We arrived at the GWSC Open Day and were warmly greeted by the Club Commodore, who suggested that we all jump aboard the committee boat and go for a little chug round Grafham Water, which we did, and we all loved it! It had never occurred to me to join the sailing club; I assumed it was very expensive, a bit cliquey and not really my thing. We met loads of friendly people and I quite fancied the opportunity to rekindle a forgotten childhood skill, after all it was within 15 minutes of the school gates and there was always a Coxswain on duty in case of an emergency, and with the bequest of my mum’s old Laser, I joined. As a result I get my weekly adrenaline fix sailing with a fabulous social bunch of people, I also attend club racing and benefit from outstanding coaching.
I never thought I’d get as much out of sailing as I do; I’ve met some amazing people, received generous amounts of help and coaching, and have really embraced sailing as my “thing”. My husband has yet to be convinced but since family members are welcomed under free non-sailing partner membership, he can still enjoy the coffee and cake at the café in his role as support crew! If we hadn’t come to the open day, I think I would still be oblivious to what I was missing out on at GWSC.
I have been sailing at Grafham since September 2021. It is great to sail on such a large stretch of water. I have sailed in the autumn Wednesday afternoon series and enjoyed the informal short races with lots of starting practice. Wednesdays ran until the end of October.
Sundays have three back to back races with ILCA/Laser having their own fleet which gets away from the frustration of racing against other boats and their handicap times. Some people sail two, most people all three races, each lasts about 45min. The racing is fun, tight and stretching. The courses are well laid with well set start lines. The present series started end of September and finishes end of November with 30% plus 1 to count to the results so even if you miss a few you will have sailed enough races to count in the overall results. Afterwards there is a good clubhouse, warm showers, plenty of space in the changing rooms and some people stay for something to eat or coffee/tea and cake downstairs. It’s welcoming and friendly, a good place to sail.
Michael (New Member)