Duties? What duties?
As a condition of membership members and their families are required to perform four half day duties per year. These are not in any way onerous and will be based on your experience and ability. Duties include Officer of the Day (OOD), Assistant AOD, Patrol boat helm or crew and serving tea/coffee in the kitchen.
How often are we let down?
Not an issue of Unicorn appears, I am willing to bet, without at least a mention about duties. Invariably, it is one, more or all of the class captains requesting those who cannot make a day allocated to them to ensure that they swap with another class member, inform their class captain and also the respective OODs involved of the change. Now here is another one!
How many times, I wonder, has an OOD when checking with those due to turn up with him (or her), been greeted with one of these responses?
A. "I did a swap with, eh, what’s his name, for, uhm, some time later this year, I’ve forgotten the exact date, and I don’t seem to have made a note of it. Didn’t he (she) tell you?"B. " No, I can’t make it. A few minutes later and you wouldn’t have got me, as we’re just off on holiday for a couple of weeks. No, I haven’t had time to get a substitute. Must dash!"
C. "I’ve left the club. No, I didn’t tell anybody. Is there a problem?"
D. "I don’t do duties on Sundays (or Wednesday evenings, or Saturdays). I only sail during the week".
E. "I don’t do duties. No, I’ve not got a medical condition, I just don’t do duties!"
F. " What duty? What list? When did that go out? Who sent it? The class captain? Well, I never got it ! Everybody else in the class got it? Well, I tell you I never got it. No, I can’t manage a week on Sunday".
G. "Yes, that’s fine, I’ll be there at 9.30. No problem." And they don’t turn up!
I have experienced all of these scenarios at one time or another, but luckily have been able, at short notice, to get a member willing to help out, even although they know that they will not "get a swap" for one of their scheduled stints later in the year, and my grateful thanks to those who stepped into the breach.
Glancing through the Race Results book, it is apparent from the notes appended that I have not been the only one to suffer from these situations. Fortunately, those members who flout the club byelaw that they are expected to carry out duties towards the racing programme, are in the minority. But I think it fair to say that they are potentially ruining a racing session for the majority and, even more seriously, could put members’ lives in danger by not turning out. Shame on them!
The late John Shapley (Rear Commodore)