Weekly Club News - 10th October 2023
Published 09:25 on 10 Oct 2023
Blue Green Algae
We continue to monitor and assess the situation caused by the current bloom of Cyanobacteria, more commonly referred to as Blue Green Algae. At this time no decision has been taken regarding Spinnaker Youth Training or Club Racing on Sunday, further communication regarding these activities will be sent on Friday.
Weekend Racing News
It was an interesting weekend of weather, with a real mix of strong and light wind! On the east coast Duncan and Kirsten put in a great effort at the Endeavour Trophy coming 14th overall, a great result amongst some of the best sailors in the country.
Meanwhile at Oxford Sailing Club there were two days of very warm weather for the ET Championships, which all the teams had a great experience at. A special mention to the Winchester College Firefly Team who won the Bronze League in the Youth Fleet.
Back here at home our racers enjoyed three races in a beautiful south westerly wind, with only a few lumps of weed to avoid. The latest results can be seen here.
Shall We Try Something New?
With our Wednesday evening racing now completed, the summer has drawn to a close. For some of our members, the colder weather is a decider in laying up the boat for the year. We have been looking at how to keep more of you sailing through the year, and are looking at whether we can set up Radio-Controlled Model Boat sailing/racing during the winter months. This would be based upon a single design boat almost certainly a cheap one design 65cm boat costing £200 new all up. If there is enough interest, we will hold a meeting to discuss when and how this will run (to avoid interfering with our normal manned-boat sailing). If you are interested, please contact the Keith McQuillin at Laser@spinnakerclub.co.uk
2023 Club Championships
Our 2023 Club Championships are running on Sunday 22nd October and Sunday 29th October. There will be 3 races per day, and a range of prizes to be won including the best on each day, overall Club Champion, Junior Club Champion and top Firefly/Optimist/Topper/ILCA/Solo!
For the overall prizes your best 3 scores will count, so you can turn up for just one day and be crowned Spinnaker Sailing Club Champion 2023! For more details (including timings) please see the Notice of Race here.
Powerboat Safety - Lessons Learned
Here at Spinnaker Sailing Club we have an excellent record of providing a safe environment, including appropriate training and support to all our volunteers. Some of you may be aware that 2023 has sadly seen a noticeable increase in powerboat incidents reported to/investigated by the RYA and Marine Accident Investigation Branch. Many of these accidents have resulted in serious injuries, and in some cases it is very lucky there was not a fatality. We are fortunate that within the club's committees/management team we have a number of highly qualified and experienced marine professionals, with excellent networks in the wider industry. This team are constantly looking to ensure we put into place best practice to continue providing a safe environment. Following the publication of this recent MAIB report, as well as other incidents we are aware of we have reviewed our craft and how we operate to see if we can learn anything from these incidents and make any improvements.
As a result of this discussion Spinnaker Sailing Club is taking the below actions:
- Restricting the craft used for Powerboat Level 2 training to our Humber Ribs and Rigiflexs due to the availability of seating and handholds for all participants.
- Installing new secure handholds in our Searider Ribs to improve the safety of our safety boat and coaching teams.
- Arranging for free powerboat skills refreshers/updates in early 2024 (look out for dates being published soon).
We would also like to take this opportunity to provide the below top tips to help keep everyone safe:
- As the helm of a powerboat communicate to your crew what you are doing e.g. "Turning to port," "accelerating/slowing down."
- As a crew/passenger make sure you are seated, and when sitting on a sponson ensure you have a good handhold.
- Know the handling limitations of the craft you are driving
- If in doubt go to neutral/pull the kill cord/switch off the engine.
- Keep everything - people, ropes, buoys, boats etc. away from the propeller.
If you have any questions please do speak to James or Neil, and if you would like to learn how to safely drive a powerboat we have several courses coming up this winter!
Last updated 09:25 on 10 October 2023