Annual Public Meeting January 27th 2023

Minutes of the Annual Public Meeting of the Port of Dartmouth Royal Regatta held in The Guildhall on Friday, 27th January 2023, commencing at 7.30pm.

Present were:

Mayor of Dartmouth – Councillor David Wells


Hilary Bastone (President)                                                                                                                 Ed Botterill (Chair)                                                                                                                         Jenny Pichowski (Treasurer)                                                                                                     John Lagdon (Vice Chair)

Karl Stone (Vice Chair)

Mel Botterill (Secretary)

Laura Campbell

Peter Boote

Carlos Minto

Lucy Wallace

Steve Wallace

Karen Perrow

Jim Cocker

Matt Theaker

Dot Sheppard

Kevin Pyne

David Gent

Peter Avis

Cathy Campos

Jason Aylett

Yorkie Lomas

Dave Sharam

Phil Langman

Marion Donaldson (2nd meeting – to vote on in Feb)

Paul Britton (Harbourmaster)

Members of the Public: 

Cllr David Wells (Mayor)

Phil Pichowski

Ashley Winsor (Stagecoach)

Andy Willison (Stagecoach)

Anjeli Marsh    


1. The Mayor, Cllr David Wells said “What a fantastic Regatta. There has been a Regatta on the River Dart since 1721 when the Silver Oar was given.  The town is grateful to the Committee for all of their hard work, we are a tourist town and this event keeps the town vibrant during the summer in particular.  On behalf of myself and Dartmouth Town Council thank you very much.  Dartmouth is a unique venue and plays host to many rowing and local events.  Dartmouth Town Council are developing different ways to keep the town going.  The Pétanque court is almost finished and there will be a wellbeing garden behind it to honour The Queen.  I thoroughly enjoyed myself last year, a really big thank you.”


2. Apologies were received from:

Linda Howard, Lottie Taylor, Beth Theaker, Ben Theaker, Carleen Martin, Nigel Martin, Jonathan Hawkins.


3. The minutes of the 2022 Annual Public Meeting held on Friday, 28th January 2022 were taken as read and approved.

Proposed by Laura Campbell, seconded by Karl Stone.

4. The Honorary Treasurer, Jenny Pichowski, presented the financial statement of the 2022 Royal Regatta. 

 Reporting on the accounts, The Hon Treasurer said:

“Port of Dartmouth Royal Regatta Annual Public Meeting, Friday 27th January 2023 Good Evening Mr Mayor, Regatta Committee members, Ladies and Gentleman. Thank you for coming along this evening to our annual public meeting, and my second, and last public meeting as Honorary Treasurer of the Port of Dartmouth Royal Regatta. After the losses of 2021, the Committee were up against it doing everything in their power to prevent another loss for 2022. The shopping village adopted a similar traders layout to 2021. This has in turn reduced our trading capacity and income significantly from previous years. With careful planning by Carleen and team we were full to capacity, and not having traders full on both sides of the embankment, I hope you’ll agree, gave a far nicer shopping experience. Traders and sponsorship is our only guaranteed form of income, used year on year to provide another Regatta. Traders income was up on 2021 by 36%, and sponsorship was up by another 19%. The support shown to us by local business and DTC has been truly incredible. Big thanks go to Carleen and Laura (sorry for all the nagging) for working so hard, but as always, it’s a team effort, so thank you Committee, friends, supporters. To summarise (please note that this is a draft copy of the accounts): £ 1st November 2021 – 31st October 2022 Turnover: £143,716 up by 8.5 % compared to 2021 Less operational and running costs: Profit in the region of: £21,000. I would like to finish this report by extending, on behalf of the PODRR, our gratitude to everyone who supported last years event one way or another. A big thank you to the Committee for supporting me as Honorary Treasurer for 2 years, I am looking forward to the next chapter. Once the accounts have been submitted and signed off, if anybody would like to receive a copy, please let me know at the end of the meeting. Thank you. “

Proposed by Ed Botterill, seconded by Paul Brattle.

There were no questions for the Honorary Treasurer.  

*Please note that the accounts will be adopted formally at the February meeting, pending auditing.  


5. To receive the Chairman’s report on the 2022 Royal Regatta.  Ed Botterill, Chairman, read out the following statement:


            “Good Evening, and welcome to you all, Mr Mayor, Mr President, Honorary Stewards, Fellow Committee Members, Ladies, Gentlemen, everyone, Members of the Press and in particular those of who are visiting our Annual Public Meeting for the first time, thank you all for joining us this evening. I must first pass on the sad news that one of our Honorary Stewards, Chris Parr-Ferris sadly passed away on Thursday. Our thoughts and condolences are with his family at this difficult time. I will write and express your condolences and pass on funeral details to the Committee as soon as we receive them.

This evening I have the honour, as your Chairman, of reporting to you on the 177th, 2022 Port of Dartmouth Royal Regatta and outlining some of our plans for the 178th. You will have listened with interest to the Honorary Treasurer’s report, and I must thank Jenny for all of her hard work and for continuing to keep us straight right up to the end as she prepares to step down and the Regatta Committee selects a new Honorary Treasurer this evening. Jenny gave us very positive news, and a strong achievement borne from hard work. Hard work budgeting by our treasurer – and making the Committee stick to it, but also hard work by being set optimistic and challenging goals, in particular for sponsorship and trader income. Indeed both of these goals were achieved and exceeded by Laura Campbell and Carleen Martin, and deserved praise must go to them as well as Jenny Pichowski for keeping us focused. Jenny starts her process of metamorphosis from Treasurer to Vice-Chairman this evening and the Committee will be tasked with likely selecting Paul Brattle as our new Treasurer after this APM.

This time last year I had to report an £11k loss to you from Regatta 2021, so we have recouped that loss in 2022, back to a nil sum game, and added approximately £10k to it. The Committee will also be discussing at our meeting following this APM what we might do with our excess of income, and the options are varied:


·       savings for inevitable unforeseen circumstances.

·       savings for provision of new boats.

·       additional free activities at Regatta this summer.

·       charitable donations.

·       helping those in a less fortunate position than ourselves.


All are equally likely, as is a combination of all 5 or more options, so I won’t pre-judge the Committee’s discussions and decisions.


So far this year, we as your Regatta Committee have been busy. Busy meeting, booking, advertising and arranging, and as a result the shape of our 178th Regatta is becoming clearer daily. We continue to work in detail with DCC and SHDC through John Lagdon, and remain delighted that the South Embankment will continue as the vibrant outdoor space for local businesses that we have seen over the last three years now – long may it remain, and Hilary could you again please pass on our heartfelt thank you to SHDC for their continued support, we will make a formal vote of thanks later.


Our relationship with DTC, Mr Mayor, David, is second to none and remaining hand in glove to be honest. Your support is unwavering, generous, and flexible. We are also very fortunate to be in the unique position of having a Town Councillor on the Regatta Committee. Cathy is absolutely invaluable, provides guidance, assistance and unrivalled liaison directly with the heart of the community, and we also look forward to welcoming DTC as a Major Sponsor again in 2023.


We have already been busy as a Committee already in advance of Regatta 2023, with agreements in place already for:

·       Liaison and opportunities with Local businesses started in person with Matt and Beth Theaker in November 2022, ahead of all other traders outside TQ6 and they remain at our heart, with new businesses taking up so much of our trading space now. Indeed we have less than 10 trading spaces remaining and we haven’t even opened it up to the wider audience yet.

·       Hoping, through Karl Stone, to offer opportunities to work together with the Dartmouth Youth Club.

·       A continuing and ever Increasing rowing focus through Hilary, with new competition planned and more ocean rowing over the Regatta week which was such a success in 2022.

·       Mark Green is moving the Kontiki raft race to Regatta Saturday, and David I’m planning to hold you to.. was it 2 x teams from the Town Councillors?!

·       Peter Boote’s JRSC sailing entries already coming in.

·       Even more free Music at the Bandstand with both Lottie Taylor and John. With sponsors old, new and anonymous specifying that they want to support free local music in the heart of town and Regatta.

·       Three days in the Old Market for Linda Howard to fill and draw visitors into the heart of town.

·       A return of the Firewalk, David, Hilary, Karen, Laura, Carleen, Nigel are you ready to ‘go again’, and others for the first time?! On a different day, and in a new location, but still in support local charities at the heart of our community.


Ladies, Gentlemen, everyone, it doesn’t all come for free, and we are tremendously grateful to all of our sponsors, donors and so many people who give their time for free, routinely booking time off work to help. Every scrap of what your Committee work tirelessly to achieve for their community is done for love, and neither reward, advantage nor profit. Love of the event, love of our town, love of our community and love of trying to do our utmost to make our year, your year, our visitors year just a little bit better by attending your Royal Regatta in 2023.


We as a Committee take our responsibilities seriously – and are tremendously conscious  of our supporters, community facilitators, local businesses, and sponsors throughout the district and particularly in the town that we all love – and we must also support both their and our reputation in turn. So, as we sit here in our public meeting, to which the public have been invited, presenting our accounts and plans for the future to the public – we are an open book. We are here because we love our historic, honourable, and nationally highly regarded event, and thus will continue to respond robustly to misrepresentation, devilment and dishonesty; I’m minded of a mis-quote from The Wire ‘If you come at the Regatta, you best not miss’. This is a serious endeavour and we continue to take it seriously.

I will leave you, hopefully, secure in the knowledge that your Royal Regatta Committee are well amongst getting all of our moving parts in place for the 178th Port of Dartmouth Royal Regatta and an Opening Ceremony in 208 days time.”

 Proposed by Cathy Campos, seconded by Jim Cocker.


6. To confirm that a Royal Regatta will be held in 2023 and the dates be Thursday, Friday and Saturday, 24, 25 and 26 August, incorporating events throughout the week 19-26 Aug 23.

Proposed by Laura Campbell.  Dot Sheppard seconded.

7. To confirm the 2023 Port of Dartmouth Royal Regatta Committee, with power to add.

Hilary Bastone, Ed Botterill, Jenny Pichowski, John Lagdon, Karl Stone, Mel Botterill, Paul Brattle, Kevin Pyne, Carlos Minto, Jason Aylett, David Gent, Linda Howard, Karen Perrow, Carleen Martin, Nigel Martin, Yorkie Lomas, Jonathan Hawkins, Peter Boote, Lucy Wallace, Steve Wallace, Mark Green, Phil Langman, Peter Avis, Beth Theaker, Matt Theaker, Ben Theaker, Laura Campbell, Cathy Campos, Lottie Taylor, Jim Cocker, Dot Sheppard.                                                                                                

Proposed by Karl Stone, seconded by David Gent.


8.     To move votes of thanks to Devon County Council, South Hams District Council, Dartmouth Town Council, Dart Harbour, Britannia Royal Naval College, and the Dart Harbour and Navigation Authority for the various privileges granted and to request similar facilities for 2023.  Proposed by Ed Botterill, seconded by Kevin Pyne.


9.      To receive any other business.  


–       Collector of the year.  Mel Botterill said the winner this year was not a member of the Committee but she did a sterling job, sharing a paddleboard with Molly the dog with a collecting tin attached to her paddle.  A round of applause was given to Robyn Pyne in her absence, and her father Kevin collected the award for her.

–       Ashley Winsor and Andy Willison attended from Stagecoach and asked about buses going back onto the Embankment as the pavement outside the Ship in Dock is too narrow and an accident waiting to happen.  John Lagdon will review the TTRO as part of his ongoing application.


10.  Ed Botterill moved a vote of thanks to the Mayor and Dartmouth Town Council for the use of the Clifton Room – the APM is not an everyday occurrence, it is important and we are grateful to be here.


Proposed by Ed Botterill, Carlos Minto seconded.

Close to the meeting.

Dartmouth Regatta

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