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 Northumbrian Windsurfing Club : General
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melvyn bird
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Posted: 11 June 2006 at 10:08am | IP Logged Quote melvyn bird

£15 too sail at derwent , all day or half a day,must be the most expensive rate in the uk ,



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Ross
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Posted: 11 June 2006 at 10:57am | IP Logged Quote Ross

Is that right?

Have they removed their half day (after 2pm) rate now?

Can anyone comment on this? Nick?
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melvyn bird
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Posted: 11 June 2006 at 1:18pm | IP Logged Quote melvyn bird

arrived at 2pm , expected to pay £7.50 but no , its now £15  as they r trying to boost membership.



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Ross
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Posted: 11 June 2006 at 4:46pm | IP Logged Quote Ross

Melvyn, I'm really sorry to hear that. £15 for half a day's sailing is way too high. Even Queen Mary's in London is cheaper than that. Are they trying to discourage windsurfing, or has there been some terrible mistake?

I look forward to a comment by Nick, our windsurfing friend who is based there.
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Ian Rienewerf
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Posted: 11 June 2006 at 6:52pm | IP Logged Quote Ian Rienewerf

One way to boost membership I suppose.

The sailing clubs last effort several years (or decades) ago involved the jobsworth at the gate refusing me access for 5 minutes to look around the facilities there, with a view to add Derwent to my sailing venues.

Their point blank refusal to allow me past the gates unless I was a member put me right off. As a result I have never bothered to make the trip and risk another hostile reception.

I suppose the NEWS event is the only time I can guarantee a friendly and cost effective welcome.
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Gavin Duthie
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Posted: 12 June 2006 at 8:41am | IP Logged Quote Gavin Duthie

Steve Boyd was saying to me that new launching sites are to be created by the dam, and I'm sure he said these would not be administered by our friends at DSC.

Moves by NW to improve use of the water or something ?

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Ian Rienewerf
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Posted: 12 June 2006 at 8:54am | IP Logged Quote Ian Rienewerf

Here's hoping! - I for one would like to sail Derwent.

With £15 sailing fees, a 2 hour drive & fuel costs, and unpredictable weather - It would need to be worth my while.

2 days sailing at Ullswater is more realistic with overnight camping thrown in for the same cost.
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nicksalloway
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Posted: 12 June 2006 at 1:03pm | IP Logged Quote nicksalloway

Hi Guys

I was recently made aware that the club council were considering a proposal to scrap the ½ day fee however I was unaware (I’m no longer the Company Secretary) that it had been formally implemented.

When I was made aware of the proposal by the club’s treasurer (also a windsurfer) I raised my concerns about the relatively high cost of day sailing/windsurfing at Derwent with the club’s Commodore. I also expressed my [greater] concern that scrapping the ½ day fee or even substantially raising it would send the wrong message to the regional windsurfing community.

Regarding my personal feelings about DRSC day fees (including the ½ day fee) I have discussed this at length on this forum previously. Go here to see my comments:

I still maintain that the club’s first priority must always be to keep the business solvent; however on the specific issue of scrapping the ½ day fee, I am entirely with you. In my opinion, £15 for what is (in most cases) a half day’s sailing is too much. I am also concerned that after all my hard work to build bridges with local windsurfers who previously believed they were unwelcome at DRSC, taking away the ½ day ticket option does have the potential reintroduce the inaccurate perception that windsurfers are unwelcome at DRSC. In other words, inadvertently or not, I believe it DOES send out the wrong message to the local windsurfing community.

With this in mind, I’ve just had a discussion with the club’s Commodore. By way of explanation; what the club is trying to do is introduce some differentiation between the [day sailing] charges for dinghies and windsurfers. This is largely because a dinghy is usually crewed by more than one person and the club thinks this should be reflected in a higher fee. If you look at the charges, you will see that the fee for launching a dinghy is double that of a windsurfer. That said, I still think £15 is too much for a ½ Day and I’ve expressed this very clearly to the Commodore.

Although he can’t just go back on the decision to scrap the ½ day fee without first consulting the clubs council of management, he has committed to review the comments on this site and to raise my concerns at their next meeting. If this yields any revised proposals, I will let you know!

Finally, I’d really like to nail this ‘Not Welcome at DRSC’ thing one and for all.

I accept that in the past, certain people at the club have wrongly given the impression to visitors that they were not welcome, the club has taken a number of measures over the last few years to try and ensure that a visitor’s ‘first contact’ with the club is made with a friendly face.  It is simply not the case that there is any kind of anti-windsurfer sentiment. If there was, I would be the first one to kick up a stink!

The simple fact is that the club is trying to find a way to encourage windsurfers to join rather than day sail.Of course, I completely agree that to take this approach to recruiting new windsurfing members is to entirely misunderstand the transient nature of windsurfers in the first place, a point which I have argued innumerable times in the past!

The club is making policy decisions based on implementation of its business plan. You are all still very welcome at Derwent, and if you have had a negative experience when visiting the club recently, please let me know so I can raise it with the Commodore and have something done about it.

Cheers Fellas
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Peter Amos
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Posted: 12 June 2006 at 1:42pm | IP Logged Quote Peter Amos

Nick

If you want to encourage windsurfers to join recognise some important differences between us and the boat sailors.

1 We usually do it alone. One of us rather than a family

2 Launching is a solo affair and no cluttering up of ramps with boat trailers etc.

3 We don't need rescue cover, at least we don't expect it.

4 We don't need or want to be organised for racing.

5 We don't expect tuition.

6 In the  summer we don't expect to use the changing rooms

7 We will eat your food and drink your beer if the opportunity allows.

8 Generally we are not expecting to get involved in the running of the club or contributing to day to day upkeep and management

9 We will be sailng elsewhere and only going to DRSC when the conditions at the coast are not suitable.

10 We are not likely to sail all day. 2-4 hours is the norm.

11  If it's too expensive and £15 is, we won't come and you will have no income

Why not offer the half day as well as the full day rate, price membership as windsurfer more realistically and allow day fees to be set off against membership if signed up for within say 2 months of start of season.

Ladyburn lake has this arrangement (or at least it used to) Membership for season at QEII and Ladyburn are I think around £35-£40 pa. Others can confirm.

I accept that as a club you offer other facilities and would want to charge more but what are your Joining and Membership fees for windsurfers at present?

Our membership fee is £15 pa but we have no facilities to maintain apart from the Website but this does however make it a difficult comparison with your Day rate for members to accept.

I have enjoyed sailing at Derwent in the past and never been made to feel unwelcome. I hope to sail there again but it will need something exceptional to make £15 acceptable



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nicksalloway
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Posted: 12 June 2006 at 2:26pm | IP Logged Quote nicksalloway

Hi Peter

As far as your points 1-11 go, you’re preaching to the converted with me mate! As mentioned though, I have suggested to the club Commodore that he take a look at some of the comments in this forum.

With respect to some of your other points:

Peter Amos wrote:

allow day fees to be set off against membership if signed up for within say 2 months of start of season

You can. It has always been the case that you can redeem up to a maximum of £40 off your fees if you present your day sailing tickets with a membership application. As far as I’m aware this arrangement is still in place.

Peter Amos wrote:

- Membership for season at QEII and Ladyburn are I think around £35-£40 pa.

- what are your Joining and Membership fees for windsurfers at present?

- Our membership fee is £15 pa but we have no facilities to maintain apart from the Website but this does however make it a difficult comparison with your Day rate for members to accept.


There’s really no comparison here. I think the joining fee is £30 and a single ordinary member is £175 – which in my opinion, when compared with the quality of sailing and facilities on offer at QEII/Ladyburn doesn’t seem unreasonable, particularly if you sail at Derwent regularly.

The issue here is what’s reasonable for a day fee. Remember, Derwent does have upwards of 40 windsurfing members already. It’s not in the clubs or their interests to make either the annual or day fees ridiculously cheap. An organised club with all the overhead that entails will always be more expensive than something like NWC.


Cheers

N

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Phil Jerry
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Posted: 12 June 2006 at 2:39pm | IP Logged Quote Phil Jerry

Just thought I would add a little to this not that the outcome will affect me  one way or the other.

I have sailed at DRSC for a number of years1996-2002(ish I was a member) through the university windsurfing club and then the odd bit of day sailing thereafter.  During that time I dont recall any negative comments about windurfers even though we habitually paid our membership fees late and regularly had beginners wander off into the middle of dinghy races.  Early on I percieved a little bit of a them and us type attitude from some of the dinghy sailors but realistically I think that is because the majority of windsurfer and the majority of dinghy sailors sail in different wind strengths so there wasn't too much mixing. When the wind was up there was certainly a very friendly regular crowd of windsurfers on the water.

The fees do seem ridiculous unfortunately.

Anyone know anymore about the new launching sites?  I thought northumbria water rules stated there had to be safety cover on the water for people to use it so how will that work?

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nicksalloway
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Posted: 12 June 2006 at 2:47pm | IP Logged Quote nicksalloway

Phil Jerry wrote:
Anyone know anymore about the new launching sites?  I thought northumbria water rules stated there had to be safety cover on the water for people to use it so how will that work?


Sorry guys, meant to mention this

As far as I'm aware, there are definitely NO plans to provide new launching points around the lake. The club has a 30 year lease on the lake which guarantees them exclusive use of the water for sailing purposes. If the water company were to provide new launching points, this would undermine the club and jeopardise its very existence.

On a slightly different note, we are currently negotiating with NWL to remove the requirement for mandatory safety cover while we are sailing. If this happens, launching will still be restricted to the area in front of the club; however the number of days we can sail will obviously be greatly increased, making the £175 for an annual membership much better value for money.

Cheers

N

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Peter Amos
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Posted: 12 June 2006 at 6:09pm | IP Logged Quote Peter Amos

NIck

I expect your existing members join not just for financial reasons. They want to be part of the club. They may live much more locally than we do and will still pay the membership fee even if paying on a day or half day rate would be cheaper. The points that I was making is that if your club wants to encourage other users on the water on an occassional basis, ie those who will not join then they need to reduce the cost per visit or they will loose all income from us.

I appreciate your efforts in the past and my comments are more directed to your committee. It is your Club and of course you must run it as your committee deems best, we are not trying to interfere only be able to have the occassional use of an excellent water facility in the right conditions.

Opening up more frequently, ie with no safety cover would no doubt be beneficial and at at this time of year an evening sail is do-able, but not at £15 a go.



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nicksalloway
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Posted: 13 June 2006 at 1:40pm | IP Logged Quote nicksalloway

Hi Peter

To be honest our members come from all over the region - some from as far away as Darlington. Most of them come in the first place because they want to sail inland but they incariably stay becuase of the quality of the sailing.

Totally agree with your main point about encouraging occasional users though.

Cheers
Nick


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