OGA AGM at ExCel, 13 January, 2018

Gaffers cruise in company westwards
©B Collins

Gaffers from far and wide gathered at the Ibis Hotel at ExCel for the Associaton AGM of the OGA on Saturday 13 January, 2018. This followed the usual longer meeting of Association Officers from all Areas of the OGA earlier in the day. The business was executed professionally by Alistair Randall, Association President. The only officer seeking election was Mary Gibbs, as Membership Secretary, as she had been co-opted during the year. 

Alistair reported the results of consultations on a possible name change for the Association. The proposal has now been withdrawn by Gary Lyons, the Northern Ireland proposer, who thanked the Association Committee for treating the proposal seriously.

It was reported by Tony Kiddle, Treasurer, that the Association's finances are stable, a precursor to a small increase in subscriptions in the autumn of 2018. Pat Dawson, Boat Register Editor appealed once again for volunteers to help edit/scan/upload data for the 4,000 entries. Members were also encouraged to go online and edit/add to their boat entries. Patrick Vyvan-Robinson reported on his first year helping to develop the Youth Fund in the Association. He appealed to areas to come forward to run events and suggested that the newly developed OGA dinghy could be a useful tag to help develop further youth involvement.

Alistair Randall updated members on the planned National Anniversary Event OGA55 this summer, up river from Cowes on the Medina River. He reminded areas that a budget had been established to help support the event. Area proposals/bids should be forwarded to the Association committee as soon as possible.

Tony Kiddle gave a report on the building/development of the first new OGA dinghy and thanked Andrew Wolstenholme for his ongoing support to the project having initiated the original design concept. It was hoped that the first boat would be ready for use this spring and would be availabe for areas to use/display at key events. It would also be shown on the OGA stand at the Beale Park Show. The prototype was finished and ready to view in the adjacent room; much admired by the seasoned gaffers present.

Mike Garlick presented the photo competition awards. A full set of prizewinners is listed here. Browse the gallery of all entries for the 2017 competition here.

After the formal business, the star of the show was South Coast member, Ben Collins who took members aboard his gaffer all the way to the west country; but not quite to the Scilly Isles. This did not detract from his entertainling account of the dramatic late summer weather experienced on the cruise, supplemented with superb water colours made after the bad weather which gave a really good impression of the sea state and waterborne experience.

After dinner, East Coast member, Pete 'the knife' Elliston offered members a rather special cabaret, much enjoyed by all!

Richard Giles
East Coast OGA

14 Jan 2018