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THE COMMODORE’S LETTER
The first six months of my time as Commodore have been, for Pat and me, truly memorable. We have enjoyed so much the tremendous camaraderie which exists in our very special Club. Time has flown by since the AGM. The lunches organised in the four regions continue to be well-supported and are a most enjoyable way to socialise ‘off the water’ with fellow members and friends.
I was one of almost one hundred members and guests at the joint Northern/Eastern Rally in Carlingford at the end of May. Highlights of the Rally included the sight of a small armada of ICC yachts aground in the mud as they attempted to enter the marina at low water and with spring tides! Much amusement was had by those fortunate enough to have berthed earlier in the day. A few pints of the black stuff and an oyster or two in Carlingford ensured that equilibrium was rapidly restored. Thanks are due to Derek White and Tom Fitzpatrick for their organisation of an enjoyable weekend.
The Club’s major Rally in Galicia is covered elsewhere in this newsletter and will of course feature to a major extent in the Annual. It was, I think, probably the largest Rally the Club has organised. To call it a success would be a serious understatement. It was for all of those attending a fantastic event which seemed to move from highlight to highlight. It began with a reception hosted by the Real Club Nautico Portosin, which was attended by the Minister of Tourism and several local mayors. This was followed by a succession of excursions, lunches, dinners, musical interludes and even a firework display in the various rias we visited. The Rally closed with a reception hosted by the Monte Real Club de Bayona followed by a dinner attended by over two hundred and fifty people. The warm welcome we received at every venue will be remembered for many years by those who participated. Peter Haden and his team did a superlative job. I am aware that an immense amount of work over very many months went into the organisation and planning required. Club members are greatly indebted to Peter for his amazing input. This was my first time sailing in North-West Spain but I can definitely say it will not be my last. The Officers and Committee have their work cut out as they try to determine where and when the next major Rally will be.
In addition to those members who were in Galicia others have, I know, been sailing in many and varied places both round Ireland and the UK and also further afield. We are looking forward to reading of their exploits in the Annual. The Autumn Rally planned for Arklow was cancelled for a number of reasons including an unfavourable forecast and a relatively small uptake. The Rally planned for the same weekend for Northern members with Rathlin as the venue was also cancelled because of the strong winds forecast. Almost fifty members had indicated their intention to attend but following advice from the harbour master and indeed the pub who felt their staff might not be able to come across from the mainland, cancellation was inevitable. Approximately a third of those who had planned the Rathlin trip went instead to Belfast and enjoyed visits to some of the places which were open as part of the European Heritage weekend.
Pat and I are looking forward to seeing and meeting members at the Christmas Lunches/Dinners in December, the AGM in February, and the Annual Dinner Weekend to be held on 2nd to 4th March in the Slieve Russell Hotel. Details about the Weekend will be included as usual with the Annual.
Finally, my thanks to the Officers, Committee and Members for making it both so easy and so rewarding for me as I have assumed the role of Commodore.