After 4 weeks of lockdown, BSC sailors came together on line to take part in a virtual spring regatta. We had 12 sailors competing in J70 Sports Boats to determine who would represent the club at the RYA e Sailing Spring Championships.
The regatta was held over two days with 6 races on each day with a total of 4 discards to help compensate for the inevitable broadband issues of virtual sailors living out in the wastelands of the three H’s (Heybridge, Hackney and Hatfield Peverel).
The Virtual Bridge was open 10 minutes before the first race with the Race Officer and his glamorous assistant maintaining social distancing rules by being in the study and the kitchen respectively. With a minute to go to the first start we had a 6 racers on the start line, after 10 minutes of tight racing Nick Evans emerged as the winner, unfortunately that was it for the Evans family as their dial up internet connection was not upto the job.
Race 2 started with the Andrew’s family joining in, we also had two of our more mature sailors taking part giving us a total of 10 racers on the start line. This time Charlie Dixon emerged victorious after a tight tussle with Hugh Andrews, this was to set the scene for the rest of the race series. Jess Haigh and Graham Hoy lead the following pack with some very consistent results, although Graham’s performance did drop off when he ran out of VMG tokens. Special mentions should go to Izzy Wallace who had a good series and managed to record a bullet in the penultimate race and also to RGA294 a surprise entrant from Spain who somehow managed to hack in to our last race, covered Charlie Dixon for most of the race and manage to sneak a win only to be disqualified by the race officer.
Congratulations to Charlie Dixon who was our overall series winner and will go onto represent the club at the RYA Eastern Region Virtual Racing Championship, on the 18th of May, and hopefully qualify for the National Finals. We have also made the decision to award Charlie the Cadet Frostbite Trophy this year which hopefully we will be able to present to him in person later in the year, in the meantime here is a virtual version.
The RYA has negotiated a deal with Virtual Regatta https://www.virtualregatta.com/en/ to enable clubs to at least get some virtual racing in, BSC is hosting racing every evening at 20:30, the biggest fleet so far has been 15 dedicated sailors. If you are interested in taking part you will need to register on Virtual Regatta and contact the Cadet Skipper who will give you the logon details.
Please be advised that the Maldon Annual Joint River Safety Meeting which was to be held at the Club on Tuesday 17th March HAS BEEN CANCELLED.
They have advised us as follows:
Dear Harbour Stakeholder
In view of the coronavirus situation and following guidelines from Maldon District Council, the Maldon Harbour Commissioners have taken the decision to cancel the Maldon Joint River Safety Meeting scheduled for Tuesday 17 March 2020.
The Commissioners would like to thank stakeholders for their ongoing support. Notes will be made available, compiled from the reports that were tabled for the meeting. If you have any questions or comments that you would like added in to those Notes, please let me know.
Clerk, Maldon Harbour Improvement Commissioners
On Sunday 12 January a new record number of almost 60 members turned up to help at our third work party with 48 staying for lunch. The BSC fitness trainer, AKA Warden Julie, inspirationally detailed jobs to be done as ways of toning different muscle groups essential for sailing. Relocating the inflatable rack was in fact a lower back workout. Removing rust from and repainting the stairs became a knee and quads strengthening work out. Sadly, the Aquarobics session had to be postponed since the ditches were too full from recent rain - it would have needed a team of bog snorkelers. The weather gods again smiled on us and the whole site was like a scene from ‘ground force’ with lots of jobs getting done and a fantastic atmosphere throughout the Club.
A big thank you to Julie for organising us all and to Kathryn and her team in the galley for keeping us fed and watered. Some say “there is no such thing as a free lunch” well, at Blackwater we now throw in a free workout as well! The Vice Commodore commented that if work parties continue to be this popular then we will have to start selling tickets and limiting numbers! Thank you to all those who gave up their Sunday and came along to work together to get so much done. Our next work party workout is on Sunday 09 February. Put it in your diary now – what a great way to get fit for the rapidly approaching sailing season.
Photos © Nigel Butler
On Thursday 12th December when most of the country were heading out to vote, Blackwater Sailing Club descended on Forrester Park for their annual Christmas Lunch. After a delicious traditional X-mas Turkey meal followed by X-mas pudding, we were entertained by our very own talented Blackwater Ensemble with a variety of favourite carols to sing along to.
This was the first of several Christmas events organised for our members building up to the Friday sailors X-mas sail on the lake with all the boats decorated. This is followed by another not to be missed X-mas lunch. Rumour has it that Santa will be appearing again this year and all those boys and girls who have been good this year will get to sit on his lap and receive a secret Santa gift and a sticker!
Photos (c) Nigel Butler
On Saturday 16th November, 91 members and their guests packed into the Lion House function suite at the Lion Inn, Boreham for our black-tie Laying up Supper. Everyone looked very smart in their finery and there was a great atmosphere. Of particular note were the Friday Sailors with their ‘Great Gatsby’ themed dress with some very impressive flappers on display.
After grace from the Rear Commodore, everyone settled down to enjoy a delicious three course meal with friendly and efficient service from the house. During coffee, the raffle was drawn. Thanks to the generosity of members, we had some amazing prizes which were divided into five goodie bags for the winners.
Without further ado, DJ John entertained us with his mix of music and the dance floor was quickly full of people showing off their moves. This year, the Friday Sailors limited themselves to ‘fortified’ apple juice and led the dancing. It was good to see the fast handicap fleet having “The Time of their Life” but sadly, their attempt to recreate the iconic lift from ‘Dirty Dancing’ didn’t quite come off. As the evening went on, everyone still sitting was dragged to their feet to form the longest conga seen at the Lion House since our event last year. This wound its way around the premises for some time and then the dancing continued late into the night.
All in all, a great time was had by all and evidence that there is still demand for a black-tie dinner. Many thanks to all at the Lion House and to Tracy Haigh and her team for organising a most enjoyable event.
On Sunday 3rd November we were blessed with a calm sunny day after the recent monsoon like rain and gales. A big thank you to the 45+ adults and cadets who gave up their Sunday to come along and help at our first winter work party. The great turnout meant we were able to get lots of jobs done to help keep the Club looking good and to continue to enhance the facilities for all our members.
Congratulations to all the cadets that have been selected for regional and national training squads over the winter. This is reward for the hard work they have put in getting their sailing to the necessary level to be selected and making the effort to attend the selection events and making a commitment to attend all the training weekends through the Winter. It is also a tribute to the BSC Instructors and Coaches who give their time freely to help deliver training at Blackwater.
RYA Optimist Zone Squad East
RYA Topper Zone Squad East
Tera National Squad
RYA National Optimist Boys Squad
RYA 420 Youth Squad
In addition we have a large Blackwater representation in the following open training groups
Grafham Laser Training
Ben Haigh, Aimee Taylor, Theo Aers, Marnie Aers, Ellie Shelter
Burnham Squiddies Feva Training
Jess Haigh, Lucy Shelter, Izzy Evans, Anna Keegan, Jamie Fenton, Charlie Bourne,Ruby Andrews, Sophie Foskitt, Abbie Wallace
Brightlingsea 29er Training
420 Class Training
Nick Evans, Joey Taylor
IOCA East Optimist Training
There are still places left on the IOCA East Optimist training, if you are interested in taking part please contact Steve Andrews.
If there was sufficient interest we could arrange a Tuesday night talk at the club on RYA Squads and training groups outside the club.
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