News Letter No1 – Pre Season 2021

As the new season approaches and the temperature begins to warm up, Bala SC awaits its members in anticipation for what should be a great season after last years very strange one. The clubs committee have been meeting regularly (online!) since the end of last season, discussing plans for the upcoming season, with our fingers crossed that we get as long a season as possible. Now is a good time to remind members that membership renewals are now due. For 2021 and going forward, we have moved to an online payment system with the hope that it makes it easier for members to renew. It will make it easier for the membership secretary to manage renewals going forward, which has always been a huge job for anyone in that role. If your yet to renew and would like to some help with the online system, then please get in touch with either Mike Allen or Steve Pooley and we will help you through it.

Looking back to last season, with government restrictions limiting members access to the facilities we are so used to having, it will be interesting to see how this season goes with it looking like we may well open the same way we closed last season. To be honest, that’s fine with me, I just want to get down there and go sailing!

Something I learned last season is that sometimes simplicity is best. Spending time on the beach, messing around in the lake with the kids is great fun, and its a fantastic feeling watching them learn to sail and enjoy it more and more as last season went on. We have spent the winter organising our kit, and adding a few extra bits so that the kids are warm enough for a day on and off the water. Last year we managed to get both kids out trapezing on the clubs Dart 16. The kids trapeze harness we have was massive on the girls, so there’s no rush in needed to replace that! A reminder to all members that the Club Boats are now FREE for all members to use when they want. There is a selection of club boats available, including an 18ft Keel Boat (Raider 18), 2 x Toppers, 3 Lasers (1 Radial, 2 Full Rigs), Topper Magno, Laser Bahia and 2 x Dart 16s. The second Dart 16 has recently been added to the fleet, paid for by the remaining funds from the Cat Club when they merged with Bala SC, thanks go to Dave Walker for organising this. He’s hoping to collect this when lock down restrictions ease and he’s allowed to travel. We all look forward to seeing members using it. If there are any members that would like some help with how to rig, launch and recover any of the other Club Boats then feel free to get in touch Here and one of the committee members will arrange a day to meet with you.

The committee met on Zoom on the 3rd Feb and discussed the season ahead and what needs to be done before we can start. Some major maintenance work needs to be done on the main Concrete Slipway leading up to the concrete area in front of the club house. This is something that the high waters cause as they wash away the smaller shingle, leaving a small drop from the concrete to the ground below. Mike Allen is meeting with a contractor this weekend to assess and organise for it to be fixed. The stone wall behind where the club boats are usually parked needs some attention too. The contractor will also be moving a lot of the small shingle that has gathered around the entrance to the foreshore, back down the beach with the view it can be spread across members boat spaces making those areas smoother and easier to move your boats around by hand. We are looking at ways of making the ramp up to the patio more usable with the option for some steps up the middle. Mick Flemming has kindly offered to do some tidying up around the Tree’s and Bushes along the foreshore, once he can get down to the club.

This season we will be organising more cruising days down the lake, hopefully followed by a BBQ on the Patio. When we did this last season it was very well attended and enjoyed by all. Its clear we need to do more of this in 2021!

Keep an eye on the Whats App group for details, or check out the website Social Events Page.

Adam is keen to get going in the Cafe, and is keeping an eye on restrictions so that he can open as soon as he is given permission to. Its been great to have Adam around, taking the pressure off members having to pick up duties running the Galley during weekends and busy events which is a huge task sometimes. Something that we did find last year was the amount of non members driving in and parking up for a day on the foreshore. This has not gone unnoticed by the committee, and it can be frustrating for everyone when members pay their fee’s for the luxury of access to the foreshore, lake and clubs facilities. We are in the process of having some new signage designed for near the barrier, and running along the foreshore that will hopefully paint a clear message to visitors that the club foreshore is not a free place to park! For visitors who want to stop and launch a craft like a kayak or dinghy, then that is fine, its now easy to pay for Day Membership on the new payment system. The income from Day Memberships can be used to improve the club for its members. Adam will now be issuing his customer with a 90 minute maximum parking pass, displayed in their window and the Cafe parking will be clearly displayed in front of the grass verge. We will continue to use the small cones, running across the path at the start of the main slipway, to stop non members driving past this point. All members are encouraged to place these cones out if your one of the first members to arrive in the morning. Hopefully the new clear signage will give visitors a clear message that while we offer a warm welcome to new members and Cafe customers, the foreshore is not a free car-park!

Thats all from me for now… Take Care and Stay Safe and I look forward to seeing you all at the club over the coming months.

Mike Allen, Commodore, Bala SC – 16th Feb