During the first lockdown a few members worked at nominating Chris Wheeler for a RYA Volunteers Award to recognise his long standing commitment to the club. The nomination required a proposal and seconding, much like our AGM! Putting together backing evidence to this was easy as there were many examples of the dedication Chris shows. The most recent one at the time was the building of our new Clubhouse where Chris tirelessly led the way liaising with landlord, supplier, funding partners, contractors and the committee to ensure best value and most workable result. He has always been an easy-going leader of the children, nurturing them to achieve their best and extend their interest in sailing and beyond.
We are delighted to announce Chris was recognised with a Lifetime Commitment award, this identifies people who have given over 15 years of their time, experience and wisdom to the benefit of others. The awards are usually presented at the RYA AGM with HRH Princess Anne completing the honour. Due to the pandemic this event was cancelled and Chris received it at the club after a model yachting session with Peter Barnes standing in for Princess Anne, thank you Peter! I am sure you all join us in thanking Chris for his devotion to the club and the benefit we have all had from his involvement in WWYSA – long may it continue!
WWYSA usually opens the season as soon as the clocks change and Spring 2020 was also going to be the time to officially open our new Clubhouse and facilities. Due to lockdown being announced the week before opening we had to re-think everything. The opening plans were all put on hold and fortunately the suppliers fully understood our predicament – we hope to party another time!
Sailing was fortunate enough to be one of the first sports to be allowed to resume so we got thinking fast and managed to get several of our competent sailors back on the water over the summer. The WWYSA volunteers offered weekly sessions of single handed sailing time to members who held a RYA Stage 2 certificate. Each member had to pre-book and arrange for a family member to stay for the sessions in order to assist with rigging and de-rigging which was quite interesting to watch! Our Instructor volunteers and those with Power Boat 2 qualifications led the sessions and ensured everyone maintained a social distance. Unfortunately the Clubhouse was not available so everyone had to arrive ready and possibly go home wet, but this did not deter any of them. Several photos and a video show the fun that was shared – thank you to our photographers for sending these in.
Another new phrase for 2020 was furlough – with several people finding they had more time due to not working WWYSA found the Model Yachting Club grew in popularity. We were able to organise sessions on 3 days per week and some of those held in both the morning and afternoon. The foreshore was marked out with very generous 2m social distancing squares and everyone who wanted to join in had to book ahead. We felt this represented a viable Track and Trace should there be a need. As several of the Model Yachting club members are over 70, the Committee took its decisions very seriously with regard to the ‘Over 70’s’ instructions given at lockdown and operated fully within those guidelines whilst supporting the members and their mental health. From the feedback received, everyone participating was very pleased to be able to share such an enjoyable activity and remain feeling safe as it was a very lonely time for some.
The Model Yachting club also welcomed some of our younger members who gained knowledge from the elders about wind and the effects of it on your craft. The racing that took place meant the league table had some different names on for a part of the season! If you are interesting in joining in the Model Yachting activities please email the secretary to arrange a booking.
Another casualty of the pandemic was the postponement of the Dinghy Instructor Course that several of our youngsters were due to complete. Having lost out on school since March we really hoped that this would extend them and they were certainly all keen. We are hopeful that we can run this course at the start of our 2021 season and support you gaining all the experience needed then.
Our season closed very un-ceremoniously at the end of September – sorry none of the individual night group parties like usual but we will just have to party harder next year! Our Model Yachters have carried on for now but will suspend activities as required by the changing R-rate.
Usually when we close the season we say see you at the AGM in January, this may well be a digital meeting so please keep an eye on your emails for updates.
Thank you to all our volunteers who made many people smile this year with the activities you supported us in. Thank you to our membership and their families for the on-going understanding and we hope we can see you all back on the water in Spring 2021.
Stage 2 upwards sailing resumed as soon as possible after lockdown and we welcomed groups of 6 single handlers to the lake. They were supported by a single safety boat to retrieve them if they got really stuck but the rule of social distancing meant we could only have sailors who could self-right their boat after capsizing. The photos show the lengths some of the kids went to in order to socially distance and the winds were kind enough to support them!
Doesn’t our facility look great! Thanks to our drone-owner who took the footage below from the foreshore during a Sunday sailing session and supporting the family. It shows us off very nicely and we look forward to all being able to use the facility fully next season.
If there are other photos you would like to share with us we would love to hear from you, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.