295 visitors flocked to Blackwater Sailing Club on Saturday 5th May for our annual Open Day and RYA #pushtheboatout “Try Sailing in May” event. The Blackwater was looking stunning under clear blue skies with glorious sunshine all day. 83 adult and cadet helpers from the club helped make this a fantastic day out for our guests, many of whom had never considered trying sailing before. 322 taster sails were provided during the day on our 7-acre training lake in our fleet of RS Quests, Wayfarers, RS Fevas, Toppers and Optimists. Even our local MP was spotted getting out of a Quest with a large smile on his face. As the tide came in, 56 people tried a taster sail on a cruiser, 126 enjoyed a river trip on one of our Ribs or the launch and many just sat and watched our club races. Sailing is thirsty work and our visitors managed to drink the bar dry after enjoying the food on offer throughout the day. Over 30 new members signed up on the day making this our most successful Open Day ever. A big thank you to all our members for your amazing welcome to our guests and thank you to all our visitors for coming to try sailing and see what we can offer. We hope you enjoyed a wonderful day. With thanks to Chris Nichols, Zoe Nelson and Nigel Butler for the photos.
A sellout crowd of 92 packed into the main club-room on Saturday 10th March for our annual Fitting Out Supper. Despite the recent unseasonably cold weather, this event serves as a reminder to members that the sailing season is upon us and their preparations for a great season of sailing should be well underway. After a delicious three course meal, guests were entertained with a very humorous talk by local boy and Practical Boat Owner columnist Dave Selby. Dave enthralled the audience with tales of his exciting voyages and his many transatlantic crossings. He wowed us with tales of his amazing navigational feats, the highlight of which was running aground on Northey Island during the highest spring tide for twelve years. He demonstrated that it is possible to sail with a limited budget and his Sailfish 18 "Marlin" is testament to that. He has recorded one of the slowest passages in maritime history from the Blackwater to the Southampton boat show, known in the annals of sailing as "Marlin's Mission". Dave has recently published the sailors "must have" book "The Impractical Boat Owner". Dave generously offered this to Blackwater Sailing Club members at a specially inflated price. He also gave us the opportunity to buy illustrated mugs and drawings in support of his charity to raise money for research into the rare neurological condition which means he has to be admitted to hospital every four weeks. As promised, those privileged to hear Dave's talk learnt absolutely nothing about sailing, but anyone who wasn't enthused to give it a try should take up golf.
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