Minutes of the 79th Annual General Meeting of the Oxford and Cambridge Sailing Society at Kellogg College Oxford on Saturday 28th September 2019, being the 85th Anniversary of the Society
Anthony Butler took the chair and the meeting began at 19.15hrs with 15 members present.
Apologies were received from the President (Patrick Bird was in Doha cheering on his daughter who was running for GB in the World Athletics Championships 3000m steeplechase), Claire Lasko (Hon Treasurer), Fiona Hampshire (Hon Secretary), Tom Low (Investments), Katie Nurton (Port), and Ben Rahemtulla and Kathryn Twemlow (incoming committee members).
Minutes of 78th AGM
As no amendments had been circulated or proposed, the minutes of the 2018 AGM were approved as published on the website.
No new members have been elected since last year’s AGM. A ‘catch up’ operation is in progress for students who went down last June
The Society teams had a good year on the water. Some of the highlights follow.
Two teams entered the Oxford Magnum in November 2018. The (part) Society Exodus team were victorious and the ‘official’ (full) Society team finished 2nd in the Silver league.
The Society finished runners-up in the Carmela Cup in January 2019, with eight teams contesting the Cup in J80s. The Society team were again runners up in the Wessex Winter Warmer.
In May the Society reached the quarter finals at the Wilson Trophy – an excellent result. In the annual derby against Itchenor in Swallows the contest and went the home club’s way 4-2, a reversal of last year’s result.
There was a good attendance at the 101st Varsity Match dinner at Aldeburgh YC in July with several members assisting the Aldeburgh team during the event under the excellent leadership of Mike Hayles, President of the CUCrC. Cambridge retained the Varsity Match trophies in both the Open and Ladies series.
The outcome of the NBYC match in White Boats at Wroxham was a close 3-4 defeat for the Society at the end of August.
Tom Low led a team competing in the Lymington Scows Challenge in September and they were placed 3rd out of 8 teams, with Royal Lymington taking the first two places. The event is a club fleet race rather than a true team race event.
There were a good many Society members contributing to the UK team’s success in the British-American Cup (19-21 Sep). Jon Pinner, Tom Heywood, Fiona Hampshire, Greg Hall and Arthur Henderson were part of the team that triumphed 1, 2, 3 over a Seawanhaka Yacht Club side in the ‘winner takes all’ final race. Congratulations to everyone involved!
On the individual members front, congratulations to Sarah Treseder (Magdalen, Oxf 1988) on being awarded an OBE in the recent Birthday Honours list for her services to sport in her capacity as CEO of the RYA. Sarah has worked tirelessly for a good many years to raise the RYA’s profile and importance, and she has also established a creative, hard-working, and friendly environment in the organisation.
It was noted that the Treasurer’s report and accounts for both 2017 and 2018 were now available and published on the website. The acceptance of the accounts was proposed by Andrew Reid and seconded by John Aston, with the recommendation that the layout be revised in the light of the current size of the Society’s investments and their disposition in equity markets.
An investment report was submitted by Tom Low, as follows.
Year-to-date we have seen a satisfactory appreciation of around 8% on the capital value of our portfolio and an income of around 4%. The total value of the portfolio stands at £20,000.
The Artemis Strategic Bond fund (16.3% of portfolio) has appreciated 7.4%.
The JP Morgan Claverhouse Investment Trust (28.5% of portfolio) has appreciated 6.7%.
The JO Hambro UK Dynamic fund (33.5% of portfolio) has appreciated 12.3%.
Vontobel TwentyFour Absolute Return (15.9% of portfolio) has appreciated 3.8%.
We also have £1,160 cash derived from natural yield over the past two years.
It has been a tricky market this year and although these funds have not ‘shot the lights out’, they have demonstrated a slow and steady capital appreciation while generating a good natural yield.
The adjustments made to the portfolio last December have worked out well in general. Currently 62% of the portfolio is equity, 32% is fixed interest or absolute return, and 5% is cash.
The current bull market run will inevitably come to an end some time, but there seems no reason to make any major changes to our investments at this point in time.
A report on the Society’s port was submitted by Katie Nurton, as follows.
We have 195 bottles of port in stock, mostly in storage at Berry Brothers.
This year, we invested in two cases of 2017 vintage port at a cost of £567. This will keep us well stocked for some decades to come – these acquisitions will be at their best in 2040! The details are as follows.
Taylors: big-shouldered yet refined, as grand and noble a Taylor’s as ever.
Croft: intriguing wild herb aromas and cool, fresh fruit, a fascinating combination to evolve over the coming decades.
We may have a very few bottles of the excellent 1997 Smith Woodhouse available for sale to members – perfect for Christmas Day. Look out for details in the next email or contact Katie directly.
Tonight we will be drinking 1997 Quarles Harris. Chris Pugh has the tasting notes and will announce them at the dinner.
It was suggested that it would be helpful in future to give some indication of the current value of the Society’s port.
Election of President and Officers
There being no opposing nominations, the Chairman declared Patrick Bird elected President, Claire Lasko Hon Treasurer, and Fiona Hampshire Hon Secretary.
All three elections were met with acclamation.
There being no opposing nominations, Anthony Butler (Web), Phil Derry, Ed Grieg-Gran, Tom Haywood, Sam Jenkins (Web and Generations), Tom Low (Investments), Ben Rahemtulla, and Kathryn Twemlow were declared elected to the Committee, with acclamation.
It was noted that Phil Derry’s involvement with the Committee would be from a distance in future because work commitments keep him in Europe for much of his time.
Change in Society’s Financial Year
The meeting recommended that the Committee consider moving the end of the Society’s financial year from 31 Dec to 30 Jun – to better coincide with the timing of the AGM. It was noted that a change of rules would be required. The lack of alignment between the Investment Report and the Accounts had already been raised by the meeting.
Will Henderson proposed and Jeremy Atkins seconded the traditional vote of thanks to Anthony Butler for his ‘most obliging conduct in the chair’.
There being no other business, the meeting closed at 19.35hrs with vote of thanks by acclamation to Phil Derry for all his work in organising the day’s sailing.