Poppy’s verdict? It was Exhilarant!

Posted on May 10, 2015 6:42 pm

Poppy’s verdict? It was Exhilarant!

‘Exhilarant!’ was young Poppy’s verdict on her Open Day sailing session. Some exciting winds, churning Grassholme’s waters into Mr Whippy peaks, were not ideal for the less adventurous visitors to the club, but others were clearly thrilled. Poppy and her mother took to the water with Imogen in a GP 14 which, although deep reefed was soon flying over the waves with great plumes of spray soaking her new crew.

Steve Gibbon, the Regional Director of the RYA was impressed by the fantastic turnout of volunteers, who were in turn impressed by his unexpected arrival. We would have polished our buttons had we known Steve! Nearly twenty members gave up their day to introduce novices and returners to the pleasures of sailing and whilst it is easy to remember the skilled helms who kept everyone dry, (‘the few’ as Winnie would have said), without the tea-makers, riggers, waders and managers, the event could not have happened. This was the first open day I can remember where new members were signed up on the day, and that makes all the effort worthwhile.

We did manage some pleasure sailing with Tony, Geraint and yours truly getting a dunking after an over-ambitious Spinnaker session in the Bahia fell victim to a gust. Actually, I think it was rather less a gust and more a climatological interlude but it gave Imogen something to rib us about later. It’s now girls nil, boys plenty, in the capsize sweepstake.

Young Adam ended up solo on a Vago after his crew retired, but there was no way a seven stone teenager was going to tame the beast in those conditions no matter how good he is. Tony manfully came to his aide after a final capsize, going into the water to help recover and return the animal to shore.

As the winds built through the afternoon, only Paul was left sailing visitors while others were taken on a spin in the new super quiet safety boat, Perky. I think one or two of the very young found this a lot less scary.

Once again, a much better day than the forecast, and definitely exhilerant!

Chris Dauber