On Sunday 21st July 84 boats set out from Blackwater Sailing Club on a warm afternoon to take part in the annual Round the Islands races. 54 entered the main dinghy race around Osea and Northey and 22 the short course around Northey. 8 cruisers joined in and raced around Osea. The entry fee was a donation to the RNLI and much to the delight of local Vice Chairman, Ken Harrison, we raised a fantastic £447.04 for our local lifeboat stations.
The 37 medium handicap boats started first in a gentle force 3-4 westerly breeze with a short port tack down wind leg to Ballast Hole which was very congested with the boats 10 deep. The fleet gybed onto starboard to a broad reach which gradually became a run as they passed south of Osea. Another gybe at the eastern end of Osea then a fetch becoming a beat around the north of Osea. The wind gradually backed to south westerly and freshened as the fleet passed through the gate over the Osea causeway. The shifty gusty wind freshened to force 4-5 at times as boats raced to the south of Northey.
The fast handicap started 20 minutes after the medium but some managed to hunt down and pass most of the medium fleet. It was great to see such a large fleet of boats out on the river and bodes well for our upcoming Cadet and Club week.
Round the Islands - dinghies:
1st Mark Maskell and Nigel Sheppard - Fireball – Jubilee Goblet
2nd Andy McIvor and Tracy Haigh – Laser 2000 - Vincett Wings trophy
3rd Guy and Alison Welch - Snipe
1st Jamie Norman – Laser Radial
2nd Kane Gooch – Laser Radial
3rd Julie Nelson and Harrison Gooch – Mirror – Round Northey Spoon
For the full results click RTI Results
Photos © Zoe Nelson and Rob Haigh
The survey vessel PROTEUS will commence surveying operations on 15th July for approx 13 days in 6 areas of the Blackwater.
For full details see the Notice in full HERE
On Sunday 30th June, over 100 members came along to our mid summer BBQ and new members day in brilliant sunshine. Many had taken the opportunity for sailing in perfect conditions in the 9:45 race and then took advantage of the weather to sit on the patio for a drink while the food cooked. In a break from tradition, the new members who came along were treated to a taster sail on the river in one of the Club RS Quests, a Dragonfly trimaran or a Beneteau First cruiser. Extreme wind during our Open Day meant we hadn’t been able to offer taster sails then, so our new members appreciated the chance to get out of the water.
Many thanks to Alan Hoy and Sheena Berney for organising the event and to Mike Taylor and his team of master chefs and helpers for arranging and cooking a delicious BBQ followed by strawberries and cream.
Photos © Kate Stewart
The weekend of 15-16 June was one of the busiest of the year at the Club with a full programme of Cadet training on the river and the lake as well as Club racing and we also hosted a very successful down river Fireball Open meeting. 11 home boats were joined by 7 visiting boats from 7 different clubs. Competitors enjoyed five races in force 4-6 winds which produced perfect conditions for the heavy weather experts. Despite an OCS in race 1, consistency in the remaining races to count gave Blackwater team of Dave Hall and Paul Constable outright victory. In second place were Peter and Tom Kyne from Brightlingsea and in third place were Isaac Marsh and Squashed Olly from Northampton. For the full results click Fireball Open 2019 Results.pdf
Photos (c) Zoe Nelson
Many congratulations to Blackwater Sailing Club Cadet Joey Taylor and his crew Terry Hacker who have been crowned RS Feva National Champions 2019 in a fleet of 94 boats. A strong contingent from the Club headed to South Caernarvonshire Yacht Club, Abersoch for the 4 day event from 25-28 May. Joey and Terry won the qualifying event and then went on to post an impressive 1,1,2,1,1,1 to become champions an amazing 22 points in front of the second boat! Thanks to fantastic performances from the other BSC sailors, Blackwater also won the prize for the top club. Sophie Johnson and Theo Aers won first mixed crew in 9th and Nick Evans and Oscar Cawthorne came 14th. Marnie Aers with Ellie Shelter and Jemima Cook with Abbie Wallace sailed very well to get into the Gold fleet and Ruby Andrews and Sophie Foskett came an impressive 7th in the Silver fleet.
The RS Feva was only introduced to the club in 2016 so it is remarkable how quickly our cadets have mastered the class and risen to the top. This is testament to the close training collaboration with the Burnham Squiddies and all the hard work and support from their coaches and those at the Club.
Read Joey’s report on the championship RS FEVA Nationals 2019 report - BSC.pdf
Click for the overall Results
Photos © Andrew Taylor, Digital Photography
Light winds prevailed for our first full training weekend of the year, this gave the perfect opportunity for our new sailors on the lake to gain confidence under the expert tutorage of Nick O’Connor with his new glamourous assistant Kylie Gooch.
After being assigned their nick names for the year the Jolly Sailors made good progress towards their Level 2 badge.
On the river we had good sailing conditions on the Saturday with an unforecast Sea Breeze developed. On the Sunday we were met with a flat calm but the cadets still went out and managed to get to a Millbeach for an ice cream, the Laser group had fun with no rules racing. All our sailors were rewarded when steady F2 breeze picked up at 2pm which allowed us to get some sailing in for the last hour.
Here’s hoping for stronger winds for our next training weekend on the 15/16th of June.
Photos Stephen Foakes, Nikki Taylor and Rob Carver
Congratulations to Club Steward Rob Dean and Club Assistant Zoe Nelson who were honoured by the RNLI at a presentation evening at Maldon Little Ships Club this week. Blackwater Sailing Club got a big thank you from John Rogers for all the support they gave to MLSC by providing RIBS to escort their sponsored Row and Gig race on Saturday 5th January. This popular charity event raised over £10,000 for the RNLI. Rob and Zoe got a special mention for doing a brilliant job laying the marks and keeping the crews safe. Zoe represented BSC at the ceremony and was very proud to accept a special award from the RNLI for her and Rob in recognition of their hard work. Photos (c) Zoe Nelson
Two weeks after the warmest Easter for years, on Saturday 4th May we chose the coldest May Bank Holiday on record for our annual Open Day and RYA push the boat out “Try Sailing in May” event. This didn’t deter more than 150 hardy visitors who came along to Blackwater Sailing Club to find out what we can offer. The day dawned dry and sunny, but we decided it was too cold and windy to safely offer our visitors sailing tasters, necessitating a change of plan. Our guests enjoyed tours of the extensive site finishing at our 7-acre training lake. Here many of our cadets and adults were demonstrating their heavy weather and capsize recovery skills. We also ran wet and wild RIB trips around the lake which were enjoyed by all. Before hypothermia had set in, guests were taken to the warm clubhouse where food and warm drinks were consumed. They were then able to watch our intrepid sailors taking part in a club race. The storm clouds built rapidly before the start and winds quickly built to a howling squall with 40 knot gusts which flattened most of the fleet. This quickly passed and returned to a steady force 5-6 and the race was soon underway with some spinnakers flying. Just after the race finished another squall hit causing more spectacular capsizes right in front of the clubhouse. Guests who had thawed out sufficiently took advantage of river trips on the Blackwater in one of our RIBs or the launch. This gave them a close-up view of the action and they all came back with smiles on their faces, if a little wet. We had static demonstrations ashore of the various boats sailed at the club. The membership desks were busy all day and over 20 new members signed up and another 26 took away details with the intention of signing up. A big thank you to the 60+ adult and cadet members who helped out and made this a fun day for our guests and thank you to all the visitors who came.
Photos © Nigel Butler & Zoe Nelson
The Club was the place to be over Easter with unbroken sunshine and cooling onshore breezes. Over 50 boats raced over five days and many more just took to the waters to enjoy a sail. The cadets had a very successful Frostbite series over Thursday to Saturday and on Friday and Saturday there were four races in the Britannia handicap series with long and short courses set. The Friday sailors decided to cruise around Northey on Friday rather than race and they then invaded Maldon from the sea with the intention distributing flyers for our Open Day. Unfortunately, they forgot the flyers so consoled themselves by emptying the ice cream and chip shops.
On Sunday there was general handicap racing and then on Monday the handicap Osea Cup race which this year was a race around Osea Island in the best wind of the holiday period. A steady stream of cruisers launched over the period with some tuning up for the start of the BJRC series next weekend. Many members enjoyed having a sail on the lake in one of the new club Optimists or just watching the Burnham cadets who were training on the lake on Friday and Saturday. 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.
Photos © Dick Garside
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