Summer 2009


Commodore's Writes


Club Improvements

Ever been had?

First Aid Course

Front Gate

George Bray Surprise

Great Idea

Indoor Mini Olympic

Launching Club Boats

Loads of Picos

Main Sheet Input

Mid Summer Cruise

Mid Thames Trophy

Newsletter Printing

Open Weekend

Out and About

Racing Ruler 2009-2012

Regatta and Hog Roast

Sailing Secretary Notes

Skittles Night

Social Calendar

Spring Issue Question

Start of Season Party


Weather Forecasts


Work Parties

Youth Sailing Program

Regatta and Hog Roast

Two years ago we had a hog roast at the Aquarius regatta. This proved to be very popular, so … it was decided to have another one this year.

Nigel arranged delivery of the oversize rotisserie complete with pig, Pete visited the Hog's Back Brewery and picked up a keg of TEA (Traditional English Ale), Rodger and Linda organised the food for Saturday night and Joan and George the regatta tea on Sunday while everyone else ran around in ever decreasing circles.

We used to get a pin of 'Hair of the Hog' which, by name, was quite appropriate but unfortunately the brewery has stopped producing it.

Saturday morning produced the normal pre-regatta chaos. The marquee needed erecting over the quarterdeck. The clubhouse needed sorting out and tables and chairs putting out. The hog roast had to be manhandled onto the rotisserie and fired up. A course had to be laid and a hundred and one things were missing. Oh yes, our No.1 safety boat was out of action having a new propeller and prop shaft fitted. As I said the usual chaos!


The Saturday racing under Richard's eye went well with enough wind to make it interesting, I think seven or eight boats were out at one time. Towards the end of the afternoon people started drifting in to watch and wait for the evening events.

Those of us that stayed had a quick shower, got the boats put away and started preparing for the evening.

By 7:30pm Jazz was blaring out and the place was heaving; and by 8:00pm we had 80+ members and guests at the club. Nigel duly started carving and the Aquarius ladies served the array of salads that accompanied. This was followed by a desert and coffee from Pete's famous Cappuccino machine. We left just before midnight but the place was still rocking. It was the best attended social this century.

Sunday started as a very still morning but picked up around the start of the first race. The second race was the Commodores novelty event set over a triangular course. On the two upstream marks buckets were attached, one containing coloured plastic balls while the other was empty. Contestants had to sail to the full bucket, grab a ball, and then sail around the course to deposit the ball in the empty bucket. Then go back and do it all again. I have never seen so many boats going in so many different directions at once.

The last race was the Ladies and Novices race. We had a record entry due to the recently finished Youth Sail Instruction Programme; 7 novices and 4 ladies. Unfortunately it was marred by a couple of accidents. Imogen Morris's Pico was picked up by another boat and as the boom was released it swung back and hit her across the face. She had to retire and receive first aid for a heavily bleeding nose. The same boat then went on, collided with Imogen's brother Edmund's Pico, and capsized him. He righted the boat and the rest of the race passed without incident.

The day ended with a paddling race using dis-masted Pico hulls around a couple of buoys. The number of people you can get on a Pico competition ended when the top of the centre plate box was driven under water and the boat sank, but great fun was had by all, including a number of, shall I say, our more mature members (they are just big kids really).

Once everybody was ashore and accounted for the Aquarius ladies served our traditional 'regatta tea' including sandwiches, savouries, cakes and, of course, strawberries and cream.

Our Commodore Tony Hopkins then presented the Youth Sail Instruction Course certificates to everyone who had taken part. Imogen & Edmund Morris and Dominic Lunniss received gold certificates for completing the course. The course log sheets are still open and everybody is encouraged to keep sailing and complete the programme.

Tony then thanked everybody who had helped prepare the regatta tea, including Joan & George who had picked all the strawberries at Garson Farm (I think George eats as many in the field as he bring back). By 6:00pm things were winding down but I think this year's Hog Roast and Regatta was a classic! Many thanks to everyone involved and I do hope our newer, younger sailors enjoyed their first Aquarius Regatta.

Mike (Over Easy) Baker

Nigel Knowles carving the Hog

Nigel Knowles carving the Hog - Picture by Frank Rainsborough