East Coast Area Secretary, Pete ‘the knife’ Elliston provides a report from the Association AGM held in Liverpool on 13 January, 2024. The event was organised and managed by the North West Area of the OGA with the ODTAA Cup being awarded to the NW Area Secretary, Alasdair Simpson for his hard work in bringing the event together along with the work undertaken in the NW on renovation and preservation of significant gaff-rigged craft and the Gaffling 4.1 project. The chosen venue allowed many Gaffers to explore the historic sights of Liverpool during the weekend.
AGM 2024 proceedings
Mike Becket, Association President welcomed 57 members attending in person with a further ten signing in online via Zoom. He also welcomed Margaret Wainwright, Honorary Member, invited to the AGM by the East Coast Area Secretary. Mike’s main report was a review of the OGA60 Round Britain Cruise, party ports and Jubilee Party hosted by the East Coast Gaffers on the River Orwell. The previous meeting Minutes and three Officers’ reports turned up no contentious issues. However, it was noted later in the meeting that Clare Thomas, East Coast Treasurer until November 2023 did an amazing job in managing the accounts for the Jubilee Party. Membership Secretary, Mary Gibbs stated membership was around the 1000 mark and ended her report with a plea for someone to take over from her next year when she will stand down. Colin Stroud was re-elected as Association Secretary.
Alison Cable did a presentation on the OGA60 RBC and Jubilee Party. Unfortunately there were several IT problems but the video, despite having no sound, clearly showed how horrendous the weather was during the ‘Parade of sail’ on the River Orwell. Part of the video was from Steve Mitchell in his 12’ Smack boat ‘Joy’ which everyone agreed was an incredible feat in just sailing with full rig, let alone filming with one hand at the same time!
During the discussion of plans for OGA65 and OGA70, Mike reported on the proposal from the earlier Association Committee Meeting that there would be an OGA65 RBC in 2028 with a small boat event being run soon after that in the same year. Richard Bailey made the first mini-presentation with an excellent summary of his experience as the skipper of ‘Lahloo’ in the OGA60 RBC. Everyone appreciated his humour and attention to details, such as the miles travelled under sail and motor and the price of beer ranging from £2 to £5 a pint! The presentation would be worthy of a ‘YouTube’ video or a short talk to the East Coast Gaffers later in the season. The second mini-presentation was by David Elliott of the British National Yacht Archive, showing what was available on their website and encouraging the OGA to join. Julian Cable made the final mini-presentation about the online crewing system on the OGA website.
The next Association AGM will be held in Gloucester at the beginning of January, 2025.
Following the main business of the AGM, there were presentations and prize giving for the Photography Competition and Association Trophies. The Photographic competition was judged by our regular canoeing, photographer/artist, Sandy Miller, who did a wonderfully constructive and enthusiastic job to encourage members with his appreciative and to some degree envious comments! Very many thanks Sandy. The results and winning photographs are available to browse here. Our Area President, Paul Masters was very pleased to get a second place as he had only ever achieved ‘highly commended’ in previous years. Particular congratulations should go to Alison Cable as it really was a stunning photograph of which ‘our Judge’ was clearly envious!
National Awards to East Coast Members
Robert and Lorna Hill were awarded the David Cade Memorial Trophy, presented for an ‘outstanding contribution to the Association during the year, over and above the call of duty’. They served as President and Secretary for nine years and led the OGA60 team to deliver the final party event on the River Orwell, August, 2023.
Joff and his daughter Lily Hudson were awarded the Grumpy II Cups, presented to an OGA skipper and young crew for ‘an outstanding sailing achievement during the year’. They helmed ‘Crescent Moon’ during the 2023 East Coast Race in extreme challenging conditions on the River Orwell.
Edgar and Else Wagemakers were awarded the Gaffers Tales Award for their excellent article in Gaffers Log, Spring 2023.
Nick Phillips was awarded the Tales of Sail Trophy for his sterling work on the OGA60 Jubilee publicity materials in print and online.
Pete Thomas was awarded the Jolie Brise Trophy in recognition of his ‘significant contribution to gaff rig’.
Clare Thomas was elected an Elder Gaffer.
A special East Coast guest at the AGM
Honorary OGA Member, Margaret Wainwright, widow of East Coast stalwart Jon Wainwright who passed away in 2007, was invited to the AGM. She presented the Gaffers Globe Trophy, donated by Jon, to this year’s winner, Barbara Runnalls. At the end of the meeting she was presented with her favourite flowers as thanks from the East Coast Members on what would have been Jon’s 78th birthday. It became clear that the five East Coast Young Gaffers who had come to the AGM and were sitting in the bar should meet Margaret who was in an adjoining lounge. Margaret ‘held court’ for best part of 30 minutes. The photo shows her looking very regal and provides future memories for the Young Gaffers and all who remember Jon. Many thanks Margaret and Happy Birthday Jon, you would have been very proud.
Report: Pete ‘the knife’ Elliston (PTK), Area Secretary