Raymond joined Rudyard Lake Sailing Club with his wife and their children Graham and Helen in 1967. They joined when the Enterprise fleet was just about at its peak with 40 plus members and 15-20 boats racing each week. He was soon winning races and his record speaks for itself. A record eight times fleet champion and eight times awarded the club top helm trophy, as well as numerous other trophies, some away at Open events.
I had so many battles in races with Ray, we were competitors yes, but all was forgiven at the bar afterwards……well most times! We travelled round to Opens at all the North West clubs, and most Saturdays team racing at home or away flying the flag for Rudyard. A stickler for the rules, it was in the days when if you infringed the rules or hit a mark you had to retire or protest. I can hear Ray now going to sign off and the words “can I have a protest form please!”. All his family sailed; he even let Graham win the championship a few times (Sorry Graham!)
He was captain of the team for the West Lancs. 24hr race at Southport several times and if your performance was slipping, you were brought off and replaced very smartish. Ray was part of a long tradition of club members who have ensured that RLSC has participated in every one of the 24hr races since the event started and we will remember him as we take part in this year’s 50th race.
I remember at the Looe nationals, we were staying on the west side of the fiver and Ray was on the east side. With bad weather forecast he agreed to fly my waterproof trousers at the top of the mast if racing was cancelled. This would allow us more time for breakfast and also save the 1 shilling (10p) fare to cross on the ferry!
Finally, we must remember that Ray was involved in a major project when the showers and toilets were installed. We have a lovely picture of him coming to the top of the ladder in the hole excavated for the septic tank saying “who just tipped that load of cement on me?” (or words to that effect.
Ray was commodore from 1978-1979 and Jean, his wife, President from 1989-1991, and both filled a number of other roles at the club. They were both made life members for their contribution to the club in 1993. Even after moving to Dorset and Parkstone Yacht Club, Ray always supported our reunions and anniversary events.
Bye Bye Ray, they were great times, and thanks for the memory.