West Country

Branch Chairman: Kevin Mitchell
Contact: westcountry@sadlerandstarlight.co.uk

Three visiting Sadler yachts met at the Royal Dart YC in 1984 from which gathering the branch was initially formed. The laying up lunch held on 19th October 2008 was the 24th and celebrated the retirement of Graham Jones who had been branch chairman from the beginning.  He and Audrey were awarded the seamanship Salver and the association’s thanks for their contribution over the years. Dave Penn, owner of a Starlight 35 with his wife Sally, took over the helm from Graham and has managed the branch for the last ten years, stepping down at the recent 2017 AGM. Dave was awarded the National Chairman’s Plate trophy in recognition of his contribution. Kevin Mitchell was duly elected new Branch Chairman at the AGM

2018 Dates for Your Diaries

Sat 24th March Fitting Out Luncheon

Royal Torbay Yacht Club, 12 Beacon Hill, Torquay. TQ1 2BH.

Guest speaker: Mike Lucas.

Please arrive for 12 noon with lunch from 13:00. For further details and menu please check your email inbox. Food orders to westcountry@sadlerandstarlight.co.uk by 14th March 2018 please. Thank You.



Sat 12th May Visitor’s pontoon in the Bag at Salcombe.

Discounted berthing has been arranged from Friday afternoon, May 11th, through to Sunday 13th.

Sat 30th June BBQ on Ruan Pontoon up the Fal, (where it joins the Truro River).

Discounted berthing arranged from pm on Friday 29th June to Sunday 1st July.

Wed 8th August 40th Anniversary.

West Country Branch Celebration in Sutton Harbour Marina, Plymouth

Gather in the evening on the Sutton Harbour Marina veranda for drinks, nibbles and a grand free firework display!

Sat 6th October Laying up Luncheon

Royal Plymouth Corinthian Yacht Club, Madeira Road, the Hoe, Plymouth.

From 12 noon. Menu and details to follow.

Rally Reports:

Sat 12th May Visitor’s pontoon in the Bag at Salcombe.

Last week I only had three confirmed boats for this my first Rally since becoming the South West Branch Chairman but as the weekend of the 11th to the 13th May approached more boats asked to be included. I could not get to Salcombe on the Friday as I had proposed owing to very poor conditions as in wind, rain and unforgiving seas especially as I needed to round Start Point. Three boats did make our destination all from Plymouth however, Saturday the Rally day dawned calm though cloudy so I left Torquay at close on 06.30 and after the predicted five hour passage headed up the fairway into Salcombe and soon joined others on the Visitor’s pontoon in the Bag. As the afternoon progressed others arrived making a total of 7 boats.
Julia & Chris Heath in Etoile Filante a Starlight 39,  Noel & Tonya Sheeham in ALEGRIA another 39, Dave & Sally Penn in Giuliana, a Starlight 35, Roy Beswick in Ellie too also a Starlight 35, Miles & Jill Butler (guests) in their Moody S31, Steve Rolinson in Maid of Honour an S29 and me in Serena my S26.
During the afternoon we all spent time on one another’s boats just chatting and catching up on news then at 18.00 hours I had arranged a small drinks and nibbles party which continued for three hours till 21.00 when we all departed to our own boats to have dinner.  Dave and Sally Penn included me in a small group for after dinner drinks which climaxed at close on Midnight.
All boats departed before lunch time and five headed off back to Plymouth making good use of the tide whilst Steve waited till his tidal gate to round Start Point and head back to his mooring on the Dart. I am remaining here today and will also head for Dartmouth tomorrow.
I am very pleased to say everything went very well and from comments and good wishes I know everyone enjoyed the occasion.
Kevin Mitchell, South West Region Branch Chairman.

Report from the 2017 AGM.

The Chairman introduced the Agenda item and invited Dave Penn, West Country Branch Chairman to present his report.
The West Country branch events started with a Fitting out lunch at Exe Sailing Club in April that was reasonably well attendance and we all enjoyed lunch with fantastic views over the River Exe and pre lunch drinks on their balcony. It was a very bright sunny day and warm for the time of year. West country members have had a resurgence this year attending the events when they can. Their support is very much appreciated.
We held a Rally in Fowey over the late May Bank Holiday. The weather leading up to it was not the best. My thanks go to Bruce & Vicki Carter (Elektra 29) for arranging this and for the support from the Association to help to get the pontoon party going. A BBQ at the Fowey Gallants SC that was shared by the Ballard racing fleet was enjoyed with tales of adventures of trips to Fowey including a non Sadler owner Phil Kirby with his Hurley 30.
We had a BBQ in the Yealm in June the early summer that again was reasonably well supported. This was a special event for Lerryn, Chris & Kay Warren’s daughter, (Chablis 26) as she had just learned of her success in her degree that has enabled her to progress her career. Well done Lerryn. Congratulatory drinks were had onboard Chablis that for some seemed further away from the pontoon when he got off to when he got on resulting in a wet leg!
This year I arranged a week long Cruise from Dartmouth to Falmouth/Helford at the end of July. We increased in numbers as we went west picking up boats along the way. The weather on our arrival at Falmouth was fine but soon took a turn for the worse with lots of wind and rain. In order to keep us all occupied I arranged a trip to Rustlers Yard and the group had a conducted tour of the workshops seeing how they build Rustlers. Thanks to Nick at Rustler for accommodating us at short notice. The Sea Cadet Corps Rustler 42 was in build at the time, and one lucky owner had a beautiful 42 waiting in the hoist to be launched and handed over the following day. Nick announced that they had recently disposed of the Starlight moulds have kept them for a number of years. Following the visit, we all met for supper in the Penryn Marina bistro and enjoyed a splendid meal. My thanks go to Kevin Mitchell for suggesting & arranging booking the venue. Some made a brief visit to Helford but returned to the shelter of Falmouth.
Our Laying Up lunch held at Royal Plymouth Corinthian Yacht Club at the end of October that was very well supported. 49 members and guests. The Commodore of RPCYC is a new member having acquired a 34 earlier this year.
WCB members have been seen cruising along the West Country coast & further afield proudly flying the Sadler burgees. Long may this continue. I have received a few enquiries from potential owners of Sadlers and Starlights and I’m grateful to both Bruce and Kevin for their enthusiastic response and showing off their own boats. I have also taken potential Starlight owners out on my boat who have gone away converted!

The Prizes:
The competition this year was fierce for the trophies:
“Seamanship Salver”
This was presented to a relatively new couple to our group. Their boat, a Starlight 39 Etoile Filante (Shooting Star in French), Chris & Julia ventured into Turf Lock basin and stayed there a couple of nights. For those of you who know the upper reaches of the Exe, it dries out. The weather & tide needs to be right and making arrangements with the Exeter City Council lock keepers to arrange for it to be opened is no mean feat in itself! They have also visited small Cornish ports with only a few inches of water under the keel and a few feet from submerged rocks, not by luck but by careful reference to almanacs and HM advice. Julia has recently been awarded her RYA Coastal Skipper qualification so congratulations on that.

Dave concluded his report by announcing that after ten years as branch chairman, he felt it was time to step down. Dave discussed with local branch members and in due course, Kevin Mitchell had volunteered to takeover the branch chairmanship. This was further discussed at the branch laying up lunch with a positive response from local members.
The Chairman therefore proposed to the AGM that Kevin Mitchell be accepted as new West Country Chairman. This was unanimously agreed with immediate effect.