Archived Club News from 2020
Message from the Commodore and Committee - Feb 2021
Grab a cup (or glass) of your favourite tipple….. This might take a little while!
Thought I would take the chance to send out a wee update to let you know what is happening regarding LESC.
First and foremost I hope everyone is well and managing to get through these difficult times. I know for myself that this seems to have been a long winter what with all the restrictions that both Covid and the weather have brought. Let’s hope that things brighten (and warm) up a bit and with the coming of the vaccine we see some light at the end of the tunnel. What I do take encouragement from is that we are seeing lighter mornings and brighter evenings which is always a welcome sign that spring is coming!
We held our first (virtual) committee meeting of 2021 this past week with the primary aim of looking at the bigger picture for LESC for 2021. We obviously talked a fair bit about the current situation and what that might mean to us but in reality we just have to wait to see how things develop regarding what we are allowed to do.
I think that we are looking at a situation similar to last year where (hopefully) we will be allowed to get out and about and enjoy our time at Loch Earn. I am sure we will face the same or very similar restrictions regarding our interactions with continued social distancing and limited numbers allowed to meet in groups but we will just have to wait and see. While it certainly wasn’t normal, it seemed to work out ok last year so if nothing else we know that when we are given the go ahead by the relevant bodies we can open up the club and folks will be able to get out on the water.
We did make some strategic decisions about the forthcoming season though, primarily to do with the major events we host. When we can, we plan to hold a First Fling but it will be club members only. We have decided that we will not run the Brown Cup or host the RYA Club Championship – even if these events are allowed to happen we don’t think it is right to have lots of people at the club. We are considering having some visitors for the Final Fling with the possibility of the Flying Fifteen Scottish Championships and the Enterprise Travellers coming along. This is still very much at the provisional stage though given the nature of the pandemic.
I have attached a Newsletter from Colin Tait our Sailing Secretary which gives you a more in depth look at how we see the season running. If there is sufficient interest we will host a virtual meeting where club members can ask more about the season and we can discuss points raised. Please let us know if this would be of interest.
Another significant decision we looked at is the adoption of the National Handicap for Cruisers (NHC) Scheme to replace Portsmouth Yardstick (PY) as our handicapping system for the Keel boat fleet. Colin has spent a considerable amount of time looking into this over the past year or so, mostly prompted by the fact that the RYA no longer supports the PY system for Keel boats. This means we are running handicaps that are nearly 10 years out of date. In the Newsletter Colin explains the concept of NHC in more detail and also attached for those that are interested are the current baseline NHC numbers for the Keel boats at the club. For those who are really interested I have also attached the RYA calculations for NHC – thankfully this is all done by a computer programme! Can I ask that if you have a Keel boat you check the list out and update us with sail numbers, boat names, crew names etc, this will help update our records.
What we ask is that those folks who race in the keel boat fleet take a good look at the NHC scheme and get familiar with the basic concepts, we then plan to hold a virtual consultation meeting where those that are interested can ask questions and we can discuss how we see this operating.
The bottom line is we need to do something to update our way of handicapping keel boats and this being the RYA scheme seems to be the most sensible one to adopt.
On other matters, as I understand it the club is holding up ok under the weather. A couple of our local members keep me posted on anything that is happening.
At the recommendation of our tree surgeons we have had some remedial tree work completed over the winter, this is necessary to comply with our insurance requirements. We have replanted trees to replace the ones taken out so that the site will continue to have a nice woodland feel to it. We have also had some works done to the trailer park which has extended it a little so that we can continue getting things more organised there. The abandoned Achilles has finally left for pastures new which is great and in general the site is getting clear of unwanted or unclaimed boats, trailers etc – we plan to continue with this during this coming season.
Onto club boats, we have sold the white work boat and acquired a ‘new to us’ RIB which we feel will be a much more useful. ‘Pupshark’ as it is known belonged to Cramond Boat Club and we have been fortunate to get a loan of the boat for our training week for the past several years. Cramond upgraded to a larger RIB and gave us first refusal at a very reasonable price. Basically the changeover has cost us almost nothing and we now have a good, sound RIB with a fairly new Yamaha outboard.
Finally, we are looking at ways of encouraging more people out onto the water and in particular more dinghy sailors. To this end I thank Martin Wilkie who has volunteered (well you know…) to become our Dinghy Fleet Captain and he, along with Andy McKeown are looking at ways to develop the dinghy fleet – more of this to come. Thanks to Martin and Andy for getting involved and I look forward to seeing more folks out sailing and racing in dinghies in 2021. The final attachment to this email is a list of the dinghies in the club, again I would ask you all to have a look at the list and give us an update on sail numbers, boat name and crew please.
On a really positive note to finish, we have 5 or 6 families (or individuals) who have applied to join the club which I think is fabulous given the current climate. Their applications will be processed in due course but I am sure we will have new faces to get to know in 2021.
Can I ask that you respond to any of the above points by Wednesday 24 February so that we can set up suitable Zoom meetings to discuss either the season ahead or the NHC handicapping system. This will allow things to progress at our next committee meeting scheduled for early March.
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Folks, if you have got this far, thank you for taking the time to read it all and I look forward to seeing you all at the club in 2021.
Mysterious early morning visitor on the loch...... it is a beaver!
Is it a baby Loch Earn monster or an otter or even a beaver?
Think the ears give it away? We now know for sure it's a beaver as it has been helping itself to some young willow to augment it's winter feeding!
Below is a link to the National Biodiversity Network which records sighting of beavers in the UK. There are some sightings at Lochearnhead, the River Earn and the Kendrum and Ogle Burns. The only known dam currently is on the Sustrans cycle route between Lochearnhead and Strathyre.
Amateur Radio Fundraising Event for Scottish Air Ambulance
Tree felling over the winter
In a blustery week in December RTS and Treetec felled the Ash trees and the Scots Pine in the club grounds. While the ash dieback has been monitored by RTS for some years they advised that as the trees were infected they will also be susceptible to honey fungus in the roots which is unseen below ground so can cause unexpected failure of the tree. Sadly based on their advice the Committee took the decision to have them felled and they are currently deciding what replanting will take place.
Corona Virus Update
Dear Club Member
You should have received an email telling you what is happening at LESC, if you did not receive the email please get in touch via the firstname.lastname@example.org email address.
There is an update posted in the member’s only section of the website letting you know where we are up to regarding the Corona Virus situation.
Rest assured that I and the committee are doing all we can at this time to make sure that LESC is looked after.
Our thanks go out to the folks that are close to the club and are looking after it while all this is going on.
We are trying to do something to liven up our sailing lives – the RYA have offered all clubs access to ‘Virtual Regatta’ which is an online sailing game and 2 or 3 of us are currently having a go to see if we can organise some ‘club sailing’ (on line of course) - 2pm on Saturdays anyone? Unfortunately they don’t have Flying Fifteens in their fleet but they do have skiffs and Stars (well that is what I have found so far).
Finally a word of thanks to the committee for their help, support and input over the past 2 or 3 weeks regarding CV. It is a challenging time and I am fortunate to have this group of people to help guide and manage us through difficult times.
Keep an eye out for further info and notices and see you on the water (virtual or otherwise) at some point in the future.