Blackwater Sailing Club enjoyed another great Regatta and Club Week from 11th to 17th August. There were generally good sailing winds apart from Tuesday when the dying wind and spring tides meant many had to be towed home and the fast Cruiser race had to be declared void because no one completed the course in the time limit. The now customary thunder storm with torrential rain rounded off the racing on Monday. A wide range of social events were laid on and enjoyed by many during the week. The racing finished with the winning helms from each class competing for the coveted “Cock O’ the Club” trophy. This was sailed in toppers and was won by Optimist class winner Nick Evans with Laser class winner Matty Evans second. They easily fought off the challenge provided by many of the clubs’ top adult sailors. Numbers of competitors were a little down this year, mainly due to many of our cadets and adults travelling far and wide representing the club at national and international championships.
Cock O' the Club 2018 - Nick Evans (c) Guy Hawkins
Here are a few statistics from the week:
1660 filled rolls sold by the galley
564 boats were launched and trollies pulled up and down the ramp during the week
520 packets of crisps eaten
450 chocolate bars eaten
444 people attended social events at the club
425 corks collected by the winning team during the cork race
320 bacon rolls eaten
207 competitors in club week
112 decibels hit by Belinda while performing opera at the Commodore’s Supper
110 different boats took part in club week
103 individual class starts
71 boats took part in the regatta
56 different rib crews during the week
47 times the canons were fired during the regatta
45.2mm rain has fallen on BSC so far this month following the driest summer for years
15 flags pulled from the end of the greasy pole by cadets on regatta day
11 different class starts
11 different class winners
10.8mm rain per hour on Thursday 16th August
3 flags pulled from the end of the greasy pole by adults on regatta day
1 Cock O’ the Club – Nick Evans
Here are pictures of some of our winners, with thanks and credit to Guy Hawkins, Kate Stewart and Nigel Butler
140+ cadets signed up for Cadet Week 2018 and enjoyed weather conditions ranging from “Rather windy today” to “Please can we have some more” but that didn’t matter because everyone had a great time anyway!
Day 1 was in the “rather windy” category, so racing was changed to “go out and have some fun” for the experienced river sailors who wanted a challenge ….and boy did they. With smiles from ear to ear, some of the Lasers, Terra’s, Toppers, Feva’s, Fireball and 420’s, showed how it’s done in some adrenaline filled blasting! The set programme was torn up and the river training groups went down to the Lake in shifts to join the 30 plus Oppie training fleet, having a great day in the calmer waters. In the evening, after a fantastic Bangers N Mash dinner, the Lake once again became the centre of activity with the Zorbes providing another evening of fun as the cadets rolled their way around on the water like frantic slightly damp hamsters!
Day 2 Lake Games started the day with the six cadet teams paddling, swimming and other wise propelling, their hand-built rafts across the Lake whilst a refreshing rain shower kept them cool! But the sun came out although an un-forecast 6 plus wind meant that there was a halt to river activities after the first race …so some of the big smilers went out for a blast again and extended their personal limits even further! Meanwhile down on the lake training went ahead with new sailors making some amazing progress. Each lunchtime and evening Peta and her Galley Gang made sure all the cadets, the cadet team and the adult helpers were served up some amazing grub and today was no different with a trip to Italy for a superb Spag Bol! To ensure that was properly digested we then boarded the coaches to Madison Heights for a couple of hours of Monkey puzzle and Roller skating.
Day 3 – Down River Day on the River - but it was Field Games to start as the Cadet teams took part in Mass Rounders, Least Feet on the Floor and Human Knot. Then, despite the wind looking a bit light to start, it turned out to be a superb sailing day with 3 races held and all the river training groups in action. The bridge team led by Clem and Marg once again worked their magic. Throughout the week, new sailors were treated to a trip out on Nice Tri and Priscilla thanks to Darren and Rupert. In the evening it was the Grande Dinner and an Italian Pizza Van served up authentic wood fired pizzas - although Chef Luige (or was it Mario) was obviously trying to ensure our cadets and parents remained at a competitive racing weight. No matter because the Ice Cream Van made up for it with some yummy cones for desert. It was also the Cadet Talent Show where the standard of the acts just gets better and better every year! We had everything from dancers, a clarinettist, puppet show, stand-up comedians, animal impressionists and more! Sophie took the BSC’s Got Talent award with some fantastic singing.
Day 4 - The Tractor Pull saw the Cadet Teams attempting to show the Massey Ferguson is a light weight racing machine. However, the adult pull required engine assistance, once again demonstrating that a team of BSC Cadets can do anything! With the wind predicted to reach the “Please can we have some more” rating, everyone was happy when the sea breeze kicked in allowing a record 52 dinghies to head up to Maldon in an assault on the Promenade for Ice Creams. Operatic singing featured heavily on some boats creating a stir with the tourists. One of the most popular features of this years Cadet Week was the Day Sailing and RYA 4 Groups headed up by Belinda and Nigel in the Quests. Down on the Lake, the light winds meant the newer cadets could extend their new-found knowledge gained in the previous days to show off some very impressive sailing. In the evening it was time for the Cadets to Disco. A new addition this year was the photo booth and nearly 400 pictures of cadets in various disguises were snapped up.
Day 5 – Last Day. Fancy Dress was the name of the game and both Cadets and Parents came up with some amazing costumes based on the letter L with the Cadet Committee connecting as Lego. Resident Drag Act Drac, came up with Lawn Lady although he was possibly beaten into second place this year by Rob C as the Python Lumberjack. The wining Cadets Team were the Lion King(s) – you could have been in Disneyland! It was another light wind day but with the sea breeze helping once again, it was the Cock O the Cadets Race with all the winners of the previous days classes, racing in Toppers for this highly coveted trophy. Sophie managed to overtake Joey on the last leg to take the overall prize. The parents also took part in their own race which was won by a light weight Marcus. Meanwhile, some of the more experienced Lake sailors went over the wall for the first time for Ice Creams at Mill Beach. Amazing job guys!!!!!
A superb week of sailing and fun was made possible by the Cadet Committee, the Cadet team and the instructors with the support of all the adult helpers - a massive thank you to everyone involved!
With thanks to Kate Stewart, Nicky Johnson and Zoe Nelson for the photos.
A massive thank you to the 38 adult and cadet members who gave up Saturday 21st July to help get the club and grounds looking good for Cadet and Club week. They toiled all day in the brutal heat and as the tide went out, a team waded through the mud to rebuild the rill, working until they dropped with exhaustion. Ditches were cleared, hedges cut, piles of rubbish and mounds round the lake were cleared and grass was cut. The patio and white benches were power washed and the boat park labels were all checked. Many other essential jobs were done during this and the winter work parties so thank you to those who have given many hours to the club to do jobs that we would otherwise have to pay external contractors to do.
Highlight of the day was when the warden hijacked a passing ice cream man and forced him to park by the club house. He was only allowed to leave when we had had ice creams all round!
On the weekend 30th June - 1st July the club hosted down river Open Meetings for the Southeastern Area Championships of the Snipe class and the English Championship of the National 18 class in 15-25 knots of wind and brilliant sunshine. The weekend also included full cadet training on the lake and river for 84 cadets with race coaching on the river for Optimists, Toppers, Lasers and Fevas and a seamanship course in our RS Quests. There was also a full programme of club racing throughout the weekend. With careful organisation and some give and take, a great weekend was had by all and our facilities coped remarkably well in absolutely fantastic, warm sailing conditions.
Photos (c) Zoe Nelson and Nigel Butler
On Saturday 23rd June, 54 new members joined us at the club for the new members reception. They were introduced to the flags team and some of our committee members and club officers and were given the opportunity to learn more about how things work at the club. As the evening approached, Allan Hunt and his team fired up the BBQs and set to work cooking for the new members and over 50 existing members who joined us for the Mid Summer BBQ on a lovely warm evening. This year, we laid on a second sitting for our returning BJRC sailors coming back from a great sail contesting the Brown Cup. This proved to be very popular, Tommy Mills was so keen to get there that he sailed Geronimo up the rill almost 3 hours before high water! A very pleasant evening was had by all and the bar was kept busy. Many thanks to all those who helped make this event a great success.