Hello, Take a seat, grab a brew and find out what we’ve been up to this winter and our plans for the up-coming
season… in this post:
• New Ground Flooring
• Balcony Refurbishment
• Pontoons and recovery
• Investment in Club Equipment
• Club Open on Thursday Evenings
• Youth Sailing
• Staffing up for 2019
• Racing for the Spring and Summer
• General News and Notes
• The Ocean Guardian Challenge
• Saturday Club
Clubhouse Upgrades – Let’s start with the two big hitters: New Ground Flooring and Balcony Refurbishment!
We are delighted to let you know the ‘wet’ flooring in the changing rooms and all ground floor areas has now been replaced with new more durable material in trendy grey. The walls are also being redecorated to complete the new look. The showers are receiving a significant overhaul, replacing various mixer valves with a better overall water temperature control unit and will also benefit from a deep clean and tile repair work where needed. We are very proud of this project, which will dramatically improve the appearance and conditions for everyone using the changing rooms, showers and adjacent classrooms.
The Club’s balcony is also having a major overhaul and restyle too – the old decking timbers have been replaced with new grey recycled plastic composite decking. The balustrades have been removed and replaced with new chrome and safety glass to improve visibility of the sailing lake. The metal and wooden structure is being sanded, coated and re-cut with new sections where needed. This work extends to the second-floor top box and includes repainting of the stairs to ground floor and front facing walls. This is another big improvement project increasing safety and modernising our club
Both these projects are much need improvements and reflect some considerable investment this winter; all to smarten up the club for 2019. It’s a great step to use a recycled plastic decking composite for the club’s balcony. The original timbers have lasted nearly 50 years, congratulations and thank you to them; this new product should be with us for the next 5000 yrs! Thousands will tread these plastic planks in future years and we hope some will be inspired to consider this splendid material as a choice for their own projects.
Less visible but critically important, we are in the process of moving all our IT system servers down from the sweltering top box (40c in summer – how did they get in there in the first place?), to a new centrally-located, more secure and cooled server room on the first floor. This new room will better meet modern data security standards too.
Pontoons and recovery
With the considerable winds in March, gusting up to 63.4 knots recorded, the new Black Pontoon has passed its test. Our plan this spring is to extend the pontoon by 50% and add a fendering solution to its entirety.
We are investigating installing larger batteries to power the boat recovery winches which will not make them faster, but should provide more power to maintain speed and endurance particularly at times of lower water level conditions.
We are investing more than £60,000 in sailing and windsurfing kit, starting with new boards and sails for the windsurfing members and for hire. It’s worth noting that the club makes nearly a third of this value in equipment hire alone, which has been increasing year on year.
The lion’s share of this spend will support the sailing school’s boat rotation… starting with the Pico fleet and replacing the Bugs with Hartley 10’s. We also want to invest in new double handers if negotiations and opportunity allow.
It’s also worth noting as many may not know… we have an RS200 and RS400 for hire to those with the right experience levels. Foiling windsurfing kit is also available for those who have completed the first flights course, which is also run at QM.
Evening sailing Thursdays
New for Summer 2019 is regular opening for sailing and windsurfing on a Thursday evening (in addition to Wednesday evenings), during June and July 2019, off water at 8pm, gates closing at 8:30pm.
This is in addition to our ‘Windy Evenings’ which may take place on Mondays, Tuesdays and Fridays. They are triggered when, at midday on the day before, www.windguru.cz predicts 15 knots or more for 19:00 hour the following day. These “Windies” are publicised on the front page of our website, as well as on the club’s FaceBook pages.
Youth Sailing 2019
We’ve thought long and hard about our youth sailing provision for 2019 and are very excited about our new focus on two areas: giving those with stage 2 (but not quite stage 3 yet) the opportunity to gain time on the water; and building a stronger youth racing community.
We all know that time on the water is crucial, so we are targeting that group of stage 2 plus sailors with our new Saturday afternoon group. For those keen to get the feel of racing, but not yet confident enough to transition into club racing, we’re running Sunday Morning sessions completely independently from club racing.
These 2 Youth Group offerings compliment the established Youth Group for stage 3 sailors which runs on a Sunday afternoon. Not forgetting, of course, our TEAM 15 windsurfing tribe who meet on a Saturday morning; this is open to everyone with stage 2 windsurfing or equivalent.
TEAM 15 WINDSURFING – Saturday Morning
Queen Mary is part of a nationwide network of windsurfing clubs where young people aged 16 and under can get together to learn new windsurfing skills and have a laugh with their mates on the water. Since the same faces come back regularly, you’ll definitely make new friends as well. Whatever your skill level, regular windsurfing sessions will improve your windsurfing ability very quickly. If you’ve never tried it before, you’ll have the basics mastered in no time. From first time windsurfer to a relative expert, Team15 clubs welcome all levels.
YOUTH GROUP INTRO (NEW 2019) – Saturday afternoon
Youth Group Intro is a fun, social opportunity for those aged 9-15 with RYA Stage 2 or above to get on the water with other young members throughout the main season on Saturday afternoons. We will develop your sailing skills in a fun and social setting, building a strong community of youth sailors and parents. There will of course be lots of games!
YOUTH GROUP RACING (NEW 2019) – Sunday morning
Our Youth Group Racing sessions take place on Sunday mornings (not as part of the Club Racing) and are designed to help you gain confidence racing around a course. These sessions will introduce some new skills and concepts, particular to racing, in a relaxed and fun environment, helping build confidence and taking the first steps to propel you onto the podium! These sessions are for those who have not raced, or have very little racing experience, but are keen to find out more about what goes on around the race course. We do ask that participants hold an RYA Stage 3 certificate or above.
YOUTH GROUP – Sunday Afternoon
The Sunday Youth Group will keep the same social environment as the Saturday session with more of a focus on development. Each session will focus on a specific skill, with games and exercises based around that skill. By the end of the term you’ll have made new friends and improved your sailing as a result. This course is the perfect way to up your skills before moving onto Youth Group Racing. To get involved with the Sunday Youth Group you must have an RYA stage 3 certificate and be confident sailing and rigging a Topper or Tera.
STAFFING UP FOR 2019
We need your help! Do you know anyone looking to work as an instructor, or perhaps looking for a part-time admin role? Please put the word out …
We are staffing up for the season and looking for dynamic instructors to join our team at QM. There are both full time and part time instructor vacancies to fill to provide dinghy, windsurf and powerboat tuition to both the public and sailing club members. We are also looking for an office assistant to help us on Sundays.
If you’d like to be part of our team of instructors at Queen Mary please send a CV and covering letter to Paul Adams firstname.lastname@example.org , and if you’re interested in the admin role, please contact Tony Bishop email@example.com
Racing for the Spring and Summer
We have just started the Sunday Spring Series and have decided to continue with 2 starts for this series and subsequent club race series. We do welcome feedback on club racing – please feel free to contact Janet in the office (firstname.lastname@example.org).
We are, as always, really grateful to our Race Officer Teams who do such a great job year-round, volunteering to forego the pleasure of racing on Sunday mornings/Wednesday evenings, in order to run the club racing programme.
We are only just a day or two away from the start of the Wednesday evening series and there will be 3 courses sailed this year (no P course). NOR and SIs will are available on the website shortly. See you on the start line Wednesday 3rd April at 19:00.
General News and Notes
• Galley news, the “Caroline Special” hits the menu… AKA Bacon Lettuce Tomato (BLT) in a Ciabatta.
• We are looking at improving the coffee! (other hot drinks are available)
• New membership ‘Young Adult’ 18-30-year-old for young people in their twenties to affordably keep sailing and windsurfing; and new young crew membership.
• Did you know we have had an Emergency Defibrillator for many years; we are going to put up more signage to raise awareness of the facility. Good to know.
• The Bund is going, but not all of it! What you can see at high tide is staying, about 300 metres which we will have access to. It’s actually the perfect solution for on water operation, and will give sheltered launching with a small nip round for West side racing. But don’t hold your breath – it’s a good number of years away from completion!
• Insurance changes 2020 – Our March Newsletter announced the changed requirement from April 2020 for all boat and board third party insurance to carry a minimum insured amount of £3 Million. We will remind club members and visiting sailors regularly between now and then, so it’s not a big surprise next spring.
Queen Mary’s ‘Plastic Bottle Boat Challenge’ has up-cycled its ambitions and with a recycled website is now presenting as the ‘Ocean Guardian Challenge’. This is a new accreditation for schools to give recognition of their efforts in educating young people about plastic and increasing water-sports participation.
We now start work on the first Plastic Education assembly! Uniting schools on Friday 7th June, 2019. Please share with local schools
Impacting on the global plastic issue is still at the very centre of the campaign and it builds on the success in 2018 which saw nearly 7000 pupils across 76 Schools take up the boat making challenge.
Our social sailing Saturday Club for members goes from strength to strength and those who come along just keep asking for more! During the 2018 season we added a number of ‘informal’ Saturday Clubs to the published programme, these extra dates sitting between the official dates.
For the 2019 season, starting from Saturday 30th March, there will be a Saturday Club meet every week right through until late November, alternating between “organised” sessions and informal, turn up and sail in company, sessions. Dates for the organised sessions (led by a Saturday Club organiser from a powerboat) can be found on the club’s website home page calendar. Do let the office know if you’d like to be added to Saturday Club’s e-mail list and receive details of what’s happening each Saturday morning, or just come along at 09.45am and see for yourselves.
… that’s all folks!
Thank you for reading all the news. There is a lot to be excited about and we can’t wait to show you the new flooring and balcony on your next visit.
Wishing you all the best for the season ahead.
Your Queen Mary Team