Sailors, singers and new and old friends of HBSC came together on the weekend of the 16th and 17th of July to celebrate the lives of club members and to raise money for the charity Bloodwise.
Despite a dropping wind, some 25 boats were on the water for the start of the Paul Smith Memorial Race, a pursuit following a figure of eight course designed by race officer Brian Golton to keep sailors and the race team on their toes. Despite the Feva departing a little earlier than expected, everyone eventually was racing and the boats began overtaking each other and testing mutual understanding of rule 11. It was fantastic to see folk aged from 5 (and some 12ths) to 80 plus on the water sailing a variety of slow and fast boats.
The race for the Colin Sproxton trophy started with the boats now fighting an ever increasing tide and a failing wind. One lap was completed and the leaders were trying hard to complete a second without going backwards in the tide when the race officer reluctantly abandoned the race and based the outcome on the results from the first lap.
The Colin Sproxton trophy for the fastest boat on corrected time by a single-handed HBSC member was awarded to Ben Skull who had been sailing a Laser. Sam Dyer was awarded the youth prize. The Paul Smith trophy results, based on both races, were:
First: Chris Brearly and Gary Danilewicz
Second: Colin Smith and Nathan Hudson
Third: John and James Bennett
Everyone headed ashore to refuel with pasta and cream teas before a fabulous live show by the local Rock Choir. The chefs then made enough BBQ food to keep 80 people happy before local musician Dave Shepherd got the party started.
Three races were planned on the Sunday for the Jim Newbery Memorial Trophy. Race officer Dai set an optimistic triangle, sausage course and the racers somewhat-tardily made their way down the slipway as the wind disappeared towards Reculver. One boat as the helm put it `was in perfect position on the line, but 20 seconds early' so the individual recall flag went up as the start flag came down and three boats turned themselves around. The triangle went reasonably well for the faster boats but as the lasers were approaching the line, the tide was winning over the now non-existent wind and boats were heading off East. Some called it a day and came ashore while the leading boats carried on trying to make it to the windward mark of the sausage. Gareth Griffiths used his knowledge of the racing rules to legally get out in shallow water and hold the boat in place against the tide with the hope that the wind might pick up and they would carry on sailing. Assistant race officer Simon panicked slightly when the oldest sailors were spotted lying horizontal in the bottom of the other Wayfarer, but happily they were just ensuring there was as little movement as possible in the very light wind.
Eventually Dai admitted defeat since no boat was even close to finishing one lap and abandoned the race. Many boats were towed back from Reculver and some sailors paddled their boats ashore. After an early lunch and much fruitless wind gazing, all racing for the day was sadly abandoned.
A huge thank you to everyone who came along, to those who volunteered their time and especially to those who organised the weekend. As Commodore Alistair said when presenting the trophies on the Saturday, HBSC is a great club because it has great members who put a lot in and get a lot out. Very fitting given this weekend was to celebrate the lives of past members and to remember the contributions they made to the club. A fabulous fun weekend with a huge sum raised for the blood cancer charity Bloodwise.
Photographs taken on and off the water have been posted by various members on the Herne Bay Sailing Club - Members Forum facebook group.