Itchenor Sailing Club have elected long-standing club member Charles Hyatt as their new commodore. He will take over from Andrew Dunlop, who has been commodore for the past five years.
Hyatt said: “I am honoured to have been asked and excited about the opportunities ahead for our club. Since first sailing at Itchenor in 1984, the club has seen many changes – but never, I think, has it looked in such good shape, with a fantastic sailing programme, strong membership, well-maintained buildings and boats, financial soundness and excellent quality staff.
“I very much look forward to building on this for the future.”
Hyatt joined the club 30 years ago and in that time he has sailed everything from International 14s and Swallows to RS200s and K6s. Sailing has taken him all over the world and has seen him take part in the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race and Rolex Fastnet Race.
He has also sailed Hobie 16s as a member of the Hong Kong Hobie Club and enjoyed many family sailing holidays in cruising yachts. In 2011 and 2012 he completed his Yachtmaster Offshore and Ocean qualifications.
Hyatt has had a great deal of experience in engineering, finance and project management; skills that will be well used in his position as commodore.
He said: “I have listened carefully to the ideas and feedback people have given me over the past few months and would like to do everything possible to get even more people on the water and to grow our membership. It would be brilliant to be able to buck the trend of declining membership at sailing clubs generally and I look forward to taking on the challenge.”
Hyatt has been behind the successful running of Schools Week for the past two years, helping to grow the week into one of the key junior sailing events in Chichester Harbour.
The Itchenor committee say they are confident Hyatt will achieve his ambitions, drawing more members to the club.