Bosham sailors say goodbye to king of the launches

Left to right: Frank McCormack, Commodore; Michael Cook, Rear Commodore Cruisers; Gavin King, Bosun; Chris Bryant
Left to right: Frank McCormack, Commodore; Michael Cook, Rear Commodore Cruisers; Gavin King, Bosun; Chris Bryant

It was standing room only at Bosham Sailing Club when members and friends wished the club’s much-loved launch driver Chris Bryant a happy retirement.

At a special presentation the 65-year-old was given an inscribed tankard by Commodore Frank McCormack to the rousing accompaniment of three cheers from the 100-plus people packed into the club marquee.

Chris Bryant

Chris Bryant

The commodore said his unfailingly cheerful and positive nature meant he had won the admiration and affection of all members of the club and would be sorely missed.

Bryant, from Havant, has been launch driver at Bosham Sailing Club for six years, providing members with a water taxi service to and from their boats moored in the channel, as well as helping look after the club’s fleet of safety ribs.

The launch driver joined Bosham Sailing Club from Northshore Yachts in Itchenor where he worked for 29 years. Following in the footsteps of his father who served in the Royal Navy for 30 years, Bryant’s first job was as a rigger working for the navy at Portsmouth Royal Naval Dockyard.

“I used to climb masts and splice ropes so I learnt all the old skills the hard way,” he recalls.

The secret of his success at Bosham? “I have tried to be as helpful to members as I possibly can. My father used to say, put your best foot forward and do nothing by halves and I have followed that.

“I have wonderful memories of working at Bosham Sailing Club. I have met some wonderful people and worked in a stunning place. It enhances your life when you work in a beautiful place like this.”