For this week’s Committee Focus, we hear from our Rear Commodore House, Christine Silver…
How did you get into sailing? Around 20 years ago I went to a ‘Try dinghy sailing’ afternoon at Rugby and Daventry Sailing Club, then took lessons and joined the Club which was close to home. The sailing there was limited to weekends and one evening and I generally just practised in an old Topper and then Comet.
How did you join DWSC? In 2006 the reservoir in Daventry was drained for maintenance work and DWSC offered RDSC members the opportunity to sail at Draycote, I’ve been a member ever since.
Why did you go on the Committee? Jeremy sent out a plea for new committee members in 2017 and I volunteered to keep the numbers up, having had some committee experience at RDSC. He said you didn’t need to be a good sailor to join the committee, so that was ok!
What do you do on the Committee? I’m now Rear Comm. House, a post which had been vacant for a couple of years; the committee role is to liaise with Dave, the Club manager, to have an overview of the running of the Clubhouse and grounds. Dave and the staff team are great and take care of the day to day management of the Club. I also have responsibility for writing grant applications, GDPR and Safeguarding policy.
What’s your best sailing experience? I enjoy sailing in Blakeney harbour in a Norfolk Oyster boat and a few years ago was very pleased to sail from Morston to Cley Mill which is only possible with a high Spring Tide. I’ve also been fortunate to crew some races in the Miracle Nationals at Ullswater and Weymouth with Caroline Noel. We were fairly new to sailing the Miracle but it was good to take part.
And at Draycote? Pottering around in my Topper, on a sunny summer evening, with the Women on Water group.
What is your most embarrassing sailing experience? At Weymouth in the Miracle nationals in 2013 – Caroline had jumped off the dinghy into much deeper water than we realised whilst going ashore. It was a strong (for me) off shore wind, I was crewing and hadn’t helmed our then Miracle and was heading for the harbour wall and some moored yachts. Fortunately I managed to steer away from the wall and then grab a buoy in the harbour and signalled for help from the safety boat. All in front of the Weymouth and Portland Sailing Academy .
Who inspires you? From a sailing viewpoint it’s Hilary Lister, the first disabled woman to sail solo around Britain in 2009 using a sip and puff system. She was paralysed from the neck down and only started sailing in 2003; she wanted to show people with disabilities could and should take risks.
Who would you like to swap places with for a day? While on a cruise ship in a force 8 gale, I wondered what it would be like in a smaller boat, so I would like to swap for a day with a round the world sailor just to experience sailing in the Southern ocean but not for long, as it looks terrifying!
Which 4 individuals would you love to have dinner with? Leading on from above, it would be good to hear stories from some Round the World sailors: Clare Francis, Tracy Edwards and Ellen MacArthur and to get a dinghy sailor’s experience of winning gold medals at the Olympics from Shirley Robertson.