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Number: 008110946

From the new Club Commodore, Jonty Pearce.

Welcome to the first Penguin Cruising Club Newsletter. For those not at the AGM, you may not have heard that Simon Hamilton retired after a very successful five-year stint as Commodore of the Club. His shoes will be hard to fill – thank you, Simon, for all your hard work. I have been elected to take over, again for a five-year spell.

Although I only joined the club in summer 2001, I feel my two main qualifications for the Commodorial post are being prepared to say yes when asked to take it on, and living opposite Kevin Walton. I have also done some sailing. Although there is now a new hand on the helm, be assured that our course will not change. I remain dedicated to our stated aim of providing enjoyable and varied sailing, and introducing others, especially younger people, to the pleasures of cruising under sail. To keep the club vibrant, I plan to try to move towards improving communications and dissemination of information. This first newsletter is an example, and I plan to follow it with others later in the year. For those members unable to attend the AGM, normally you would not hear what was discussed until the October mailing. I hope these newsletters will keep the members of the club up to date and aware of what activities are planned in the forthcoming season. We can also update members about unfilled cruises, and special events - see later.

A July newsletter will give a progress report of the year's activities, and appeal for ideas for future cruises - we need the outline plans for the September committee meeting.

A September newsletter after this committee meeting can forewarn you of future cruises so you can plan ahead and book your place fast as soon as the booking forms are released to secure a holiday on the most popular cruises. The October letter mailing will continue as before though we hope to give members the option of receiving it electronically rather than by "snail mail" - this would save forests, costs, the secretary's time, and might be more convenient to members. Booking forms for cruises can be downloaded from the website, once it has been updated (imminent, I hope).

The website is a fundamental information source - we will promote it as our electronic "face" from which booking forms and guidance can be downloaded, as well as uploading of logs and photos -- keep them coming in! Any information we could add to the site will be welcome. David Newman has agreed to take over the task of webmaster from the very overworked James Raby – so a big thank you to James for all your past hard work over the years, and to David for taking over the electronic reins.

If there are any members who do not wish to receive newsletters or the October mailing by e-mail, please reply to me and we will remove your e-mail from the list. Likewise, if your e-mail changes or you need to update your contact details, let us know. A copy of this newsletter will go on to the website, and for those whose e-mail address is missing from our files, opportunity to update your details will arrive with the October mailing.

The sponsored place will continue for the Easter cruises. Although originally intended to bring in to the club those disadvantaged by finance, health or situation, such candidates seem to be harder to find now. While holding to our original ideas, we will also now simply offer the sponsored place to younger members who might not otherwise have joined the club fold. It will be suggested that they enclose a brief letter justifying their request for sponsorship with their initial application. I am e-mailing as many university sailing clubs as I can find attaching Jonathan Walton's new flyer in order to try to attract suitable new members.

While I don't feel that the club is top-heavy with older members, we do need to attract younger sailors to ensure maintaining a healthy age balance of membership.

Finally, although the club has roots as early as 1963, it only became a formal club in its current form 1988. This, our 20th year, conveniently coincides with Kevin Walton's 90th birthday. We are hosting a "camping cruise" from Friday the 30th of May to Sunday the first of June 2008 at Llangorse lake, near Brecon. Details will on the website once updated, and were in your mailing. Any queries email me on commodore@{remove this} We have secured a private paddock, with facilities, and have reserved some boats on the lake on Saturday. We encourage you to come, bring your own craft, if you have any, and also to bring a memory or a photo for a "Kevin memory lane" display. There will be a cocktail night on Friday night, boating and countryside activities on Saturday, followed by a group meal with included refreshments on the Saturday night. Do come -- the more the merrier. PLEASE let us know if you can come as soon as possible – I need to have an idea of numbers!

STOP PRESS 1 place is still available on Lyn Ballard’s Brittany/Channel cruise, Saturday 7th to Tuesday 17th June. The only problem is – we need an experienced sailor of at least Mate standard. Can you help? Contact Lyn on newwinnings@{remove this}, Tel 01684 540142.

ANOTHER STOP PRESS David Newman’s Easter Scotland cruise – Sat 12th to Sat 19th April – still has 3 vacancies. Proper Penguin sailing – book now or regret it for another year!

Email penguin@{remove this} or Tel 01684 591506.

Don't worry, future letters won't be this long! Keep in touch, and happy sailing! Jonathan Pearce