The Grand Opening at Erith Yacht Club, 12 September 2010.
Sunday 12 September saw the official opening of the new clubhouse, workshops, and ancillary works in the presence of our honoured guest Sir Robin Knox-Johnston, the Mayor of Bexley, and representatives of the funders, builders and members of Erith Yacht Club.
The beautiful day started early for a band of EYC members with the preparation of the buffet, and the planned day's racing. As the morning continued, the number of helpers increased with a healthy number of new members assisting fully in the final preparations of the clubhouse.
At 11am the ceremony began with John Edmonds, Commodore, greeting the guests and thanking the funders for their generosity and support in what has been a momentous and challenging few years. Father Dane Bately-Gladden conducted a service of blessing for the buildings and EYC in general.
Sir Robin Knox-Johnston presented the Jack Petchie awards to Gregg Burnage and Alex Alton (the latter award received by Aaron Reynolds on his behalf), and gave a congratulatory speech wishing EYC all the best for the future. In return John Edmonds presented him with Honorary Membership and a presentation certificate, with a club tie and pin.
With the ribbon cut, the guests, followed hotly by hungry members, entered the building to appreciate the new facilities and the large spread of food freshly prepared.
At the same time racing had been organised for the Piper and Kelpie Cups. After some delay while the youth members had their photograph taken with Sir Robin, the racing began. With 14 dinghies on the water sailing in a variable north-westerly wind, a good show was provided for guests and members alike.
The spring tide, wind direction and course layout provided an interesting
challenge for all, where reading the tide and eddy properly really made
a difference. The first race was won by Richard Banner in his Laser Dom.
The second race had the added challenge of the windward mark rapidly travelling
up river with the dinghies in pursuit. Again, it was a case of placing the
dinghies in the correct part of the river to take advantage of the tide
or eddy. This race was won by Peter Reeves in the Finn. Well done to all
who participated in the racing, and thank you to the Race Office, safety
Boat skippers and crew, and the bar and caterers for their support.