Why did you join the CBYA?

Having owned a house in the area for 12 years and visited on a regular basis, we had decided that, with retirement from Saudi Arabia in April 2003, and permanent residence, selling up and having a new house built was a good idea!!  Retirement to a caravan on a building site was a little foolhardy, and although the end result was spectacular, we needed a life in the meantime. We had joined the Costa Blanca Mountain Walkers, but our first love was sailing. Enter Brenda Bates, out walking, who was also part of a club just setting up for owners of boats, and people interested in crewing. Thank you, Brenda!

What was a memorable first experience of the CBYA?

I think it was the passion of the founder members. Every new member was important, especially sailors, numbers at that time were probably less than 30 people. Such a small group so welcoming. Ron Shanson, Mike Arnold, John King, Martin Charman, Chris Middleton, all had boats and were generous with their time. Brenda and Diana Jarvis, great social organisers and friends. Where would the club have been without them all and their generosity, including hosting events in their homes. A close-knit family more than a Club!  More boat owners appeared, Maurice Pilkington with Maid of Moraira and John Godfrey in Calpe with Mary Poppins. A lot of fun on the water, so many stories! The addition of Richard Jones and his lovely new yacht TrickyD made the next few years particularly exciting, including for us, joining him in Corfu for two fantastic weeks, as well as all the fun racing.

What was your role(s) and how did this change over the years?

Piers became Treasurer within the year, and stayed in that position for over 4 years. I continued to be a willing and eager “dogsbody”!

Enjoying the good life!

What achievement are you most proud of?

By 2005, all in the club were delighted when Chris Middleton, committee member taxed with finally steering the Costa Blanca Boat Club (CBBC) through the Spanish legal and language maze was successful, helped by so many people, including some from the Real Club Náutico Calpe (RCNC) already in the Federation,  and the CBYA came into being, with its close ties with RCNC having been cemented.

Give us an amusing anecdote…???

So many in such a fun club, but it has to be our first invitation to join Ron and Faye on their catamaran MiFleur which Ron intimated was always a work in progress. He found out after setting sail for Formentera that the last “work in progress” had not been totally successful as the engine compartment was leaking! No problem!  A bailing party was quickly organized among the men, fantastic food appeared from Faye and autopilot on, Ron kept us all enthralled from his Captain’s chair (literally a chair) with his life stories e.g. Did you know he was a very young cruise ship’s doctor?  Never did a journey go faster, or with more laughter. Especially the final quote from Ron with that twinkle in his eye …..”I do love a captive audience”!

CBYA Isle of Wight trip

What are your hopes for the future of CBYA?

It says a lot for the health of the Club, not only that so many of the “old brigade” are still active, but that there are so many new activities. This new generation of committee, and don’t forget their willing “dogsbodies”, must be congratulated on their achievements. The club has become very big, but the charters, the dinghies, the TOMs, the many social activities help smaller groups to diversify. Good job, couldn’t ask for more.

Many thanks Izzy & Piers – you have both played important parts in the growth of the CBYA, now you can just to continue to enjoy the fruits of your labours!