On Saturday January 12th OGA members from all over the UK and some from the Netherlands met to review last year and talk about plans for 2019.
Association officers reported a good year with stable membership and finances. Particularly of note was OGA55 on the Isle of Wight. Sue Lewis stood down as Association Secretary along with Pat Dawson as Boat Register Editor; both were particulary thanked for their efforts over the years and this was coupled with a request for members to volunteer for office to maintain the stability of the OGA.
From the floor it was apparent that members present were very happy with the way the officers are running the OGA. Colin Stroud was voted in as the Association Secretary and Alison and Julian Cable will jointly take over the Boat Register.
Mike Garlick, the retiring organiser of the Photographic Competition entertained members with an excellent show of entries and prize winners indicating how the quality of photography has improved over the years.
This year's meeting was held near the Excel exhibition centre, the normal venue for the Boat Show. Following the demise of the show, members from the South West suggested that next years meeting should be held in Bristol and future meetings should move around the UK.
Tony Kiddle introduced a discussion about the new OGA dinghy. Tony built the first prototype boat designed by Andrew Wolstenholme and had towed it around the UK for members to view and sail it. He also took the boat to OGA 55. Members discussed the best ways to help build the fleet supporting individual members at home and using outside resources supporting regional "teams" of members with less boat-building skill. It was also hoped to tap into grant funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund to help school and youth organisations adopt the OGA dinghy for their use. Tony hoped that a fleet would be available to race in OGA60 planned to take place on the East Coast in 2023.
The Dublin Bay OGA area proposed that Tim Magennis be granted honorary membership. The meeting heard about his exploits over many years including the restoration of Marguerite, a 21ft Gaff Cutter and his support of the OGA since the late 1980's. This was agreed unanimously.
The Dutch present invited all UK OGA members to join them for their 15th anniversary in 2019 taking place on July 21-23rd.
The meeting was delighted to hear that Tony and Sally Kiddle were jointly awarded the David Cade Trophy for their sterling efforts organising OGA55 on the Isle of Wight.
The Gaffers Globe was awarded to Vic Love following his extensive voyages in a small Golant Gaffer. The Cape Horn Trophy was awarded to Darryl Hughes on Maybird following his circumnavigation of Ireland. The Grumpy 2 Cup for Skipper and Crew went to Paddy Murphy and Conor aged 16. The Janty Cup was awarded to Georgina Green for her story of log boat Magpie.
Alistair Randall announced the introduction of a new trophy - the "ODTAA" Special Award to be used for a member achievement not covered by any other award. This year Ellie Howlett, skipper of Smack Ellen was especially mentioned for her active participation in events, especially the East Coast Race with her two very young children.