RYA level 1/2 Dinghy Courses 2021

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With Covid restrictions slowly easing we are now planning to run the following RYA Adult Dinghy training courses.  Normally we have a class of between 6 and 8 students but given the need for social distancing we will need to work on a one for one basis so we will have to limit the first course to 3 people. We will review numbers for the second course nearer the time.

RYA Level 1 course 18 & 25th July 2021, 
RYA Level 1- Level 2 course 15th & 22nd August 2021

To book a place please contact:- secretarygresfordsc@gmail.com

The Juniors are back and the Goslings are hatching

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Puddle Ducks taking to the water for the first time

18 Juniors from 11 Families joined us for the first night of Junior Sailing this season many for the first time. It was also lovely to see older juniors returning to brush off and develop their skills after the lost season we had last year. Nick Simon and Brian are now supported by our growing group of aspiring instructors Lucia, David, Elin, Katy and Isabel, All of whom have been sailing with us for many years.

Pirates, brushing up their skills

It was also a pleasure to welcome back former juniors now returning as parents.

Mean while our Canada Geese have hatched their first brood with six goslings. The nest by the slipway still has 2 eggs,and is barrier to give the geese a bit of space. The swifts have been around for a few weeks now and a blue tit has nested in the clubhouse wall.

First clutch of goslings of the season at Gresford Flash.

Stand Up Paddle Boarding (SUP) at Gresford Flash

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Spaces available for SUPing without instruction., please book in advance.

  • Have you wanted to try Stand Up Paddle Boarding but don’t know where to begin?
  • Do you already have a board but want somewhere safe to try it out?
  • Do you want to join in with this fast growing sport?

Come on down to Gresford Sailing Club and give it a try.

As part of our Reg Gibbs RYA Discover Sailing event we are trailing SUP on Sundays. 13 & 20 June 2021. We have teamed up with Paula from Mindful SUP to offer one hour “Introduction to SUP” sessions and we are opening the remainder of the Flash to Paddle Boarders.

Unfortunately due to concerns over wild life and the adjacent farm we do not allow Dogs at the Club.

With Covid restrictions we are having to limit numbers so Booking is essential:- secretarygresfordsc@gmail.com

Mindful SUP Training Sessions Now Fully Booked: Stand-by list is available

Paula will be running five training sessions per day,

  • 10:00 – 11:00
  • 11:15 – 12:15
  • Break
  • 13:00 – 14:00
  • 14:15 – 15:15
  • 15:30 – 16:30.

Numbers are limited to 4 Trainees per session. Children must be accompanied on the water by a responsible adult.  

SUP Training Availability

13 June: Fully Booked: Spaces on the Stand-by list

20 June: Fully Booked: Spaces on the Stand-by list

Charges

  • No additional Membership fee to existing GSC Members
  • £5 per Board for Temporary Membership of Gresford SC (Only available until 20 June.)
  • Children under 18 must be accompanied and supervised by a responsible adult. 
  • All Mindful SUP training sessions are £15 per head (this includes use of a board if you do not have your own).

Payment by Cash and Cheque only. Sorry we are not set up to take card payments.

Goodbye Spider Factory

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Neglected and un-loved

Our toilet block has long been a object of scorn and derision, neglected and unloved. But all that is changing. Phase 1 of the toilet block project is underway. A small dedicated team of Covid safe members (mainly Gordon) has been hard at work clearing the ivy off the outside and the inside of the building, sweeping out the cobwebs and spiders and repainting the inside of the toilet block ready for the start of the season.

Gordon showing the love.

Using some of the additional Covid Grant we are now preparing a more thorough refurbishment and upgrade of the toilet block. If money were no object then we could have knocked down the existing building and built a brand new enlarged facility to all the latest standards. But at £40-50,000 it is not within our means and grant funding for this is not currently available. Also Keith our landlord does not want any further development on the land beyond what already has planning permission. We did look at a temporary Portacabin type block, but these would be smaller than the existing block and would require planning permission along with a load of other administrative hurdles. Refurbishing our existing building is an affordable and viable proposition.

Various options are being considered

Phase 2 of the toilet block project will be to fit new windows and secure the outside of the building, repairing some damaged block work and sealing the blocks to reduce water penetration. Contractor’s prices are in and acceptable. This work will go ahead in the next few weeks.

Phase 3 will be to tackle the antiquated plumbing and bring the showers up to modern standards, along with some minor improvements to the layout, insulation and fitting a ceiling in the male changing room. An initial budget estimate is affordable. We are now working up the details.

HRH Prince Phillip The Duke of Edinburgh

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Following the sad news of the death of HRH The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, Gresford Sailing Club wish to send our deepest sympathies to Her Majesty and family at this sad time.

Preparing for the New Season at Gresford SC

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It looks as though we are going to have to be patient waiting for lockdown in Wales to ease just a bit further before we can start boating again. Hopefully the First Minister’s next announcement on 25 March will bring a bit more clarity.

In the meantime our maintenance teams have not been idle, getting the club ready for reopening.

  • Gordon has been busy clearing the ivy off the toilet block and painting the windows, toilets and changing rooms ready for the new season. Goodbye “Spider Factory”.
  • In the Clubhouse Peter has been redecorating and sorting out the storage. Bill has been busy finding contractors to lay new flooring. The old cooker is no longer safe so is going for recycling, Peter has sourced a replacement cooker and fridge.
  • Outside, Captain Bill has been working with Nick to identify all the trailers in the trailer Park and boats in the boat park.
  • The steel frame for the boat house has now been galvanised. Nick & Tim are preparing to install it and clad it in the next few weeks.

Looking further ahead we are planning some special events as Covid restrictions allow:

  • May: Reg Gibbs RYA Discover Sailing Week. (Chris)
  • June/July: Arthur Jones Classic Regatta (Nick & Simon)
  • July/ August: Rod Evans MYA Model Boat Open (Keith)

We have also updated the Club’s Development Plan and are now scoping out a group of projects which will hopefully attract Sport Wales “Be Active Wales” grant support as we “Progress” to “Tackle inequality” and “Achieve long term sustainability”.  If you want to know more just ask.

Start of Wednesday Evening Pursuit Series

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Our Wednesday Evening Pursuit Race series started again this week with five competitors in four boats working the fluky dying wind. Other members came to watch and catch up with each other after the long winter and covid lockdowns of last year.

The redecorated and reopened club room was widely admired. Thank you to Peter & Bill for all their hard work redecorating, Simon for sorting the lights and Nick for sorting out the new furniture.

Swabbing the Decks. Getting ready for reopening.

Timetable for Reopening as Covid Restrictions Ease

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Given the recent easing of Covid restrictions announced by Welsh Government our plan for reopening Gresford Sailing Club is:

  • Current operation: 2 Model Boaters at a time in 2 hours slots. Slots must be booked in advance. The accessible toilet is available if you need it but the club house and changing rooms remain closed (other than for maintenance).
  • From Saturday 24/3 Up to 6 people from different households can be on site. Please book in advance with the Secretary. Dinghies am, Model Boats pm.
  • From Monday 26/4 Restrictions ease to allow gatherings and organised events for up to 30 people. We are unlikely to exceed the 30 people on-site limit, so we will be back to full outside operation. The club house and changing rooms will remain closed.
  • Wednesday 28/4 Social Sailing, Shakedown and tuning up for the racing season.
  • From Monday 3 May, indoor venues can reopen. So we will reopen the Clubhouse and Changing rooms (Max 15 people).
  • Wednesday 5 May Evening Pursuit Series starts.
  • Friday 7 May Friday Juniors restart.
  • Friday 21- Wednesday 26 May: Discover Sailing Week, Advance booking for visitors/ guests / temporary membership
  • Sunday 23 May Start Stand Up Paddle Boarding Trial, Advance booking required.  

The usual covid restrictions still apply so:- Don’t come to the club if you are showing symptoms or suspect you may have covid. Hand washing, face coverings and social distancing recommendations remain in force. Everybody visiting the club must sign in for track and trace.

Dinghy sailing is restricted to single handed dinghies, household or social bubble, or a helm & crew who have been fully vaccinated

Because Covid advice and regulations are changed frequently with little warning, these dates may have to change at short notice. Please check this website for updates.

To book places in advance please e mail secretarygresfordsc@gmail.com at least 24 hours before you intend to come to the club.

AGM, New Committee and Commodore’s Report

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At the AGM on 3 February the Committee elected for the 2021 season is : –

Officer
Ex OfficioCommodore,Chris Jones
 Vice-Commodore,Simon Jones
 Rear Commodore,Vacant
 Honorary SecretaryPeter Barker
 Honorary TreasurerNick Blore
 Club CaptainBill Jones
 Training PrincipalNick Blore
 CommitteeDinghy RepresentativeNick & Simon
 Model Boat RepresentativeKeith Pizzey
 Junior RepresentativeElin Jones
 Social RepresentativeVacant
Welfare OfficerEleanor Dowsett
CommunicationsDiane Jones
  Gordon Knight
 

Commodore’s Report to the Annual General Meeting 2021

Before we begin, please take a moment to remember Rod Evans: Honorary Member, Trustee, former Commodore, Long term club secretary, and founder of the Model Boats. Rod died last year.

Gresford SC has been through a tumultuous few years.

  • 3 years of low water :
    • This hit the dinghy racing hard and diminishing Social programme
    • Junior Sailing got by 
    • Model boating proved very resilient, growing and evolving
  • The balance of the club has changed significantly over those three years.
  • Then just as Water Levels recovered last winter, we were hit with Covid,

The crisis point came with June’s SGM, after which over half the committee resigned. 

  • In July the remaining members of the old committee co-opted other members to form an Acting Committee.  I was persuaded to take on the role of Acting Commodore until the AGM. For 6 weeks we worked in the difficult area between those upset by events and the people who were working hard to save the club.
  • The formal election of a Committee at the SGM in September cleared the air and gave the club a chance to focus on recovery.

The true test of any ship (or club) is not the storms it survived, but did it deliver the goods?

When we were allowed to, we managed to stabilise the club and run most of our sailing sessions.

 SessionsAttendeesAverage
Total635398.6
Maintenance13624.8
Model Boats302949.8
Dinghy161227.6
Junior33511
Social12626
  • In just six months we have nearly completed an ambitious programme of projects. First the Covid adjustments including the sink. Then weeding the trees and bushes from the boat park, starting the boathouse, stoning the car park and finally the tree management from the boat park along the road to the Fisherman’s Bench.
  • Through the October lock-down we reviewed and update much of the club’s governance including our Constitution, Data and Safeguarding Policies.
  • Our RYA Accredited Training Centre was re certified just before the current lockdown came into force.
  • Over Christmas Di and I rebooted the club website  www.gresfordsailingclub.com
  • The Committee is also pleased to confirm that: Peter Barker, Tim Humphreys and Chris Jones, are being appointed as trustees of the Club to replace Harry, Rod and Charlie.

Covid has thrown up many challenges for the club. It has not been smooth, and there have been differences of opinion. But we would not have been able to function without our own Covid Heroes:

  • Kevin who securing the original Covid Grants (Now totalling £19k) and prepared the club during the first lock down.
  • Bill, Nick & Simon: Who prepared risk assessments, stewarding and generally sorting out the sailing sessions.
  • Most of all Peter: As our Covid Officer Peter has been trained by RYA Cymru. He has kept us up to speed with the ever changing rules, regulations and guidance. Then converted them into the context of GSC. He has also had to balance the conflict between the libertines and deniers on one hand with other members who are rightly terrified of this horrendous pandemic. In short, Pete made our 2020 season possible

Honorary Membership is a gift granted by the committee to recognise long term service to the club through good times and bad. This year we have three new Honorary Members: –

  • Paul Sharples: 2x Commodore and long term treasurer. Instrumental in the growth of the club over the last 10 years, securing grants which funded the Training Centre
  • Alan Rogerson: former Commodore and long standing committee member. Solid dependable and a voice of reason. With a wicked sense of fun on the race course.
  • A N Onimous who has never been a member of the committee but who has quietly looked after the club first in body and now in spirit with great humour over many years. I know who you are, you know who you are, we all salute you.

Gresford SC survived 2020.

The Challenge for the new committee:

Is to make Gresford SC thrive again in 2021 and beyond.

Roadside Trees

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It is that time of the year again when we prune the trees around the Flash. This year it is the turn of the road side trees. Work started in October with John Dutton running his flail along the verge, but because of the stumps and low branches over the lake he was not able to get to them all. So the Committee decide to use some of the Covid Grant monies to hire contractors to cut and chip the remainder. Most of this work was completed before Christmas. Chris has now cleared the brambles and brush in the corner near Mark 5.

Mark 5 Corner AKA “The Fisherman’s Bench” clear again

Old Wrexham road has become a very busy walking and cycling route, particularly during Covid Lockdowns. Passers by have all been very complimentary of the work, delighted that they can now see the Flash again. One described it as the best Christmas Present she could have had.

To complete the works we will have the contractors back to finish the area between the boat park and the road and we are arranging with Tim to use his JCB to grub out the stumps.