2015 Review and Discretionary Awards

2015 was a Cracking year at Seasalter.

We started the year off in February with the very popular ‘Get Fit for Sailing’ sessions, these classes allowed the Seasalter collective to fine-tune their already beautiful bodies ready for the sailing season. We saw 36 people attend up to seven sessions of circuit training.

We should congratulate Lindsey, Keetah, Chris and Leslie for taking part in all seven sessions.

The sailing season got under way with some great sailing conditions, which in the main, continued through the year, very few sessions were cancelled due to poor conditions. All races were well attended and the slow fleet has both grown in size and competitiveness.

The Open Day was a huge success, willing volunteers pitched in with just the right amount of good humour to make Seasalter a really fun place to be. A fresh breeze and a good food offering topped off the event. As a result we acquired a healthy clutch of new members and have continued to build the membership throughout the year. We all need to keep an eye on new members to ensure they feel comfortable and supported at the club and during sailing.

Bart’s Bash was indeed a great Bash

Thanks to Sue B, we launched with stomachs full of burgers and wedges. Luckily, my days in the galley are probably numbered as Sue has vowed to never work a kitchen with me again. 21 sailors took to the water that day and we raised a fist full of money to go towards the Andrew Simpson Fund. Thanks go to those who worked the beach and the Kayak races. It was nice to hear people commenting on the strong comradery that they experienced on the day. For the second year running Seasalter featured on the front page of the Bash board: Keetah is ranked as the 5th fastest rookie Bash Bart’s sailor in the world.

We also held the Club Regatta, the Dinghy Regatta, Pirate day, The Sprint 15 TT, race training days afloat, race training days ashore, duty training days, two tide cruises, youngster sailing, buddy sailing, setting sun sailing and who could forget the Allhallowtide series on Halloween when we all dressed up….no we didn’t, it was just me wasn’t it! On top of all that we managed to squeeze in 12 race series. We certainly packed a great deal into the season. We tried a few new things this year, some worked well, some need some more work, but we will build on the successes for next year.

Not all the action was at Seasalter

Through the year we were represented at Netley, Stewartby, Grafham, Stokes Bay, Marconi and Sheerness. We were also ably represented at the Weta National Championships at Weston Sailing Club back in June by our own John Fairclough. John finished a very creditable 3rd overall.

Thank You for your help in 2015

Once again this year the committee are very grateful to those members that rock up here and help out, if you haven’t embraced the ‘get stuck in’ ethos yet, give it a go, you’ll get nothing but encouragement from me and the rest of the committee and it gives you a warm glow inside.

Just a quick mention to the following volunteers, sorry if I have missed anyone:

  • Rob and Caroline for their help preparing the Summer Ball.
  • Dave Carter working as Beach-master during the Sprint 15 TT.
  • John Fairclough, Patrol Boat training.
  • Keetah for generally running about and making about 1000 cup cakes.
  • The Lott sisters with their help with the Barts Bash Kayak race.
  • However, I’m going to award ‘Volunteer of the Year’ to Sue B for the herculean effort, under stressful conditions compounded by me, with the Bash Burgers and Wedges.

Now, this section is not really meant for committee members, but I just want a special mention to Joan this year, she works tirelessly in the background to keep all the boring things working and safe, she has to look after the pennies, do the banking, pay the bills, the insurances, she is forever checking the club rules against other clubs to make sure we are being fair. Joan has been posting most of the racing results, she is usually the first responder to outside enquiries and of course the longer standing members have got used to firing all their enquiries to her, myself included. She has been at the point of exhaustion at times this year and I am determined that we lessen her workload next year by more fairly distributing the administration. Thank you Joan for all your hard work.

Discretionary Awards 2015

The LEGEND AWARD, - in line with the quality training that we have all received this year, clumsiness: the main prerequisite for winning the Legend Trophy has been refreshingly absent.

Robin tried to demonstrate clumsiness with his capsize drills, but we soon realised that the debacles were clearly staged in a bid to secure the Legends Award, even the splitting of the bow of his boat and subsequent sinking was an obvious cheat as he had ‘supposedly’ effected a repair with flour and water just weeks before.

Only last week and still bidding for his 5 minutes of fame, he was heard to whisper to Keetah: “loosen this and brace yourself” just prior to his mast coming down.

No, this year the Legends Award will be awarded for true and honest bloody mindedness. This man has a mind completely unaffected by his surroundings or peers, he knows what he wants to do and he goes for it. Two acts of truculence played out like mirror images of each other this summer.  This guy is considered, considerate, an able seaman and a true gent, but faced with a long distance race, he simply cannot bring himself to perform the final act. For the rest of us it is the pinnacle, the money shot, it earns you bragging rights for all the miles you have slogged up until that point. Crossing the finish line is the one thing that gives you the instant gratification which is so rare in sailing.

We stood on the ramp open mouthed at Marconi as, having helmed his craft 27 miles in somewhat testing race conditions; he drew level with the ramp and promptly retired 25 meters short of the finish line. Questions; we had many, but no logical answer was forth coming, it just didn’t seem to matter to him, it just didn’t seem to push his buttons, is it really the taking part that counts? Fast forward to the Round the Island race later in the year. Once again we assembled on the ramp, at Sheerness this time as the Seasalter fleet powered home, one by one we returned, now it was his turn, this time the wind was in his favour and it was surely only a matter of seconds before he could feel the elation of hearing that finishing signal in his ears, like a personal reward from the race officer telling you how well you had done. Our hearts were full of pride that the Seasalter fleet had turned up and represented the club so admirably. But no! All the confusion that we had suffered on the Marconi ramp was back, our brains working overtime to try and comprehend the utter waste that our fellow club member was inflicting on his glorious day, the lure of the ramp clearly greater than the finish line. This time though, he hadn’t reckoned on the determination of the 50 or so sailors watching on the promenade, arms gesticulating towards the finish line, vocal chords were stretched in explanation, the collective objection to his perverse behaviour was surely impossible for him to ignore, but no, he continued his passage towards shore single minded to the last. Only when the race office turned the tannoy volume to full, opened his mike and instructed ‘SPRINT 15 GO OVER THE FINISH LINE, GO OVER THE FINISH LINE’ did Joe Jones relent and for once agreed to conform with the norm.

 Joe Jones you are the 2015 Seasalter Legend.


You would hope that after the water-born confusion, when we come back ashore, have a shower and get back into our day clothes, things might get back to normal. Alas, this tale demonstrates that the greatest quiz minds that Seasalter has ever produced can conspire together to place themselves in the wrong place. Off they trot to a scout hall in the backstreets of Whitstable, they settle themselves down on a vacant table and duly place their fish and chip order for the half time break in the wine and wisdom quiz. They make small talk with the other contestants and generally make themselves at home. In the mean-time in another hall not a million miles away, Ian is beginning to worry that a whole table of contestants has not turned up for the quiz. After a bit of detective work, Ian found the errant gang in the scout hut next door, now entered in to the wrong quiz.

Rumour has it that Dave had to be forcibly relocated as he was keen to hold out for his cod and chips.

For cripplingly poor navigation skills, Valerie, Dave, Andrew, Rob and Caroline, you share the 2015 Seasalter Duck Award



We had a young man make a few very impressive visits to the club this year, he crewed with his grandad until he realised he was probably safer taking his chances alone and took the helm in seven races.

This capable and competent young man has a great sailing future in front of him.

We look forward to seeing him regularly next season.

Henry Carter is the very worthy winner of the Seasalter Sailing Club Junior Cup.


We have a couple of members that have quietly turned up and sailed very well and competitively without any fuss. One of these is David Adams and I am delighted to announce that he takes home the Novice Cup tonight.



Oh boy, we had some crewing this year. It’s great to see people getting together and sailing, surely that’s what we join a club for?

One person who has crewed at every opportunity this year has also increased their abilities greatly. She soaks up knowledge like a sponge and is as brave as can be.

A great club member, a great smile and a great sport.

Keetah Davis is Crew of the Year.


The person up for most improved helm this year is the other quite man. This unassuming guy is stealthily competitive and has used this determination to win to help hone his sailing talent. It sure is only a matter of time before he moves across to the fast fleet, we are waiting with baited breath Mr M.

Jason Mutham, please come and collect your Most Improved Helm Shield


She has sailed solidly this year; it’s great to see her up near the front of the fleet. Slowly and surely she is growing in confidence.

She was the first lady helm home in the East Coast Piers Race. 2016 will see her go up another gear now she knows that defib is paid for and screwed to the wall. Jane Bainbridge Lady Helm of the Year.


The recipient of the Helm of the Year award has to demonstrate a clear ability to win. This year’s winner won 21 races this year and came top three in a massive 43 races. They don’t invest in the best boat, they don’t seem to worry too much about rig tuning and new race sails. But they can sail and sail properly. They are also a record breaker now that they are the first woman to ever win the Seasalter Helm of the Year award.

Judy Wilkinson is the 2015 Seasalter Helm of the Year.


The 2016 Season

Looking forward to 2016. With the latest reshuffle in the GMC; we have a new Sailing Committee this year. John Holmes and I have asked Judy, Sasha and Robin to join us on the Sailing Committee and we have also asked our esteemed Commodore to take on the role of sailing consultant.

I would hope that by the beginning of the next season you will have a much better understanding of who is looking after what at Seasalter.

I also have two personal aims for 2016:

  1. Better communications with you all: I am sure technically the right answer is out there, we just need to match the technology with how you want to receive information from us. If anyone out there has knowledge to get us to where we want to be, let me know.


  1. The desire to build a culture of volunteering in the club. This doesn’t need to be a burden and I hope with the right approach from the committee and an open mind from the members, we can all make this club run a little smoother.


The 2016 sailing programme will follow on from the success of 2015. If you have any ideas for inclusion, let me know very soon.


Mark Hollis

Rear Commodore Sailing. Seasalter SC

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

Design by Island Webservices
An Inspired Facility RYA affiliated sailing club