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Mudeford Sailing Club celebrates 50 years

by Chris Rowland 5 Apr 2011 13:23 BST 2-3 April 2011
Mudeford Sailing Club celebrates 50 years © Chris Rowland

Mudeford Sailing Club celebrates its 50th Anniversary this year, and to mark its birth date of 3rd April 1961, the Club held a special Regatta over the weekend of 2/3 April 2011. The small family friendly club operates from a Dutch barge moored next to Strides Boatyard on Fisherman’s Bank, just off Argyle Road in Mudeford. This barge is the 3rd clubhouse craft to be moored at Fisherman’s bank and many people have helped to maintain and build the club over the past 50 years. The Committee and current members acknowledge the debt that they owe to these benefactors over the years and thank them for their enthusiastic and determined support for the club.

The 50th Anniversary Regatta was a successful early season event with 22 boats participating in the 4 race series, held in light breezes and welcome Spring sunshine. William Lack presented the specially commissioned celebration mugs as prizes to Jane Challener from Lymington , the overall winner in a Laser Radial with wins in 3 races out of 4, Alan & Elaine Dalziel from Christchurch for the best placed crewed boat, Kate Jardine of Iford as the winner of the 4.7m Laser class, and Dave Spencer from Mudeford, best placed with a Laser full size rig. Club members raised a champagne toast to the future of the club whilst enjoying a slice of celebration cake provided by Sue batten and her daughter Rachel Will.

The focus of the club is on racing small dinghies, the most popular being the single handed Laser, but other classes include Toppers, Optimists, Comets and Bytes. The crewed classes also include Mirror, Gull and Urchin. The club aims to encourage responsible sailing in the inherently safe waters of Christchurch Harbour. The club has a very full racing calendar with events on most weekends, and during the week in summer months, as well as opportunities for local cruising. The highlight of the racing calendar is “Mudeford Week”, this year to be held from Saturday 30 July to Friday 5th August. This popular event attracts sailors from far and wide with each day including both racing and fun sailing events for all the family, followed by social meets every evening.

Although a small club, Mudeford sailing Club has produces some high achieving sailors. Tom Reid sailed in the Junior National Championships in Optimists, Max Holloway is a National Laser Champion, and currently Phil Sparks is a 470 class Olympic Development Sailor. Nick Paine has been a Masters Champion in Lasers and Tim Reid has been a National Champion in the Hurricane Class.

A recent innovation at the club has been the introduction of a class for racing radio controlled model dinghies. An enthusiastic band of operators regularly race a scale version of the Laser dinghy around a course set up close to the public slip in Argyle Road.

The club is always pleased to welcome new members; details can be found on the club website, or from the membership Secretary Helen Snelling Tel: 01425 672560.

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