March Newsletter

Commodore’s Greeting

Hi all,

It was good to see so many willing workers at the club on the two Sundays past. Only one more session to go before 19th March when the real stuff starts. Just before the sailing does start, there is the Commodore’s Reception on Friday 17th. The more, the merrier, and same as last year, we have representatives coming from the Bexhill, Pevensey Bay and Eastbourne clubs. It is a chance to meet and greet some unfamiliar faces.

On Sunday 19th, you have a choice: 33rd Hastings Half Marathon, or the Rum Race. Good luck, whichever you choose.


Don Bowles, Commodore, Hastings and St Leonards Sailing Club

Any queries on Sailing Club matters? Commodore’s Hotline 01424 214759

19th March, Rum Race

Good news – this year we have at least one boat from Rye Harbour SC planning to compete in our Rum Race. The Sailing Committee has approved the race as an Open event, to enable them to be ranked in the race. If you are not otherwise engaged (Half Marathon etc) even if you are not sailing, do come down to the club house for the first event of the year, have a drink, some lunch and help launch the new season.

Sailing Away

Congratulations to Melanie Clark, who finished 2nd overall in the Icicle Series in Bough Beech, crewing in an RS200, in a fleet of 20 asymmetrics (60 boats altogether on the water – that’s a lot of dodging!) Congratulations also to Megan Trudell, who successfully completed her RYA Day Skipper practical, sailing around the Solent in Storm Doris. Megan was the only woman amongst a crew of not entirely helpful post feminist unreconstructed men. Speak to Megan for details. Needless to say, she took no sexist nonsense and excelled.

If anyone else has sailing achievements to share, do let us know.

Support Activities (Sailing), (SAS) (= duties)… rota availability

The duty roster for the first half of the season has now been published in Dutyman. Please contact Sailing Secretary Philip Blurton if you have not received notification of your duties by email.

It is very helpful if you can use the function in Dutyman to confirm that you have seen them and can complete them – it puts a satisfying tick by your name! This enables the Sailing Sec and Assistant Sailing Sec (Matt Wiseman) to know that we are covered for the days concerned. Swaps can be arranged through Dutyman, or contact Phil or Matt if it is getting near the date of the duty and you are struggling to find cover. Muchas gracias.

Portsmouth Yardstick Adjustments

Simon Terry and Matt Wiseman are using the RYA Portsmouth Yardstick adjustment system to check whether we need to adjust any of the global Portsmouth Yardstick handicaps to take into account our particular local sailing conditions and sailors. The RYA recommend this approach to making sailing fairer. The findings of this piece of work will be shared with the Sailing Committee, who will decide on whether we make any local adjustments. Until this decision is made, the club will continue to use global PY handicaps.

Course Laying and Race Management course – Saturday 15th April 2017

Our Development Officer, Simon Terry, has offered to run a Course Laying and Race Management training session on Saturday 15th April. More details to follow in due course, but please note your diary if you would like to attend.

Mike McNamara Rules Changes talk & supper, Pevensey Bay SC

Unfortunately, this talk had to be cancelled as there were transport issues caused by storm Doris. We will keep you posted if a redo is proposed.

One more working party to go, Sunday 12th March 9.30

Thanks to everyone who has been mucking in over the last couple of Sundays to tart up the club and boathouse. Much better already but still a certain amount of cleaning and clearance, not to mention powerboat fettling, to finish off. If you have missed the first two, worry not, there is a final opportunity next Sunday morning 12th March, around 9.30. It’s looking better already.

If anyone could use a long length of ex-winch rope, please come next week and take it away. Otherwise it will be Disposed Of because it has been languishing in the workshop for a long while.

Sail Training Course 2017 – still places available

The RYA Level 1 & 2 Sail Training Course will run from Wednesday 3rd May 2017. A £50 deposit will reserve one of the twelve places, some of which have already been snapped up.

Have you been to every Sailing Club social event?

If not, was it because the events laid on were not to your taste? If the latter, do you have ideas about what should be laid on? If so, please join the House Committee and add your tuppence-ha’pennyworth to organising social events for members to enjoy. Seriously, it would be a boon if you felt you could contribute a few hours every month or so to helping boost the club’s social schedule. If you have ideas and/or organisational flair, PLEASE contact Rear Commodore Bob Lloyd on Thank you.

Youth sailing

After last year’s raging success, Hugh Ashford and Matt Wiseman are gearing up for another season of lighthearted sailing fun with the youngsters. They would love you to help them out, instead of getting involved with that House Committee. If you feel that you could assist, even with pushing boats out and gathering them in, herding children, etc etc in return for the heart-warming sensation of wresting young ones away from their electronic gadgets, please contact Hugh or Matt Many thanks.

Safeguarding policy

HOWEVER, if you are intending to help out with the youth sailing, can you cast your eye over the Club’s Safeguarding Policy Make sure that you have understood it all, then print and sign the self declaration to that effect. Give it to Hugh or Matt to file. It’s all good stuff to make sure that we know what to do to keep our youngsters safe.

Money Money Money

Don’t forget to pay your fees before the start of the season. The new schedule for this year is on the website Technically, the money should have been in by now, so don’t delay, pay today.

You can pay by cheque made payable to Hastings and St Leonards Sailing Club, or using the card reader at the bar. AND it would be gorgeous if you could fill in a membership form while you’re at it, to keep us abreast with your skills, aptitudes and preferences not to mention contact details, and return same to membership secretary Andrew Colthurst, either by leaving it at the club eg at the Commodore’s Reception, or you can email it to him when paying subs. Thank you!

Anna Bonaventure transom – old Safety Boat – ideas please

An interesting moment: in the workshop is the transom piece of the club’s lovely old clinker-built safety boat Anna Bonaventure – named after a Hastings-built boat which served in Nelson’s fleet. Those who sailed in the 1950s to ??1980 (does anyone know when she was decommissioned?) knew and loved the sensation of dragging her weight down to the Victoria beach to launch, and even more so the winching her back up the

beach again. The question is, what to do with the piece of her that was salvaged when she was broken up? We have her transom in the workshop, and the plan initially was to mount it on the wall where the power boats stand now. But the power boats are standing there now, so we are looking for some other ideas.

? (Nag nag nag) 

After all that work clearing it out, the workshop is looking pretty gloriously devoid of clutter. So would it be possible for anyone using the workshop in future NOT to assume that someone else will find their leftovers useful. (Paintbrushes in jars, knackered bits of obsolete boats, knackered bits of current boats, need I go on.) Please leave it a little better than you found it 😉

So from here on in, we can have preventative nags, right.

Last but not Least: Commodore’s Reception Friday 17th March 7.30 Reminder

A FREE DRINK and finger food with each membership!

Before we all dive into the 2017 season, please all bowl up to the Commodore’s Reception, Friday 17th March, 7.30, a chance to share some time with like-minded hoary* sea-salts / the other club members and exchange gossip, become reacquainted with the bar stock list and daintily enjoy some choice nibbles. It would be fab to see as many as possible club members, sailing and associate, young, new and old, as this is a really good opportunity to meet and mingle and get to know everyone.

Hope to see you soon,

Margaret Blurton, Honorary Secretary 01424 440056