoking discussion on where DIY application of antifouling was going. It was generally agreed that all concerned needed to take heed of advice given and adopt best practices.

The second company was Dah-Di-Dah, a new publishing enterprise, that have produced a range of aide memoire books to be used in an emergency. They have four volumes – Diesel, First Aid, Navigation and Baby/Child First Aid, all are designed to be prompts for action to be taken should you be in an emergency situation. Hopefully they will never be used in anger.

Saturday morning pre-AGM was a hive of activity with a range of companies collected in the lobby to display their products and discuss the services they had to offer plus, of course, our boat jumble.

The meeting commenced with the Commodore, George Pickburn, welcoming everyone at the end of our 50th Anniversary year using the gavel that had been received as a 50th Anniversary gift from Westerly Club Nederland. The Commodore and the Treasurer then gave their reports followed by the election of committee members and honorary auditor. This included a resume of the anniversary year celebrations; in addition to the gavel a framed certificate of congratulations from American Westerly Owners Newsletter was on display. The Treasurer shared with the meeting the problems being experienced with members who pay by Standing Order who do not update them or cancel them when they leave the Association. Direct Debits would be much easier to control but whichever form of payment if used the plea is please include your membership number!

The Commodore presented engraved glasses to retiring committee members and Officers, David Gill, WOA’s Auditor, Martyn Morris, Rear Commodore whose help and advice has been much appreciated, Robert Jones, Technical editor for 7 years, John Ruskin, our first Public Relations Officer who has done “a fantastic job and will be a hard act to follow”, and Bob Shapland was retiring as Treasurer, for the 2nd time, having has also served as Commodore. Finally, a big thank you was given to Liz Truscott, who has served as Secretary for the last 7 years. Liz was presented with a potted patio plant as a memento of her service to WOA.

There being no other business the formal meeting was closed. Presentations ensued of the Magazine Prizes, The Harken Trophy, Rayner Challenge Plate, Navigators and General Photographic Trophy and Commodore’s Clock. The Magazine Editor, Jill Pickburn thanked the many contributors during the year including members of Area Groups who send in their reports of events. She also thanked Brian Easteal for his ‘From the Archives’ series of articles.

A brief resume of the contenders for the articles and logs was then given before the winners were announced as follows:-
Best Article – Julian Mandiwall ‘Happy Birthday Borborygmae’:
Best Log – Liz Marshall ‘Centaur’s Voyage around the Aegean’
Best Technical Article was awarded by Robert Jones to Alan and Ann Rand – ‘Free Charging - Use Solar’
The Harken Trophy for an Inventive Technical solution – to Bill Redgrove ‘Continuing Camomile’s 30th Birthday Refit, Replacing Toe-Rails and Grab Handles’. Julian Roberts received the trophy on Bill’s behalf as he is on his way to Ascension.
The Navigator & General Photographic Trophy had 87 entries and was won by-Richard Truscott for his shot of a Konsort on the Round the Island Race.
The Precision Prize Trophy, to be awarded by the Area Groups (it will be circulated around the Area Groups with each group deciding as to how it is to be awarded) was won by John and Pauline Powell for winning the Portsmouth to Beaulieu Race held during the 50th Anniversary Meet in Portsmouth.
The Rayner Challenge Plate, our most prestigious trophy, was won by Doug Pingel for his participation in the ‘Jester Azores Challenge 2016’.
The Commodore’s Clock was awarded to Bob Shapland, not just for his service to the Association but for the help and advice given to Commodores, the Committee and members over 11 years of service.

The meeting was then opened to the floor for general discussion. John Alker, from SW Group, addressed the meeting with regards to the review of Reeds Almanac that is being considered over the coming 3 years. John asked how the content can be made more relevant and useful and requested that any thoughts and comments be emailed to him.

The Commodore than gave notice of the Fulmar Nationals at New Quay, 22nd – 25th June.

Alan Rand along with Jan Smallwood and JayT have been looking for ‘Lost Westerlys’. Alan is photographing any Westerly he encounters and either sends it to the owner, if he’s a member or to Jan if not. Alan requests that other members do the same.

Judith Symonds, on behalf of the last 3 Commodores thanked Liz Truscott for all her hard work and support during her time as Secretary.

Dick Leedham suggested the formation of a Westerly Motorhome Group for out of season activities and will put an article in the magazine.

A request for the competition photographs to be made available for viewing was made and JayT will be asked to provide a link on the web site.

A carvery lunch was then served.

The afternoon session started with a presentation by Katherine Lynch, Heritage Manager of Port Sunlight Village Trust who gave an interesting account of how the Village has developed over the past 100+ years and how the Trust is working to preserve it for generations to come. Our second speaker was Brian Anderson, a Wirral based architect, photographer and lecturer, who entertained us with his photographs and anecdotes of life on and around the River Mersey.

The meeting ended at 4.00pm with many members returning home whilst those of us who remained enjoyed the comfort and extensive facilities of The Village hotel for a further evening.

Next year we will be back at The Lifeboat College in Poole, I hope to see you all there.

Gill Clare – Minutes Secretary.

Contact: Gill Clare


London Boat Show 2017
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Despite the rail strike and threats of snow there was a good turnout of WOA members at the London Boat Show. The 237 visitors recorded and new memberships and sales statistics compare well will both last year’s London show and with the Southampton Show.

The WOA stand was part of a large stand area allocated to Owners Associations. The area was at the west end of the South Hall next to the indoor Marina and was shared with the Moody Owners Association and the Broom Owners Association. As usual the area had been organised by John Goode and John was there during the build up to advise and assist.

We had excellent stand staff on all the days including one person who had actually worked at Westerly building boats.

Special events during the show comprised a reception on the PBO stand and our pontoon party on the late-night Thursday evening which was well attended despite the threat of snow.

On the second Friday WOA had a slot on the London Boat Show Stage. I gave a 30minute illustrated talk entitled “Classic Westerly Yachts – Even better value in 2017”. You can download the presentation file from this URL http://tinyurl.com/woalondon (save the downloaded file and open it with powerpoint or a powerpoint viewer). The presentation briefly described the history of the Westerly Company and the objectives of Commander Rayner noting that it is 50 years since the death of Commander Rayner during London Boat Show week in 1967. The presentation illustrated the excellent value of Westerly Yachts in 2017 by reference to current adverts from the WOA web site. Thanks to Brian Easteal, Tim Pullen, George Pickburn, John Ruskin and Mary Buchannan for making pictures and slides available. Special thanks to Ken Hastie for allowing use of a short video of his W33 “Forever Autumn” sailing off Northumberland.

Future show dates in 2017 are expected to be:

Beaulieu Boat Jumble: 23 April
Jersey Boat Show: 29, 30 April & 1 May
All Wales Boat Show: 9-11 June
Southampton Boat Show: 15-24 September
Scottish Boat Show at Kip Marina: 13, 14, 15 October

Contact: David Jibb


Where WOA has been ...

When WOA cruises visit clubs and harbours, there is often an exchange of burgees.
Here’s our collection so far . . . .