This year’s Laying Up Supper was again held at the Hare & Hounds in Speen. The restaurant can accommodate 70 in style, so it’s a great venue to use for the large turnout that this event commands.

This year there was an important announcement that needed to be made and ceremony carried out; one of the early founding members of the Club had recently ‘crossed the bar’ and we had been asked by one of his friends to raise a glass of rum in his honour. So it was that we found ourselves toasting to John Lester with a tot of Pusser’s finest. Many thanks to Haydn Gunningham for generously supplying the rum.

We sat down at 2000 and had a fabulous three course meal. After which, the important business of the evening was attended to; namely the Uncle Albert award, which is presented to the skipper that has shamed himself in the most spectacular (or entertaining) way, preferably in front of witnesses, during the year.

It is the prerogative of the current holder to sniff out the stories and interrogate the witnesses, before handing over the hallowed trophy.

Nick Handy had the honour this year, and after reviewing the true criteria for the award decided that it was not restricted to skippers, but that crew and onlookers were all fair game too! There were some very worried faces around the room at this point…

Nick went on to outline some of the runners up before explaining the story of the winner. It started on the Spring Cruise while the flotilla were in a West Country harbour. During the departure, the skipper in question was untying lines from one of the other boats when he unwittingly sat on that boat’s throttle control, sending all of the boats in that raft hurtling towards another club boat at 6 Knts!

Derek Manning was not able to be with us and so Nick was forced to call him on the phone, and while on speaker presented Derek with the award. It was the first time that technology has been used in this was to present this prestigious prize.

A note to all skippers, remember that Derek will be watching you, ready to hand the award on in 12 months!

Once the raffle had been drawn there was plenty of time for chatting and sharing memories of the season before everyone started to head home after a very successful evening. A big thank you to those people who organised it.

8th December 2016