GSC Blog

Discover Sailing

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Have you ever wanted to dinghy sailing? Perhaps you used to go sailing and would like to take it back up. Come and see us at GSC on the following days to have a go and join in the fun.

14th May Sunday 1030 Social Sailing for all, a chance to crew and helm some of our club boats, If the weathers good we will have a BBQ on site so bring you bangers and burgers.

16th May Tuesday
1830 -Social sailing

17th May Wednesday
1030 Model boat session including DF racing.
1830 Dinghy Racing, come and try dinghy racing with one of our experienced helms.

18th May Thursday
1830 Social dinghy sailing

19th May Friday 1800 Friday night Juniors, Sailing instruction for our junior members, bring your child along and see how they can learn to sail safely with us, who knows you might catch the sailing bug too!

20th May Saturday
1030 Dinghy racing
1400 Model Boating session including DF racing.

There is a small chance you may end up getting wet, so please ensue you bring a change of clothes and a towel. we have hot showers and changing rooms on site đźšż

This is the last weekend to vote!!!

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Gresford Sailing Club “Probably the Smallest Sailing Club in the World”,
is a Finalist for the prestigious RYA “Club of the Year 2023” Award.
Please vote for us, follow this link:
https://awards.yachtsandyachting.co.uk/gresford-sc/


So how did, “probably the smallest sailing club in the world”, get to be a contender for this prestigious national award?

Why should the Kids have all the Fun?
We started “Engaging Mums”
• Providing Child Friendly Informal Adult Training on Saturday mornings led to new sailors joining our Frostbite Race Series
• With increasing confidence “Novice Parents” quickly became “Willing Helpers”.
• Willing Helpers are now becoming Assistant Instructors
“If it works for a lone parent it can work for anybody”

S4C At The GSC

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An S4C film crew came to Gresford SC last week to film a piece for the HENO show in January.

A cold bright day with thick ice on the Flash so no sailing. The Modelers put on a display of their models and played with Eddie’s new toy a small hovercraft (Dear Santa…..)

Martin and Bethan from Ysgol Penrhyn New Broughton were interviewed about the All Afloat Schools programme and Chris was interviewed about our nomination for RYA Club of the Year, then as the sun was setting Carys one of our juniors was interviewed too. Loads of film of the frozen Flash and our Modelers discussing their models.

We will update you when we know when the Heno show is going to be aired in the new year.

Gresford Sailing Club “Probably the Smallest Sailing Club in the World”, is a finalist for the prestigious RYA “Club of the Year 2023” Award.

Please vote for us,  follow this link: https://awards.yachtsandyachting.co.uk/rya/

“Probably the Smallest Sailing Club in the World”

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We are a finalist for the prestigious RYA “Club of the Year 2023” Award. 

Please vote for us,  follow this link: https://awards.yachtsandyachting.co.uk/rya/

So how did, “probably the smallest sailing club in the world”, get to be a contender for this prestigious national award?   

Part 1: History

Gresford Sailing Club was established by Arthur Jones and Reg Gibbs in 1959 with an ethos that “Cost Must Not Be a Barrier to Participation”. We sail on the 6-acre Flash near Wrexham. So far as we know this is the smallest lake used for a dinghy sailing club anywhere in the world.  

Very much at the “Grass roots” of the sport Gresford Sailing Club is not elite and it is certainly not at the forefront of technical innovation.,

Photo courtesy of the BBC Children in Need Weatherman Walking special

Prize-giving 2022

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A very cold & frosty morning greeted us at The Flash. Chris Jones literally broke the 6mm of ice with the dory. This & lack of wind led to Chris’s decision to cancel the last Frost Bite Series race.

Simon Jones (Commodore) thanking all in attendance for what has been a very good year for the club.

We managed to train 5 dinghy sailors this year, 2 to RYA level one & the other 3 to the higher level 2. Simon then presented level two certificates to Alex, Donna & Mia.

Dinghy Winners-

Frost Bite Series: 1st Lee Wheatley 2nd John Young 3rd & 1st Junior Isla McKeown

Presidents plate: Simon Jones

Presidents plate crew: Peter Barker

Ladies Trophy: Heather Bennet Williams

Commodores cup: Alan Rogerson, 2nd place Dave Hopkins

Summer series: Simon Jones, 2nd place Alan Rogerson

Enteprise trophy: Lee Wheatley

Capsize cup: Peter Barker

Wednesday Evening: 1st Lee Wheatley, 2nd Place Dave Hopkins

Arthur Jones Trophy: David Jones

GP 14 cup: Rob Beswick

Rookie trophies: Donna McKeown, Mia Young

Junior Endeavour: Freya Bennett Williams

Bermuda Trophy (Safety Boat): Steve Locke

Model Winners-

The model section has gone from strength to strength with Dave’s coaching & race organisation skills. We have several new members participating, some are ex dinghy sailors which is always a bonus.

Marblehead Class : 1st Alf Bridford, 2nd Bill Jones, 3rd Eddie Edwards

One Metre Class: 1st Eddie Edwards, 2nd Bill Jones, 3rd Barrie Finneren

DF 95 Class: 1st Dave Bradley, 2nd Keith Pizzey, 3rd Ian Barraclough

DF 65 Class: 1st Dave Bradley, 2nd Keith Pizzey, 3rd Bob Andrews

Most Improved Rookie Racer: Alan Dixon

Regularly Participating All Round Modeller – Alan Dixon

Best Tug Pull – Ray Jones. (He succeeded in towing an ‘O’ Boat with crew very successfully).

Most Prolific Rookie Builder – Alan McLellan

Weatherman Walking at GSC

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In case you missed it BBC Wales has kindly provided the segment that was filmed at The Flash this summer

GSC on The BBC

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There’s a small segment filmed at GSC during tonight’s Weatherman Walking Children In need special on BBC One from 8pm!

Gresford Sailor Elin Breaks Records in the Round Britain & Ireland Race

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Elin Jones from Gresford Sailing Club and her Skipper Lou Boorman from Pembroke have been awarded the Royal Western Yacht Club’s Endeavour Cup for their part in the RWYC’s 2023 Round Britain & Ireland Race. They are the youngest team ever to compete in the race, finishing 6th overall in their first offshore race. Lou, who celebrated her 20th birthday a few days before the race, is the youngest ever skipper. Elin at 19 is the youngest ever female participant.


The Endeavour Trophy is a special prize voted for by all the competitors in the race. The decision was unanimous.
The RB&I is a 2 handed sailing race starting from Plymouth with mandatory 48 hour stopovers in Galway, Lerwick and Blyth before returning to Plymouth. At over 2000 nautical miles long the race has been described by Sir Robin Knox Johnson, himself a 4 times winner, as “The toughest race in Northern Europe”.


It was not all plain sailing for Elin and Lou; on the first day they had battery problems and navigated to Galway without any electronic aids, using paper charts and Elin’s grandad’s old hand-held GPS. During leg 2 to Lerwick they were riding Storm Alex for 5 days from St Kilda to Shetland. By the time they reached Muckle Flugga, the northern tip of Shetland, the waves were over 10m high. Light winds plagued the next 2 legs. The tide stopped them rounding Flamborough Head for 5 hours. On the last night of their race their genoa halyard broke. They carried on by hoisting the genoa with the spinnaker halyard. They celebrated their finish in Plymouth at 22:48 on 26 June with Champagne and kebabs.


Elin & Lou have raised over £3,000 for Alzheimer’s in memory of Elin’s Grandad and Lou’s Grandmas all of whom died with the condition.


Elin started sailing at Gresford Sailing Club at the age of 8 in Optimist dinghies, before progressing through RS Fevas and Toppers. Gresford Sailing Club is RYA’s Welsh “Club of the Year 2023”. We will have more details in next month’s Essentials Magazine.

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)