Chew Valley Sailing Club pushes the boat out
Sailors celebrate at Chew Valley
Chew Valley Sailing Club was one of hundreds of sailing clubs, centres and marinas up and down the country on Saturday (21 July) celebrating the RYA’s Push the Boat Out day, not only cheering on the sailors of Team GB ahead of the Olympic and Paralympic Games but also showcasing the sport to the nation.
The club celebrated the event with nearly 100 different boats on the water and there was just enough wind to disperse the competitors for Chew's special Push the Boat Out Day 'Round the Island Race'.
Although it dropped off in the afternoon, this made the ferry trips over to the magical Denny Island even more fun. Fancy dress was the order of the day and there were pirates in abundance including the infamous Cap'n Denny and a secret treasure hunt.
There were prizes galore and the majority of the young sailors went home proudly displaying their winnings or clutching treasure.
Top prize for the day went to Charlie Fowler whose was the first of the Optibats over the line, closely followed by Mary and Alex Haynes. Errol Edwards also won a special prize for winning the fleet of 65 competitors on handicap - and by kidnapping Cap'n Denny from his very own island.
Alex Timms, RYA Activator at the club said: “Special thanks go to all the volunteers who made this wonderfully happy day possible - in particular to the team who first cleared Denny Island of its nettles and overgrowth and then organised the special landings in the afternoon.”
On Sunday the wind blew up to force three gusting four for Chew's very own Olympic Games. The day started with three Class Race Day style heats and then the top two winners from each fleet competed for the medals in a special finals race.
Event Race Officer Keith Harris set a windward / leeward course and the finish couldn't have been more exciting or closer. Tony and Zach Freer beat Bill Chard’s Flying Fifteen by just two seconds to win third place and bronze whilst Steve Smith pipped Damian Boreham's Firefly by just one second to win the coveted gold medal.
Summing up, Alex Timms said: “All in all the most fantastic weekend of family fun, great racing and support of both the RYA and our Olympic Team - congratulations to everyone at Chew Valley Lake Sailing Club.”
To find out more about Sail for Gold visit www.rya.org.uk/sailforgold