Club News

What’s Afloat

Rockhopper Trophy
Congratulations to Lucy and Chris Burrows for winning the Rock Hopper Trophy on Boxing Day. There was an excellent turnout of 13 dinghies on a cold but sunny day for the race.

Final Fling 2013 and Early Bird 2014
The last race in the Final Fling series will take place this Sunday (29 December) at 1.30pm with the New Year bringing the start of the Early Bird Series on Sunday 5 January at 1.30pm. All competent sailors are welcome to join in the Sunday sailing activities (either morning or afternoon).

Return of Trophies
A final reminder for last year’s trophy winners to ensure that all trophies are returned to the Club by Sunday 5 January 2014 so that they can all be engraved for the Dinner Dance on Saturday 1 February 2014.

Happy New Year!

All afloat for the start of the Rockhopper Trophy Race on Boxing Day

All afloat for the start of the Rockhopper Trophy Race on Boxing Day


Last launches before the start of the Rockhopper Trophy Race on Boxing Day


Making ready for the Boules competition ashore on Boxing Day

What’s Afloat 5th December

Posted on December 5, 2013 | Categories Whats Afloat | Be the first to comment!


 Welcome to the first “What Afloat” missive since the AGM in October.  My report as incoming Commodore is contained in the previous addition of “What’s Afloat”, for those that could not attend.


The new General Committee consists of, Nick Butler (Commodore), Vacant Vice Commodore post, Gary Watson (Honorary Secretary), Fiona Pritchard (Honorary Treasurer), Fraser Menzies (Honorary Sailing Secretary), James Ogg (RYA Principal & Training), Mark Larmour (Membership), Ian Danklefsen (Friday Nights), Alvin Walker (Youth), Jill Smyth (Families) and Shirley McCrum (ex-officio)

Unfortunately we have had to raise the annual fees by 5% and dinghy park fees by a modest amount.  Given that the annual fees were not raised last year and the DinghyPark fees have not been raised for several years this does not seem unreasonable, and still provides excellent value for money compared to other clubs.  The revised fees are:

  • Family                                                 £  185
  • Full                                                      £  126
  • Non-sailing                                          £    73.50
  • Junior/Spouse/Outport/Student           £   42
  • DinghyPark (6 months)
  • -  Boats or trailers up to 14 feet           £   31.50
  • -  Boats or trailers 14 0 21 feet            £   45
  • -  Boats over 21 feet incl cats or tlrs    £    55
  • -  Canoes or windsurfers                     £    15

The joining fee remains 25% of the relevant fee. A further meeting of the “Members of the Club” was to be held prior to the Annual Christmas Dinner, in order to propose amendments to the Club Constitution intended to simplify and speed up the membership application process.  This was subsequently deemed impractical and other measures will introduced hopefully not requiring a change in the Constitution.  Details to follow.


 The Club social scene has been busy over the last few weeks with:

  •  31st October – A busy and very “spooky” .Halloween Party

2013 HAlloween - Stu & Tracyphoto2013 Haloween

  • Saturday 9th November –  A successful and very “atmospheric” “Bow Bells” Italian Night. 2013 Italian Night photo (4)
  • Friday 22nd November – Ulster Rugby’s resounding win over Edinburgh and Mark’s “New York” Burgers feast.
  • Saturday 1st December – The Club Christmas Dinner, at which 120 members and guests were treated to a veritable feast and splendid raffle with some superb prizes.

Galley Girls2013 Xmas Dinner BAr

2013    Christmas Dinner – The “Galley Girls”          2013  Christmas Dinner – Full House!   2013

2013 Xmas Dinner 3 Magi  photo (2)

Christmas Dinner – The “Three Magi”(?!)                           “hubble, bubble, toil & ……….”!

2013 Xmas BAr panorama

2013 Christmas Dinner – Bar & Main Room

 2013 Xmas Balcony Room panorama

2013 Christmas Dinner – Balcony Room

There is much more to come:

  • Thursday 5th December.   Quiz night.  Charity Fund Raiser.
  • Friday 6th December. Bangor Operatic Society Quiz Night.  All welcome.   Bar  open from 7.00 p.m. Quiz starts   7.30 p.m.
  • Saturday 7th December. Japanese Society Northern Ireland Childrens Party (Private) 1 – 6     p.m.
  • Sunday 8th December Santa Fun Run (or walk!) organised by Donaghadee Commerce and      Development Group 2.30 p.m. 5 km £10 entry includes a Santa Suit.  Why not get yourself sponsored for the Club? Details on DCDG website.
  • Saturday 14th December Club Children’s Party 2 – 5 pm. Games, disco, drinks, snacks and special visit from Santa! Parents should deliver a wrapped  present from Santa for their child(ren) on Friday night as he will be unable to carry them all on Saturday!!
  • Friday 20th December.  Rugby and Curry Night.  Ulster v  Zebre. Magners League.  Kick off      7.00 p.m.
  • Tuesday 24th December. Mulled Wine and Mince Pies (with a few Carols).  This event will depends on a volunteer to stepping up to the mark to organise.  Please contact Social Secretary (Coirle Butler).  Detail of the evening to follow.
  • Thursday 26th December.  Rock Hopper Race.  Details to follow.
  • Tuesday 31st December.  Club New Years Eve Party.  A family friendly evening to suit all.      Bar open from 7.30 p.m. you may want to bring some snacks or order a takeaway for you and your guests. Music an dancing from 9.00 p.m. till the wee small hours.  From 10.00 p.m. the balcony will be available for junior members, away from the bar, but with their own music, drinks and snacks.  As we approaching midnight we will briefly close the bar to allow everyone, young and old, to come together to see in th New Year.
  • Saturday 25th January 2014.  Burns’s Night (Joint Donaghadee Rotary Club / DSC event).  Details to follow.
  • Saturday 1st February 2014.  Annual Dinner Dance and Prize giving.  £25 per adult.  £15 under 16.  Prizegiving and Dinner in Governors Rocks 7.00 pm.  Live music, dancing and late bar in club from 9.00 p.m. Limited spacesavailable – name can be added to list behind bar for a deposit of £10 per person.


 As always we depend on volunteers to do everything and in particular the General Committee are seeking someone to help with the following:

  • Mulled Wine and Mince Pies on 24th  December – This cannot happen unless someone steps up to the mark.  All of the social committee have young families and will be busy preparing for Santa.
  • Dinghy Park – someone who frequents the slipway to assist with the management of and billing for boats stored in the Dinghy park.
  • Risk Assessments – a qualified person to assist with the various risk assessments in the club.  Most immediately PAS 79 Fire Risk Assessment.

Lost Rescue Boat Barrel.  A plea from the Safety Officer.  One of the Red Bay blue barrels and paddles has sprung legs and is lost.  The estimated cost of replacement for these and the emergency items therein is about £400.  If anyone can caste any light on where they are we would be eternally grateful!

I am honoured and privileged that you have chosen me to be your Commodore this year.

I have a hard act to follow.  As I mentioned in my Vice Commodore’s Report 2013 has been a most successful year – achieved through a culmination of efforts by the previous Commodores, Flag Officers and members, and not least Shirley whose energy, enthusiasm and drive in addressing issues that needed action has been impressive.  Her administrative skill and leadership have strengthened the structures that have helped the club to start to realise its potential. I certainly do not intend to change much and would much rather continue to build on the structures in place – although I warn you I cannot compete with her administrative prowess.

There are a number of themes that I feel we need to develop over the next year:

As Shirley      has mentioned effective management of the Club relies on good      administration and she has kindly undertaken to re-organise the office and draft an Operating Plan for the Club, so that in future we will know what  needs doing, when and how to do it.  Ian is very kindly already in the process replacing the computers  downstairs.

I fully  agree with Shirley regarding the need for a Club Manager / Building Engineer, once our membership size and finances permit. although this is not going to happen overnight, it is something I believe we should work towards.

We have the makings of good Junior Racing squad and a growing fleet of adult sailors      and double handed boats.  I would like to see all the things that helped achieve this continue next      year.  I will redouble efforts to get myself on the water!

The consensus amongst those I have spoken to is that we can cope with running  2 events a year.  Next year we will take a break from Toppers and would like to get adult 2 or 3 day events.  We are hoping to get a GP 14 event and would like to get another event, possibly Lasers.  I would also like to explore the      possibility of race areas further out to sea.

Communication between the members of the club has much improved and work will continue to enhance how we cascade information through the website, social media and e-mails.  To help us do this I would ask everyone to ensure they update their contact details on the forms provided.

Looking to the future, the Strategy Group has started to look at where we want to be in 5 years time and what our needs will be. We will engage with Ards Borough Council regarding the future needs and the aspirations of the club and will strongly support the creation of and participate in a Harbour Users Group.  If anyone has any views on this please don’t be shy on coming forward.

Just before I finish I would ask that all volunteers support and work through the existing club sub –committees.  I am not a great committee animal but I have seen how important it is that they know what is going on, so they can keep the General committee informed, activities can be deconflicted, risks and finances managed.

Finally I am afraid that I do not know at this stage whether my commitments will permit me to run for 2 years so it is possible that next October the Club might be looking nominations for Commodore and Vice Commodore.  Thank you.



Donaghadee Sailing Club 

AGM Tuesday 22 October 2013

Commodore’s Report

It’s my pleasure to finish giving the reports of the Flag officers at tonight’s AGM (or perhaps should I say the last word!). It has been a great year as all our Flag Officers’ Reports have shown. It has also been a year of sadness when we lost one of our most devoted members after a long illness. We miss Joan’s warm smile and dry humour but remember her with great fondness.

All I really want to add now is a huge and very personal thanks from me, and on your behalf, to each one of our very hard working and dedicated members of the GC. Alvin, Mark, David and Jill were new members this year and brought with them the fresh ideas and enthusiasm which makes this Club such a vibrant place. James and Fiona are currently our elder statesmen on the GC and their contribution to the life of the Club is immeasurable. I have already referred to some of James’ many commitments to the Club in the Hon. Secretary’s Report. In particular though as Club Principal and Training Officer I would like to thank him for organising our very successful Members Sailing Information Evening in March which was very well attended and which I hope may become a regular fixture in the DSC calendar!

To Fiona I say thank you for your patient and quiet handling of the Club’s finances and 4 different accounts on a daily basis. Thank you for managing our electronic SAGE system which gives the GC an accurate account of our monthly profit&loss position. Because of this we, in conjunction with the Finance Sub-Committee, are able to make informed decisions about the Club’s finances. Just a little story reflecting Fiona’s commitment; having noticed on one of our bills that as a Community Amateur Sports Club we were entitled to a reduction in our water bills (NI Water don’t inform you of these things directly) Fiona sent in 4 years of bills and received a rebate of some £2300.

Nick & Fraser  are in training to become our elder statesmen! Fraser has quietly got on with doing what he does best  with the Sailing Programme, Club Sailing Series, Battery and Safety Boat rotas, dinghy park, Town Cup, Regatta and Commodore’s Day all safely secured as the backbone of the Club’s sailing activities. I know he runs the Sailing Committee meetings with a tight agenda and time period of one hour…..how the GC envy them!

I have watched Nick grow in confidence over the past year (the value too of the Vice Commodore’s post)and with the Topper Nationals and 420 Ulster Championships under his belt I am confident that nothing is beyond him. After modestly accepting his RYANI  Volunteer of the Year Award last week I congratulate him again on his commitment and enthusiasm and thank him for bringing his own very particular and beneficial style of leadership to the Club (and I have to add for Coirle too as his right hand man, behind every great man etc) and know that the Club is in great hands .

Finally can I say thank you to all our sub-committees and all of you who have helped out or just taken part during the past year. Last year I commented that our greatest challenge was to build an active and inclusive club. Tonight I would be so bold as to say that over the last year DSC has gone a very long way along that road. Without each and every one of us there would be no club ….now after 5 seasons in use the Clubhouse looks as fresh virtually as when it was opened, there is an even larger fleet of Club boats and equipment available, training courses and sailing opportunity with a new Junior Squad  under the expert tutelage of James, Sara (again our very warm congratulations on winning the RYANI Young Volunteer of the Year Award last week too), Sam, Lucy, Patrick & Rory aided and abetted by our AIs. We have an increasingly effective communications system and the Friday Nights continue to flourish feeding into a growing membership committed together to doing that thing that is DSC’s very particular, and dare I say eccentric, vision…messing about in boats!

My final task before I step down is to present these Club Burgees  to  Nick (Vice-Commodore ) & Tony Skeats (Commodore Past 2010-11) in recognition of their commitment to the Club. Thank you Donaghadee for making a space for me, for all the memories and in passing on the baton to the next generation of Donaghadee families, and from further afield, may I just say “Live long & prosper”

Shirley McCrum



Stop Press: RYANI Volunteer Awards for Nick & Sara, Bow Bells Carvery Lunch Sun 20th October & DSC AGM Tuesday 22 Oct at 8.00pm, Sunday training &  Final Fling series underway.
Huge congratulations to our very own Nick Butler, Vice Commodore and Sara Parkinson, Junior Commodore  who were awarded the RYANI Volunteer of the Year Award and Young Volunteer of the Year Award respectively. These annual awards were presented by the RYANI at their AGM in the House of Sport Belfast in recognition of volunteers who have made a valuable contribution to sailing and have demonstrated exceptional leadership skills.
Nick and Sara were nominated by DSC in recognition of Nick’s commitment to and enthusiasm in organising the very successful Irish Topper National Championships at DSC in July 2013. By just joining in and giving of one’s best  Nick leads from the front demonstrating that the rewards and benefits for our sport, our Club and our local community are multiple.
Sara has become a role model for all our Junior sailors with her quiet enthusiasm, reliability and willingness to become involved in many aspects of the life of the Club. She has been instrumental in building up DSC’s current Junior Squad and introducing many others to sailing while finding time to crew in a 420 at events around Ireland.
We recognise that the Club depends totally on all of its many members who volunteer tirelessly around the Club from the Sailing Committee to the Friday Night Committee to the Maintenance Committee to the Social Committee to the Finance Committee to Training, the Bar stewards & convenors and those many others who just get on with their particular thing like Kyle, Stuart and Ross. These awards are just one small way in which to provide some recognition for everyone’s commitment and enthusiasm. We did nominate ourselves for the Club of the Year in recognition of this huge volunteering commitment but were pipped to the post by County Antrim SC (Whitehead) and we send them our heartiest congratulations.
Green Energy at DSC
The 62 PVs are now installed on the roof and we now have our own miniature “power station”. Follow its progress on the monitor in the bar……………….startling! Again our thanks to Ross and Tony who have overseen the installation and who are monitoring our usage in order to maximise the benefits to be accrued from the installation. Please do help out by switching off lights and equipment when not in use…together we can cut down our annual bill.
Sailing Continues at DSC………………………
Congratulations to the winners of the Late Series Lucy & Emily Burrows (slow handicap) and Stephen & Daniel Nelson (fast handicap).  The Fling Final series has started for the hardier sailors with the first two races being won be Lucy & Chris Burrows.
No racing on Sunday 20 October (Bow Bells lunch) but racing continues on 27 October with the race start switching to 1.30pm  to take account of the clocks going back.
Bow Bell’s Carvery Lunch Sunday 20th October
There are some places left for lunch on Sunday so please do sign up on the list at the bar or email us on office@donaghadeesc.co.uk by Thursday teatime at the latest please.
Mark is introducing a carvery style lunch this coming Sunday with roasts, salmon and a casserole on offer along with their delicious desserts.
£12/ adult and £6/Junior (under 18) unless your Junior has an adult size appetite!
Annual Scout Regatta at DSC…and the girls took many of the honours..of course!
Well done to Alvin Walker  for organising the NI Scout’s Annual Regatta again at DSC on Saturday last. Over 30 scouts and explorers took part in three races for the 12-18 year olds. Our congratulations to Liz and Charlotte for coming first in their groups, Ellen 2nd and Eve 3rd.With James Dowling in charge on the water assisted by Richard and Danky the regatta was in excellent hands and a good day was had by all.

Training continues on Sunday mornings  

GP14 training  from 11.00am.

Any one who owns a GP14 or would like to use a club boat please make an effort to attend. the vision is to have all privately owned and club owned boats sailing every Sunday. If everyone makes the effort we could have more than 10 boats on the water.

See you all there

Junior Squad Training

continues too on Sundays from 11.00am with your favourite instructors. Do come along and keep working on those racing skills ahead of next season! If you’re not sure if it’s for you please do come along and have a chat with the instructors.


DSC AGM Tuesday October 22nd at 8.00pm

Everyone should have received their agenda for next Tuesday so please do come along and share in the past year’s reports, electing our new members and joining up with any of our sub-committees as listed below:

DSC Sub-Committees 

As the GC is limited to 10 places ie 5 Flag Officers (Commodore, Vice-Commodore, Hon. Secretary, Hon. Sailing Officer and Hon. Treasurer) and 5 others (with various roles) you can still get involved by joining one of our very active Sub-Committees;

Sailing Sub-Committee                         Fraser Menzies : 07747 843 801.

(including Safety Officer )

Training Sub-Committee                      James Ogg : 07730006149

Finance Sub-Committee                      Ivan Heaney  : 02891883757

Social Committee                                 Coirle Butler  : 07753579726

Maintenance / NTTC                            John Townson : 07980343966

Club Management                                Shirley McCrum  :  07922100023

Youth Committee                                  Alvin Walker :  07989693171 & Sara Parkinson (Junior Commodore)

Friday Night Committee                        Richard Spence : 07769255753  

Bar Rota                                                  Paul Wright : 07546291750

Membership & Communications             Mark Larmour : 07887503692

Without the volunteers on these Sub-committees the Club would cease to function. If you can help in any way, whether it’s every now and then or a more regular basis, please do give the convenors a shout! it’s a great way to get involved in the life of the Club, to influence what the Club is and can do for you……………..everyone’s opinion matters and everyone is welcome.

Carrickfergus Sailing Club Fund Raising Dinner : Saturday 26th October 2013

As part of their rebuilding fundraising  Carrickfergus  Sailing Club are inviting you to join them at their Annual Prize Giving Dinner in the Clarion Hotel, Carrickfergus on Saturday 26th October from 7.30pm . Tickets are £25 / head.

….so if you could make up a party you would be sure of a warm welcome.

Email Roger Woodward, Commodore on CarrickfergusSC@carrickfergussc.org or 02893 351402.

Dates for your Diary and the fun continues with many thanks to our Social Committee

Bow Bells Sunday Lunch             Sunday 20th October  Bar open 12.30pm  list behind bar or book thro office@donaghadeesc.co.uk

Children’s Halloween Party       Thursday 31st October  5-8pm   fancy dress, pumpkins & fun for all

Italian themed night   (Bow Bells)       Saturday 16th November DSC (booking essential by Nov 9th on list at bar or office@donaghadeesc.co.uk) Menu& price to follow

New York Burger Night  7 Rugby          Friday 22 November…..Watch the Ulster rugby from 7pm or just enjoy a burger at half time (8.15pm)

Soup&Panini’s & rugby                Sunday 24 November 1pm   Watch Ireland v New Zealand

Christmas Lunch          Sunday December 1st   2pm Booking essential. list at bar or office@donaghadeesc.co.uk

Children’s Christmas Party        Saturday 14th December  2-5pm

Curry & Rugby                 Friday 20 December from 7pm start (food 8.15pm)