16th July 2005 Southmere Lake, Thamesmead.
Once again, EYC
members and YMCA Thamesmead (personified by George Reynolds and co in
particular Bert Cowley) gave up their Saturday to run this annual event.
The idea is to encourage new families to join EYC and to give youngsters
(members, friends, relatives etc.) an opportunity to sail away from the
tidal waters at Folgefonn.
About 20 youngsters turned up for the day - Oppies Toppers, Mirrors, Bosun
were there to try. The Oppie is ideal for complete novices, being very
stable and simple to sail. Some adults found it was rather small, but
nevertheless took youngsters for a sail. The Toppers were popular, and
mostly two children went together, some introducing younger sisters and
some introducing friends. The weather was perfect - sunny and not very
windy but with the occasional puff that got the children shrieking for
After lunch a race was held which involved 5 Topper crews and 5 Oppie
crews - a turn out to die for! The children were very enthusiastic and
learnt the racing flags, too. Mr Elmes set a straightforward course, that
they all completed - adults, watch out! Miss Mees and Miss Nicholl got
a terrific start and took the lead to the second mark - at least a leg
ahead. They were overhauled later by Master Butcher and Miss Butcher and,
once he had sorted himself out, Master Reeves. Master Seal made a very
good finish in an Oppie, crossing the line 4th. There were new crews there
too, who raced very closely. A second race took place, for those who stayed
After racing there was a small presentation and notable participants received
medals. Bert reminded the children that they must all help to put boats
away, and they all did. Credit to them because this involves a 100 yard
walk along the road. Refreshments were provided by EYC members.
This was a very successful day, and some of those who had helped out met
in the Folgefonn bar afterwards, for a well-deserved fish and chip supper.
Later, once it was dark, they swapped electric light for Tim's Tilley
and enjoyed the atmospheric ambience that was created.