We are pleased to report that BSC Cadet Nick Evans has just won the International Optispring Regatta, at Port Zelande, in the Netherlands. This year it featured seven races in gusty conditions with 220 competitors. The British contingent all sailed well and picked up the nations cup. Congratulations to Nick and the rest of the GBR sailors.
The weekend of the 6/7th of April saw BSC's first Cadet training weekend of the year. This was for our Topper/Tera/Laser sailors and was aimed at our older cadets with a minimum age of 11. This gave us the opportunity for Toppers to make a welcome return to the lake, where the sailors made good progress to completing their RYA Level 2.
On the river our Topper Tango group were working towards their RYA Level 3. Our two race training groups, Topper MG and Laser MG, were out practising race starts and roll tacks working towards their race training badges which are new for this year.
We had good wind on the Saturday. Unfortunately it was quite cold but our sailors managed to complete a full day. On Sunday the wind was lighter but it was warmer and we even had sunshine in the afternoon.
Registration is now open on the club website for the May training weekend when we will be letting the Optimists join in.
The Fitting Out Supper is our annual reminder that winter is receding, the days are getting longer and it is time to get your boats ready since the 2019 sailing season is upon us. On Saturday 2nd March a good mix of members had a most enjoyable evening with a delicious meal at the club. After dinner, all were treated to a fascinating talk from Peter Taylor who is a Mate with the Maldon Barge Trust. Peter explained the history of their two Thames barges ‘Pudge’ and ‘Centaur’ and included some lovely old pictures and videos. He talked about the work of the Thames Sailing Barge Trust and their aims to preserve traditional vessels and skills for future generations. Large sums of money are required to keep these old barges going so donations or practical help are always appreciated. To learn more about supporting the trust or to look at the varied opportunities for sailing on one of their barges in 2019, please visit their website
After the talk, the raffle and 200 Club were drawn. We were delighted to donate the £157 takings from the raffle to the Thames Sailing Barge Trust to help them with their work. A big thank you to Sarah Bakewell and her team for organising a most successful event.
Photos © Nigel Butler
We were very proud to be chosen as the East Region finalist for the prestigious RYA Yachts & Yachting Club of the Year 2019 award. The Commodore, Vice Commodore, Cadet Skipper and Press Officer spent a nail-biting day at the RYA Dinghy Show at Alexandra Palace on Saturday 2nd March waiting to see who would be crowned as overall winner of the award. They all attended a finalist’s lunch to meet representatives from the 11 clubs throughout the UK who had made the finals. Everyone there was a winner and this proved a great opportunity to chat to volunteers and exchange ideas with others who share the common aim of making their already great clubs even better.
At 4pm on the main stage, all the winners received their awards and the Commodore collected ours for Eastern Region Club of the Year 2019. The overall winner was decided by public vote and there were only 50 votes between the top two clubs. Having previously won the competition in 2014, Blackwater didn’t quite make the top step this time, but we would like to congratulate the worthy winners, Royal Torbay Yacht Club.
Thank you to all our members and friends who voted for us and a special thank you to our Publicity Officer, Chris Brown for all her hard work putting together and submitting the application.
Watch the video of the event here
Photo © Nigel Butler
This post will be of interest to Cruiser owners although few are in the water yet!
A large maintenance vessel 'WIND SERVER' will be carrying out essential maintenance on turbines in the Gunfleet Sands Windfarm from 15 March for about 12 days subject to weather and sea conditions. A MINIMUM berth of 500 metres should be given to this vessel at all times. The full details are given in Notice to Mariners 1/2019 and you can view or download a copy HERE.
Starting on Friday 1st March 2019 survey works will be carried out along the River Crouch, Dengie Flats/Ray Sand and the River Blackwater.
On the Crouch the survey extends from Brandy Hole Reach in the West to the Buxey Sand in the East. On the Blackwater the survey extends from Osea island in the West to Colne Bar in the East.
The survey will be carried out by PLA Survey Vessel “MAPLIN” which will deploy subsurface towed equipment up to 200m astern of the vessel which will be marked with a tail buoy. When carrying out the survey the PLA Survey vessel will be restricted in its ability to manoeuvre and will display lights and shapes in accordance with the international Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea 1972 (as amended) Rule 27 b. The vessels will maintain a listening watch on the appropriate port VHF working channel throughout the working period.
All vessels are required to proceed with caution past the survey vessel when work is underway and at all times when advised by Crouch Harbour Authority.
Survey work is due to be completed by 10th March 2019 but this may be extended as a result of prolonged periods of unsuitable weather or other operational requirements.
This notice will be cancelled on completion of the surveys.
Congratulations to our cadets and their generous parents for this fantastic fundraising effort for the Andrew Simpson Foundation. This press release has just been posted on the Bart's Bash Facebook Page
10 January at 14:37 ·
⭐️ Great way to start 2019 ⭐️
A huge thank you to BSC Cadets for raising an amazing £400 for Bart’s Bash, your support for the Foundation is truly appreciated and we hope that you and the sailors had a great day at the pre Bart’s Bash training.
The money was raised by 39 cadets from the Blackwater Sailing Club in Essex, who took part in a river race training day. There were a variety of different boats out on the water including Optimists, Toppers, Lasers, Fevas and BSC Quests. The training was aimed at getting the cadets ready to race in Bart's Bash, but unfortunately their event had to be cancelled due to the forecast of stormy weather and force 6 gusts!
Their generous donation helps us to deliver on our mission of increasing participation in sailing and improving the lives of young people through the delivery of 5 key charitable activities.
Thank you again for your continued support!
#sailonbart Bart's Bash Facebook
On Sunday 13th January a new record number of almost 50 members turned up to help at our third work party. The near gale force cold wind didn’t deter members who swarmed all over the site making it look more like the set from ‘Ground Force’ than a sailing club. Loads of jobs got done, fences mended, trees pruned, roots removed, more engine storage racks built in the members workshop, bulbs planted and a skip full of rubbish cleared including old windsurfers and boards to mention just a few. The hunt for brambles continued, but they are now getting much harder to find!
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. They provided an excellent lunch for the 41 members still there of jacket potato and beans with apple cake and custard to follow. Despite the hard graft, the work parties are really good social occasions, the happy atmosphere makes you feel better, although exhausted, by the end of the day. 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 is on Sunday 17th February. Put it in your diary now – what a great way to get fit for the rapidly approaching sailing season.
During December, members enjoyed a number of Christmas events at the Club. On Thursday 13th December 77 members sat down to a delicious traditional Christmas lunch cooked by Bridget. This was followed by entertainment by our very own Blackwater Ensemble with many carols to sing along to.
Not to be outdone, the following day the Friday Sailors staged their annual 'Santa sail' on the Lake with festively decorated boats and members in fancy dress. Even our newest Members entered into the spirit. The only thing that marred the day was the behaviour of Santa’s reindeer. They looked very smart for about three minutes but then tried to eat each other’s antlers. To calm them down, the Grinch took Santa and his reindeer round the lake in a Quest. The lake sail was followed by the inevitable everyone brings a dish Christmas buffet extravaganza. Sailors and the excited spectators tucked in and swapped recipes. Someone did suggest the new Friday Sailors motto should be "never knowingly underfed!" Then an unexpected VERY special visitor arrived to distribute the secret Santa presents amidst much hilarity and every participant was rewarded with their very own 'I saw Santa at Friday Sailing BSC' sticker. Even the Vice Commodore got to sit on Santa’s lap and get a sticker. Did he get what he hoped for from Santa?
The final event of the year was Christmas cheer where members enjoyed lashings of mulled wine, mince pies and sausage rolls to get them in the mood for Christmas.
Many thanks to the social committee and the Friday sailors for all their hard work making Christmas at the club such a happy and enjoyable time.
Pictures (c) Nigel Butler and the Friday Sailors
On Sunday 2nd December a record number of more than 35 members turned up to help at our second winter work party. The overnight rain cleared over to leave a pleasant and dry day which enabled us to get lots done. Repairs to the ramp were completed, tree stumps pulled out, brambles removed, sheds cleared out and the dinghy trailer part was emptied, strimmed, reorganised and left beautifully tidy.
A number of trailers which appeared redundant or abandoned were dragged from the undergrowth and put by the fence to the left of the double gates as you enter the site by footpath. Please would members check if theirs is among them – if not claimed, they will be disposed of or offered to a museum in the new year.
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. There was a happy, friendly atmosphere at the club as everyone worked together to get so much done. Thank you to all those who gave up their Sunday and came along to help. Our next work party is on Sunday 13th January. Put it in your diary now – what a great way to work off those excesses over Christmas.
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