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Downs Sailing Club 70th Anniversary Celebration Weekend

by Simon Cory 16 Sep 2019 11:11 BST 7-8 September 2019

Downs Sailing Club, based at Walmer in Kent was founded in 1949 and therefore 2019 is the 70th Anniversary Year. A number of events are being held throughout the year the highlight was a weekend of events that would enable all members regardless of age or sailing ability to take part afloat.

To start the weekend a children's sailing treasure hunt was held, young children with parents and grandparent took to the water and put their sailing skills to the test, the challenge was to sail around a number of buoys that had clues attached, once the clues were collected and put into order the secret of which boat held the treasure was found! A real pirate and his shipmates were onboard the pirate ship and children collected their gold!

The highlight was a Parade of Sail, 56 vessels of all types took part and 142 people went afloat. Club dinghies were joined by members yachts, visiting yachts from neighboring clubs at Dover, Sandwich and Ramsgate, Walmer RNLI launched both their lifeboats and Dover RNLI also joined in. The parade sailed from the Club North along the coast toward Deal Pier creating a wonderful spectacle for the town. Members past and present took part, the youngest afloat was 4 years old and the oldest over 80. Weather was far from ideal being overcast and windy but this didn't stop everyone enjoying themselves and a great sail was had by all.

The evening celebration party was a sell out event with over 120 guests packed into the club, a cake was cut and dancing was to local group Hotsy Totsy

On Sunday a race series was held, a perfect sailing breeze an sunshine greeted the competitors. The racing was well supported by classes regularly sailed at the club including RS200, Laser, Streaker, 2000 and RS400s. The final results were dominated by two boats sailed by cadet members sharing a race win and second place each. Runner up was Alex Head in a Topper, first overall by the narrowest of margins was Abbie Mumford and Evie Herrington in a 420; lets hope these young members will help the next generation celebrate the 100th Anniversary!

A fabulous weekend was had by all, the aim was achieved by making it inclusive to all members. Old friendships were renewed and new ones made. The club moves forward with a healthy membership, active racing, social sailing, training and social events, lets hope the next 70 years are as successful.

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