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Webmasters Sailing Blog 2006

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17/12/06
Restronguet SC Well we've had the dinner & the AGM & Christmas is only a week away. Ken & I took "Midnight Express" for her last sail of 2006 to Restronguet for the Christmas Pudding Race, where we helped make up the fleet of over 50 boats. There were many different types of boats racing, Optimist, Mirror, Topper, Rs Vareo, RS Feva, Blaze, Firely, Solo, Enterprise, RS200, RS400, RS800, B14, 29er. Contender, Laser, Dart, Hobie Tiger, Int14 & us in the Tasar. Conditions were very light, varying around a force 2, not very exciting, but nevertheless enjoyable as we sailed once again in sunshine, & quite mild temperatures. 2006 has not been a vintage year for sailing, but once again we have had some excellent sailing days, but unfortunately not enough. However we only have 3 months to go before the whole process starts again. Merry Christmas & a Happy new year to all.
26/11/06
We launched for what was possibly the last race of the 2006 sailing season into a force 3-4 southerly breeze. There was a bit of a surf breaking on the beach, but we all, well 7 of us, 3 Tasars, 2 Contenders, 1 Osprey & 1 Laser, launched without too much trouble. Stacey set a large course, which gave a beat across the bay towards, Blackhead, with a fast planing reach back towards the beach with the added spice of waves to surf down. followed by a frustrating at times reach along the shoreline back towards Charlestown, though once we came under the influence of the Charlestown gap the boat speeds leapt forward again. It was probably one of the best sails of the season. There was enough wind to really drive the boats. The wind whilst quite strong was constant, Nick Eggett did extremely well, to sail his Osprey single handed and stay upright. The landing on the beach afterwards was the most nerve wracking moment of the day as we were all at the whim of the surf as we arrived, however we all made it back onto our launching trollies safely. Well we have lost far too many races this year but if we can have a few more like today then roll on 2007

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12/11/06
lunch time Today is a red-letter day, after 7 frustrating weeks of cancellations, the weather finally turned up trumps & we had nigh on perfect Porthpean conditions. The day was fine and dry with sunny spells but more importantly we had a moderate / fresh at times westerly. The windward mark, replacing the beach marks was set more inshore than normal thus causing some frustrating sailing as we approached it, sometimes lifted, sometimes headed. The gusty conditions caused a few capsizes, though the sea temperature wasn’t too cold, the wind definitely felt a lot colder since we sailed last. 11 boats came to the start line for the first race, which was a good turnout for November, with only 2 more race days left will be lucky enough to sail on both?
05/11/06
Calm beach Bonfire night tonight, but no fireworks on the water. For the 7th week in succession the fleet stayed ashore due to the lack of wind again. We did have yet another beautiful autumnal day, but at least we did salvage the remaining beach mark, having lost one a couple of weeks ago in the gales.





Calm beach Cast your eyes over the rare sight to the left. Here is a picture of club boats sailing in Porthpean Bay in 1953. The boat in the lead is a Merlin Rocket sailed by Bill Thomas. The picture was sent to me by Tina Thomas whose father in law was a member at that time.

29/10/06
The clocks changed last night but our chances of sailing were again thwarted, when the day dawned sunny, warm but windless. Yes still no sailing, this is the 6th weekend since the Club last had an organised race. The weather which for weeks has been very windy on Sundays, suddenly went to the opposite extreme - NO WIND at all, not even the hint of a breath. The sea was absolutely flat, as calm as any millpond. So we all stood around, basking in the unseasonal sun & warm temperatures, waiting for a breeze until it was obvious that there was no chance of the wind coming, before we abandoned.
08/10/06
Another week & sailing cancelled yet again. The wind which was a pleasant southerly yesterday whilst I was on the beach with my Grandchildren has swung into the south east and increased to a good 15 knots. The resultant waves and white horses out at sea brought the cancellation. Fortunately tomorrow we fly to Turkey for a week, so the expected sunshine and hot temperatures will be very welcome. I will raise a glass to you all.
01/10/06
once again the weather has thwarted us, another low pressure area has come swooping in giving us force 6 plus winds. Hopefully as we get over the September equinox then we might settle down to lighter winds. However I did attend the prizegiving at Mylore YC on Friday when present & past members of Porthpean swept the board in one of the Friday night series. Peter Pope & crew winning, Andy Nancarrow & crew second with Milke Pollard & crew third.
27/09/06
We had to cancel what was to be the last Wednesday racing of the season due to poor weather yet we still managed to have a very good post National 12 thanksgiving party. Now with no more Wednesday racing this year we must resort to Wednesday night socials at the club. Pool should prove very popular now that we have had the table recovered.

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26/09/06
3 Tasars from the Club have just attended a 3 day Tasar Nationals at Babbacombe, John Mark & Tony Dunn, Steve Mitchell & Charlotte Mather & Ken & myself. We had an 8 race series, 2 races on Friday, 4 on Saturday and 2 on Sunday. The weather was dry and quite windy, the wind was generally from the south east & the sea conditions were choppy, with waves on the beach. Launching & recovery would have been a major problem but Babbacombe was well organised with a very efficient beach party. There was a 45 boat entry, which was the highest Tasar attended Nationals ever. Steve finished 10th, John 25th and we were 12th. The racing on the Sunday produced some exhilerating reaches, especially the last one when the wind had picked up and had the entire fleet screaming along. The winner actually had the Dacron sails, which goes to show that the new plastic ones do not make too much difference to the boat's performance. The entry fee was £60, which included 2 cooked evening meals, tee shirts for helm & crew & a free raffle for lots of goodies. The start lines and courses were very good, the fleet well behaved, ( no general recalls) In summary a very well run Nationals.

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21/09/06
The forerunner of Hurricane Gordon swung into Porthpean, causing what I term really iffy weather, the surf on the beach was lively, but we could have launched & the wind on the water was strong with swirly gusts, sailable but not particular enjoyable. So the general consensus was to give it a niss. We are too near the Tasar Nationals to risk breaking anything mow. However the good news is that we had sufficinet people to race, so the early starts for the continuation of Wednesday racing is certainly do-able.
17/09/06
I spent a couple of hours on the beach yesterday with my granddaughter Jessica. The sky was cloudless, the sea was blue & shimmering with a lovely force 3-4 south westerly, perfect for sailing. Today dawned with heavy clouds & no wind, how typical of this season. We waited until lunch time when a light westerly filled in. By 13.00 it had steadied to a decent breeze and the fleet set sail for a 14.00 start. The conditions were nigh on perfect, with a force 2-3 breeze that gave shifty conditions, especially by the beach marks where huge gains or losses could be made. The clouds breaking & the sun coming out made the almost deserted beach look like paradise.
13/09/06
Tonight was the first Wednesday of the latest attempt to prolong our sailing season. A disappointing entry of 6 boats signed on for the first race of a 3 race series, Starting at 18.00 & having a shortish race meant that all were ashore by 19.00 and still in daylight, although it was a very overcast evening. The promised rain and strong winds did not materialise, leaving those racing to a pleasant sail. All apart from Nigely who suffered a freak accident when well in the lead on the last reach. As he gybed the tiller extension caught on the boom & ripped the rudder off the pintles, bending them so much that he could not sail to the finish & had to retire instead.
10/09/06
The forecast was for fresh southeasterlies, but once again they got it wrong and we ended up with a very light south easterly, which meant that for the low turn out that racing was on. Actually the conditions were so quiet it was almost boring, but Peter Phillips, crewed by Nigel proved very fast down wind managing to pass John Mark in the morning race. The sea was very dirty with lots of weed & debris in it, but we did see lots of baby jelly fish floating by. The afternoon race was unique due to a very thick mist that came down just as we were finishing, By that time we could see neither the shore, nor any of the marks. Fortunately we all sailed back to the beach ok and we even managed to recover the racing marks later.

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06/09/06
Happy birthday Neil, my eldest is 32 today, fortunately I am getting younger!! Well that's it, we have just finished our Wednesday night sailing for another season. Under heavy clouds and a light breeze 16 boats sailed home into the darkness, onto a very deserted, very peaceful beach. The majority of Wednesday evenings this year have been blighted by light winds, although I do recall one blowy night when I succumbed to a capsize, but apart from that we have had a very light winds series.
03/09/06
I rushed back from Bristol from another grand paternal trip to find that the weather forecasters were spot on. Strong, almost gale force south westerlies once again halted all sailing, though when in that direction we are somewhat sheltered and if enough sailors had turned up we might have raced, but alas we had to cancel.
30/08/06
Apologies for the lack of updates. Since I last wrote, we have had a very successful week with the National 12s. Thay were so delighted by the hospitality of Porthpean that they have asked to return in 2011. Racing commenced again last Sunday but I was away on Grand paternal duties so don't know what happened but I am told that it wasn't very exciting. Proper racing started today with the penultimaate Wednesday race. The morning forecast was for rain and strong winds. What did we get? Lightish winds and cloudy weather, however that didn't stop an intrepid bunch of 12 dinghies launching into a light offshore south westerly breeze. The windward mark laid under the cliffs made for a very tactical beat, overstsnding the mark one minute and than having to put in extra tacks the next. It was dark when we finally arrived ashore. Without doubt our summer has gone. I just hope that we will get a few nice spells before we lay up for the season.
20/08/06
August is a very busy month, no sooner finished with Falmouth week when we went straight into Fowey Week. Quite a few Porthpean members were involved, Ken & I sailed the Tasar whilsts others crewed for Peter Pope, Ken Higman, David Phyall & ex member Stuart Barker. The week provided the usual mix of good and bad sailing conditions & was highlighted by a very good display from the Red Arrows on Thursday evevning. This week we have started with the National 12 Championships, with 46 entries. Months of planning has now come to fruition and the week has started very well for all involved.
13/08/06
Well, just returned from a very windy Falmouth Week. We raced every day from Sunday 6th through to Friday 11th. In fact I missed the Tuesday due to driving up to Bristol to see my new Granddaughter, Katie, who was born on Monday. The week started out with lightish winds, freshening on Monday before rising to very strong winds from Wednesday onwards. The wind strength for the last 3 days was in excess of 20 knots, making it very tough going. Despite a capsize on the Thursday, the boat, sails & crew stood up amazingly well to the conditions. The biggest disappointment was the lack of proper reaches. Instead of fast exhilerating reaches, we were presented with very broad reaches which are fine if you have a spinaker boat but not so good for a Tasar. Despite all that we won 2 of the 8 races & were within 5 seconds of winning 3 others, which would have given us a win overall. Instead we had to settle for 3rd. I thought that the boat had escaped unscathed, but on unpacking today I noticed that one of the carpet strips for the dagger board required replacing & then whilst sailing hard on a reach, one of the diamond wires popped out of the spreader bar, on returning to the beach I found that one of the tensioning screws had become undone, which required the mast heal removing to replace. So now we should be in good shape for Fowey week, with hopefully lighter winds which should keep us out from racing in the river. Oh yes the wind at Porthpean proved very strong today so racing was abandoned.
09/08/06
After a very hard sail at Falmouth week I declined to bring the boat back for the Wednesday nights sail, which seemed a bad decision when I saw the relatively calm bay, with a good northerly offshore breeze blowing over it. However a few capsizes caught some unwary people out showing that the wind still had quite a strong bite.
02/08/06
So August is upon us and the season is now quickly passing by, after missing the weekend it was really good to get back on the water especially in a good breeze. The good weather continues but just for a while we are in the influence of the westerlies, however the light airs are set to return for the weekend.
26/07/06
Another balmy evening, yet a ligt northerly wind appeared and allowed us to sail. Not very exciting but enough to make the race more tactical than thrilling.
22 &23/07/06
This weekend saw the combined regatta between Porthpean & Pentewan. Sailors from the 2 Clubs met off Blackhead for the Long Distance Race. Unfortunately there was quite a mix up in comunications, especially with the Pentewan boats and they will resail the race sometime in the future. A mix up in the whereabouts of the selected buoys for rounding of the dinghies resulted in only 2 sailing the correct course. However the sailing was fast & furious & was enjoyed even by those who sailed the wrong course. Lessons can be learnt from this.

The Saturday night social was fantastic, a curry meal was provided by Tony & Lyn Dun. Live music was provided by the Dirty Livin Rythmm Band & a great time was had by all.

Sunday was racing round an Olympic course. Our entry was reduced by quite a few of the regular sailors missing due to other commitments, but the racing was sailed in hot sunshine with gusty offshore winds, which were very taxing to master. Prize giving was staright after the racing, which allowed the Darts to get home in good time.

19/07/06
Well the heat wave that has blessed us all, with sun has sadly left us without enough breeze to sail. Sunday's racing was abandoned through lack of wind and again tonights racing was also abandoned. Let's hope that the weekend coming forecast for light winds will not be too light again.
12/07/06
The weather was back to its quiet spell, but it didn't deter 19 boats making the trek out to the start line. The wind was in the perfect quarter, blowing from the west, but alas was very light by the time we started and gradually fell away as the evening wore on, finally finishing with a little drizzle.
09/07/06
Wednesdays sailing was cancelled to yet another windless evening, but today the wind was back with a vengeance. Overnight rain accompanied by gale force winds, didn't bode too well for us, but by dawn the rain had stopped and the wind had dropped off a little. Looking at the bay from the Clubhouse showed vicious gusts from an offshore wind hitting the water and spreading outwards. The morning race was therfore cancelled with the promised improvement of dying winds allowing the afternoon race to be held. Porthpean were pleased to welcome back Neil & Kath Cummins, with their little dog. Craig Varley generously allowed them to use his boat for the race. The wind for the race was very deceptive, being a lot stronger than expected, giving quite a few capsizes and hairy moments for all. Most people came ashore with aches and pains but with grinning faces, having survived very strong and challenging conditions.
02/07/06
Shark Alert ! Shark Alert! The basking sharks currently touring Cornwall finally arrived in St. Austell Bay, causing quite a spectacle to everyone on the beach. However they didn't interfere with racing of which only the morning race took place. Watching from the shore equated to watching paint dry as only one lap of a modest course took place. The wind sutch as it was came very reluctantly from the south. There was no improvement in the afternoon so the decision to abandon was quickly accepted.
28/06/06
The warm settled weather continues anf this Wednesday was another light race enabling shorts & Tee shirts to be worn. The wind showed just how fickle it can be, we arrived to find a light southerly wind blowing. By 18.15 it had vanished and 15 mins later a very light westerly sprung up, which put the start line out at sea, making some late launchers late for the start.
25/06/06
A very good weekend for Porthpean, we hosted a regional Laser event on the Saturday, having an entry of 20 Lasers, evenly divided between radials and full size Lasers. I made the mistake of trying my luck with my old Laser and have come to the conclusion that I don't do Lasers. The extremely uncomfortable hiking position is just too much for me at my time of life. Thr day was concluded by a superb BBQ which was lit immediately at the end of racing which allowed many of the competitors to stay on and participate. The weather for the day gave good sailing conditions in very sunny, warm weather. Sunday turned out to be a bit of a disappointment to start with, the light onshore breeze faded to nothing, causing us to cancel the race. However after an early lunch, we put to sea to have 2 good races in reasonable a north westerly breeze.
21/06/06
Well after moaning about light winds for weeks, the wind finally returned on Wednesday with a vengeance. An apparent F3-4 offshore breeze promptly turned into a strong F5 when we arrived in the starting area- very mind focussing. The gusts were strong when they came and the direction moved around considerably. Then to cap it all we had a capsize, one of the stronger gusts hit us as Ken was trying to take down the whisker pole and in we went. Unfortunately the jib stick was still attached to mast and sail and when we righted the boat promptly rolled over again. We finally righted and set off again to find that Stacey & Nick Eggettt had also capsized, probably from the same gust so pride was not too dented. Having said all that it was still good to be able to hike hard and drive the boat again, but I don't want too many races like that again for a while.
14/06/06
The midsummer long distance race was held tonight, due to the lightish conditions (again) a relative short course was set, a beat from the beach marks to the Royal Fowey mark off Blackhead, then to the SW water mark and finally back to the beach marks. After the beat, the Enterprise of Peter Pope, Laser Radial of Steve Mitchell & Scorpion of Kay Ecclestone were way in front on handicap time, However, Lionel Rigby - Tasar , Nick Eggett - Osprey, & Mike Voyzey - EPS made good use of the tight reach back to the beach marks to save their time, finishing in that order.
11/06/06
What a relief to actually get back on the water today, although we have been basking in some beautiful weather the downside is that it has been too calm to produce any sailing. Today the weather changed and brought some much needed wind for the first pursuit race for a couple of years, & a 90 minute race was scheduled, first off were the Laser radials of Colin & Steve Mitchell, followed in due course by Lasers, Kestrel, Tasars, Contender & an Osprey. The course had quite a few tight reaches in it which certainly suited my Tasar, which quickly passed the slower boats and successfully held off the Contender & Osprey. The sad news reached the Club this week that Les Wightman had passed away. Les was one of the stalwart sailors in the 60's & 70's, but a bad hip and aging had put paid to his dinghy sailing for the last 20 years. Les served on the Committee for many years, being in charge of the winter works programme, which he eventually passed on to Colin.
04/06/06
The mini heat wave experienced during the week continued, unfortunately the heat took the wind and we were left contemplating revolving burgees and a glassey sea. Reluctantly the decision was made to cancel racing and a series of beach activities became the order of the day. The Contender fleet had packed up and moved to Teignmouth for their Nationals but they too may have been disappointed with the light almost non existent winds.
31/05/06
Well I had a brilliant time in Turkey, much better weather than in Cornwall, where it rained evryday, whilst I had wall to wall sunshine. In my absence there was racing last Sunday, which turned out to be a complete dominatiion by Allan Orton, with Contenders taking the first 3 in each race. Today the weather was back to its Cornish best with plenty of sun and ideal northerly offshore wind. Again the race was dominated in the gold fleet by the Contenders, whilst John Mark & Tony Dunn excelled in the Silver fleet by beating another Tasar that belongs in the gold fleet. Well May on the whole was a very disappointing month, let's hope that June will be better.
21/05/06
Bad week for sailing, the weather has let us down. Having lost the previous Wednesday due to lack of wind, we have lost this Wednesday due to too much wind. Today was forecast to be wet & windy & sure enough the forecast was correct. Driving rain coupled with an incrreasing wind to gale forec once again kept the covers on the dinghies. Even next Wednesday is looking dodgy due to the weather, let's wait & see. My nice week in Turkey is suddenly looking very appealing!!
14/05/06
The predominating southeasterlies continue. Once again we were subjected to the hassle of launching & recovering through surf, though due to the lightness of the wind, this wasn't too bad. Brian Phillips made his first appearance of the season,with his new suit of Tasar see through sails. Brian & Colin had a very close tussle with John Marks & Tony Dunn, before John got the better and came out on top. The afternoon race proved just as light, & typically just as we were finishing the breeze sprang up to give better sailing conditions.
10/05/06
Oh no I knew it was going to happen, but we have just lost our first Wednesday night due to lack of wind. The day started promising with a light northerly breeze, but as forecast this changed into the dreaded, light south easterly, which from past experience means that by 19.00 the wind would drop completely and sure enough that's what happened. That meant the bar had to be opened early so jollity hit the Clubhouse a littler earlier than usual.
07/05/06
The annual Contender Open Meeting took place this weekend, and we had an entry of 18 boats, which included 4 of our own. Stacey Bray in particular did very well, coming 3rd overall, in very strong competition. Alan Orton, still getting to grips with his new boat came a creditable 8th. Conditions were a little on the light side, with the wind in the SE, which is the worst direction for Porthpean. Club racing took place alongside on the Sunday, attracting an entry of 13. First outing this year for my yellow sailing shorts & not too cold.
03/05/06
May the 3rd and where oh where is the summer!!. A cool, overcast evening greeted the fleet for the 3rd race of the Spring Wednesday series. The wind such as it was came as a force 1 from the SE, giving a lumpy sea, with no real wind shifts. We were put out of our agony after 2 laps when the mist came down causing the race to be shortened due to possible safety issues.
30/04/06
A cool grey day greeted 12 racers, although cool the wind was a shifty westerly varying between 2-3 in the morning with some stronger gust in the afternoon. Graham Scott from Plymouth paid a visit in preparation for next weekends Contender Open, & walked away with 2 first positions. Russell Moore sailed his Tasar well to overcome John Mark who had impressive starts. Steve Mitchell, late for the morning start, proved the speed of his Laser radial by claiming 3rd spot in the afternoon race.
26/04/06
Light offshore breezes, cloudless sky & blue shimmering sea greeted the 17 starters, Stacey & Allan had a very close tussle, both sharing the lead at times before Stacey triumphed, Nick Eggett made up a lot of ground to just pip Allan. Lionel & Ken sailing with the new style Tasar sails, quietly plugged away, finally winning by a margin of 3 seconds. Mike Voyzey had a dunking trying to get to grips with his new Laser EPS. John Hill dominated the silver fleet bringing his new Supernova ahead of the rest. made up a lot of ground and
23/04/06
A very still and overcast day greeted the 9 entries for the morning race. Conditions hardly improved and the phrase about more interesting watching paint dry came to mind. Steve Mitchell with his new see through sails provided enough speed to win. The win was repeated again in the afternoon when we were blessed with slightly more wind. Overall not a very exciting day. Vicky Voyzey helmed Mike's boat for the race & Mike bought Stebe's EPS, so watch out for an extra boat in future races.
19/04/06
First Wednesday race of the season tempted 12 entries on what was a cold grey evening. I had the dubious pleasure of driving the rescue boat, which considering the wind direction wasn't too bad, but boy do you cold down at this time of year. Stacey Bray made an uncharacteristi c mistake, which let Allan Orton through for another win in his new boat.
16/04/06
The Easter Cup, 2nd & 3rd races were sailed in steadier breezes, though only light north westerlies. Both races were won by Lionel Rigby & Ken Fobbester, sailing a Tasar, which gave them the trophy. The winning Tasar sported the new style mylor sails, which looked good in the light conditions. Allan Harris, newly joined from Fowey, showed how fast his Finn is by finishing 2nd & 3rd in his first outing at Porthpean, clearly a combination that will be winning trophies. Nigel & James Dowrick in their RS Feva had a very good 1st race, flying up the first beat to take 3rd position.
15/04/06
The Easter Cup started with frustrating conditions. The wind was a light easterly and finally dropped away to nothing. Of the 14 entries 7 decided to call it a day, not bothering to launch. The 7 who did triumphed when the wind finally sprung up to a force 1 from the north west. Some close racing followed with the 3 Contenders taking the first 3 places and Allan Orton celebrated by winning his first race in his brand new boat. I heard the sad news this week that Debbie & Duncan will not be sailing with us this year. They have decided to return to Wales to live.
09/04/06
Hooray, we're off and sailing at last. After 3 weekends kicking our heals, we have finally been blessed with some better weather. In fact the conditions were far from ideal, with a fresh strong northerly wind which gradually increased as the day wore on. 14 boats came to the start line which was very encouraging so early on in the season. My Tasar sported it's new suit of see through sails & though it was difficult to form any definitive opinion, they certainly went well in the near survival conditions. Unfortunatley my ageing mast was not up to the afternoon race, the kicker plate pulled out, the aluminium had just rotted away. Only 7 started the 2nd race, but due to breakages and others getting cold only 3 finished. Craig Varley & Adrian Rapson battled well with the conditions and sailed on to record a 3rd position.
02/04/06
For the 3rd time in a row we had to cancel. This time the wind was from the south west and from the beach looked not too bad, but ominously there were plenty of white horses out in the bay. The cancellation was justified when 2 Contenders went out for a jolley. It was not long before one capsized and then experienced quite a few more capsizes before managing to get back to the shore. The sea temperature is still very cold at this time of year.
26/03/06
Defeated by the weather again. The strong easterly winds that had been a feature of the winter swung into the south west, bringing with them heavy rain. A combination of the start of BST plus poor visibility kept many away thus causing another cancellation.
19/03/06
A damp squib of a start to the season. A strong easterly wind combined with heavy surf prevented any sailing for what should have been the first day of the 2006 sailing season.
Jan, Feb & March
The very cold weather of February spilled into March with ongoing strong easterlies. However this did not stop the Club maintenance programe. The changing rooms have had a dramatic makeover. Colin had surpassed himself again by refitting out the showers in both the gents and ladies changing rooms. The ladies have also had a new suspended ceiling fitted. Nigel has revamped the electrics supply by fitting a new uptodate consumer unit. Meanwhile the outside of the Club has had a new lick of paint, including the flagpole. New engines have been fitted to the safety boats and a new pathway from gate to Clubhouse has been laid by Dave Cobbett with tons & tons of concrete mixed by willing volunteers.

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