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No More Commodore… A Rant!

December 12, 2010
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I have a reptation for saying what I mean, so here goes…  I have been sorely disappointed this season by the boatowners in the Cat Club.  A club like ths needs people in order to work.  And only a very few people are getting involved.  If we’re not careful, the club will die.

People in costume lined up in front of sailing boats

The 2008 Turkey Race, when people cared.

In my last blog, I jestingly promised to resign my position as Commodore of Kuwait Sailing Club in the New Year.  Or at least, I thought it was in jest, but having pondered the issue for over a day now, I actually think it’s quite a good idea.  The club is floundering, and it needs someone to drive it off the rocks.

I have, together with Marc (and I don’t think I am bigheaded saying this), done a fantastic job over the last few years.  Since the two clubs reunited, we have had a full-blown regatta with trophies and sponsorship by TEC (until TEC kicked us out of Fahaheel!); we have had regular BBQs, we have had Turkey Races, Campouts, briefings for campouts…  But all because Marc and I were pushing people.

When we were forced to move to Messilah (and thank you, Kuwait Sea Sports Club, for having us), we thought it would be a good idea to create a committee so that the members could start organising things. Here are the positions we created:

Treasurer

John Morley is our Number One man, and as Treasurer, and he diligently collects money, hands out money in exchange for receipts, goes shopping for softies and things…

Safety Officer

Marc of course still serves needs as Safety Officer / GDB.  But the rest???

Social Secretaries

We need social events.  Races followed by BBQs, Social Nights with BBQs, sailing picnics, campouts, Cheese and Juice Nights; and I’m currently arranging them all.

Equipment Officer

Our Equipment Officer apparently made a handwritten list of boat bits.  I forwarded an email from a club member who was asking for parts, and was told to see my husband!  We need someone to check and maintain that equipment list, and yet again it’s going to be me.

Expeditions Officer

So far this year I have arranged two expeditions – one to Kubbar Island, 16 miles offshore, and one pilgimmage to the not so far and distant shores.  I checked out the beaches by car, and put photos, charts and googles maps in Powerpoint presentations.  I stll have them, if you want!

Media Relations Officer

I used to put race reports together with photos in the local paper after nearly every race.  And certainly after big events, like the Turkey Race.  And I used to send this report to the group, so everyone could have a laugh.  Now we have someone to do this, and I wait with baited breath for the next copy of Arab Times.

Refreshments Officer

Since accepting the responsibility of keeping the club stocked with drinks and charcoal 2 months ago, we haven’t seen or heard from the Refreshments Officer again.  So we’re down to Diet Coke and Diet 7-Up in the store. Which is fine, ‘cos I like Diet Coke.

Rear Commodore Racing

I will admit, Gjalt is doing a cool job as race officer.  In the six months, we have had at least two races down to cardinal and back.  And we have a safety boat now!  Hopefully, other boatowners will start to join us for the racing.

Membership Secretary

Last year it took me three months to collect ‘berthing fees’ from the boatowners.  This year, the fees will have to go up due to abandoned boats etc.  Even if we ask owners who don’t use their boats to take them out, we still pay a fixed total divided by the number of boats.  Vicky, God Bless Her, has volunteered for this thankless task this year.  She will be given a sainthood if I have anything to do with it!

Commodore

Finally… Me.  I’m clearly doing a crap job at this.  If I ask people to do stuff, they think I’m being bossy.  One guy, in particular, makes it no secret that he thinks I’m a bossy cow.  Consequently I worry about asking people to do stuff.

And emails.  If you remind me of something, I’ll usually say “Thanks, I’d forgotten.  Can you send a message around the group?”  If you have an amazing idea, I’ll say “That’s a great idea, can you email it around?”  If you thank me for arranging something I’ll say, “Thanks, but can you email that around the group to let the club know how successful it was, so they think we’re having fun and come out to play too!”

So what happens?  People sometimes send these emails, but always say “Kate says….”  NO.  I don’t say.  If I was saying it, I’d send an email.  And I do send emails.  So many that I’m apparently ‘nagging’.  SO I have stopped sending email trying to co-erce people out sailing.

So, take the Turkey Race.  Corinna did a fantastic job of arranging it this year.  And only two catamaran owners and one dinghy owner had the courtesy to rig up a boat.  Although I should thank the skippers who lent their boats to spare crew.  Had I not sent enough reminders and hints? Clearly not.

How ungrateful is that.  I was all for cancelling the Turkey Race next year.  I just hope that Vicky has better luck drumming up interest next year.

Sailors in front of their boats.

The Hardy Loyals who still care in 2010.

My conclusion?  I clearly have no idea how to lead people.  I seem unable to achieve a happy medium.  If I try to ask someone else, either I get labelled ‘bossy’, or I simply get ignored.  I admit defeat.  I resign.  I beg you to take on one of the roles listed above if you want to see catamaran sailing in Kuwait survive.

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