Commodore’s Blog

August 2020

This is my first ever “Commodore’s Blog”, one of a long list of first-time things I’ve done in my first six weeks as your new Club Commodore.

I’m keen to look forward rather than backward (the view through your windscreen is always bigger and better than through your rear-view mirror).  However, it would be wrong to ignore the impact that the Coronavirus has had on the Club – not just the loss of ten weeks sailing, or the inconveniences to members as a result of the Club following the Government and RYA guidelines, but the impact on Club finances.

We have lost membership income, Open Meeting income, Training School income, and bar income. We have had support from Anglian Water (our landlords), from the Council through rates relief, and by using the government’s ‘Bounce Back’ loan scheme.  If you can offer your management accountancy skills to take the lead on the Club Council’s financial planning as our Hon. Treasurer, please contact me.

As soon as we were in lockdown John Aston immediately set-up an ‘Emergency Management Team’ which met weekly to manage the Club’s response to Coronavirus, and ambitiously plan how we were going to come out of lockdown strongly.  Like our ‘big club’ neighbours Rutland and Draycote we’re going to responsibly continue to follow authoritative health and safety guidelines as described in the Covid-19 Operating Procedures on our website.

Whether you’re racing or cruising you’ll have seen our emphasis on reactive safety cover.  Please ensure that you’re 100% confident of your ability to get back to shore safely in the conditions on the day; that your boat is properly maintained; that you can right from a capsize.  We can’t put two people in a safety rib unless they’re from the same family.  We don’t want safety rib crews putting themselves at risk unless in extremis.  There’s a similar issue in the Committee Boat.

Coronavirus has changed the way we operate, and will continue to change the way we do things. However, we’re determined to keep doing the ‘good stuff’ as much as possible.  We are going to start hosting strictly controlled Open meetings again next weekend, 5/6 September, where we expect circa 40 DZero / R600 sailors. The changing rooms and showers will remain closed, with restricted toilets during the day, and a Portaloo available overnight when the Clubhouse is closed. Please check the website for other planned Open Meetings in September, October, and November.

Please continue to support the Club by enjoying your sailing, looking out for your fellow sailors, and by signing up on DutyMan to volunteer for on water and on shore duties.  Use the Café. On a windless day why not try stand-up paddleboarding?  We have six SUPs and they’re just £15 for a three-hour session!

I’m always looking for your feedback, and input on how we can improve Grafham Water Sailing Club. Please contact me at


Mike Edwards