The first social occasion of the 75th Anniversary year was held on 25th February in the Club. A total of 111 people attended the RBOD fund-raising lunch and they enjoyed a marvellous meal prepared by Mike Shields and his team. This was one of the largest turn-outs ever for this popular annual event and £1,700 was raised. After the rather serious events of the day before it was marvellous to see the Club buzzing with a lively crowd who kept the bar-staff fully occupied throughout the afternoon and early evening. This is how we all want to see our club and it seemed fitting that it was the RBOD Class that has seen many ups and downs over the past 75 years should be the one to get a new era underway in fine style.
Many new faces who will be sailing in the fleet for the first time were at the lunch and they all became more and more enthusiastic as the afternoon wore on - thanks obviously to the stirring tales of derring-do on these sleek but comfortable vessels.
As well as the usual suspects, we were delighted to welcome guests from the Essex Yacht Club, Waldringfield Sailing Club as well as a wonderful table-full of veterans, headed up by senior crewmember John Booth – a sprightly 91 years old who, together with Shirley Bird can tell fascinating tales of their experiences in the RBOD fleet in the early thirties.
The main beneficiary of the funds raised through the meal and the prestigious raffle will be RB 8 PHALAROPE, currently in the care of Martin Smith and his small but dedicated team of skilled shipwrights. Martin had parked PHALAROPE in the car park where all could see the great progress being made. Thanks to the generosity of the many people supporting the Class, we should see a fully restored PHALAROPE afloat again later this year. (Jokes about raffle prizes – especially “second prize:- 2 RBODs” were politely ignored!).
Lead by Martin’s daughter, Victoria the entire gathering sang ‘Happy Birthday’ to celebrate Martin’s significant Birthday.
Birthday weekends are planned throughout the season for each RBOD. Owners will decide the format and it is hope each celebration will involve dining and drinking in the RBYC and a special cocktail the colour of their boat.
Another highlight of the lunch was the unveiling of a marvellous array of embroidered shirts available from Blackjack Designs. Kirsty is producing special 75th Anniversary logos for each yacht - even the hull colour is true to life. For details please contact Kirsty on 01621 786686 email@example.com. Kirsty has very kindly arranged for a portion of each sale to go towards the RBOD restoration fund
Several boats are still available in race-ready condition – anyone interested should contact Martin- firstname.lastname@example.org, or Will- email@example.com. Joint ownership/charter etc are all possibilities. There are currently rumours of another high profile sailor purchasing one of the available RBs. – watch this space!
Fitting out continues apace with the first main event being the Whitsun Regatta – we are delighted to hear that our friends from the EOD fleet at Essex Yacht Club have asked to take part – their prowess on the water and in the bar will no doubt ensure a memorable regatta for all.
Don’t forget to make sure that the 23rd June is in your diaries and that you reserve your table. The 2007 RBYC ball promises to be one of the best yet and the RBOD Class will be maintaining a high profile during the event to help mark the 75th Anniversary.
PHOTOS FROM THE RBOD FUNDRAISING LUNCH
25th February 2007