Erith Yacht Club

The finest sailing water on the tidal Thames

Erith Yacht Club
Anchor Bay,
Erith, Kent, DA8 2AD
Tel. 01322 332943
Secretary (PO Box 231, Bexleyheath, Kent, DA7 9AZ)
Tel 0208 310 2686

Untitled Document

There were stars in their eyes

Sunday 10th July was Star Day.
Late in the evening of 9th July, 13 Hamble Stars lay patiently, in line, awaiting the festivities of the following day. To start at one end of the line from Star 29 past the others and to Star 115, was a walk though history. Michael Robinson had taught many people to sail in these boats and many of those people were still at Erith and still sailing Stars. The occasion was to celebrate a grant from "Awards for All" for the purchase of brand new sails for the Stars. As morning broke, members of the Star Class Association of EYC were amongst others busying themselves for the Star Day.
At 10 o'clock the Mayor of Bexley arrived and the club also welcomed last year's mayor and his wife and Councillor Hackett. Another guest of honour was, not unnaturally Star friend Mrs Mary Robinson. A brief introduction by the Commodore led to a sociable gathering of old and new friends. Ex-EYC member and top sailor Dave Munge was recounting the good old days with the help of a few photos and friends. The Yachting press were taking notes and photos and the Mayor ceremoniously raised the first new sail.
A race had been organized, so a briefing found 11 crews ready to give the new sails a test. The wind was not strong and the sun shone all day. There was time before the race for a good chat in the bar, and more photos to look at. The visitor's book was filling up with some interesting names from past and present.
The race officer, Mr Elmes, reported a grand turnout and the competitors, we are proud to say, included the mayor and Mary Robinson. Mr Taylor was happy to sail with Mr Munge, in view of the latter's rather impressive racing experience!! Also on the water were a good number of youngsters - visitors and members. The course was a triangle and a bit of a sausage. Upriver to the first mark went well, however the fleet then split. Those who went across the river to aim for the 2nd mark found the tide taking them up towards Tower Bridge. The cannier helms sailed along the moorings until they reached the 3rd mark, then turn and glide up to the 2nd mark and start off again for the 3rd mark. Mr Taylor and Mr Munge (Star 106) took the lead in this tactic, followed closely by Richard Banner with Mary Robinson and Peter (Star 115). Jeremy (Star 29) and crew Sarah and Vicky were also persuaded that this was the best tactic. Nigel Field (Star 54) was amongst the leading group, but was unlucky not to reach the mark. It was revealed soon that Bob Saunders (Star 111) with crew Helen and Bethany was creeping up on the leaders.
Towards the 3rd mark, Mr Banner and crew were able to overtake Taylor/Munge and kept this lead to the end - taking 1st place. Second were Taylor and Munge. Bob Saunders and crew were coming in for third place, when - within in metres of the line - the main halyard broke and that smart new main sail floated down and covered the crew. Such were the conditions of tide and little wind that they were unable to take the line and had to retire. Confused Jeremy (Star 29) and crew could not understand why the crowd of onlookers were shouting to him that he had 3rd place. 4th was Star 54 (Nigel, Peter and Terry) and 5th place went to Star 84 - Eve, Jane, Lucy and Sadie.
Mr King (Star 112) was happy to take the mayor for an exciting ride, although they was unable to finish the race - along with several other crews who were beaten by the tide, through insufficient wind. All credit due to Mr Mayor, he got rather wet, went home to change AND had the courage to come back!
He was in time for the stupendous buffet (provided by club members), enjoyed by guests and competitors. Later, a prize giving took place on the afterdeck of the club ship Folgefonn. Mrs Robinson presented the medals for the first 5 finishers and the younger members of the assembled crew. The Commodore presented Mrs Robinson with her medal for crew in the winning Star and she noted that she had not realised they had come first, because she had been too busy bailing!
Thanks were given to the rescue and other craft and to race officer Mr Elmes. Mr Sid Gascoyne was presented with a medal for his masterminding of the whole day.
The Star Day was a celebration of the gift of new sails. It was also a celebration of Erith Yacht club's ability to provide superb on and off the water entertainment for friends, family and visitors.

Slideshow of all Star Day Photographs

Close Racing at the first mark Mayor in Star 112
Club Expert Bob Taylor checks the rigging on Star 84
Stars 112, 113, 115
Pam and Alan Preparing Star 57
Star 84 shows off her new sails
Bob Taylor & Dave Munge
Gascoyne gets what he deserves!
First place Peter, Mary and Richard Children in Malcom S at Star Day Star 29 races Star 106
Full speed under new sails, Star 106 Jane, Mary, Lucy, Eve Sadie & jack EYC Youth members wit Star 113