Who Does What

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The nature of IBRSC means that lots of people do lots of things, and those on the committee tend to do more than one job. This is partly due to a slight shortage of volunteers from the busy lives that people lead, so go on - step forward!


The club is run by two committees: the sailing committee who organise everything to do with races, open meetings, start times etc, and the general committee who organise everything else. The sailing committee is headed by the vice-commodore, the general committee by the commodore. The vice-commodore and sailing secretary sit on both committees.


The general committee is headed by the Commodore, and also includes the vice-commodore, the secretary, the sailing secretary, the treasurer, the publicity officer, the bar manager, the trustees and several 'ordinary' members, drawn from as wide a selection of fleets and age groups as possible.


The club has four 'flag officers', although only the Commodore in fact has a flag: there are two club burgees, which one should be flown depends on whether the Commodore is on the premises. Perhaps they should be called 'parking space officers'.


  • The Commodore
    Formally in charge. Commodores are elected for two years, with an option to extend to three, and may serve one term only. The Commodore has the final say on everything to do with the club, represents us to the RYA and other bodies and is the host at Open meetings and at the AGM. Mike Storey is the man with the flag.

  • The Vice-Commodore:
    As well as being the Commodore's right hand 'person', is responsible for all the club's sailing activities. The current incumbent is Uta Giesenbach.

  • The Rear Commodores House and Works:
    House is everything to do with the maintenance, decoration and amenities for the clubhouse falls into the remit of the RCH. This includes items such as first aid, fire alarms and cookers. Works is responsible for everything except the clubhouse: the major items are the maintenance of berthing, launching, and fencing. The RCW organises the bi-annual working parties, making sure that the appropriate materials and tools are available and supervising the work on the day. Gareth Griffiths is responsible for the building, with David Simpson responsible for the works.

The other officers of the club are:

  • Secretary: deals with correspondence, legal issues such as the lease, liaison with Thames Water, organisation and minuting of general committee meetings, the AGM, and a thousand other vital behind-the-scenes tasks. John Oldham is the current signer-of-letters.

  • Treasurer: Keeping the books is now done by Tessa Groves.

  • Sailing Secretary: responsible for arranging sailing events, any changes to racing and all sailing matters. Richard Barker is the Sailing Secretary - he can be found most weekends in his Phantom

  • Catering Manager: in charge of keeping stocks up for general sailing and also for open meetings. Uta Griesenbach currently has this hat too.

  • Membership Secretary: acts as the main point of contact on all publicity material, keeps membership records, deals with subscriptions and renewals. Laser/RS Vareo Sailor (and father of several more Topper sailors) Dave Baldwin is the current incumbent of this vital role.

  • Team Co-ordinator: organises our duty teams to allocate new members, ensure a correct mix of ages, fleets and skills, and keep helms/crews in the same team, as well as setting the dates for each season. This position - considerably eased by new systems, is currently vacant.

  • Bar Manager: orders and dishes up those important post-sailing lubricants, taking into account changing requirements as the club becomes more sober due to tighter drink-drive laws and more serious sailing. Eddie Holland has taken on the role, one well suited to his long experience in the field.

  • TrySail Officer: We run our adult TrySail scheme from May to August on Tuesday evenings The adult TrySail has been hugely sucessful and was run for many years by Mike Barnard, and then Helen Gerald was duty officer from 2001 to 2003, with the indispensable assistance of a cast of thousands. Noel Reeve then Malcolm Barnes took over and ran the event for a combined amazing ten years (the fourth and fifth Doctor Who of the Trysail) and from 2012 Chris Smith has took over.

  • Junior Sailing Officer: Mike Jones continues to mastermind the Sunday junior training with the help of Peter Curtis and many others, and the hard-working duty teams.

  • RYA Principal: Colin Bristow. Our team of RYA instructors continue to ensure the sailing club offers the highest standard of training for the beginners to the experts to the Royal Yachting Association programme and qualifications.

  • Web and Publicity Officer: the lifeblood of the club is its members. Responsible for advertising and spreading the word, via Yachts and Yachting, local papers, and local events. RS200 / Vareo sailor Nick Marley has the task of spreading the word. Type that domain name carefully; we share our initials with the International Brotherhood of Rogues, Scoundrels and Cads.

  • Trustees: are legally responsible for the club. These brave men are Rob Pettit, John Smith and Tony Tahourdin.



The fleet captains act as the first point of contact for sailing matters, and also organise the berthing for their boats - we have no berthing master. They are:

  • Solo: Paul Playle

  • Laser: Simon Bean

  • Topper/Juniors: Mike Jones

  • RS200: Nick Marley

The other ordinary committee members, i.e. those without particular portfolios, are as follows:

  • Bosun: Alexis Villiers; generally if you break it, confess to Alexis, who will be remarkably mellow and then fix it, probably using the contents of his Aladdin's cave. Of course he'd prefer it if you either didn't break it or fixed it yourself!

New volunteers for all these roles are ALWAYS welcome - many of the current incumbents have been in post for many years, and we should be starting to ease their burden. Help and suggestions from the rest of the members will be received with delight.


Finally, IBRSC honours very special people with honorary memberships. (Of course all the above are special people too!). The current honorary members are:

  • Richard (Dick) Birkhead: the very first Commodore of the club on its foundation as Walton on Thames SC in 1959 on a gravel pit, still living locally and a welcome visitor at our 40th anniversary lunch.

  • The Pettit  family were instrumental in the move to Island Barn.  Rob (ex-commodore) is often at the club with us, and is thus the longest-standing member still sailing.

  • Colin Mattingley and Glen Cole: faithful friends to the sailing club as both as former sailors, active comitee members and then as members of the board of trustees.

  • Mike Barnard: the founder of Trysail and it is some testament that it is still proving so successful.