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Home / News / 2023 Summary and a taste of 2024!
Home / News / 2023 Summary and a taste of 2024!

2023 Summary and a taste of 2024!

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Published 15:49 on 20 Dec 2023

As we approach the end of 2023 it's time to look back at what has been a fantastic year at Spinnaker Sailing Club and remind ourselves of some of the great things which have happened and been achieved.


One of our most popular activities at the Club, 2023 saw 182 races run on Wednesdays and Sundays for our members, with approximately 90 members taking part in various races across the year! Prizes were picked up for series wins by 10 different sailors, and thanks to the work of John Driscoll you can see the results from racing across the year here. Our full race programme for 2024 can now be viewed on our website, and our first race is on New Years Day!

We also ran Open Meetings for Toppers (42 entrants), ILCAS/Lasers (17 entries), Solos & Bytes (12 and 7 entries respectively), Optimists (40 entrants) and our Twisted Tube Random Pairs & Firefly Open (15 and 12 entries respectively). It was wonderful to welcome so many visiting sailors this year, and we look forward to welcoming them all back again next year.

In addition to the racing delivered by Spinnaker Sailing Club our resident team racing groups held several events with the Wessex Winter Warmer hosted by Southampton University Sailing Club for 120 sailors, the BUSA Southern Qualifiers hosted by University of Portsmouth Sailing Club for 108 sailors, before the BUSA Team Racing Playoffs hosted once again by Southampton saw another 120 sailors visit! Sadly the BSDRA Southern Team Racing Event was cancelled due to the forecast. Looking ahead to 2024 we are very excited to once again be supporting the Wessex Winter Warmer, BUSA Southern Qualifiers, RYA/BUSA Women's Team Racing Championships, RYA National Team Racing Championships and the BSDRA Southerns!

Social Sailing and Cruising

Our Thursday morning Social Sailing sessions have run throughout the year, with the final one on Thursday 21st December complete with mince pies! A range of sailors have taken part in these sessions, from those who like to just explore the lake and enjoy it's beauty from the water, to our regular racers looking for a replacement to their Wednesday evening racing during the darker winter months. Social Sailing is starting again from Thursday 4th January! As well as the Thursday Social Sailing sessions our Friday Club Nights were very popular during the summer months with a number of families joining us every week for a picnic tea and a sail/kayak/paddleboard, these evenings will be back for 2024 starting in June.

Of course you don't have to sail during an organised activity, and that is one of the great things about Spinnaker Sailing Club. Many of our members have gone for a sail when it suits them thanks to our lease allowing us to use the lake between sunrise and sunset, with few other restrictions.


It has been brilliant to welcome lots of new sailors to the sport through our training programme for both members and local schools. One of our highlights of our work with local schools this year was seeing every child from Poulner Junior School get the opportunity to take part in a sailing taster with no cost to them or their families! We have also continued our work with schools such as Chafyn Grove, Bryanston, Embley, Milton Abbey, Durlston Court and Bishop Wordsworths School.

Amongst our members it has been incredible to see the progression amongst some of our adult sailors through our Let's Go Sailing programme, with several of those sailors now regularly taking part in club racing.

In 2022 we began working with the Royal Southampton Yacht Club Trust to deliver taster sessions and RYA Courses to young carers across Hampshire, Wiltshire and Dorset. These young people do amazing work supporting their families in difficult situations and giving them an opportunity to have a bit of fun and some time away from their worries is something we are very proud to support. We were delighted to be asked to continue this work in 2023, delivering more sessions than last year, and running the first ever Young Carers Regatta! Planning is well under-way for 2024 already.

2023 saw the introduction of windsurfing to our offering of activities, and it has been great to run our first few courses, more are planned for 2024! In another development we recruited our first apprentice this year! Sophia joined us in September and has done some fantastic work supporting our instructors and is progressing well towards attending her RYA Dinghy Instructor Course in the Spring.

Our full 2024 programme can be viewed on the website calendar (and courses booked) now.

Family Fun Days

On several bank holiday weekends we have run Family Fun Days for our members with activities such as an Easter Egg Hunt, a kayak/paddleboard orienteering course, and a treasure hunt alongside kayak/paddleboard races (where the parents got the most competitive) and dinghy racing in the afternoons. We have several of these planned for 2024 including on Easter Sunday, the late May Bank Holiday Sunday, and our ever popular Blashford Barrel Day on the Sunday of the August Bank Holiday Weekend.

Social Activities

Our fish and chip nights have continued to be popular. As well as the watersports going on at the lake several members have been meeting regularly to take advantage of our beautiful surroundings to draw and paint together. Our Handicap Class recently had their first social, and we hope other classes will follow this soon.

Looking ahead to 2024 we are hoping to grow our social activities, watch this space for more news soon!

Youth Sailing

Our youth sailors have continued to grow, develop and explore the world of sailing. Once again a strong contingent attended the RYA Regional Junior Championships and Parkstone Youth Week, whilst several have been actively campaigning their Optimists and Toppers on the local and national circuit!

The social scene for our youth sailors has continued to be very popular with bbqs, pizza nights, trips to New Forest Waterpark, and some epic smores making while on a camping trip!

Looking ahead several are already planning their week at Parkstone Youth Week for 2024, and looking to compete at other events such as the Firefly SW Championships and Itchenor Schools Week!

Associated Groups

Alongside the activity run and organised by ourselves there is a huge amount done by our Associated Group Members, all of whom run regular activities at the lake as well as special events. These include Sandleheath Sea Scouts who ran the Solent Sea Scout Regatta in September, Salisbury Sea Cadets who have been supporting the wider development of windsurfing in the Sea Cadet Corps, our resident universities and Winchester College, and New Forest & District Sailability who ran thei annual Hansa TT in early May, alongside their sesions on up to 3 days a week in the height of the season!

Last updated 09:39 on 21 December 2023

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