A Fond farewell to a seasoned sailor 16-11-2007




Members of the Ilfracombe Yacht Club enjoyed a relaxed get together in the clubhouse on Friday 16th November, to say farewell and good luck to founder member Ray Comer and  his wife Mary, who are moving away inland, to Ottery St.Mary to be with their daughter. 

 Ray and Mary have been members of the club since just after it's creation over 40 years ago, Ray being one of the first 'trendsetters' of the day to own a fibreglass yacht in the days when the usual sightings were still of wooden or plywood boats.

Ray shared a wealth of experience and encouragement to many a beginner on the seas, Patiently taking young budding sailors (his daughters included) under his competent wing and launching them into the world of seamanship, many of which indeed went on to own and sail their own boats out of Ilfracombe Harbour.

Ray has always been at hand for anyone in need of help, nothing is too much trouble for him, and he is one of those very rare people who you never hear a wrong word said against by anyone.

The evening was enjoyed by all as Ray's sailing years were fondly remembered by viewing an album containing pictures of his former boats, shipmate's and cruises,  after which,  Mark Rumson reminded all present of each of the boats names and the years that Ray owned them, and also narrated tales of Ray's sailing prowess and skills on trips to such well loved  North Devon harbours as Clovelly, Porlock and  Lynmouth, as well as the beautiful Island of Lundy.

A farewell gift and lifetime honoury membership was then presented to Ray by  IYC President Bob Thompson.

As Ray hangs up his so'wester, we must remember that he, is the last in a long line of Comers who have sailed out of Ilfracombe Harbour , many of his family ran tripping boats and earned their living from fishing as far back as Victorian times. Some of you may remember "Ferret" Comer?, or Alfie Comer who was an established worker for P&A Campbells in the days when we had the visiting paddle steamers?

We all hope to see  Ray and Mary returning to Ilfracombe on many visits, as they will be genuinely missed  by everyone who knows them.