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Blackwater Sailing Club Cadet Week

by Christine Brown 12 Aug 14:01 BST 28 July - 2 August 2019
Blackwater Sailing Club Cadet Week © Kate Stewart

140 cadets aged between 8 and 18 years old gathered at the club for this fantastic annual event. The week runs like a well-oiled machine and only happens by the good will of over 100 helpers each day.

Blackwater has a superb training lake and this enables absolute beginner sailors to learn in a completely safe environment, thereby giving them the confidence to progress rapidly. This year there were 38 youngsters starting their week's sailing on the lake and every one of them had managed to get onto the river by the Friday.

During the week the cadets experienced a wide range of sailing conditions. Monday was fair, easing them in gently for the week. Tuesday and Wednesday were challenging but everyone managed nicely. Thursday was down river day and this is when the older cadets get an opportunity to experience racing away from the club, having to get themselves to the start in good time despite the light winds on that day.

Friday's conditions were bright and perfect for the 140 cadets, safety boat crews and various other helpers to sail along to Maldon Prom for an ice cream. It was a wonderful sight to behold with the iconic Thames barges and St. Mary's Church as the backdrop.

When all the cadets had safely returned to the club the prize-giving took place, with Joey Taylor becoming Cock of the Cadets. During the week some of the cadets had been working towards their RYA certificates with twenty cadets achieving their level 1, ten achieving level 2, five their level 3 and nine attained Level 4. Five cadets gained their Seamanship award. Congratulations to all.

In addition to the usual evening activities the cadets organised some fundraising events in aid of the Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust. This charity helps young people between the ages of 8 and 24 who are recovering from cancer to rebuild their confidence by giving them the opportunity to experience sailing and other adventure trips. The cadets organised a quiz night, a gala dinner and a raffle. The proceeds of a second hand kit stall were donated, and also the profit from the cadet tuck shop. The total amount raised was £1070 and this was received on behalf of the Trust by a local young man who has benefited from the Trust's work.

For more details about events like this see www.blackwatersailingclub.org.uk

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