Summer Season Round-Up

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Here’s a summary of what been happening at Gresford Sailing Club this season:

The Schools Sailing Introduction has been going very well with the twice daily Thursday sessions for local schools. We have been told by the RYA Wales that the total number of children attending The Flash in all our school & club classes are more than half of the total listed in the whole of North Wales. Our club has gained a great reputation.

Discover Sailing Week started on Sunday 29 May finishing on the following Sunday attracted some new members to the club

Jubilee celebrations

The clubhouse was done up to the nines for the Queens Jubilee celebrations with snacks on the galley counter available throughout the day.

Outside the clubhouse was decked with bunting fluttering in the North-easterly breeze, the union flag flying proudly at the top of the pole. Four dinghies on the water for members to enjoy and visitors to taste the thrill of sailing and hopefully acquire a liking for it. The paddle boarders were busy circumnavigating the Flashes calm waters outside the markers. One point which drew a lot of attention was David’s demonstration of the spinnaker to make the most of a favourable wind. The highlight of the afternoon was the barbecue and the ladies running it, a big thanks to Zoe for all the work she put in and the material she supplied. Made the day!

Model Boat show

The weather took a downward turn Sunday morning curtailing all the planned activities on the lake this channelling all the energy into the model boat show in the clubhouse. this brought out some never seen models. Some very smart little, small boats on show kept the punters enthused for a couple of hours then it was time for a brew and use up the goodies from the barbecue. thanks to Lorraine and Zoe for the cake plus Chris for the scones.

Model Boaters Chain-link Competition

The model boat section held a competition whereby the entrants had to modify a chain-link into a model. Paul is the happy winner with Gone Fishing, Well done!

Dinghy Instructor Courses

We hosted a RYA 5-day instructor course, a big thank you to all members who made this possible and well-done to 6 candidates on their success. All present were very impressed with our very safe to train location.

Heatwave

July saw the start of the heatwave; this caused us to lose a lot of water on the Flash (around 18 Inches) but we still were and still are able to sail.

We have had St Martins Scouts and another scout group visiting the flash over the summer for some evenings of sailing

Below is a picture of Chris’ entry into the Gresford scarecrow festival featuring Queen Elizabeth and the Duke of Edinburgh sailing a Topper in front of the Royal yacht Britannia.

BBC Weatherman Walking

August saw Derek Brockway the Weatherman Walking Visiting the Flash with a Welsh BBC film unit and was with us throughout the afternoon and early evening, they were busy capturing video for the forthcoming BBC TV broadcast, “Children in Need” program.

The experience of the afternoon was enjoyed by all of us and one member of the film crew told me they would love to come again. Eddie Kept the kettle on and cups of coffee and tea, a good stock of biscuits and Lorraine’s absolutely taste bud tantalising cake, Thanks, Lorraine

Bala

Our juniors attended an all-day On Board Dinghy sailors’ event at Bala Lake. This gave our team opportunity to experience a competition away from Gresford. We congratulate Jessica, James, Freya & Sam for achieving such good results. Thank you again to the support team.

Pirate Day at The Flash

All who attended thoroughly enjoyed themselves as did the parents. Again the organisation was spot on & much appreciated.

Model Section

Our model section continues to go from strength to strength with organised class racing on Wednesdays & Saturdays. Other organised novelty events with timed tug towing & mooring which takes a lot of skill to complete. We also have high speed electric & some very well-built scale models on the lake to marvel at.

Stand Up Paddleboarding

We still have SUP members taking advantage of our lake which is ideal for gaining experience on. They mostly attend on Tuesday / Thursday evenings & Sundays, not as a group but pair up for safety. We hope to continue the Sunday sessions until the end of the year.

Funding

We have been awarded a substantial Grant from RYA/Sports Wales to procure some new equipment, soon if not already you would have seen a new fleet of Toppers for our Junior section to use, some Laser 2000 double handed dinghies to replace some of our ageing GP14 club boats and soon we will also have a new electric outboard and battery pack.

One of our members Elin along with her friend and skipper Lou have competed in the round the Britain and Ireland race (aboard Chris’ White Knight of Purbeck) becoming the youngest female crew to finish the race, well done Girls!

That’s about it for now, thanks again to all the volunteers both on & off the water for supporting our club.

(Pictures courtesy of Barrie and members from our WhatsApp group)

Introducing Thursday Evening Social Sailing

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All are welcome to come down to the Flash on Thursday evenings 1800-2030 for social sailing during the summer months.

Dinghy sailors must have safety boat cover in order to sail.

When Stand Up Paddle boarding or sailing your model boat there must be a minimum of two people on site for safety reasons.

Feel free to reach out to me (Lee) for safety cover by emailing webmaster.gresfordsc@gmail.com, if I can’t help I’ll try to find somebody that can.

This week on the Flash

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A quick update on our activities.

Thanks to RYA Wales, instructors and the parents for making the open Junior sail training that has been taking place over the last two Sundays such a success.

We have been training parents/volunteers to assist with Friday Evenings Juniors which will help the sessions going forward. Our thanks to these volunteers.

The Clubhouse is being tidied up & the toilet block is almost ready for the new season. Just needs a bit of TLC to complete.

Club boats & equipment are now ready to be used.

Wedensday evenings: weekly dinghy racing with an individual handicap system. This allows anyone with the basic skills to take part, use a club boat or crewe for others.

Please come along, to take part, watch or help out as it’s a great way of getting involved & learning the system. You can plod round the course, watching & learning or be competitive. The choice is yours, no pressure.

Saturday morning improver sessions start for parents/adults to have a go plus Junior Improvers who are capable of sailing unaided are welcome. Club boats can be hired.

Thanks again for all of your help in keeping our club going.

BPeteB.

Saturday Sailing and a look to the week ahead.

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Saturday sailing starts tomorrow morning with our new family improvers series.

Sailing times next week

2/3. Saturday  morning  family improver series 9.30 – 1.00. Model boats 2.00- 4.00

3/3 Sunday Social sailing 10 – 4

Junior open training all day Sunday., must  be pre booked. 9.30 – 4.30

5/3 Tuesday evening social sailing from 6.30, also parent/ instructor pre season

6/3 Wednesday Model boats 10 – 4. .  evening Dinghy racing restarts 6.30

9/3 Saturday Family Improver series. 9.30 – 1.00, Model boats 2.00- 4.00

10/3 Sunday Social sailing

Junior open training book online via Welsh sailing

K2 Explorer Scouts on the Flash

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This Morning we were host to the K2 Explorer Scouts, great fun was had by all, the fantastic weather made it even more enjoyable although we could have had a bit more wind!

To find out more about Explorer Scout Unit vist them at http://k2esu.org.uk

Membership Renewal

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Just a reminder that the link Gresford Sailing Club at membermojo membership renewal at a reduced price from £65 to £55 expires at the end of the month.

We now have a workable program for this season which is viewable on our website Gresford Sailing Club plus other information.

Again this Saturday we will be continuing the preparation work for re-opening the club for dinghy sailing if anyone feels they can help.

The model section has kept the clubhouse & grounds alive over winter which is much appreciated.

BPeteB.

2022 Yearbook

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Please use the below link to download the 2022 yearbook (hard copies will be available shortly in the clubhouse).

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1NNv_OzHTRkUEizXFB0eRcbKT7chLME4V/view?usp=sharing

RYA Wales

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RYA Wales are running some training sessions in the next few weeks details below for those interested…

An evening at RIBRIDE – Wednesday 16th March. A taster session of RIB night navigation on the Menai Strait. Cost £25, 4 places left. Start 5.30pm. Book here

 

A Safety boat refresher day at Gresford Sailing Club with Trigger and Caroline to get you ready for your safety boat duty at the club or just refresh your skills. Book here

 

RYA Cymru Wales junior coaching days to introduce some basic racing skills before the start of the new season. Hosted by Gresford SC with coach Elli Williams and aimed at those who are new to racing but can sail a triangular course.

https://welshsailingevents.org/event-registration-2/?ee=890 3rd April

 

https://welshsailingevents.org/event-registration-2/?ee=891 10th April

 

Please book using the links.

 

If you need any more information, please get in touch at rosie.hearn@ryacymruwales.org.uk

March 2022

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We have some work parties coming up on the 12th and 19th please try to attend one of these sessions to get ourselves ship shape before the sailing season kicks off, hope to see you there.

Work Parties

Saturday 12th All day

Painting Changing rooms, tidy club grounds, tree clearance

Saturday 19th All Day

Rigging club boats, putting out racing marks, cleaning clubhouse, painting

Model Boats

Saturday 5th 10.00 – 17.00

Saturday 12th,19th,26th 14.00 – 17.00

Wednesdays 2nd,9th,16th,23rd,30th 10.00- 16.00

Dinghy Sailing

Saturday 26th 9.00 – 13.00

Scouts sailing.

Club OOD/ safety boat training

Sunday 27th

RYA Safety Boat training. Open to non members book through Welsh Sailing

2022 Calendar

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Hot off the press is this years calendar, dates for our model boating section have now been added.

I for one can’t wait to be back out on The Flash 🙂

Calendar

Lee W (admin)

GRESFORD SC LATEST NEWS 25 Feb 22

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Activities

The members are now in full preparation mode for start of this years dinghy season.

We start again on Saturday 02 April from 10:00 to 13:00 with a members improving session & own boat sailing.

Tues evening Social Sailing, Wed evening Club Racing, Friday evening Junior Training, Sunday all day Social Sailing are also on the calendar. From the end of March to December for these sessions.

Not to forget our Model Section who sail all day on Wednesday from 10:00 to 16:00, Saturday from 14:00 to 17:00 (All day in winter) & can sail with the Social Sailing as above.

Models sailed are yachts & power models that are not internal combustion engine powered. We mainly have DF65 model racing on Saturdays & DF95 models on Wednesdays. Mixed in with these we have other yacht types including Marbleheads & IOM class. Power models have plenty of room to play with on the large lake. We have the use of a rescue boat & full use of the clubhouse.

Stand Up Paddle Boarding can also take place on The Flash during the Social Sailing sessions.

We do not supply SUP boards or train you on these. You would need all of your own equipment for this dicipline.

Anyone who is interested in any of our activities you can come down to meet us, have a chat & see if we can help you in any way.

To join see https://membermojo.co.uk/gresfordsc/joinus to join which is £65 adult per member,

£25 for 18 to 25 year olds & £15 for under 18’s once parent/guardian has joined.

Once joined members can take part in any of the above activities.

Please contact me if you have any other questions

BPeteB.

Secretarygresfordsc@gmail.com

Commodore’s Report to the Annual General Meeting 2022

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12 months ago the Challenge for the committee was “to make Gresford SC Thrive again in 2021 and beyond” particularly after all the trauma of 2020.

Covid has been ever present and the necessary restrictions impacted on many of our activities last year, however, so far as we are aware, we have avoided any infections arising from The Club and its activities. Thank you to Pete as our Covid Officer for all your work and guidance keeping us safe.

  • We started the year in lockdown, reviewing the Club’s Development Plan
  • Early projects as lockdown restrictions allowed included
    • Completing the boat shelter, Nick, Simon and Tim.
    • Cleaning out and painting the toilet block. Thank you, Gordon, for getting this long overdue project underway.
    • The second phase of the Toilet block refurbishment, replacing the windows and rendering the block work was completed in the spring. Thank you, Bill, for organising that.
    • Bill and Pete also led the clearing and redecorating of the Club Room with new storage units, a cooker and fridge.

Model Boats, the backbone of the club through the lean years, has continued to grow and draw in new members. The racing events are as keenly fought as ever. We also opened our doors to Ellesmere Port Model Boat Club who are currently struggling to find a suitable venue. Some Ellesmere members are now looking to join us at Gresford.

Our first major recruitment drive came with our Reg Gibbs Discover Boating week in May. With help from Paula at Mindful SUP we introduced Stand Up Paddle Boarding to the club and trained over 120 people how to use a board safely and recruiting new members along the way.  I am sorry Pete that we did not have the systems you needed to deal with the amazing popularity of this event. You achieved marvels.

Friday Juniors took off on the back of the Reg Gibbs week, and has regularly attracted more than 30 Juniors throughout the season, the highest sustained numbers for many years. Initially this put a huge strain on our Volunteer Dinghy Instructors and training organisation; however, three new Dinghy Instructors have now qualified, David, Lucia and Zoe. We have also inducted a new corps of Assistant Instructors and taken them through RYA First Aid Training and Power Boat 2 Training. We will be looking to support their continuing development as Dinghy Instructors over the next few years. We also need to recruit more willing Volunteers and Assistant Instructors to follow on over the coming years.

Covid Restrictions made it difficult to run the usual RYA Adult Training Courses in 2021, though we did run one small course.   

In September we tried something different. On Saturday Mornings we started informally introducing parents of Juniors to sailing, following the RYA Method and including training for Children. As a result, many who would not otherwise have had the chance, learned to sail. Many of this Saturday Group then went on to compete in the Frostbite Series.  A big thank you to Zoe, for your infectious enthusiasm drawing this group together and helping to train them.

Dinghy Racing had a slow but sustained start largely through the Wednesday Evening racing. We postponed the Arthur Jones Classic from May initially due to Covid Restrictions, then built it into our Regatta Weekend in September. The Classic was keenly fought with new racers giving the old hands great competition. At least one old hand tried too hard and should have known better.   Moving swiftly on…  As I have mentioned the Frostbite series was a great success with new sailors joining old hands and enjoying the thrills (and spills) of racing on the Flash.

Chaos before the start of Bart’s Bash Rac

2021 also saw the return of Schools and Youth Groups to Gresford SC. Two Scout groups came for Taster sessions on Thursday evenings in September. We have also been approached by other Scout and Guide groups for sessions in 2022.

The big step was with the help of the “All Afloat” Charity introducing three Wrexham Junior schools to sailing on Thursdays. Seeing these children grow and thrive over their 6 week session in June and July, then 6 more weeks in September and October was a real joy. Many of the children who came, would not otherwise have had the opportunity to try out our wonderful sport. We are looking to repeat and grow all these sessions again in 2022.

Working with “All Afloat” we have also been able to set up a structure to receive payment for the use of our facilities and qualified Instructors, opening up new income streams for the club.

Talking of finance, As Nick will explain the Club has been in the fortunate position of continuing to receive Covid grants. Our target was to reach year end with £10k in the bank, Our finishing point with £16k in the bank was a combination of prudent investment, increased membership and opening up new income streams.

We were able to invest in:-

  • Underwriting our Reg Gibbs “Discover Sailing Week” and membership drive bringing in new members, especially families.
  • Refurbishing the toilet block, now going into phase 3 refurbishing the interior led by Chris from the Model Boat section.
  • Re-decorating the Club Room and replacing the rusty steel furniture has made a big difference. We still have budget in hand to replace the flooring. 
  • Replacing the old white dory with the centre steered Dell Quay Dory, which also allows us to continue to provide Powerboat training as well as a stable platform instructing and a great Safety Boat.
  • Replacing the tippy small dory with another O Boat for the Model Boaters to use as a recovery boat, and as an additional safety boat. This puts our safety fleet is a great state for many years to come.
  • Collecting the new pontoons.
  • Support Dinghy Instructor training, First Aid course and PB2 training.
  • Growing the Club Fleet by one Topper and starting to tackle a backlog of maintenance on all the boats. This will continue in 2022
  • Underwrite restarting our Social calendar including Fireworks night.

The Social Side of the Club has been in the doldrums for several years. Covid restrictions did not help. But at last, in September, we were able to restart our Social programme and did we have a ball? Regatta Weekend started on the Thursday with the “All Afloat” Schools sailing, then a scout group came in the evening for a taster session. The Last Night of the Juniors was great fun with sailing, paddling, cakes and certificates. Saturday Morning was the Arthur Jones Classic Regatta with Elin sailing a Solo for the first time taking both Solo Trophy and the overall trophy. Least said about the performance of the other Solo skipper the better. The Model boaters held their exhibition of amazing models. Quiz and Chips was back with a vengeance, including the sale of Children to each team for the hard-fought Paper Boat Championship. Well done to Gareth winning the top prize.  It was a pity you scoffed all the chocolates at once and were too sick to join in Pirate Day. Pirate Day, what can I say? Absolute chaos in fancy dress: Barts Bash drag race, then the Pirate Games. Thanks to the ghost of “Pirate Pete” for the Treasure Hunt, also to the mums for the catering.

Regatta Weekend brought together our new band of cake makers and socially inclined volunteers led by Zoe, and how they have grown from this flying start.

For many years GSC Bonfire Night was a long-standing community event, but was also a huge risk that had often lost money for the club until it was stopped a few years ago. Creating space for and building the bonfire always caused a lot of work.

So we redesigned the event as Fireworks Night, without the Bonfire (but with Bill’s pig) and hit the publicity hard via social media. Nick managed to negotiate an excellent deal with Waterways Garden Centre for the fireworks and our insurers were reasonable in their demands. On the night we were up against the much bigger Fireworks event at Gresford Football Club. It was a real joy that people the football club was having to turn away were able to join our event. We welcomed over 150 people to the event all of whom were really appreciative of the club and the event. Even the free loaders who parked along the road willingly paid up (thank you John for shaking the bucket) With sales of Hot dogs and soup the event made a margin of over £800 which we have set aside to underwrite our next Fireworks night.  The “Big” Fireworks display at Gresford football club fizzled out after about 10 minutes, we were still going after 30. Most of all we are now back in our community. 

As I have mentioned before, with the Saturday Group growing into the Frostbite Series and the growth of Sunday Social Sailing (and paddle boarding) you have reignited the dinghy side of the club. Thank you to all who have taken part and made this possible. 

Our Final Frostbite race followed by Mince pies, Carols and prizegiving was a good old traditional end to our season. Who knew that the words of Jingle Bells were so risqué?

It has not all been plain sailing. Our old membership register has shown its limitations. Pete and Brian have started moving it from sheets of paper and disconnected spread sheets to a proper Data Base. Our parchment and quill based financial systems also needs to be moved into the 21st century. Nick and Mark are now working to put the Membership renewal and applications on-line. More of that later.

Our Training Centre Procedures are being reviewed and updated rwady for a new Training Principal to take over from Nick.

Chris from the Model Boat section is leading the toilet block refurbishment with Simon sorting out the electrics and input from Nick.  Simon is leading on a new boat store and widening of the Car Park with Tim. Our Social Team has also started making exciting plans.

So, there is work for the new committee to do. And with the new season will come more opportunities to have fun on the water.

Talking of the Committee we are also seeing several changes.

  • Nick is standing down from the Training Principal role after over 30years involvement in the club’s training, and as Club Treasurer for the last year.
  • Bill has decided it is time for somebody else to look after the club’s grounds so is stepping down after 5 years as Club Captain. 
  • Gordon, Ray and Keith stepped in when things got tough in 2020 and have all played a quiet but essential role in stabilising the club and helping us get 2021 going.

On behalf of you all I thank them all for their efforts and contributions to the Club.

It has been a privilege to serve as your Commodore for the last year and a half. I trust that you will support the future committee and Commodore as much as you have supported the Committee it has been my honour to lead.

As I said at the start; 12 months ago though Gresford SC had survived 2020, the Challenge was “to make Gresford SC Thrive again in 2021 and beyond”. I think we have made a good start. Thank you all for making this happen.

Chris Jones

New Committee

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Following the AGM we have a new club Committee for the 2022 Season.

OfficerElected
Ex OfficioCommodore,Simon Jones
 Vice-Commodore,vacant
 Rear Commodore,Chris Jones
 Honorary SecretaryPeter Barker
 Honorary TreasurerMia Young
 Club CaptainBill Jones ….  With support,
 CommitteeDinghy RepresentativeMark Richardson
 Model Boat RepresentativeChris Pendlebury
 Junior RepresentativeDavid Jones
Social CoordinatorZoe O Neill
 Training PrincipalChris Jones
Welfare OfficerEleanor  Dowsett
 CommunicationsLee Wheatley

Toilet Block Phase 3

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The final phase of refurbishing the toilet block is now well underway led by Chris from the Model Boat Section with help from Nick & Simon. The walls have now had chance to dry out following the rendering and new windows, fitted in the spring. The old ceilings have all been removed and replaced with OSB, soon to be painted white. Simon has replaced all the wiring and all the old plumbing has been removed ready for a new hot water tank, showers and a gent’s toilet.

Phase 3 stage 1 new ceiling, plumbing and first fix electrics
All painted up just awaiting the new permanent lighting.

The team hope to finish the project ready for the new dinghy sailing season starting in March.

GSC Fireworks Back with a Bang

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After a long break our big community event, Fireworks Night, came back with a BANG.

Over 250 people joined us at the Club and several more from the road side (most of whom accepted our invitation to make a donation).

The excellent fireworks display run by Nick, Simon and David lasted for well over half an hour, beautifully reflected in the still waters of The Flash.

A dry warm evening for time time of year and a large crowd helped make a wonderful atmosphere, helped by lashings of hot dogs, cakes, hot drinks and other good food,

Thank you to Zoe and the Saturday Morning Sailing group for running the catering.

And just in case anybody was feeling a little chilled, Bill’s “Peppie the Pig” patio heater made from an old air cylinder kept the members warm on the front lawn. Who needs an expensive to insure bonfire?

The feedback has been amazing. Thank you to the whole team for making this such a memorable and sociable evening.

We will be back next year on 5 November 2022.

Training Re-certified

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Our Training Centre has been audited and re certified as a Recognised RYA Training Centre. Thanks to Nick, Simon, Brian and the team for all their work making this happen again.

We have also been certified to offer Dinghy Racing courses to supplement our Adult and Junior beginner and Power Boat courses.

Gresford Sailing Club Fireworks Night is Back

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Gresford Sailing Club’s popular community event is back this year:-

Fireworks Night

Friday 5th November,

Gates open 7pm, Fireworks over The Flash start 7:30pm

Entrance £5 per head, Children under 5 Free,

Pay in cash if possible please.

Parking included.

Refreshments’ including Hot dogs, Soup and Cakes

Please do not bring Sparklers; we will be giving glow sticks to all children.

Saturday Family Sailing

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Why should the kids have all the fun? As Friday evening juniors came to an end we asked if any of the parents would like to learn to sail. Nine parents and eleven juniors have taken up the challenge on Saturday mornings.

Parents and Juniors improving their skills

The aim is to build enough skills for more of our members to join and enjoy our Frostbite series of races in November and December. This not a formal RYA Stage 1 training course, but does follow the RYA Method to introduce (or reintroduce) members to sailing and to be able to sail round one of our racing courses either as helm or crew.

Junior Coaching on Saturday mornings

For the Juniors who are already at RYA Level 1-2 we are starting to introduce the basics of racing. We will start to introduce the parents to racing through the later sessions, then coach them throughout the Frostbite series.

Regatta Weekend 10-12 September 2021

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Pirates in action

Our Regatta Weekend started on Thursday evening with 6th Wrexham Scouts coming for a taster session. Lack of wind gave us the opportunity to get the Scouts into our Opi dinghies with paddles to learn balance and the basic control of boats. Teamwork saw some of the younger members winning the paddle races then exploring the Island. A theory session with knots and the naming of parts of the boats saw all 13 Scouts gaining their Level 1 Sailing badge

Juniors End of Season Party and Award of Certificates, Friday 10 September. Light winds and 36 children on the water. with nights drawing in this was a relatively short sailing session followed by the award of Certificates and a post sailing pizza party organised by the parents.

A successful end to Friday Juniors Sailing 2021

Arthur Jones Classic Regatta: Saturday 11 September. Racing for the GP14, Enterprise, Mirror and Solo trophies. Officers of the Day Nick & Simon organised a series of three races with fierce completion in variable and shifting winds. Elin sailing Nick’s Solo for the first time quickly got to grips with a new boat leading the fleet in the second and third races to take the overall trophy. Alan Rogerson excelling with his accustomed wind knowledge and guile to take second overall.

Arthur Jones Classic Reg Gibbs Trophy Results.
Overall winner Elin Jones
Solo           1st      Elin Jones                   2nd   Chris Jones

GP14          1st    Alan Rogerson                  2nd  David Hopkins 3rd   Peter Barker
Enterprise   1st   Leigh Whitley                    2nd John Young

Our Model Boaters put on an impressive display of their beautiful models in the club house, while on the water there was keen racing and more displays by the powered models.

Quiz & Chips and our annual Paper Boat Racing Competition, Saturday 11 September. About 35 members and guests came along for our fun, vaguely nautical themed, quiz night During the First round of the quiz teams competed for chocolate prizes which were then used to hire the younger members as their Paper Boat Racing competitors. The children then competed in pairs in two series of races Ultimate winners were Gareth and Cerys. The evening was rounded off with Fish & Chips, with a free bar and cake to celebrate organiser Chris’s milestone birthday.

Pirate Day with Bart’s Bash: Sunday 12 September.

Chaos and bedlam with a Pirate Theme. Fancy Dress optional.


11:00 Bart’s Bash Race, 20 boats and 24 competitors in this drag race around the Flash nearly beating our previous record of 23 boats and 24 competitors. Very light winds

Briefing the competitors
Chaos before the start
then the mass start.

Stiff father son competition saw Simon managing to hold off David to take the overall race, Alan again applying wind knowlede and guile to take second in his Graduate. Firther prizes for juniors sailing RS Fevas, Toppers and Opies.

Pirate games and Pirate Pete’s Treasure Hunts saw juniors (and a couple of parents) paddling around the Flash following Pirate Pete’s clues and red herrings to find a hoard of gold chocolate coins, Pirates then went on to build dens and consume their winnings.
Hot food, Pirates Punch, and other welcome refreshments were organised by the parents group in the club house,

Upgrading the Safety Fleet

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Our Fleet of Coach /Safety /Rescue / Assistance boats was sorely in need of upgrading. The old Dory affectionately known as “The Black Pig” had been holed and sunk too many times and was beyond repair so was scrapped last winter. The remaining little white Dory was unstable with water trapped in the foam between the hulls. A few years ago it tipped two model boater’s into the Flash, so was considered unsuitable for general duties. the two O Boats now named “Arthur” and “Reg” after our founders are just what we need for most duties, but with 30 Juniors we need a fleet of about 4 Coach boats for Friday Evenings. The requirements for RYA Power Boat 2 training also looks for a wheel steered boat that can reach planing speeds.

We set aside some of the Covid Grant monies to upgrade the fleet.

First a wheel steered Dory. RIBs are not really suitable for the Flash and a bit delicate for our pontoons, Simon,Brian and Nick started trawling the internet for suitable Dorys. With cathedral hull these make very stable boats both at speed and stopped. They are not so good as RIB in big waves but that is not a problem on The Flash. After much searching and comparing ideas we homed in on the Dell Quay 13′ Dory. several examples were viewed on line and a couple of examples written off due to ageing engines. Simon finally tracked down a contender in Devon with original gel coat a reasonably new four stroke engine and a nearly new road trailer. Chris was on a long weekend break in Devon so went to view the boat and check the engine ashore. A deal was struck well within our budget and Chris towed our new Dory back to the Flash.

On the Flash the Dory has lived up to expectations. Some minor problems with dirty fuel were quickly solved by Brian and Nick. With wheel steering, electric start and a fitted bilge pump the Dory is very initiative to use for car drivers. It’s stability is also remarkable.

Replacing the tippy little white Dory was a stroke of luck. O Boats are sought after for their proven robustness and stability. Simon spotted a couple of rare examples on E bay. One in Crew came without trailer and engine at a very reasonable asking price. We have suitable spare engines and the trailer which came with the Dell Quay Dory was suitable. So Simon arranged a viewing. Pete sorted out the EBay side of things and Chris went along as driver. The boat was in better condition than we could have hoped for at the price so a deal was struck, the boat loaded onto the trailer and back to the Flash within a couple of hours. Judicious use of a soldering iron fixed a couple of deep gouges in the deck, the missing bungs were replaced and the outboard bracket refitted.

Trials with the Model Boater’s electric outboard and the larger petrol outboards have been successful. Primary this OBoat will be kept afloat as recovery boat for the Model Boaters also as a fourth coach boat for dinghy training. The Model Boater’s who have tried it have been very impressed with their new boat.

Buying both boats we have used less than half our original budget and the quotations for a new boat store next to the container are very reasonable. Most of all the club now has a safety fleet which will serve well for many years to come.

Names for the new boats have been mooted: Rodney (after Rod Evans) for the Dell Quay Dory and Harry (after Harry Bainbridge) for the new O Boat, honouring both Rod and Harry’s long commitment to the club.

The tippy little white Dory is now up for sale.

Toilet Block Phase 2 Completed

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The new windows and pebble dashing of the toilet block has now been completed. Thank you to Karl and his team for all their hard work clearing a route around the building, stabilising the walls, fitting the new windows, rendering with lime based render then pebble dashing the wall. A vast improvement from the mouldy block work we had before. With the outside walls now water resistant we are allowing the walls to dry out before we start the next phase, refurbishing the interior, over the winter.

New windows, and pebble dashed, Phase 2 completed.

Along with the new boat house and the refurbishment of the club room our programme of building works for this spring /summer is now complete. Members and visitors have been very complementary of the upgrades to our facilities.

The next phases of building works will be the re plumbing the interior of the toilet block and building a boat shelter next to the container for the additional rescue boat.

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,  *Fully Booked with reserves
RYA Level 1- Level 2 course 15th & 22nd August 2021

The course is only open to members. The course fee is £60

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.