Annual Dinner

Annual Dinner 2019

From WGC schoolboy sailor to helming in the Fastnet Race

Toast to the Club

This year’s Annual Dinner was a most enjoyable affair. A major highlight was Barry Leake’s Toast to the Club. He had us all listening with rapt attention as he related his incredible sailing experiences since joining WGCSC as a junior in 1975. He told us his interest was sparked by the late club Commodore Alastair Dawson who, at that time was the woodwork teacher at Monk’s Walk School, which he attended. Barry reeled off the many classes of dinghies he has raced over the years and told how he then moved on to power boats and offshore yachts, gathering many qualifications along the way, including RYA Yachtmaster. His latest exploit, he said, was as a crew member taking part in the prestigious 2019 Rolex Fastnet Race aboard Lancelot 2 with Sail Logic, with roles as pit on spinnaker and sail changes, and helm on respective watches. Wow!

[They came 160th out of the 278 who finished,the remaining 56 DNF at all].

Acting Commodore Charles hosted the event in black bow tie with great aplomb and set the scene for the evening. He pulled everything together with gentle humour and great efficiency, and along the way thanked all those who had contributed in different ways, particularly Sheila Stowe who had been the main organiser. Best wishes were sent to Janet Wilson, and Dave and Lynn Lambert who could not attend at the last minute because of illness.

Charles gave a special welcome to former club Commodore Frank Puranik and his family, plus newest members Will Etherton and Al Jose, and juniors Oscar and Ned and their families. In addition, he drew attention to Challenger sailor Pauline Shaw’s achievements in Sailability events at Grafham, which was applauded by everyone.

After the meal, the Spring/Summer Awards were given out (see list and pics), with a good number going to Annette Walters who was there with her fellow Comet sailor, Mike Ettershank.

As usual there was a slideshow in the background of highlights of the sailing year, plus the ever popular raffle with many of the prizes donated by the McAlisters who unfortunately could not be there.

Finally, there was a HAPPY BIRTHDAY chorus for Dave Campbell and Roger Morse, conducted by Charles. This came as a great surprise to them and caused much merriment and reminded us yet again of what a friendly club we are.

Master of ceremonies


Annual Dinner 2018

Another success at Mill Green

WGCSC Annual Dinner - 14 October 2017

Juniors make their mark

52 members and friends had a very enjoyable Annual Dinner at the Mill Green Golf Club, following the Commodore’s Cup Race earlier in the day.

Our wonderful organiser, Sheila Stowe, made sure every single detail was perfect and a really good time was had by all.

A non-stop show of the year’s sailing pics by Val Newton, projected by tech maestro Shaun Smale completed the evening.

The full set of Val's photographs can be viewed here. (New Window)

The event was hosted by Commodore Nigel Davis, and he invited Mike Caddy to propose the Toast to the Club. Mike summed it all up by saying: “One look at the Welly website confirms what a great club this is.”

The main entertainment of the evening was the table quiz which included a section specially aimed at juniors provided by the McAlisters – the questions were a total mystery to the rest of us. (for example: In the cartoon Rick & Morty, what vegetable does Rick turn into?)

As usual there was a raffle and thanks go to junior Lucy Hawker and Graham Hunt’s daughter, Louise, for doing a great job selling tickets and distributing the prizes – first to go was a scary Halloween Cat decoration, but the bottles of wine were as popular as ever!

The major highlight of the evening came when Phil Walters (deputising for Race Officer Charles Adams) announced the winners of the 2017 Spring/Summer Handicaps and Spring/Summer Pursuit races. An extra special round of applause went to Ben Hawker when he was named as the winner of the Junior Handicaps Cup. Everyone was agreed it’s great to have some keen juniors in the club again.

Annual Dinner 2014

The Hilarious Roger Morse Show

The Annual Dinner following Commodore’s Cup in the morning, mysteriously morphed into ‘The Roger Morse Show’ when he took to the floor to propose the toast to the club. Roger had everyone in stitches as he totted up how many movements Dave Campbell’s legs and arms had made whilst sailing at Stanborough. After getting the diners to simulate all the actions of pulling sheets and moving about the boat, he concluded it must be many millions and gave Dave a can of WD40 to oil his joints. This caused much hilarity and fortunately Dave took it all in good humour. Speaking ostensibly from ‘Val’s Notes’ which were propped up in front of him, Roger rambled on, raising lots of laughs along the way. He presented a surprise bouquet to Thelma Cardinal to mark hers and Brian’s 39th anniversary; read out a touching message to members from Sammi-Leigh and spoke of the sad loss this year of her grandfather Stan Grace; and of the loss of former member Surakhsha Patel. He also thanked and praised the club for raising almost £3,000 for charity through Welly Challenge evenings over the years. His performance was memorable to say the least, and it set the seal on a very enjoyable evening which was attended by most of the club.

Grateful thanks to our hard-working Commodore, Peter Thornley, for doing the lion’s share of organising the event which took place at WGC Golf Club. Thanks also to Tony Hale, Sheila Stowe and Val Newton for their quizzes, table decorations and slideshow. The raffle was a great success and raised £122. Louise Hunt, Graham’s daughter deserves a special mention for her unbounded enthusiasm selling tickets. Possibly the most delighted raffle winner was Tony Stowe, who chose a woolly knitted hat embroidered with the words ‘Knackered Sailor’!

At the end of the night, Race Officer, Phil Walters, announced the trophy and prizewinners for the Spring-Summer Handicap and Spring-Summer Pursuit Series. Commodore Pete turned out to be the star, winning Slow Fleet in the S/S Hcp and first place in the S/S Pursuit. He beat Sheila Stowe into second place in both cases. The fast fleet cup in the S/S Handicap went to Julian Gunnell but he was not there to receive it. The full 2013/2014 Results can be seen below.