Now that’s what I call an Open Weekend! Glorious sunshine, ideal steady, generally light westerly wind, and not too much other river traffic. Best of all a record number of visitors through the door. At one time on Sunday every available dinghy and both patrol boats, full of visitors, were out on the water. That was quite a sight.
Both days were very well attended. On Saturday we hosted 17 groups comprising 43 people and on Sunday we had 24 groups comprising 60 people; the most we have had by a big margin. Publicity stats indicated that our banners, posters, Chestnut Sunday and friends recommendations accounted for how most people had got to hear about the event.
In addition we had a visit from Steve Mitchell who is the RYA Thames Valley & London Regional Development Officer. He was dropping in on clubs in the area who were supporting the RYA Push the Boat Out initiative. He provided some interesting insights into club development and available Sport England grants. I think we may be talking to him again quite soon.
It was good to see so many existing members at the club over the weekend helping out by talking to our visitors, sorting out buoyancy aids for them, generally getting them in and out of the boats and providing club information. Our team of helms did an outstanding job and barely had time for a cup of tea between ‘trips’. The catering was great with refreshments available throughout the weekend for both members and visitors alike. I have never seen Pat’s lunchtime ‘burger bar’ so busy. A onetime the queue stretched almost the length of the quarter deck. Mike Hendra was extremely busy behind the bar on both days.
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Feedback from our visitors was very positive with the sheer friendliness and the atmosphere of the club very high on their list. Many took away membership application details and indicated that they would like to return over the coming weeks. We now need to follow up and ensure that as many of our visitors as possible make the transition to actual membership.
Your help with this is vital in ensuring that, as and when any of them return to the club, they are met, greeted and introduced around.
On behalf of the AQSC Management Committee I would like to thank everybody who worked so hard to make this event the success it undoubtedly was, both ahead of and on the actual weekend. Thank you all so much, your efforts were much appreciated.
We now have a bit of a break until the Molesey Carnival on 6 June. AQSC will have a stand and a boat at this event to promote the club. Hopefully some of you might like to come along and support the team.
Mike Baker (AQSC VC – Programme
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