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The First 25 Years
We are looking out for any documented written materials that provide an insight into the first 25 years of Blakeney Sailing Club. It is hoped that we can create a collection of historic materials here for all to enjoy.
If anyone can help with this project, it would be very much appreciated. Please contact our secretary, Jane on firstname.lastname@example.org
The Club House and Beyond.
The Club finally acquired a clubhouse, in May 1997, by renting part of the old Parish Rooms behind the ice cream shop on the quay. Ladies and gents showers were installed and a tea/coffee bar created.
The grand opening occurred the day after the annual Hog Roast in the village hall. I believe I was the first to use the shower!
Throughout the 1980s and 90s the harbour saw a great deal of class racing where Javelins, Seaflies, Lasers and Phantoms featured. There was also a boom in windsurfing, which some thought might eclipse dinghy sailing although that never happened.
Maurice Pye was a major factor in the popularity of mid week summer sailing and was most inventive in creating all sorts of sailing events to encourage participation. A charming man he was also generous in spirit, loudly hailing “All clear” at numerous flying starts when many competitors were well over the line!
In recent years the number of competitors has diminished with the Javelin fleet, once so popular, having disappeared. This reflects the national trend, by which standard numbers at Blakeney have stood up well. While the overall competitiveness of the fleets may not be what it was in its heyday the friendliness of club members and the beauty of our sailing waters have sustained a level of interest that must be the envy of many other clubs in the area.
The advent of social, or flotilla sailing, where there are organised trips to various locations within the harbour, has been a boost to participation and membership. Kayaking and canoeing have seen a huge increase in popularity. It may be a reflection of the times that many people feel that participation is preferable to competition, hence the growth in these areas.
The said competition is still alive and well within the newly reformed Seafly class association, which has seen National Championships held at Blakeney and Lymington in recent years.
There has been a welcome increase in the number of ladies sailing Lasers since the introduction
of smaller rig sizes.
In 2018 the Club were forced to give up the clubhouse when the landlord demanded in increase in rent which could not be born by the existing membership.
It is pleasing to note that this loss does not appear to have diminished the numbers taking part in the various waterborne activities. It has also allowed the club to reduce its membership fees by 20%.
The owners of the Blakeney Hotel very kindly host committee meetings and prize givings while the proprietors of the refreshments caravan on the carnser host our post event gatherings.
The club now runs a far larger sailing and social calendar than it ever did in the early years, providing a great deal of pleasure to its members and something of a spectacle for visiting holiday makers.
All the upcoming events for the year ahead. Races, open sailing, fun days and social activities.
We use an on-line system called Dutyman to manage the resourcing of Race Officers, Patrol Boat helms and their assistants for all our events.