It is with deep regent that I open this  years News Letter with the very sad announcement of the demise of Bob Taylor.

Anyone who has been a member at Erith Yacht Club over the past 40 or so years and showed an interest in Dinghy Sailing and in particular the Stars will know Bob has been a very great friend to us, he was one of the originals who spent school holidays in Holland living ON a Star and sailing around the water ways and dykes!!

Although Bob and Sara sailed Bolero for the past few years he still maintained his interest in the Stars and last sailed Star 106 on our Star re-launch day in 2006.  He will be very sadly missed.

Usually I open with the report from the A.G.M.  By now you should all have received the copy and able to make the relevant entries in your Diary’s.   Our first major date is Sunday 30th March 2008 when we hope to rig ALL the Stars on the fill, before that date we hope to have a few of the boats already set up so we can copy and get the all to class (at last).  We have all new warps, shackles, and buoyancy bag, proper strops to hold them, so, if it is at all possible will you please make the effort to be at the club on this Sunday.   This will give us all an equal start to the season and won’t have to be looking for bits on the launch day.  Should you NOT be able to get there please let Bob Saunders or Me know in good time.    

Next date to make a note of is Sunday 6th April 2008 when we have a 14:15 tide and plan a mass launch!!  Should be interesting to say the least.   Same request please, if you can’t make the launch please let someone know and if you would give permission for some other reliable member to launch for you we will check it for leaks.

We have a number of dates for our down river cruises during the summer, all of which are before the sailing committee for ratification in the club sailing programme.

Update on 2007 events is best described as a much better year for the Stars, we participated in most sailing events, gained new members but lost others.  Alex Souter has moved into a GP 14 (wants to keep his Mum dry), Dennis King has gone over to his Gannet, Duncan and Jayne Bryer have gone off to Spain, a bit too far to take a Star and Darren Leigh with Hellen Pethers have emigrated to Redhill, on the bright side we have recruited Vic Salter who has taken over Star 29 and Jim Dolan, assisted by Son Steven have taken over 84, they are the nice shiny ones you may have seen in the Dinghy shed, in addition we had a visit from Greg Shepherd who is a relative of Robbie and although he hasn’t yet made a move I cannot see him getting away without taking on a Star !! especially as his Wife Barbara is very keen to learn to sail, so thinks are looking up.

We have been very lucky to have had two visits from Mary Robinson this year, although on one visit she was seen sailing in Kanska and looking at the Stars from a distance, the truth is Mary did want to sail in a Star but the weather look a bit iffy so discretion was the better part of valour, better luck later on this year.  We also received our annual Christmas card from Mary Field who, for the newer Star members is our River Hamble reporter.   Another” E” mails visitor who promises to come and see us on day is Stephen Green.  Stephen is one of the stalwarts of Stars who also sailed in Holland some years ago but he still maintains an interest in us through our web site.

Other outside interest is Brian Crickmore, ( M.R.S.T.  ) Brian was given 100,s of slides by Mary Robinson and has sorted them into a presentable presentation and is having them put onto a disc so we can all share the history of the Club, the Stars, Garson, Holland, and indeed some of the activities of the older members. No doubt Bill Banner will want to vet the finished product !! He was also a regular on the Dutch trips.  Brian hopes to have this presentation completed within the next few weeks when he will make discs available at a small cost.  I will keep you in touch by E-mail or via the Club website.

I have received a request from Hendrik Feddersen again asking is we are planning the” Invitation “ down river cruises in a Star again.   You will no doubt recall this was very successful last year and we had a very good turn out despite some late notification to members and friends.  The plan again is to bring a friend OR even a potential new member for a sail down river in a Star or any other dinghy or even in a cruiser for our trip to Greenhithe - the proposition/ request has been put to the Sailing Secretary and if he can arrange suitable dates we will make them available to you and advised by E mail or the Web site.  This has proved the most successful way to bring in new members and at the same time made for a very enjoyable day.

No doubt you will have seen the proposed dates in the A.G.M. minutes so, make a note in your Diary and get asking friends and relatives. There is a possibility Kanska will not be available in the future BUT we have other

Options – a bribe to John Edmonds works a treat, he is always willing to take hesitant passengers, Mums, Kids.!! Providing they wash up.

If you were at the A.G.M. you may recall we mentioned transporting Stars

or rather the problems caused when they are transported.  Unfortunately my road trailer has not yet been found so I have to consider it a loss unless someone reads this, look outside his home at his Dinghy and see’s the words STAR 106 painted on the axle, has a conscience and so returns it to the club.  However, the M.R.S.T. has asked if I would look into our purchasing two tailor made road trailers so, if we do go ahead and purchase these we will re-consider visiting other venues.  I will keep you informed of any progress, in the mean time if anyone has a contact for tailor made trailers would you let me know please.

Some club information.  You may be aware we could well have to move our boats away from their place on the fill to make space for storage units.  This will be no problem at all and I am quite sure you will all offer any assistance necessary, it will be most helpful if you make sure the tyres of inflated and the boat easy to move – I checked them all two weeks ago and all were easily movable.   At the same time I checked ALL of the equipment and fittings, All boats were up to date and had all their warps, fittings, boat bits etc, all except 98 who has a broken pintle, however, will you please have a look, make sure everything is in good order and if not let me know a.s.a.p. so we can get them up to standard in time for launch day.

The Dinghy shed is in great demand at this time of year when lots of members wish to re-furbish their tenders/dinghies.  As you know we have a very good booking system and it works well so please, if you are booked in, or indeed out then don’t hesitate !! There is someone waiting for your space.

Don’t forget, one new Star member means one more to help pull your boat up the causeway – three or four new members means they may well pull it up for you!!


Yes that is the author at the tiller!!!!

© Erith Yacht Club