2014 Review and Discretionary Sailing Committee Awards


In 2014 the Seasalter Sailing Committee was re-established and we are busy reviewing all aspects of the club sailing. On viewing the 2015 sailing programme you will notice significant changes.

Our focus for 2015 is to ensure we attract and keep family members, so that we can nurture the young sailors and have an enduring cohort of junior sailors.

To help this process we will have a couple of new club boats next year, one of which will be suitable for family sailing.

We have had a great sailing season in 2014, the weather was kind to us and we held some very successful events, we participated in the inaugural ‘Bart’s Bash’ where we managed to get three boats in the top 100 of 30,000 boats competing, we also held a well-attended ‘Push the Boat out’ open day and of course the much loved Dinghy Regatta. It does appear to me that SSC has a spring in its step now and we will build on its recent successes.

Thank You for your help in 2014

We have a tremendously pro-active membership and a very active committee, but there are a few people that are very quick to volunteer their time, especially at short notice.  I know that in naming some, I will inevitably leave some un-mentioned, but I would like to just mention :

Dave Lincoln for his efficient efforts behind the bar and in the tower: never known to start a race late.

Mark Dwyer for his bare legged helming of the patrol boat.

Leslie Stafford and Jane Mills for her tireless work in the Galley.

Eric Sales for his artisan skills in keeping the club house in great order.

Discretionary Awards 2014

The DUCK AWARD, - this year is awarded more as a penalty. This sailor is to be penalised for unauthorised skiing behind his boat within the six knot speed limit, sailors don’t ski and certainly not behind their Sprint 15, but this sailor thought he could and soon lost control of his craft as it made its way down to join Seasalter Water Ski Club.

As John made his way East, every few meters, he had to hope that boat and skier combination would miss the next breakwater.

 John Holmes wins the 2014 Duck award.

Legend Award

This year saw the largest contingent of SSC travellers make their way to Thorpe Bay for the Sprint 15 National Championships, for many of us, our first experience of sailing in a National Championship, and for Paul Shields, his first chance to sleep in the same bed as a man in an oxygen mask.

On the first day, the wind didn’t blow and team Seasalter didn’t excel.  We kind of sailed OK, but not memorably. I was just excited to be there and taking part, but as we mustered back at the clubhouse Ian Mills - unbeknownst to us – had appointed himself ‘THE GUVNOR’- a sort of younger  Alex Ferguson. Just as we had started to relax after the days efforts, he started…..not so much motivational speaker as disappointed Dad. Apparently, it’s not all about the taking part, it’s about the winning, we hadn’t come all this way to enjoy ourselves, oh no, he wanted RESULTS…..

Emboldened by his new found authority and fuelled by local brew, Ian then remembered his responsibility as a Vice Commodore and insisted on extolling the virtues of SSC to everyone in the packed bar of Thorpe Bay Sailing Club. Although not part of the conversation, it was clear what Ian was talking about, because at that volume, we could all hear. One by one, various sailors and their supporters hurried away to an early night until Ian was left with just a friendly couple of Geordies too polite to make their excuses.

Content that his night had not been wasted, Ian later staggered off to his room, donned the mask and spooned his unsuspecting bedfellow.

The Junior Cup

On the water at Thorpe Bay, making towards that start line with 83 other competitors was an intimidating experience for me, imagine how it would have felt if you were a child, albeit in the capable hands of your Granddad.

So it was for Amy Foster, a very competent and composed crew on Eric’s boat for those three tiring days. I have checked the website and Amy is probably unique in appearing in the results of a National competition as finishing 9th in the ‘over sixties’ category and still going to school.

Amy Foster is the very worthy winner of the Seasalter Sailing Club Junior Trophy and a great asset to the club.

The Novice Cup

We’ve had a very special novice start sailing with us this year. This man is incapable of saying no, he’s up for anything and everything. He can run 6 miles wearing  two left shoes,  He’s capable of negotiating a container ship around the world, but struggles to get a 15 foot catamaran around the cans.

His best mate owns the biggest private collection of AK47’s in the world and his boss once told him ‘I want the ears of those pirates on my desk’, if you don’t know him already, you really should; he’s our very own 007, Paul Shields you are a complete Novice.

Crew Cup

This club has in the past been rather lacking when it comes to encouraging crewing, although there is some terrific fun to be had ‘two up’.  Keep an eye out in 2015 for entire series that can only be contested with crew, so get used to cuddling up to your helm, as perfected by Jane and Dave.

Crew of the year for 2014 has a terrific set of results to back up their hours at sea, composed and unflustered even when her crew threatened to wreck their vessel by parking in front of a Dart 15 travelling at 15knots.  

Judy Wilkinson is Crew of the Year.

Most Improved Helm

This year has seen great improvements in the skills of a lot of sailors, greater competition and great sailing conditions have conspired to result in many happy hours on the water honing our skills. This year’s winner has consistently improved since joining the club, their ample ability sometimes muted by a lack of confidence in getting stuck in with the front runners at the start line, but they are slowly overcoming that reticence.

Your Dad will be so proud as is your brother. The sailing committee has voted Jane Bainbridge the most improved helm of the year.

Lady Helm

SSC is successful because we have a terrific mix of members, some come along and just partake, some come along and sail and eventually realise that they have something to give the back to the club, some bring talent on to the water and some just bring big personalities. Judy and her family bring it all and we are very grateful for that. Whilst Mark bares his legs constantly to distract our attention away from his sailing ability. Judy lets her sailing do the talking. Judy is the worthy winner of the Lady Helm trophy.

Helm of the Year

Now we come to the big one, the Helm of the Year. The increase in the Sprint 15 fleet has created some really hard fought racing out there this year, whilst we have all tried our best , there are two guys that have turned up at every opportunity to pit their wits against the rest of the fleet, Jonny ‘Hazard’ Bainbridge and Ian ‘He’s not a bad man’ Mills. Their results on the website put them each at the top of either the results table or the newly introduced ladder.  It was clear to me that if I was going to be able to look these chaps in the eye again, I had to approach this award in a very scientific way. I won’t bore you with a blow by blow account of how I approached this, but suffice to say, I had to enlist Steve’s help in writing some special code to calculate the true Helm of the Year.

And by the way;- huge respect for what Steve has been doing for the club over the years, the sailing committee are only just beginning to lift some of the workload from Steve’s shoulders and boy has he been working hard and with such wisdom and consideration the like of which we can only dream of replicating.

Anyway back to the award:  The results on the website are full of points for duties, danger points, trophy points etc. whereas the new ladder rewards you for just turning up. Neither is a true indication of actual Helming ability. We had to strip the sailing results down to the bare bones, add the consequences of the size of the fleet and crunch the results.

Helm of the Year 2014 goes to Ian Mills.

Looking forward to 2015

This year’s sailing starts on the weekend of 21st & 22nd March and on the Sunday we get the chance to buddy up and compete in a series of very short races with the emphasis on fun. This will be the first of many sailing events through the year to encourage buddy sailing and help us all to get to know each other better and share sailing tips. 

Wednesday 1st January 2020

Mark Hollis

Seasalter Sailing Club,
Faversham Road, Seasalter, Kent, UK, CT5 4BW
Phone: 01227 278615
General Enquiries: enquiries@seasaltersc.org.uk
Membership Enquiries: membership@seasaltersc.org.uk
Webmaster: webmaster@seasaltersc.org.uk

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