Commodore’s Column: Summer 2021
Rolling towards the last couple of months of the sailing season, it looks like Aberdour BC have made the best of the excellent summer weather, and the relaxing CV restrictions. “Almost” back to normal…
So far, the season has seen some keenly fought racing on the Forth. Numbers had been declining, but this year has largely held solid. The Corriemar, Single Handed, Bay Sprints and Regatta have all been successfully completed, although sometimes the wind was lighter than we’d hoped. The Aitchisons, on Whispers, have had an excellent season, and kept ABC’s end up during the Regatta. A special mention is due for the tenacious, lanterne rouge participation of Kennamara. Admirable sailing by Jack Francis and Andy Oldfield, for squeezing so much enjoyment from the season. The BAD Cup will be rescheduled, after Burntisland’s boats found themselves blockaded by a cargo vessel in the docks. Thanks to all the club members who have participated this year, and those who stepped forward to become OOD (Officer of the Day). Mark Maylin had run OOD training classes, and the pool of available officers is widening. Mark may run a repeat, so anybody interested could contact him. Our next race, on the 28th of August is the Round 3 Islands. Usually a great day out, with on-board catering often as much an attraction as podium places.
Colin Whimster has run a very successful Cruising Programme this year. It kicked off with a good number of ABC boats heading to Limekilns for a cosy and sociable BBQ. Next up, a small fleet of Ommadawn, Morning Mist and Spintail visited Eyemouth and St. Abbs, in glorious weather. It didn’t last, but we settled into Dunbar for a couple of days. The next cruise was to Anstruther and St. Monans. The Neuk is never far away, and the reduced crowds have made it a great destination this year. The club’s next venture is on the 21st of August, with the annual BBQ, and instructions will be sent out this week. All boats welcome!
Aberdour Bay has seen a surge in activity by kayakers, paddleboarders and wild swimmers. It’s such a lovely location and encouraging to see all ages and abilities enjoying this natural asset. In a responsible manner, obviously. This includes the many visiting boats, as Aberdour remains one of the Forth’s favoured cruising destinations.
Cruising hasn’t been limited to the Forth. On the West, Richard Luxmoore made it to St. Kilda, with Tess managing some vigorous kayaking around Skye. Jim Forrest has been back and forward all summer, enjoying the weather and the sights. Mark & Heloise Maylin took a lengthy family holiday around the Inner Hebrides, and their boys had a lovely time exploring the various islands. To hear Mark tell it, it was like an Enid Blyton adventure. David Mann, with a rotating crew from ABC and elsewhere, also wandered around the islands and western highlands. A couple of incidents worth noting were the impromptu ceilidh he held outside The Old Forge on Loch Nevis: “The Most Remote Pub in Britain”. David led the “band” on a bodhran taken from the pub wall, a 5-string guitar was pressed into service, and the fiddling came from a Fife farmer taking a sailing break (“You’re from Aberdour? Do you know Charbel?”). Others joined in the fun, and the dancing and singing continued until the midges asserted their dominance. Steve Kell’s disco moves ensured that there’ll forever be a part of Vennine that stays in the Western Islands. Meanwhile, John Goodman enjoyed his adagio-like progress towards the sunny south, with Zamani over-wintering on the West Coast. A successful season for John, too.
Summer is the time that ABC focusses on water-borne activities, with the routine maintenance and project work around the estate taking a back seat. That doesn’t mean it disappears – it just becomes a lower priority. Traditional work parties around the Harbour are a great social event, with the numbers of attendees spreading the workload, so nobody’s driven too hard and it doesn’t intrude into the normal levels of chit-chat. Dave Mathieson’s work party, last weekend, saw an impressively large turnout. Even the sun came along. A power of work was completed, and many, many thanks are due to all. I certainly know they enjoyed Charbel’s catering. It’s good to have a true professional in the club! Additionally, Steve Kell has completed an audit of all the outstanding and necessary tasks that can be done with a smaller number of volunteers, and which may not easily fit into our traditional work party format. These can be completed in smaller work events, or as individuals. We’ll definitely be asking for members to help out here – but don’t wait to be asked!
A couple more dates for the diary: Crane-out is scheduled for the 4th of October, and the AGM for the 29th of October. In the meantime, best wishes to all, and hopefully we’ll see some more sun before the end of the season.
- Regards, Malcolm