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.
A massive thank you to all the members who turned up throughout Dyer Cup day to help with packing up the centre and southern sections of the Club in preparation for the rebuild. Julie Leary expertly organised the process and the fact that so much was achieved was thanks to those who have worked hard over the past few weeks clearing out and tidying our storage areas in preparation for the pack up. Julie efficiently co-ordinated the packing of items and removal to their storage locations and we achieved much more than could have been hoped for with all the hard work now done. The Cadet room has been reorganised as a large meeting room and the Osea room as a small meeting room and dining room for up to 40 people. We will continue our mid-week lunches over the winter in the Osea Room. Any members boxes that were in the members galley can now be found in the mast store.
Photos © Nigel Butler and Zoe Nelson
Sunday 29th September was Dyer Cup Day, but the forecast strong winds and persistent rain deterred all but a few from taking part. Thanks to George Whitchurch and team who manned the launch to act as Committee Boat and to all the rescue boat crews. With winds gusting up to 30 knots there were plenty of spectacular capsizes and some pitch poling to keep the rescue boats busy. Congratulations to Dave Hall and Paul Constable in their Fireball who were overall winners of the Dyer Cup and to John Dyer and the crew of “Breezy” who won the Copsey Cup for the first cruiser.
Photos (c) Zoe Nelson
Blackwater Sailing Club is pleased to announce that the club has recently been awarded British Youth Sailing Recognised Club Status.
In order for a club to achieve BYS Recognised Club status, a club must demonstrate that it runs a regular race training programme within at least one of the BYS Recognised Classes. In order to achieve the high standards of training that are expected of BYS Recognised Clubs, training must be delivered by qualified RYA Coaches to RYA Recognised Training Centre standards (or equivalent) with a Safeguarding and Child Protection Policy in place.
This is recognition for the club’s instructors and coaches who give up their time free of charge to help deliver training weekends throughout the year, thank you. It is also recognition for our Sailing School Committee (pictured) who create the structures and support to make the training weekends happen.
Finally, we would not have achieved this award without the cadets who travel away from the club to represent us at National and International events.
More details on the British Youth Sailing Scheme can be found here.
What a difference a year makes! Last year we had to cancel our Bart’s Bash races due to strong winds. This year, on Sunday 15th September, 104 boats from the joint Blackwater Clubs raced under clear blue skies and the only thing lacking was…wind! Bart’s Bash is largest sailing race in the world and was started in memory of Olympic Gold medallist Andrew ‘Bart’ Simpson MBE, who passionately believed that everyone should have the chance to try sailing and enjoy the many benefits that it brings. Money raised by our Clubs goes to the Andrew Simpson Foundation (ASF) whose mission is to “inspire the next generation” by using sailing to improve the lives of young people across the world.
The day before the race, our Cadets enjoyed a Bart’s Bash training day. As they did in 2018, they donated all the training entry fees to the ASF. Blackwater Sailing Club ran the short course from a committee boat east of Northey Island. The gentle F2-3 westerly breeze was battling with a developing sea breeze resulting in large shifts in the wind which varied from force 0-2. This caused challenges to PRO Margaret Norman who was faced with a 50 degree shift in the wind just before the start requiring relaying of the start line. The fleet of 36 boats got away first time with the solo of Nigel Butler starting at the committee boat end. This allowed him to break away from the fleet with the laser radials of Aimee Taylor and Andrew Field in hot pursuit. Conditions were challenging and competitors faced attack by large swarms of flies as they gently drifted around the triangular course under the beating sun and 27 degree temperatures. At times even the jellyfish were moving faster than the boats! Despite the conditions, the leading 5 boats managed 3 laps with only 27 seconds separating the top three finishers on corrected time.
Short Course Results:
1st Nigel Butler Solo - 5716
2nd Aimee Taylor Laser Radial - 189660
3rd Andrew Field Laser Radial - 44
The Long Course was run by Stone Sailing Club with PRO Wendy Robinson setting a committee boat start south of Osea Island. The fleet of 68 boats made reasonable progress to the west helped by the end of the flood tide. As they passed to the north of Osea, the tide changed which, although initially helpful, made progress painful slow once they passed to the east of the island and tried to stem the tide back to the finish. 48 of the starters finished with the remainder having to retire. The RIBs were kept busy towing members back to the Club. The Commodore, Steve Jarred, said after the race “that was the slowest circumnavigation of Osea I have ever done taking four hours from departing the club to returning.”
Long Course Results:
1st Dave Wood 2000 - 21647
2nd Charlotte Videlo 420 - 54997
3rd Karl Terkelsen RS400 - 570
The full results are on the BSC website: Short Course Long Course
Or the Bart’s Bash website where the results are slightly different due to the method of calculation used: Short Course Long Course
Photos © Zoe Nelson
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