Sunday Sailing

Three New Dinghy Instructors

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Congratulations to David, Lucia and Zoe who have all successfully completed their RYA Dinghy Instructor training courses. David is now a fully registered instructor, Lucia and Zoe just need to update their First Aid certificates and complete the paperwork.

This is a big milestone for the Club as we build a new cohort of Sailing instructors over the next few years. Back in the spring we inducted nine Assistant Instructors. Over the next few years we hope these foundations will provide a sustained team to help us introduce more juniors and adults to our sport and club.

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.

SUP The Future, Social Sundays are here.

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First a huge thank you to Paula and Maurice from Mindful SUP (website http://www.mindfulsup.co.uk/ ) for making our SUP trail so successful. 

Our trial of Stand Up Paddle Boarding came to an end on Sunday 20 June. Over 100 people have enjoyed Paula’s Introduction to Stand up Paddle Boarding. Many more have come to the club with their boards and enjoyed our “warm and friendly”, “sociable” Sundays. We have also started mixing the paddle boarding with social sailing and model boating. Social Sundays here we come.

During the trial we made a few mistakes, none too serious and we learned a lot. We have also welcomed several new members who are also now joining in with other club activities. So where next?

Running the SUP sessions has taken a lot of volunteer input, particularly having to run a booking system for visitors and temporary members through the current covid restriction. Our systems need updating. We also need more volunteers to open the club on a Sunday morning, prepare the safety boat and close up at the end of the day.

From Sunday 27 June we will move to “Social Sundays”:

  • SUP will run alongside Social Dinghy Sailing and Model boating.
  • Access to the Flash will be for full members only.
  • We will not be running a booking system, nor will we be offering day membership.
  • Members must sign in the logbook for Covid Track and Trace.
  • We need a group of named volunteers to open and close the club and prepare the safety boat.

If we can get enough Volunteers, then we may be able to offer temporary day membership and training in the future.

In the mean time, for anybody wanting SUP training Paula and Mindful SUP will be offering courses on the River Dee. You can contact Paula through her website http://www.mindfulsup.co.uk/

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.