The members of the East Coast OGA roared their approval when Mike McCarthy was awarded the coveted Bateman's Tower trophy for "Extra Special Effort" helping the OGA on the East Coast. Mike is a regular supporter of OGA events with his motor boat and can be relied upon to transport Beer, more Beer, Barbecue stuff, More Beer and just about anything else. Trevor Rawlinson recounted so many ways that Mike should be remembered that he was overwhelmed!
This came at the end of the formal part of the gathering of East Coast OGA members to review the 2019 season at the West Mersea Yacht Club. The East Coast President, Robert Hill, reported on many successful events including the East Coast Race at Stone Sailing Club and particularly a series of small boat events including a new venue, the Slaughden Rally on the river Alde.
Robert announced that the East Coast OGA would be the hosts for OGA60 which would be based at The Suffolk Yacht Harbour in August 2023. This would also be linked to a new Round Britain cruise.
During her report, Lorna Hill, Secretary, reminded members that the National OGA AGM in January would be held in Bristol following the demise of the London Boat Show. She also encouraged members to attend the special Brian Hammett Memorial Lecture with Libby Perves to be held at the Royal Harwich Yacht Club in March.
Clare Thomas, Treasurer, reported on a very healthy financial situation and intimated that further discussion would take place about the use of some of these funds, including OGA60 and a contribution to kickstarting a local fleet of new OGA Dinghys.
Also pictured is Alasdair Mackenzie receiving his award for a fine log he submitted about his voyage in an open boat with his sister all the way down the Thames and around to Brightlingsea.
A discussion took place and the meeting voted in favour of supporting the central OGA idea to print a new members directory in 2020, As many members as possible would be encouraged to agree to their data being published; although the final format was yet to be agreed.
Robert Hill lead a discussion about the OGA Dinghy. As a prelude to the OGA60 Event, the East Coast Committee had proposed building two boats on the East Coast. Members supported this idea. If possible the building would be linked to local Sea Cadets or Sea Scouts to encourage youth membership of the OGA. The OGA has decided to take a stand at the RYA Dinghy Show at the end of February 2020, and would display the new OGA Dinghy there.
The meeting overwhelmingly supported a motion to lodge an objection to the Maldon Council's new plan to remove the Maldon Yacht Club and replace it with a new development.
Paul Masters proposed a Special Vote of Thanks to Beverley & Steve Yates who are retiring from their positions editing and creating the Gaffers Log and the OGA Website. Members felt that this has truly been a "Golden Age" for these publications.
Richard Giles - November 2019