Those of you who have visited the club this week may have noticed that the training lake looks bigger. You are not mistaken. Contractors have been working hard clearing 30 years of reeds and growth that have gradually caused the lake to shrink. No longer will be be able to loose cadets and entire boats in the reeds and we now have about 10% more water area to enjoy sailing on.
On Sunday 26th February Blackwater again hosted a round of the IOCA East Winter Training. Over 30 keen and enthusiastic young sailors ranging in age from 9 to 15 and from 11 different clubs gathered to be welcomed by plesantly warm (for February) conditions and an ideal 10 knot wind.
They were divided into four training groups on the river and two groups on the lake. Once they were afloat, the wind quickly built to a steady 20 knot SW, gusting 30+ knots at times. The SW wind against the incoming tide quickly built large seas which resulted in all manner of spectacular capsizes, nose dives and pitchpoles. The numbers afloat gradually dwindled but those who did continue demonstrated amazing heavy weather boat handling.
Congratulations to David Evans and all his team for all their hard work organising another great day of training at Blackwater.
On Valentines day 75 people decided that on this popular romantic evening of the year to forgo the quiet romantic evening with a loved one to attend a humorous evening talk from Dave Selby. He entertained us all with witty tails of his travels on his 18ft Sailfish all the way down to Southampton.
Another successful working party was held last weekend with a big thank you going to those that turned up to work. There was however a noticeable lack of active dinghy sailors helping out with all the hard manual work that was carried out by the regular set of willing helpers. Work was done to connect the last section of the utilities ducting all the way up to the wash down. Work was done to the doors on the members workshop along with general tidying up and litter picking around the club grounds.
The first weekend of the Cadet Section Winter Sailing called the Brass Monkey Lake Sailing Series took place today. It was run in two sections - first up were the Optimists then the Fevas and Toppers. All the youngsters who took part on this chilly day, with a nice gentle breeze, put to shame the adult racers that could not raise enough numbers to put on a race on the river!
The next one will be next weekend on Sunday 17th February with the Optimists starting at 13:00 and the Fevas, Toppers and Mirrors afterwards.