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  • 22/07/2022 17:32 | BSC Commodore (Administrator)

    Many congratulations to our talented 17 year old Blackwater Sailing Club cadet sailor Charlie Dixon who has been crowned iQFoil Youth World Champion at the Youth World Championships in the Hague held from 8-15 July 2022.

    Having become iQFoil Youth National Champion at the RYA Youth National Championships held at Plas Heli, Pwllheli in April 2022, Charlie joined the 16 members of the GB team who raced at the Hague against 450 of the world’s best youth sailors from 69 countries.

    The Hague was Charlie’s first ever international event and he went there without any great expectations. He completely dominated the male iQFoil class at the event notching up eight wins from 11 races to seal the title by a staggering 16 points. Charlie was the only member of the GB team to wind gold at the event from the 12 classes contested. The full results can be seen here

    Charlie is a great ambassador for the Club and when he is not at a championship, he can be seen practising and training on the Blackwater Estuary. This is deserved reward for all his hard work and commitment to this exciting Olympic class.



  • 21/07/2022 14:52 | BSC Commodore (Administrator)

    On Sunday 10 July the club held its New Members Day. 60 new members, 41 adults and 19 children attended and met at the lake at 11am. Alan Coday Senior Instructor and Sheena Berney Rear Commodore gave an introductory talk about the club and a briefing on how the day would work.

    New members were invited to go out in the club Quests helmed by volunteer members. The wind was very light and getting back across the lake was sometime quite a challenge but everyone that wanted a sail was accommodated. When not on the lake instruction was given on the simulator.

    The Commodore Nigel Butler, Vice Commodore Alan Hoy and member volunteers chatted to the new members, answering any questions they may have had and explaining about the adult and cadet training we have available. New cadets were not forgotten and many went out in an Optimist with Natasha Adkins who sailed the whole morning.

    At 1pm everyone went up to the main terrace and was able to enjoy a tasty BBQ which was prepared by more volunteer members. With the bar open and good food conversation flowed and everyone seemed to be having a good time, making new friends and enjoying the facilities that the club offers.

    Thanks must go to all the members of the club who gave up their time to organise and run this day and I hope the new members enjoyed themselves and I look forward to seeing them again at the club.

    Linda Ogburn

    Membership Secretary.


  • 19/07/2022 13:58 | BSC Commodore (Administrator)


    Saturday 9 July was a glorious warm, sunny day for my second Commodore’s Cruise. Many thanks to Allan and Belinda who allowed me to use their Sabre 27 as flagship for the day. We loaded up “Kalyba” with essential provisions of prosecco, lager, beer and vast amounts of food. Gradually boats appeared from everywhere and at 08:30 a fleet of 25 boats including a wayfarer, several dayboats and a selection of cruisers with 64 people and 2 dogs set sail in a pleasant f3-4 NNE wind for an easy broad reach with the ebb tide to Osea Pier where we anchored for breakfast.

    Five cruisers had volunteered as cafés and once anchored set to producing bacon butties including a new for 2022 pescatarian fish finger butties option from café Akela. Orders were taken over Ch 37 and a delivery service was provided by Rob and Zoe who were escorting the fleet in yellow RIB. As we feasted, the wind gradually freshened to F4-5. At 10:30 the fleet slowly hauled up muddy anchors and set off for a lively broad reach past Thirslet and onto Bradwell. We were overhauled by a number of yachts including Nigel Clarke’s new Beneteau 30.1 “Puffin,” Kane Gooch’s beautiful 1889 oyster smack “Katie” and Steve Kuhl’s’ Dehler 42 “Sunbeat VI’ warming up for the ARC.

    About a mile past Bradwell, we anchored off Weymarks Beach and Rob and Zoe did an excellent job providing a taxi service ashore. The champagne corks were soon popping as everyone tucked into their picnics and got the BBQs going. As the tide turned, the wind suddenly veered to the East as the sea breeze arrived. Artemis and Shamrock laid on a demonstration of dragging their anchors but both dug in again without the crews having to interrupt their lunch!

    Eventually the cool boxes were emptied of alcohol and the gluttony finished, the post prandial somnolence slowly wore off and we gathered for a fleet photo and then onto beach games organised by Zoe. I led our team away for the egg and spoon race and despite a slow start, Harrison surged to victory on the anchor leg. The sack race and three-legged race were hilarious particularly when Karen and Tony did their usual trick of capsizing and falling on top of one another laughing.

    As the sun continued to beat down, we decided it was time to decamp. Larkabout’s crew gave a demonstration of the challenges of rowing their tender against a brisk wind and flood tide. Tony seemed oblivious of the fact that his course over the ground was backwards but Rob spotted his plight and gave him a helpful tow. The fleet set off with the flood tide for another exhilarating downwind sail in the f4-5 ENE. As we passed Thirslet spit and gybed downwind past Marconi the wind freshened and was gusting f6 at times. We had a great sail home and arrived in time to get on the mooring by 18:00 and soon back ashore.

    I would like to thank everyone who joined me on the cruise and helped make it a most enjoyable and successful occasion.

    Photos © Nigel Butler, Zoe Nelson, Belinda Sturge

  • 07/06/2022 17:55 | BSC Commodore (Administrator)


    Blackwater Sailing Club enjoyed a fantastic week celebrating the 70th anniversary of the accession Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and marking her wonderful achievement of 70 years on the throne.

    From Monday 30 May to Friday 3 June our growing fleet of mirrors joined the sprites for their annual racing week. 8 Sprites competed with overall winners David Nichols & Christine Mills. An impressive 18 mirrors entered with overall winners Julie Nelson & Kiley Gooch.

    On Thursday 2 to Friday 3 June we held Platinum Jubilee Series racing with light to moderate winds on day 1 but particularly challenging F4-6 winds on day 2 testing out heavy weather skills. 19 boats entered the main fleet with overall winner Terry Crook in his phantom. The short series was contested by 17 boats with Andy & Florence Pickering overall winners in their mirror. Club racing continued on Saturday and Sunday.

    Over 100 members enjoyed the warmest day of the Jubilee holiday on Friday 3 June at our Platinum Jubilee Street party which came at the end of the 2 day Platinum Jubilee Race Series and Sprite & Mirror Week. The clubhouse was bedecked in flags and bunting and 3 long rows of decorated tables were set up, tea was provided, the bar was open and members were asked to bring a selection of food. An impressive banquet ensued with tables laden with a delicious selection of home cooked produce. The "Best Jubilee Hat" competition was keenly contested and won by Jan Nuttall. Our younger members enjoyed various games. In the evening, the BBQs were lit and many stayed on to enjoy a pleasant evening on the patio.

    On Saturday 4 June we held a highly successful Optimist Open meeting with F5-6 winds providing particularly challenging conditions for the main fleet who had a committee boat start East of Northey Island. The 19 main fleet entrants, including 5 visitors, enjoyed 4 exhilarating races with Hugh Andrews the clear winner with 4 bullets! Due to the conditions, the Regatta fleet raced on the lake and managed 6 races. The 9 entrants including 3 visitors enjoyed some close racing with Daniel Hall emerging victorious. The weekend was rounded off with team racing on the lake on Sunday morning.

    Many thanks to those who worked so hard to make the week such a success both on and off the water.

    Photos © Nigel Butler, Tracy Haigh & Jake Fairhead

  • 07/06/2022 16:11 | BSC Commodore (Administrator)

    Be aware that licence has been granted to the Natural Trust to undertake works as part of conservation adaptation works to the north east and south east of Northey Island. Works are licenced between 13 June 2022 and 30 September 2023.

    You can read and download the full notice here

  • 19/05/2022 10:12 | BSC Commodore (Administrator)

    The Blackwater Sailing Club at Heybridge Basin held their annual Open Day on Saturday 7 May from 11.30 to 17.30. The weather was generally kind with only two brief showers in the morning and finished in glorious sunshine. The day saw a steady stream of visitors coming to the registration desk, with a total over the day of 315 people keen to see what our sailing club has to offer. Everyone was offered a guided tour of the clubhouse and grounds by our team of volunteers wearing high viz jackets.

    The team on the Lake were offering sailing sessions in a range of dinghies, helmed by experienced Dinghy Instructors – over 200 people had a trip on the water, wearing buoyancy aids provided by the Club. The Cadet Section staged a demonstration of Optimist racing for the younger visitors to enjoy.

    The upstairs galley team were busy all day producing filled rolls, cake, tea & coffee for our visitors while the downstairs bar which opened at noon did a brisk trade all afternoon.

    Once the tide came in, we were able to offer our visitors trips on the river – either in one of our safety ribs or the club launch, which also ferried visitors out to one of two cruisers who were offering a chance to try a different type of sailing. Club racing also started at 15.30 so visitors were able to watch the racing from the sea wall in lovely sunshine.

    The membership teams in the main clubroom were working hard to answer all the various questions about the terms and cost of membership and signed up 42 adults & 8 cadets at the end of the day with a number of other visitors thinking about joining in the near future

    The success of this special day could only happen with the amazing dedicated support of more than 80 volunteer members – my thanks to everyone who helped to ensure our visitors had a memorable day.

    The Blackwater Sailing Club is one of the leading sailing clubs on the East Coast; an active family-focused Club offering dinghy & cruiser racing for experienced sailors on the river; a well organised Cadet Section for children aged between 8 to 18 years offering initial training on the 7 acre freshwater lake & then coached training and racing on the river for the older Cadets. The Sailing School is now able to offer RYA Level 1 & 2 courses for Adults, which has been in much demand from new members.

    If you missed out on our Open Day but are interested in membership please visit our About Us page or email our Hon. Membership Secretary 

    Photos © Nigel Butler, Iain Marshall


  • 10/05/2022 17:33 | BSC Commodore (Administrator)

    A group from the club, Belinda, Allan, Zoe, Tracy, Nina & Maxine have signed up for the Moonwalk London, raising money for Breast Cancer Walk the Walk Charity. Whilst Belinda, Allan and family are doing the walk in London on 14 May, Zoe, Tracy, Nina & Maxine decided to complete the walk last Thursday 5 May. Nina & Maxine walked 16.3 miles from Paper Mill Lock towards Chelmsford along the canal, then circling round through the woods North of Danbury to Woodham Walter and then back to Paper Mill Lock. Zoe & Tracy walked from the club along the canal to Paper Mill Lock then towards Chelmsford and circled back through Blakes Woods to Woodham Walter and back to the club via Beeleigh Falls. Thanks to all the support on the day via Facebook and WhatsApp which kept us all going to the end. Thanks to the generosity of club members, friends and family, our team has raised a massive £ 2584 so far. If you would like to donate to this good cause, please click on this link

    Pictures © Tracy Haigh, Zoe Nelson

  • 26/04/2022 09:53 | BSC Commodore (Administrator)

    Blackwater Sailing Club was the place to be during Easter with plenty of sunshine and cooling onshore breezes. More than 60 boats raced over six days and many more just took to the waters to enjoy a relaxing sail. The cadets had a successful Frostbite series over Wednesday to Friday with club racing from Good Friday to Monday. The Friday sailors held their Friends Trophy race on Friday with 20 boats competing. On Saturday over 100 cadets and their families enjoyed the Easter Family Social which included an Easter egg hunt, family supper and disco. On Saturday and Sunday Zoe and Belinda organised a very popular charity cake sale to raise funds for breast cancer charities. Many members donated cakes including a ‘showstopper’ which was raffled each day. Thanks to the generosity of members £902 was raised.

    From Friday to Sunday there was handicap racing for fast, medium handicap and short course with a remarkable 32 entrants for the short course! On Monday, the Osea Cup general handicap race was intended to be a race around Osea but light winds prevailed and some barely made the start line! The fine weather on Easter Monday saw a good turnout for the car boot style boat jumble sale. Despite an early 7am start, the upper car park saw good trading as boat owners searched for a bargain with bacon butties provided by the galley team. Thanks to those members who generously donated to the RNLI at the event. Collecting boxes on two stands raised a useful £81.15.

    Overall a fantastic holiday long weekend and it was great to see so many people enjoying being at the club soaking up the sunshine and sea air. Full details of the racing results can be found on our website here

    If you are interested in finding our more or joining Blackwater Sailing Club why not come along to our Open Day on Saturday 7 May.


    Pictures © Nigel Butler, Anna Lau, Steve Sharpe, Tracy Haigh


  • 17/04/2022 17:59 | BSC Commodore (Administrator)

    Many congratulations to talented Blackwater Sailing Club cadet sailor Charlie Dixon who has been crowned iQFoil Youth National Champion at the RYA Youth National Championships held at Plas Heli, Pwllheli. Following his success, Charlie has been announced as the GB team representative for the iQ foil class at the Youth World Championships in the Hague this summer. Charlie is a great ambassador for the Club and when he is not at a championship he can be seen practising and training on the Blackwater Estuary. This is deserved reward for all his hard work and commitment to this exciting Olympic class. 

    The full results can be seen here


  • 07/02/2022 18:36 | BSC Commodore (Administrator)

    Sunday 6 February dawned with a cold NW wind gusting over 40 knots and horizontal rain – not an encouraging start for our second winter work party you may think! As 9am arrived, over 70 members came from far and wide to help make this one of our best attended and most successful work parties for years. Blackwater Sailing Club members are hardy folk and are not easily deterred by a severe gale and a bit of rain. Some were dressed in full oilskins and looked ready to take on the South Atlantic as they spread out around the site and set to work.

    In four hours they achieved an amazing amount including clearing out and tidying the members workshop, clearing and tidying the dinghy trailer storage compound, enhancing the landing area either side of the lake ramp, moving the waste oil tank to prepare for another kayak rack and relocating all the club boats so they are together in a row including the reclaimed dinghy storage area by the pond. A pruning team made short work of the St George’s and footpath hedges and an enthusiastic gang deep cleaned the catering galley while the flags team decluttered the office and tank room.

    At 1pm, the finish bell rang and the tired and hungry workers made their way to the lower deck. When all were present, they were presented with a glass of prosecco and the Commodore led a toast to Her Majesty the Queen to celebrate 70 years since her accession to the throne. They were then rewarded with a delicious lunch of jacket potato with beans and cheese followed by a selection of puddings prepared by Katherine and her team in the galley and Zoe contributing an excellent crumble.

    We are extremely fortunate to have so many members who give freely of their time to come and help at our work parties to make our club a better place for us all. Thank you to our Hon Warden Julie Nelson for organising everyone and to all those who came along and worked so hard on the day.

    Photos © Nigel Butler & Alan Hoy


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