The start of September always means the beginning of the ‘winter’ talks, and this year was no exception, albeit not quite the same. COVID-19 restrictions are still in place, so having around 60 people meeting to share tales of their summer activities while consuming cheese and wine definitely didn’t fit within any of the current guidelines. However, the club is never going to be detered that easily, so we opted for a ‘virtual’ format and used a webex to catch up with each other.

There was plenty of evidence that both cheese and wine were still being enjoyed by the 30 participants, who were joining from a variety of locations. As expected, many were in the general Newbury area, but neighbouring counties were also represented, as well as ‘the north’ in the form of Liverpool, and ‘south’ by way of Greece. It may not be ideal to be unable to meet in person, but it was fantastic to see people from further afield able to say their hellos.

We heard from one member who’d replaced their traditional on water races with more socially distanced versions, proving that people have a great capacity for creativity when called for. Other members had taken ownership of their new yacht, and enjoyed their first sails. The summer cruise also received a mention, which had taken advantage of the easing restrictions to ‘enjoy’ the British weather in the West Country.

There may have been a bit less sailing, particularly as a club, than in a normal year, but it doesn’t mean that Uncle Albert hasn’t been keeping his eyes open. Are propellers an essential piece of kit for a yacht? Should a boat key be in the same country as the boat, if you’re planning to go for a sail…? Only the current Uncle Albert holder can really decide what’s needed to make a worthy recipient, but there are likely to be some more contenders out there yet, who may feel the need to confess.

Potential plans for future events were also discussed. The Autumn Rally is only a couple of weeks away, but the club also has it’s now annual ski trip on the agenda and a possible Scottish cruise for next year.

10th September 2020