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Tuesday, 9 November 2010

A message from your commodore (Autumn 2010 Newsletter)

Another summer's sailing season is nearly over with just a few weekends left before we start our 'Frostbite' season on 7th November.
Each year I promise myself I will do each and every single frostbite race, and each and every year so far, I've missed more than I've attended, however, this year I have set myself a target to miss only two - one Sunday because I am acting in a play and have a dress rehearsal that day, and the other Sunday is reserved for that one day, I don't know exactly when it will be, but it will be the same day when it is really, really cold, possibly even raining, with no wind.
There may be fog and Mrs Kennedy will have found a dozen jobs for me to do at home, jobs that I can normally put off, but won't because I'd rather do the DIY than squeeze my rather large body into my shrunken wet and clammy wetsuit. Then slide my frozen sail onto my frozen mast, drag my frosty boat down to the water, crunching over the frozen grass and tarmac.
Finally breaking the ice on the tarn so I can launch my boat onto the windless calm frozen water of Yeadon Tarn to once again be beaten into last place by people who are much older than me.
I know I must be mad, but somehow, just writing about it, seeing it down on paper (or on the screen) I'm starting to think that sailing on such a day won't be all that bad. In fact, it could be a lot of fun. This year I've had a great time at Yeadon Sailing Club. although, I haven't raced as often as I would like, I have done quite a lot of sailing, and watched a lot more.
The Tuesday night sessions have been great fun this year. We seem to have a lot more adults taking part than in previous years, and there seems to be more people taking part overall. I especially enjoy taking people out who have never sailed before. Sometimes, they get really scared and scream a lot, but the kids are usually a lot more relaxed and just enjoy the thrill of being pushed along by the wind blowing through the sails.
We bought a new training boat this year and called it 'Free Spirit' in memory and celebration of a dear friend who passed away in early June. Yvonne McInnes had been a member of Yeadon Sailing Club for many years and will be sadly missed by her many friends.
I sailed 'Free Spirit' a few weeks after she arrived and found her to be great fun. I know that we will all receive a lot of pleasure from seeing her take onboard new and existing members all of whom are keen to learn how to sail and then to improve their sailing skills by sailing in her during the coming years.
Quite a few of our Junior sailors have been doing rather well this year and I must congratulate them all on their wonderful achievements and wish them well for all their future events especially the boys who will shortly be setting off for Australia (more elsewhere in this publication).
It has been a terrific year for me as Commodore of Yeadon Sailing Club. We have a wonderful little club, but it still takes a lot of organising, and we couldn't do it without our Committee who have all been a tremendous help this year. My thanks go out to all our com-mittee members (too many to name here) and to the many ordinary members who tirelessly give up their time.
My personal thanks must also go to David Statman for being a wonderful role model, great storyteller, and a great friend who wasn't feeling well one day and I somehow managed to beat him.
David also happened to be the person who took my son and I out on a boat on the Open Day way back in 2001. If it wasn't for David we wouldn't have joined, and I would have missed out on so much. So thanks David you're a star - and see you at the Frostbite - the DIY can wait.

Gerard Kennedy

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