Report on the Spring meeting

What a good turn out for the spring meeting on Wednesday. The Alnmouth Village golf club is a delightfully warm and comfortable spot to gather on a cool evening, and with the place to ourselves, we enjoyed a good chat over what to do this year, and how best to organise ourselves. Here’s what was talked about. If you weren’t there, then you are especially welcome to send in your ideas and comments.

First off – we talked over how to keep in touch. Email still tops the list, as we have several people who are often out of phone range. So we’ll keep on using email as the main medium. Our website will now send out any posts to our Facebook page, twitter, pinterest, Google+, Linkedin and more, so if you prefer to have alerts from one of these, you can set your preferences to suit yourself. If you prefer to use Whats App on your phone, let Richard know, so your phone number can be added, and you’ll get the whats app traffic too.

Rowing

Next up was the topic of how to fit in enough rowing to suit all tastes, from complete newcomer to hoary time served old salt. Last seasons Wednesday and Sunday regime was getting strained, so to provide scope for people who want to train towards regattas, enjoy the coast, socialise with our friends along the coast, or just ‘go fishing’ we talked over how to set up separate crews.
A ‘Crew Leader’ would make their own arrangements to gather a crew of people and go out whenever they want. Be it weekly, daily, fortnightly or whenever. No conscription, and no obligation.
‘But how would that work?’ – well, there will be a bit of trial and error, but if I’m available for a Tuesday, then I’ll ask around and see if other people are available, and if we were to end up short of a rower, I may phone around to see if anyone fancies a row, or if there are six people then we’d just arrange between ourselves who goes today and who may step back and go next week. We put the date and time on the website, so other crews know the boat is busy, and off we go – maybe for a couple of hours, maybe to Craster, Amble, or just a pootle up the river. No pressure to go out and be back at the beach because people are waiting. No obligation to always row, or always row with the same people.
The main aim is to make more rowing available, at more times.
There are a couple of things to resolve of course. Having a cox is one, but I think our coxes will help out, and for people with an interest, moving to coxing is a bit more development.

Newcomers inductions are to be coordinated by Dave and Rhoda, so everyone will have the basics, and gather initial experience in a relaxed training session.

Training

Booking the session onto the website, and using the website to email ‘The Dawn Rowers are going out, who’s interested?’ needs a bit of guidance in itself, so Jean-Francois is going to provide some notes on the website, and we’ll have a couple of meetings for ‘Crew organisers’ to refine the process. If you want to be a bit more involved, please phone or email of course. Incientally, organising a crew doesn’t mean that you have to Lead the crew – or even go to sea. Even Clive could be a Crew Leader! Equally, though we had several people who put up their hands and said “ooh ooh, me, me me” we also have some people who said “I love the rowing, but doing the organising isn’t for me” and that’s absolutely OK too. I suspect that people who like rowing, and have some time, could be in demand to make up numbers, and end up rowing more than anyone.

Socialise

None of the above is intended to detract from keeping Wednesday evening and Sundays as ‘social rows’ but rather to take some of the pressure off getting everyone out to sea, and allow more of a get-together at the boathouse. Bring Cake! The move out by the Council which will be happening frees up some more space so that we can make it more conducive to being warm, dry, and welcoming. Who wouldn’t like to come along and enjoy a drink, hot or bottled, and slice of cake? So a couple of times a month we’ll light the fire, and enjoy each others company, talk and gossip. Oh, and do some rowing if that’s what we want to do.
Rowing EventsI

There are a number of events that we talked about to see if we would be interested in attending or organising. Here’s the list, and some comment. More news on these as they get firmed up.

Newbiggin ‘Taster’ sessions 8th April – Yes
Port Seaton Regatta – 8th April – No
‘Row the Lakes’ – May 18/19th – contact John Ellis – max is about 12 people
Blyth Maritie Festival – 4th June – yes – ‘races’ ?
Summer Solstice – yes – we’ll do ‘something’ – its a Wednesday for the solstice
Puffin festival – yes – May 27-29 – confirm with Amble
Alnmouth Raft Race – August – ACR to organise a skiff ’race.’
World First on Kielder! – early or late.
Launch of ‘Jolly Kipper’ – Craster – TBC
Launch of Bamburgh/Beadnell – TBC
Bamburgh regatta – off Bamburgh beach – Bamburgh arranging
Circumnavigate Holy Island – Maybe June
Woudrichem Dutch regatta? – a ferry trip too far. XXX
Alnmouth spring regatta and barbecue – yes lets do ‘something’
Glasgow ClydeBuiltFestival 13 mile races 23 Sept. No

Well, that’s about it, if I missed something, please tell me. If you want to know more, please tell me. If you’d like to hear more of being a Crew Leader, drop me a note. If you want to know more about the roles of Secretary and/or Treasurer (they are stepping down in December) – drop me a line.

I’ll prophecy we have a great 2017 with all this happening.
Richard