December 2008 and it was no surprise that it was John’s birthday. He was 60. The surprise was that his present was a kit to build a SigneT.
The above had followed much effort by Brenda to locate a suitably challenging kit and to ascertain where to sail her. One contact led to another and soon the existence of the SigneT Club Owners Association came to light and also a club near where they lived who had a number of SigneTs being sailed by Laurie, John, Richard and Mike.
Aquarius it was to be. This gave plenty of scope for plagiarism during the build and plenty of competition while racing. Brenda settled in to doing this and that. In due course we joined the Committee.
We would like emphasise that we were and have always felt very welcome at Aquarius. In fact, we were so impressed on our first visit 5th April 2009 by the friendliness and warmth of those present. It is noted in Brenda’s diary, “Lovely club warm and friendly atmosphere.” On the day of the launch of SunseT, on 25th April 2010, all those around at that time were extremely complimentary on the standard of work demonstrated in building her.
We have thoroughly enjoyed our time socially and on race days. However, things have changed. We live less than a mile from Papercourt Sailing Club. The close locality of this club gives us more flexibility at weekends and is clearly close enough to us that we can pop in on Wednesdays for a cruise and/or a drink with the added benefit of Saturday and Sunday racing plus a winter series.
The real thing which has changed is that the club in 2008 would only entertain boats in certain classes but is now welcoming other boats within a general handicap range into which the SigneT falls.
So it’s not so much that we have been in any way disillusioned with being part of Aquarius but that we have been attracted by a situation we could not refuse. Given the above you will not be surprised to learn that SunseT is now berthed at Papercourt and will not be returning to Aquarius. However, the same cannot be said for us as we have a Duty to complete as OOD + AOD on the last race in November. Sadly though we confirm we will not be renewing our membership.
Wishing Aquarius and all those aboard her much success in the future
John & Brenda