Royal Southern YC News: Members elect first lady Commodore for 10 years

Royal Southern Yacht Club AGM elections herald new beginnings as the first lady Commodore for ten years takes over the helm
Hamble, Hampshire, UK 
L-R: Robert Vose, Karen Henderson-Williams, Graham Nixon 
& John Rutherford. Photo: Phil Riley

At Saturday’s Royal Southern Yacht Club AGM (26th November), the following Flag Officers were elected:
Commodore – Karen Henderson-Williams
Vice Commodore – Graham Nixon
Rear Commodore Sailing – Robert Vose
Rear Commodore House – John Rutherford
Follows an excerpt from the speech given by the newly elected Commodore, Karen Henderson-Williams to members:
“I would like to thank you for electing me as your new Commodore. It is a great honour and privilege and I will do my very best to represent all the members in the year ahead. I was particularly delighted to be proposed for this role by our first Lady Commodore, Mrs Annette Newton, and seconded by the leader of Youth, Dr Mark Tomson.  I am following Annette as the Club’s second female Commodore, ten years on from Annette’s tenure. It is a milestone for yacht clubs to have female Flag officers even in the present day and I am pleased to have been chosen to take on that role. 
“Looking forward as your Commodore, I intend to be open and transparent and I am confident I will be fully supported by the team around me, as well as my husband David, who has continued to support me throughout my time as a member and a Flag.
Most importantly, members must enjoy our club, enjoy supporting our staff and enjoy volunteering. Sometimes it is hard work and volunteers will only do this if we bring back the fun side of the role.
“The sailing programme for next year is very full and exciting and I am sure will offer members and guests a full year of activities that will promote our Club on the water and ashore and give enjoyment for all of us.
“We must ensure the Club continues to thrive and build its reputation for the future generation.  I will do my utmost to help that happen. I strongly believe in our Club and I wish it to be a happy Club that runs events for all sections and is inclusive for all members, whatever interests you have.
“I look forward to supporting all areas of the Club whether it be racing, race management, cruising, motor boating, Splash, Academy, the sub-committees and the good work of our Ladies Committee.  Our special thanks go to the Ladies Committee for all their hard work raising money for their chosen charities and for the funds they have raised for the Club.  I will do my best to support you all.”
 – ends –
Royal Southern Yacht Club Notes to Editors:
  • Sailing Today ‘Yacht Club of the Year’ 2015/2016.
  • Yachts & Yachting ‘Club of the Year’ 2012/2013.
  • The Club celebrated its 175th Anniversary in 2012. The Royal Southern, whose Patron is HRH The Prince Philip Duke of Edinburgh K.G. K.T., is one of Europe’s premier yacht racing organisers, excelling at all levels of competition and enjoying the practical experience of internationally qualified race officers amongst its members.  Many of the Club’s sailing members have achieved notable successes on the international stage, from world champions in dinghies and keelboats to the twice winner of the classic Rolex Fastnet Race.
  • Quadruple Olympic Gold and Silver Medallist, & America’s Cup winning sailor Sir Ben Ainslie, and single-handed circumnavigators, Samantha Davies, Sir Chay Blyth and Sir Robin Knox-Johnston are all Honorary Members as is disabled yachtsman and disability sports ambassador Geoff Holt MBE and Paralympic Gold medallist Helena Lucas MBE. The latest name to be added to this distinguished Honorary Membership list is that of Ian Williams, 5 x World Match Racing Champion.
  • The Prince Philip Yacht Haven was commissioned by the Club’s Patron, HRH The Duke of Edinburgh, on 4th June 2015.  This was the culmination of a project that had commenced 14 years previously.
  • The Club has a proud and illustrious history in the sport and an active membership in excess of 1700 adults and 140 Academy members.
  • Having joined the Royal Southern Yacht Club in 1948, it was in 1952 that HRH Prince Philip Duke of Edinburgh graciously accepted the rank of Admiral, a position he held until 2002, when the Club was honoured by his acceptance of its proposal that he become the Club’s fifth Patron, following in the footsteps of HM Queen Victoria, HRH The Prince Consort, HM King Edward VII and HM King George V.