Ok, so here we (almost) are, right on the verge of a brand-new year!
This is always a time to reflect on the year just gone, remember all the things we did, all the people we met, the places we visited and all that we achieved.
One of my best memories has been watching those of you that began your sailing life earlier in 2016 and seeing how everyone has grown in confidence, competence and all the time having a lot of fun as a group. I for one very much hope to see you all again in 2017, progressing your skills out on the water and enjoying all the club has to offer off it.
Another memory that can’t go unmentioned is the phenomenal effort put in by our incredible training team. Week in, week out… Junior sail, Adult training, race training, Saturdays, Wednesdays from April right through to September – and beyond seeing as Adult training and race training continued on longer this year! Wow, I have no idea how you do it but hats off to you all guys!
What about our Assistant Instructors? (A.I’s) Now this is an amazing bunch of people. Mostly youngsters that started their sailing at MPSC just a few short years ago, this fantastic crowd have put in an incredible commitment – pretty much every Saturday of the training season spent wearing wetsuits and giving up their days helping others learn the sport that they have come to enjoy. In many cases we’ve seen some progress to full ‘Dinghy Instructor’ which, for these guys of 17/18, years old is an incredible achievement and one that opens up a whole new world of career opportunities (I’ll tell you some stories if you want!! 😉 ) anyway, a massive round of applause to you all for making Manor Park the most fun place to be on a Saturday. Your effort is magnificent, your enthusiasm is infectious and I’ve never ceased to laugh when watching you all just having such a great time.
Goals for 2017? Well, I for one am aiming to beat the 115 hours of sailing time I managed this year…how about you? Do you keep a log of your hours? Keep tabs on whether you’re crewing or helming? Which boats your sailing? – it might sound a bit geeky (Guilty as charged) but it’s a pretty interesting thing to do if you can. I think I have at least 5 years worth. (What? 🙂 )
What about planning some sailing adventures?
The Dinghy Show is on March 4th/5th and is always a great day out where you can see a huge number of boats in the flesh and speak to the people that actually sail them. Very useful for anyone looking to buy a boat. There’s also loads of stands full of sailing clothing, so yes, you can check out those wetsuits, drysuits, gloves, boots and tons of other stuff that you never thought you’d need 🙂 – buy it all at the show, so make sure you have your kitty all saved up. There’s also various talks and clinics. All at Alexandra Palace – and kids tickets are free! £12.50 for adults (£10.00 if you’re an RYA member) so grab a couple of tickets, sort out a cheap train (down to Euston, Tube to Wood Lane, free shuttle bus up the hill to Ally Pally….boom!, done) make a night of it in London with a cheap hotel….and model your new gear in the privacy of your own private room! (*Dim the lights, put on a bit of Barry White: “Oh yeah, check out my new bouyancy aid!!”) Tickets available now and there’s always a few MPSC bods down there either visiting or even hosting on a Association stand or two (Check out the Lightning368 stand, Emma will probably be on there on the Saturday and I’ll be at the bar 🙂 )
RYA Dinghy Show Tickets
The Dinghy Show is just one adventure though. How about venturing further afield with your sailing? Over the years we’ve organised regular club awaydays over at Bala where we have a weekend of camping and casual sailing. Don’t worry too much if you don’t have a boat, just find out whose going and who might need a crew or a passenger – or bring a kayak. A great way to socialise and sail in different surroundings. Whose in? The sail from the campsite to the cafe is always a brilliant adventure to test your skills.
A trip up to Ullswater to take part in the ‘Lord Birkett Trophy’ race weekend is always an event that leaves its mark! A veritable festival of sailing that will see some 200+ race the length of Ullswater and back twice over the two days. Everything from sailing canoes to 49ers and foiling Moths take part…but don’t worry about that bit, the sailing is almost secondary to the social aspect. Camping in a field with hundreds of others? a big old beer tent? live bands? ….what more do you need? We normally take a few boats up from MPSC to give it a go – just don’t ask anyone about this years race!!
How about arranging something for the Americas Cup? – a club night watching the finals? (End of May through June) Americas Cup schedule 2017
Speaking of camping, why not make use of the club and pitch a tent over the odd weekend? No charge for members for this and it lets you take in the lovely surroundings that the club sits in and is quite magical on a clear night with near total dark to see the stars – almost romantic in fact.
Barbecues on the patio, camping on the headland, loads of sailing, loads of chat and banter, loads of sailing adventures and trips away (if anyone wants to)….there’s 2017 lined up for you then. I know I have my plans, what are yours?
Come down to the club on Monday 2nd of January for a start-of-the-year social and we can talk about your plans etc, you can ask questions, maybe we can get a few club events planned? So how about bringing yourselves and any Christmas food leftovers? Anything from, say, 11am? Earlier if you want, but 11 is probably good. Bring some kit and if the weather is ok we can have a social sail maybe? Up to you really but remember, MPSC is YOUR club so come and make use of it and see if we can get some active social events planned for next year.
So there we go, 2016 winds down, 2017 spins up. Thankyou again to everyone that has made MPSC a fantastic place to go sailing and thankyou all for making MPSC simply a fantastically friendly place to be.
Here’s to a genius New Year to everyone!