May Newsletter

Commodore’s Greeting

Hello Everyone,

Sadly I must start by telling those who did not know that on the 5th April Sophie Taylor, aged 12, died from cancer.  She was the daughter of Jim Taylor, a long-standing member of the Club who raced internationally in his Laser.  Sophie joined last summer and thoroughly enjoyed the Youth Sailing activity which the Club introduced last year.  Our condolences were conveyed to the Taylor family.

Since the last newsletter, the racing has started in earnest with a decent number of boats on the water, including some new faces.  How about the rest of you finding out whether your boat still floats?

It is always pleasing to report some success.  Last weekend Matt Wiseman and Lily Share went to Stone, on the Blackwater estuary, and competing against 14 other Shearwaters managed to win the event – curtailed to 3 races because of lack of wind.  So congratulations to Matt and Lily.

Cheers everyone,

Don Bowles, Commodore, Hastings and St Leonards Sailing Club

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

Achieving Glory

Spring Series Honours:

Laser Fleet – Melanie Clark

Catamaran Fleet – Lily Share and Matt Wiseman (Dart 16)

General Handicap – Philip Blurton and Morgan Jeffries (Tasar)

Easter Regatta: Philip and Margaret Blurton (Tasar)

Sailing Away / Achieving Glory

As Don mentioned in his intro, congratulations are due to club members  Matt Wiseman and Lily Share for winning the Stone Shearwater event.   Greg Wilcox came 6th, sailing a Weston Sailing Club boat with William Stuart.  Tayla Playford and Rob Hamilton were 11th.

Sailing Away

Melanie Clark sailed in Eastbourne’s Easter Regatta, which has yachts from Brighton and Eastbourne competing over 3 days.

“On the Friday I was sailing on an Elan 40 doing bow when half way through the second race whilst tacking I went overboard. Although it was all a bit traumatic being dragged along the side of the hull etc, no harm done and we went on to finish the race losing two places!  Am now known as Mermaid Melanie or Scuba Sally!  I raced again on the Saturday and did bow.”

I’m not really too au fait with yachting terms so I thought I’d check out what Melanie was actually doing.  Here’s what I found:    Foredeck (=bow) – why did I separate this position from all the others?  Because it takes a different type of person to excel at foredeck…  Agile, fearless, strong, knowledgeable and confident are all great traits at the pointy end of the boat. ( That’s our Melanie!

Runners on the prom this Sunday 10.30 – 11.30

Hastings Runners’ annual race takes place on Sunday 7 May.  This event raises money for St Michael’s Hospice.

The event starts at 10.30 from the town centre, passing along the lower prom past the clubhouse, outward and return, finishing around 11.30 – presumably passing the club just about the time the racing starts.

So please rig your boats on the beach and make the effort to be out of the boathouse well before 10.30.  And don’t forget a smile and wave to the runners just as you cross the start line!

Help! with boat-moving

The Campbells Council are Coming next week, to fix the sagging cables on the non-sea side of the boathouse.  In order for this to happen, all of the boats from the workshop to bay 19 need to be moved away from the wall.  It would be very handy if a few folk could hang about on Sunday to make sure that this happens.  I’m emailing the boat owners individually too but more hands make lights work…

Push The Boat Out – Saturday 20th May, 1 – 6pm  

The club is again joining in the RYA’s national Push the Boat Out event by opening its doors, and boats, to visitors on the afternoon of Saturday 20th May.  This is a chance to bring your friends and families down for a look at the club, and if the weather is kind, a go in a boat – woop woop!

Key support activities are already scheduled through Dutyman but we still need the following:

Members prepared to take visitors out in their own or club boats.

General help on the beach under the instruction of our Beachmeister, Dick Hogg, to help launch and recover boats;

Someone, or a couple of people, to light the club BBQ at the end of the day (about 5.30 p.m.).

Please let our Sailing Secretary, Philip Blurton (, know if you can help with any of the above, and start letting your friends know about the event. Membership offers will be available to entice new people to join the club on the day!

RNLI Handicap  

Sadly day 1 of this event was unsailable.  However, don’t forget day 2 will be on the Monday Bank Holiday Monday 29th May.  It’s a chance to sail a different format of race, with a pursuit in the morning and two short handicap races in the afternoon.  For those that are not familiar with the Pursuit Race format, slower boats start first with faster boats later setting off in pursuit; it’s tortoise and hare on the water. All classes of boats welcome, from Toppers upwards.

New members  

Welcome to all our new trainees:

Morgan Jeffries, Jon Tyrrell, Andrea Artz, Henri Hurtebize, Rowan McDonald, Robert Boyle, Andy Culliss, Michael Shaw, Hutch de Mouilpied, Adam Smith, Hilary Duggan, Matthew Windley.

Also welcome to new member Andrew Byrne, an accomplished Laser sailor who has distinguished himself in our Laser Opens.

We look forward to being able to put names to faces asap.  (I may have to ask you many times who you are… in fact who am I?… let’s not go there shall we…)

Help!  with training course

There is still a need for more volunteers to assist with the sail training – please email Helen Cholerton if you can help, or just turn up on Wednesday evenings from 6pm or Saturday mornings from 9.30.  Thank you.

Help!  with Youth sailing – and a teeny bit of documentation

Don’t forget the youth sailing scheme, on Tuesdays and Saturdays as per the programme.  Volunteers always required – please come out of that woodwork!  For more info, contact Hugh Ashford or Matt Wiseman, or just turn up.  The first date is Tuesday 30th May.  The only bit of bureaucracy is that you need to read the Safeguarding policy which is in the office, and sign to say that you’ve done so.  Fanks.

Third Friday of the Month bar open – Friday 20th May from 7pm

There are those who believe that coming down to the club for a drink and a chat on a third Friday is a good idea.  There are others for whom the lure of the Friday night TV dinner is just too strong.

Help! with BBQ and also Catamaran event

The Sail Training finishes on Wednesday 7th June, and the Welcome-New-Members BBQ will be on Saturday 10th June early evening.  This will be a ticket event; more details later.  Bob Lloyd is catering but will need assistance with cooking the BBQ as well as serving and let’s not forget clearing up.  About four people would be fab.  Please either contact me, Margaret on or Bob on  THANK YOU!

The Shearwater and Dart Open on 24th/25th June is a great chance to see the catamarans at their best.   The Shearwater community is a fun-loving crowd and they are having their after-event party at the Club in the evening.  Bob is happy to buy the food, and also to get together to help cook it on the Friday evening, but he can’t make the Saturday, so again HELP is needed.  Could you (and a friend) spare the Saturday evening to deliver food to hungry catamariners?  Two or more helpers please!!  THANK YOU again.

Sea Week – 31st July to 5th August

Er, just wanted to mention it really.  31st July to 5th August.  Keep the dates free and come sailing every day!

The Return of the Nags  

 There may still be one or two members who not only forgot to pay their fees before the start of the season, but who have STILL NOT EVEN PAID YET.  Hard to believe.  This is still important but relegated to the Nags section as becoming boring now.

You can pay by cheque made payable to Hastings and St Leonards Sailing Club, or using the card reader at the bar.  AND also please fill in a membership form, 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, or you can email it to him when paying subs.  Thank you!

 Please don’t hang your stuff on the electric cables on the side of the boathouse further from the sea.  With a bit of luck, the cables will be fixed next week (see above) but in any case it is not a good idea and they are not our cables.  For an in-depth analysis of whose cables they are, please see Steve Pugh (perhaps in the bar on Friday?)

 The winch.  There was a recent incident in which the winch was started up when the beach end was not        ready.  This did cause an injury, and could have been prevented by USING A SPOTTER, ie someone who is on the promenade who can alert the winch operator as to when it is safe to start up the winch.  Don’t cut corners.  Also please be prepared to spot for the winch, even though it’s one more thing when you’re trying to put your boat away.  Thank you.

That’s all for now,

Hope to see you soon,

Margaret Blurton, Honorary Secretary   01424 440056