The sailing conditions at the Club have generally been very good this season with far fewer poor sailing days than we normally get, and very little current to battle against. The season started with a N to NE 5-8 knot wind giving a reasonable sail on a very fine day. There were excellent conditions for the Easter Egg races with a NNE 6 to 12 knot wind although the gusty conditions made for many incidences; capsizes, falling in, gear failure, being stuck on the far bank, and a collision with a narrow boat.
The Mid-Thames Trophy inter club event was held at Hampton SC this year and the very gusty, up to 20 knots, wind gave very exiting sailing with many capsizes. Charles Dennis broke the mast of his Laser's new Radial rig on it's first time out. Of the visitors we had the largest number of boats and came 2nd to the host club for the third time.
The weather was terrible for the Open days; wet at first and a very strong, gusty and horrible fluky wind; not surprising we didn't have many visitors. We hosted a Signet Open Meeting at the Club again, this time combined with the regatta on Saturday. The wind was rather light and variable but warm and dry for the spectators supporting the 4 visiting Signets. The Sunday regatta had excellent conditions with a steady 5 to 10 knot Easterly. With such ideal conditions the last race was also sailed for the Cundy long distance race Trophy and spinnakers were used all the way up to Rivermead Island at Sunbury.
Although I was getting the impression of poor support for the racing, analysis of the entries indicates that we had a better year than I expected and it has been better than the previous 2 years; average boats per race was 5.5 and a maximum of 10. A total of 25 members helmed in at least one race, 29 crewed and 37 helmed or crewed.
A club boat has only been used on half our race days and then apart from 2 days only one has been used. AQSC members supported all the SigneT Meetings and came away with the majority of the prizes. At the Signet National Championships Richard Cannon, with Robert Britton as crew were 2nd. Also Richard with Robert as crew won the Signet Annual Points Trophy.
As usual all trophies, except the Broken Boom which is for the overall best Boat Handicap result, have been allocated to Personal Handicap results and this gives much closer Series results and usually helps spread the Trophies amongst the competitors instead of all going to one helm. Some results were very close and a tiebreak was need on three 1st,, one 2nd and one 3rd place result.
We need more members to partake in more races to make the distribution prizes more interesting. I welcome suggestions that might improve support for events. Am I giving members what they want? Should racing be different times or days, too much or too little racing, alternative events. Please let me know so I have a chance to incorporate any suggestions in next year's programme.
The AQSC Web site and E-mail continue to be useful communication media. The latest race results are generally available on the web site by the morning following Sunday racing. Apart from the race results there are notes on the weather conditions for each race day. There is also a list of all the trophies with pictures and winners over the years. Other useful pages are general News, Sailing and Social program, Sailing and Bar duty rosters, and the last 14 newsletters. I hope members are finding it useful. If Members with Email are not receiving occasional E-mails from me could they please let me have their E-mail address. I would welcome any suggestions on improving the communication, marketing and presentation aspects of the web site.