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Dec 12, 2019 |
General,  |

New Commodore for CMYC

By way of introduction to those members who I haven’t met yet, my name is Dani and since November's AGM I’m Crawley Mariners’ new Commodore.

I joined the club in 2015, originally as a parent of a girl who did a taster session with the Oppies and was keen to carry on sailing. As a parent of a young sailor I was around most Saturday Clubs anyway, so I decided to brush up my own (very rusty) sailing skills and did the RYA Level 1 and 2 course in the same year.

Since then my involvement with various club activities has snowballed somewhat. In 2017 I qualified as a dinghy instructor, I’ve joined the Committee as a General Member and became the club’s main contact for the RYA OnBoard programme, an initiative to get more kids involved in sailing.

This year I’ve set up the Women on Water sessions with a small group of fellow female sailors which have been very well received. I’ve also taken part in quite a few Cobnor weekends both as an adult trainee as well as a dinghy instructor.

Every now and then I dabble in racing, however, not as often as I’d like and therefore not with much success, but it’s fun, nevertheless. At the moment I’m trying to get at least five races done for the Autumn Leaf series. I’ve also given cruising a try in Chichester harbour and had a fantastic day out.

Outside of the club, I’m a mum, wife and work full time as a Financial Controller for a medium sized business in Redhill, so there’s rarely a dull moment.

The reason I’m so passionate about Crawley Mariners is because there is something for sailors of all ages. We offer various trainings for children and adults, racing, cruising and social sailing. In addition to Hedgecourt sailing we also have several sea-sailing fixtures in our programme.

It is a club run entirely by volunteers which means everyone who is involved in supporting the ‘operations’ of the club is passionate about it’s success. Also, we are a very welcoming club to new members.

This isn’t to say that there is always a little more that could be done but I’ll come back to that in a minute.

One of my priorities for the coming year is to work with our fantastic Committee to make the refurbishment of the changing rooms happen. From our membership survey we know that this is an area that is important to club members, however the committee was already aware of the importance of this project and had actually made a strong start on the work before the survey results came in.
We have a few club members who have already put an enormous amount of time into planning the new layout, particularly of the ladies changing area, drawn up work structures and gone out to various contractors to tender. We’ll provide updates on this via the newsletter, so watch this space.

My other priority is to build on our volunteer base. As you will know we are entirely run by volunteers, nothing in this club happens without members giving up their own time to make things happen. For example, the Tuesday Club looks after our estate in general but their biggest and most visible piece of work this year has been the refurbishment of the Maid of Kent.

However, membership numbers of the Tuesday Club have been declining over the last couple of years and now the Tuesday Club is in urgent need of new volunteer members. If you can spare the time on a Tuesday morning to lend a hand, you would be made to feel most welcome.

We have a good range of instructors both for sailing and powerboat instruction. However, again in this area we have certain turnover and Diana is regularly running more assistant instructor or dinghy instructor courses. I know more Dinghy Instructor training is already planned for 2020 and we’re looking forward to a new cohort of instructors, many of whom will have trained from Oppie and Topper age within CMYC, so it’s brilliant to see their progression and development over the years.

A post that is currently not filled is the Committee post of Vice Commodore Sailing. Many thanks to Donal Roche, who has filled a number of club roles over the years and until this year the post of Vice Commodore Sailing. We will provide more details about this role soon for anyone who may be interested.

In addition, there are many, many members involved in the administration, the galley, registration at club events and running Push The Boat Out day, duties, safety boat helming and all the other aspects of club life that are too many to mention.

I hope that we will be able in one of our next few newsletters to show you the amount of hours that volunteers have donated to the club over the past year and I think everyone of them deserves a special thank you from the whole membership.

Having said this, many hands make light work so I would appeal to members to consider, if they could offer a few hours a month to support the club and help make it even better. An introduction to what is required will always be given. The more volunteers we have, the wider the variety of activities we can offer as a club.

Lastly, I would like to say that I’m looking forward to working with the new Committee and would encourage you to get in touch with me with any questions you may have or alternatively make use of the suggestion box in the Club House. My email address and phone number are at the end of every newsletter or just find me at the lake.

- Dani Campbell