Welly Challenge

2019 - Songs

On-Song Sailors Have Fun Raising Money for Charity

This year’s Welly Challenge was as mad as ever. The theme was “Songs” and everyone was invited to wear clues to their chosen song title. Master of Ceremonies, Roger Morse, helped things along by pointing out the obvious to the audience, and eventually by fair means or foul each tuneful mystery was solved. It’s interesting to note the majority of songs came from the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s! (See list below). The evening also included a challenging quiz compiled by Charles Adams, plus a dastardly game of sailing a homemade “yacht” round a course on the floor, by manipulating four separate ropes, each one held by a different team member. The star of the raffle table was a much coveted pair of microwaveable slippers, as well as a basket of fruit, some bottles of wine, and chocolate.

Did the Slow Fleet or the Fast Fleet Win? NO!! … An upstart team of women sailors achieved the highest score on the yacht game and was deemed by all to have won the day.

A total of £160 was raised which, after expenses, is to be donated to HertsBoatRescue, a non profit charity, run by volunteers, which does nationwide flood rescue and water safety work on the county’s rivers, canals and lakes. Val Newton, recently benefitted from their skills when her car unexpectedly rolled into the lake on 19th January. They winched it out and saved the day.

Welly Challenge Songs

1898 O Sole Mio (Just One Cornetto!) Mike & Sandy Caddy

1953 How Much is That Doggy in the Window (Lita Roza) Thelma Cardinal

1952 Singing in the Rain (Gene Kelly) Roger Morse

1955 Rock Around The Clock (Elvis) Brian Cardinal

1956 Blue Suede Shoes (Elvis) David Newton

1958 Wash That Man Right Out of My Hair/South Pacific Val Newton

1959 Petite Fleur (Chris Barber) Charles Adams

1959 Ne Me Quitte Pas (Jacques Brel) Patrick Rohart

1964 Needles and Pins (The Searchers) Thelma Cardinal

1967 Flower of Scotland (Battle of Bannockburn 1314) David Brown

1967 Puppet on a String (Sandie Shaw) Dave Campbell

1968 Hi Ho Silver Lining (Jeff Becks) Marjorie Adams

1969 A Boy Named Sue (Johnny Cash) David Springall

1974 The Wombling Song (Mike Batt) The Walter Family

1976 Devil Woman (Cliff Richard) Sybil Morse

1983 We Are Detective (Thompson Twins) Shaun and Lin Smale

1986 Lady in Red (Chris de Burgh) Meryl Springall

2018 - The Long Arm of the Law

Fast Fleet v Slow Fleet

Honours were Even!

This year’s Welly Challenge was as chaotic and as much fun as ever. It raised the grand sum of £245, which is being donated to Grafham Sailability to help pay for new boats for disabled sailors.

The theme was: “The Long Arm of the Law” and it was amazing how Wellys translated this into characters and fancy dress costumes. Master of Ceremonies, Roger Morse, walked around the room and invited everyone to introduce themselves and their outfits (he’d come as the Head of the FBI with the MEMO that Trump has just published).

Shaun Smale’s take on things was extremely literal. He had a long pole with a leather glove on the end with pointing finger, which he said was “The Long Arm of the Law”!

On the side of the Law, there was: the Statue of Justice (complete with golden sword and balancing scales), a lady barrister (with wig and black gown), policemen and policewomen, a police inspector, a member of Neighbourhood Watch with binoculars, the tea lady from the police station and her husband, as well as Secret/Special and Undercover agents, a SWAT team member, a helpless hostage, and a wife with a ball and chain round her neck.

The villains and illegals included, a convict serving hard labour with a ball and chain round his ankle, several masked burglars, a large criminal gang (looking suspiciously like Graham Hunt’s family), and an illegal immigrant hiding under a coat (discovered by Roger to be Patrick Rohart).

The evening’s challenges were as eclectic as ever. There was a quiz on World Leaders - inspired by the Leader dinghy apparently! (Who can honestly remember these - (China) Xi Jinping , (Zimbabwe) Emmerson Mnangagwa, and (New Zealand) Jacinda Ardern ?). This was followed by a hard-to-crack cryptic quiz on UK place names.

Light relief came when Carol Brown introduced the ever-popular practical Welly Challenge. She read out a scenario which was about Welly sailors being kidnapped by Finesse, and set the Fast and Slow teams the task of making a gadget to help track them down. Old newspapers were also handed to each team so print could be cut out and stuck on a message board for police. At the word “Go”, there was much ripping of cardboard and sticking by the two eager teams, and the ingenious results were eventually judged by Roger.

When David Brown, came to tot up the figures on the Score Board, it was a 60-60 Draw. For the first time, the winners were not the Fast Fleet or the Slow Fleet.

Honours were Even!

2017 - celebrating around the world

A fun night ‘celebrating around the world’ raises £200 for charity

WGC sailors raised nearly £200 for the Noah’s Ark Children’s Hospice at this year’s Welly Challenge, the club’s annual anarchic evening of fun held, as usual, at the Mead Hall, Wheathamstead.

To view all Val's photographs of the event in a separate window, click here.

The theme was: ‘celebrating around the world’, and our irrepressible master of ceremonies Roger Morse, introduced a cavalcade of unlikely characters from many nations. They included two Aussies with corks on their hats and tinnies in hand, two beautiful Japanese ladies with parasols, an elegant sari-clad Indian lady, a Caribbean pirate, two fez-wearing Turks, a Canadian lumberjack, a kilted Scot, a sheik from Dubai, a Peruvian peasant, an Austrian skier, a white bearded old man from Lapland, a couple of Irish citizens, numerous assorted English and inexplicably, a nurse and doctor from Medicins Sans Frontieres.

The fast and slow handicap fleets competed against each other in a series of brain curdling quizzes and chaotic competitions. These included plank racing, and ‘Guess That Tune’ played by team line-ups blowing tin whistles, conducted by vice commodore, Nigel Davis. The final tally was 84-96, which gave the slow fleet sailors an emphatic win. In time honoured fashion, this drew an ungracious but good humoured response from the fast fleet.

Commodore Pete Thornley – who was also Quizmaster on the night - said afterwards: “the high wind and rain in the morning stopped quite a few people from getting their weekly fix of sailing, but they certainly made up for it by competing at the Welly Challenge!”

2014 - Don’t Panic Mr Mainwaring

“Dad’s Army” was the fun theme of this year’s Welly Challenge, the club’s annual fundraiser for charity; £257.45 this year for Help the Heroes!

The characters who arrived at Mead Hall in Wheathampstead, included a grimy Bevin Boy, Captain Mainwaring himself, a Red Cross Nurse, and more....Read all about it and

2103 - Celebrating the Diamond Jubilee