30 December 2017 Last Blast of the Year 2017

The "Last Blast of the Year" was specially arranged and organised by our Race Officer, Charles Adams - a special Personal Handicap Pursuit for the "End of Year Tankard".

It took the form of two pursuit races with everyone starting at the same time but covering different distances according to their boat and current personal handicap - a special handicap calculated scientifically by our Race Officer.

In the warmth of the classroom

It was also advertised as an opportunity to display those new pullovers, gloves and scarves as delivered by Santa(!) and sample the leftovers from Christmas plus the special recipe club Punch supplied by Marjorie, fortified to taste with a drop of Rum, courtesy of Anthony Willis. Thereafter, the "Last Blast" got accorded the title of The Rum Pursuit

Alan Campbell emerged as the clear winner of the end-of-year ‘Rum Pursuit’

Strong winds were not going to stop Welwyn Garden City Sailing Club running their resurrected End-of-Year Pursuit races on Saturday, 30th December. (See Historical Note below).

Sudden 30-40 mph gusts hit the competitors at regular intervals as they battled round the course. There were spectacular sights of speeding boats lost to view in spray and inevitable capsizes.

After two exhausting 3/4 hour races Alan Campbell emerged as the clear winner with Commodore Nigel Davis second, Annette Walter third and Mike Caddy fourth. Although Annette didn’t win, she never stopped smiling as she powered along on the plane!

Deliberate concentration from Alan wins through

Annette has a ball!

It was a lively event for everyone

In the strong wind conditions......

The Rescue Driver had to concentrate so hard...................that his skylight popped open to keep him cool!

Thanks go to Rescue Driver David Brown, and his assistant, Race Officer Charles Adams, who ran the two pursuit races from the safety boat. Charles also managed to take some fantastic action photos while stationed at the top end of the lake supplemented by some from Val. Appreciation also goes to Sheila Stowe and Dave Campbell who did duties in the race hut, counting laps and making sure everything ran smoothly.

Alan is congratulated by Race Officer, Charles Adams

Alan with brother Rob

This is how your watch works..... But I'd rather try to open this rum.

Ooooh! Rum! Naughty!

Members of the Mouse Club (below) turned out in force to cheer everyone on and were rewarded with reviving glasses of Marjorie's hot punch with rum added to taste from Antthony's bottle of Lambs Navy Rum. There was also a spread of hot mince pies, chocolate biscuits and more, courtesy of Thelma Cardinal.

Someone has to do it! Thanks, Ian

This new event turned out to be a great way of ending the sailing year.....or......put another way.....

...to end the "Rear of the Year 2017!!!!"

[Historical Note: The Last Blast of the Year is a resurrection of an end of year pursuit regularly run by Simon Fishwick when Ash Cato from Finesse was willing to give up time to open up the facilities, a task entrusted to our Race Officer this year.]