Letter from the Commodore
What a pleasure it has been to engage in normal club activities, albeit still affected by the hangover from the pandemic! Most of the characteristics of a typical summer season have been there for us, albeit with some members
being struck down with the C virus and having to cancel.
I was delighted to attend an Eastern region lunch in Dublin city centre on 6th May. Over 40 members and guests attended an excellent affair in the Kildare St and University Club organized by Rear Commodore Alan Markey in his usual effi cient and understated style. I then enjoyed the hospitality of Michael Pomeroy on his Conundrum for the splendid joint East and North regions’ rally at Portaferry and Ardglass. This was very well attended, the weather was kind, and I made my fi rst ever speech at a golf club! The event was planned to encourage east coast boats to continue north-about for the West’s Awake Rally and ran fl awlessly under the expert eyes of Vice Commodore Derek White, Viv (aka “Madam Vice” [commodore]) and the hard-working Northern Committee.
Unfortunately, that was the end of the good weather in home waters for over a month. Luckily, I had delivered ReeSpray to Rosmoney in late May in advance of the West’s Awake Rally. Richard O’Toole had made it south- about from Greystones aboard Anair. Others from outside the region were not so fortunate and a combination of Covid infections, accidents, injuries, and adverse weather saw the number of boats making it to Rosmoney for the start of the cruise in company dwindling to single fi gures. Alex Blackwell and Ray O’Toole had put an immense amount of work into the programme and the arrangements, and it showed! Then even poor Ray succumbed to Covid! Meanwhile the Vice Commodore and crew on Ballyclaire battled their way from Strangford into big seas and adverse winds to arrive in Clew Bay in a great show of solidarity and grit. There is a report on the rally elsewhere in this issue and doubtless it will feature in a log or two in the Annual, but one event, of many excellent ones, stands out and that is the dinner at Mayo Sailing Club to start proceedings. I can honestly say that Aoife and I have never had such an excellent meal in any yacht or sailing club anywhere. It was superlative! Thank you, Mayo Sailing Club and thank you Alex and Ray for a great event despite the weather.
ReeSpray had a crew change at the end of the rally at Inishmore and we headed for Dingle in company with Ballyclaire to join the South-western rally organized by Paul Taylor. This again was very well organized although the numbers were disappointing – just three boats. When we reached the end of the rally at Lawrence’s Cove we were delighted to be joined by Janet Woodward and David O’Sullivan on Shiraz and a multitude of Killens on Pure Magic Too. Seamus’s arrangements as always were tickety-boo and everything was most enjoyable.
Shortly thereafter, Peter Haden’s EN22 for ICC members and friends kicked off in Galicia. It was very well attended and the reports from it are very positive. It is a matter of regret that the Club could not obtain insurance for this event and hence it had to be a private venture. Insurance is becoming an increasingly diffi cult matter for event organizing clubs and your offi cers and committee are investigating how to address the issue of protecting the Club and its members’ interests for events taking place outside these islands in the future, our present cover being limited to Ireland and the UK.
The next major club outing is the Lough Erne cruise organized by Julie Chambers for 21st to 25th September. Twenty-six cruisers are committed to attending, making it the largest rally in Ireland this year. Aoife and I are really looking forward to it and to meeting members and guests from all over the island at the event.
As I write, plans are fi nalized for the regional autumn and Christmas lunches (and Southern dinner). You will fi nd details on the website. Aoife and I are travelling to Newport, Rhode Island to represent the Club at the centenary celebrations of the Cruising Club of America (see brief report in this issue) in early September returning just in time for the Erne Rally (see following page). All-in-all this has been a season much as we should feel entitled to expect, although nobody told the weather gods in home waters!
Wherever you sailed this year, I hope that you had a return to our usual freedoms and, despite the fi tful weather, had a pleasant time, and that the remainder of the season delivers the much wished for “fair winds and following