Oh the perils of putting your hand up at an AGM of the Loch Broom Sailing Club (or LSC, as it was in 1958 when a group of keen sailors decided to form a club.)
In that time there have been just five commodores: three Osbornes, a Campbell and a Copestake, some of them more than once. So it’s an honour, but also a challenge for someone the height of whose responsibility until now has been head boy of his prep school, 50 odd years ago.
Fortunately I have the advice and services of all but one of the club’s former commodores, not least the most recent of these, John O, whose three years at the helm have seen so many positive initiatives, and Paul, who has been my commodorial mentor these 12 months.
In the last year Paul has coached me through the “salvaging stranded boats” module; the “how to narrowly avoid certain disaster while launching yachts” module and the essential “how to sink and recover your Flying Fifteen” module.
But not the “public speaking” module, for which practice is the only solution.
As for my qualification for the job, I asked Andy Reeve: “You’ve got a Land Rover.” So that’s fine then.
To get as many people on to as many boats on as many days as possible, both sailing and rowing
To encourage newcomers to sailing in every way possible
To develop the youth sailing programme
Continue to improve the existing facilities
To delegate responsibilities to those who have the knowledge and expertise
To be diplomatic in dealing with differences of opinion and approach
To make firm decisions based on consensus
And my ambition? To gain Royal assent for the finest sailing club with the finest members in the Highlands, nay the UK, no make that the world.