Saturday 21 August 2021 was a fantastic day for the club when we were finally able to officially open the rebuilt southern end of the clubhouse which was completed over a year ago. The busy day started with the regatta with 99 boats entered and 167 sailors across 11 fleets. The canons were used for starting for the first time in two years and the entrants had great racing in steady winds. Full results can be seen on our website by clicking the following link: Regatta Race Results
The crabbing competition got under way while the races were on and when the fireballs finished the ever popular ‘greasy pole’ competition started. A variety of other inshore games included swimming races and the cork race. The prize giving was held mid afternoon and we then prepared for the main event.
The official opening ceremony was carried out at 18:00 by Mrs Jennifer Tolhurst, Her Majesty’s Lord Lieutenant of Essex. Following speeches, a special presentation was made to Anthony Sinclair and Mick Sargeant to recognise their enormous contribution to the successful completion of the new building. Our Rear Commodore, Sheena Berney was presented with her RYA Volunteer Outstanding Commitment Award by Doug MacEwen, the chairman of the RYA East team. It was particularly fitting that this award was presented on a day in which Sheena had invested so much time and energy to make such a success.
Following the awards, the ribbon was untied and a commemorative plaque was unveiled in the new Lower Deck. 170 members and guests then enjoyed prosecco and canapes in the beautiful new upstairs club room and those who hadn’t seen the new building were able to take a tour and meet friends they hadn’t seen for a while. In the evening, 145 people enjoyed a catered buffet provided by Emma Kavanagh Catering and danced the night away to “Band on the Run”.
The flag officers and committee wanted to give all our members a memorable party to thank them for their support through the rebuilding and 16 months of Covid restrictions and to thank and acknowledge the numerous volunteers who had given their time to the building project over the past 5 years. The whole day was an overwhelming success and was a fitting occasion to mark the landmark of completion of rebuilding of the clubhouse started around the millennium. We now have a fantastic new, smart, energy efficient building that will provide great facilities for current and future generations of members.
Photos © Belinda Sturge and Peter Gould