Thirty five children took part in the annual fun filled sailing event (with an Aussie theme) over the Bank Holiday weekend culminating in the hotly contested Monday afternoon race and the water fight afterwards.  Marcus Stevens (from Tasmanian Devils) was the Topper race winner closely followed by Jago Lott and then Lizzie Cook.  Poppy Lott (from Kangaroos) was the first Tera home and Noah Sheriff the first Topper 4.2 home.  Thanks must go to Julian Cooke who acted as Race Officer and introduced the children to the basics of racing.  Not to be outdone Jamie Lott organised a really fantastic Oppie race (Possums and Kaolas) with a Le Mans like start with parents helping to see off their charges and see them back in at the finish.  The “Pink Flotilla” (Oppie’s bright pink sail) were a joy to see sailing so well on the water and the eventually winner was Sophia Karakusevic (Possums) with Sam Stevens (Kaolas) putting in the best performance from the other group.  Cath Walsh is to be thanked for sourcing the T-shirts, the race prizes, helper gifts, ducks and the sweeties.

We had good winds all weekend although the low cloud stayed most of Saturday and Sunday but we were blessed with hot, sunny and windy conditions on Monday.  Everyone’s sailing ability improved in leaps and bounds and huge thanks for that must go to all the instructors and assistant instructors for their expert tuition and patience.  Thanks also goes to the big boat helms who gave all the children a super introduction to the bigger boats and what they can hope to sail in the future.  CLADS gave up their Saturday to help us introduce the children to the challenges of sailing in their boats with a disability – a big thank you to CLADS.

Lisa Ridding, our first aider worked magic making cold, tired and miserable children back into happy, smiley children wanting to get back onto the water.  Doug in the Galley kept us all fed and donated the squash for the children over the weekend. Thanks must also go to the Duty Officer’s and rib rescue drivers who kept watch over us and were always on the scene to see no harm came to the children.  Bristol Water Authority lent us four fishing boats which meant all instructors had a boat from to teach their students.  All Aboard Sailing (ex WESSA) lent us six Toppers which was invaluable.  Finally thanks to all the parent helpers who mucked in with the groups and made the weekend such a success.

Until next year may the winds be fair and your sailing both safe and fun.

Colin Walsh

AA13 Co-ordinator