Bewl Visit
Virtual Sailing
Boat Bits
A Sail on the Social Side
Whatever Next
Fails her M.O.T
Weather (or not?)
Start of Season Party
Future Events

AQUARIUS OPEN DAYS 6-7 MAY 2000 - Richard Cannon and Mike Baker
This year the Club's Open Weekend was held in conjunction with the RYA's Big Blue Summer of Boating initiative. Planning for this annual event started back in March. Press releases were sent to a dozen or so local area newspapers in April and informational posters and flyers were also made available to members in an effort to ensure the weekend received maximum possible publicity. Information was also available on the Aquarius web site.
Internally the clubhouse was 'spruced-upí, the upper patio finished, the grass trimmed and the flower beds weeded. New club name signs were mounted either side of the entrance gates and Bryan even repainted the interior of the safety boat.
Up to this weekend sailing had been very poor due to bad wind and strong current. Fortunately the elements were very kind to us for this important event. The current had dropped to about 1 knot, the wind was generally an ideal steady E to NE 2-10 mph. As a bonus it was fine and hot. Some of our lady members made very good use of our renovated upper patio.
Ladies on upper patio

Most of our visitors were families with children between 2 and 14 years old and the good conditions enabled even the young children to have a go on the helm; one 11 year old even mastered tacking.
Sunday started with less wind and it was difficult to make way against the current. Roy Clough took his Graduate out for itís first sail and to demonstrate that the wind had improved he capsized! The coldness took his breath away and he found he couldnít climb back into his dinghy.
One young girl was persuaded to go out by her cousin and our junior helm Michael Stevens took them both out in his Graduate; there was a lot of squealing coming from his dingy when it heeled. Then for a short period the wind blew harder and Michael really gave them something to squeal about by capsizing. Fortunately the girls only got their legs wet. Very surprisingly they went out with Michael again. When asked if they had enjoyed their sail they said the best bit was the capsize!! We do aim to please!
Towards the end of Sunday Graham Thompson had a couple buoys laid and there was informal racing over a short course with visitors crewing.
The half a dozen boats that were available to take people out were more than adequate. In addition Joan and George were available in the clubhouse to answer membership questions and handle the paperwork. They also ensured that there was always a fresh cup of tea available! Interestingly more than one of our visitors said that they had learned about the Open Weekend by accessing our website, The main source of visitors was the banner at the entrance and the posters on the far bank.
So, was it all worth it? Definately given that sailing is being forced to compete for peopleís available leisure time against a vast array of other sports and activities; it is our main source of new members. Over the weekend 33 people dropped in, two families joined on the day and quite a few showed genuine interest.
Many thanks to everybody who spent the best part of their weekend at the club to
ensure that everything went smoothly. Especially Joan Bray, Madeline Hatton and Margaret Tomkins for providing food and refreshments for the weekend.
And finally (ask yourself this. Was there a family member, friend or colleague who had expressed an interest in sailing that you could have brought down to the club over the Open Weekend ? (and if you didn't, WHY NOT?)