Join Saturday Club this Saturday! – Saturday 6th October

Saturday Club is well known for having a fun, relaxed approach to sailing, so why shouldn’t we look cool on the race start line too?

Saturday Club meets at 09:45 on the upper deck (find out more),

We’ll begin by spending just a few minutes over coffee exchanging tactics for getting a good race start. I’ll throw in a few  ideas to get us going but do please bring along your own best tips so we can all learn from each other. Speed control is key – knowing how to slow your boat down and “hold position” as well as how to accelerate quickly when the start gun goes. Out on the water we’ll run some short races with a long start line to give you lots of room to practice your starts and try out some of the tips. But the race starts might not be quite what you’re expecting, so you’ll need to be adaptable too!


If you’re a hot-shot racer already, come and show us how it’s done! If you’ve never raced before or don’t have a lot of experience of coping on a crowded start line, please don’t be put off – we’re a very friendly bunch and the idea is to have fun and learn together in a supportive way, rather than get overly competitive. So let’s see if we can get everyone holding position and looking cool on that start line – shades optional!


Tim Saunders and I look forward to seeing many of you on Saturday. We will meet, as usual, at 9.45am at the marked table in the main Club Room, discuss what we’re doing, sort out boats, helms and crews and then get on the water. Lunch afterwards for those who want to stay.


The forecast is for 10 knots gusting up to 19 from the North, cloudy with air temperature of 11c and, if we’re lucky, we’ll be finished before the afternoon rain arrives. So a good morning for some lively sailing.

Annual General Meeting – Sunday 7th October 

Dear Members,

The Annual General Meeting of Queen Mary Sailing Club will take place in the Clubhouse on Sunday 7th October 2018 at 2pm and last about 45 minutes.

It will take place downstairs in the large training room and we do hope as many Club Members as possible will be able to attend. This is an important date in the Club diary and is your chance to hear from your Commodore Richard Steele and Treasurer David Bithell as to how the year has gone and what plans there are for the coming year. It is also an opportunity to ask any questions of your Council.

The meeting will be followed by tea, coffee and cakes.

We hope to see you there

Richard Steele

Mark Lyttle emerged victorious – 2018 Laser Masters World Champion!

CONGRATULATIONS MARK – Incredible achievement leading a spread of great results by QM sailors in Ireland.

After a touch and go battle with light winds on Dublin Bay, both course areas delivered a final race to round off the Laser Masters World Championships sponsored by DLR on Saturday afternoon (Dublin, Ireland – Saturday 15th September, 2018). The eleventh race did little to alter the leaderboards with emphatic class wins in all but two fleets.

Ireland’s Mark Lyttle emerged victorious in the Standard Grand Master class despite placing seventh in the final. Sweden’s Tomas Nordqvist had been challenging for the top spot but had a 14th place that dropped him to fifth overall leaving the way clear for race winner Carlos Martinez of Spain to take second place, just two points shy of Lyttle in first. … read more


Loads of top Brits were in his category (Alan Davis, Nick Harrison,Tim Law) as well as all the top sailors from other nations and he did it!

QM – Fantastic performances from Mike Hicks 2nd in Great Grand Masters, Roger O 3rd in Apprentices and Orlando 4th in Masters – what a team! And great stuff from the rest of the QM Team- Gareth, Guy, Mark S, Mark R, David, Neil, Chris, Niall. 

Bart’s Bash is Back! Join us on 15th 16th September

It’s only THE WORLDS LARGEST SAILING EVENT!! …. if there is one weekend to go sailing its this one – 15th and 16th September. Can we get the most boats on the water for Bart? (We had the 3rd most in the world last year with 117)

Every activity counts this weekend – COME ON DOWN and be part of it.

The world is going sailing again with Bart’s Bash now in it’s 5th year, and it’s a Guinness World Record attempt year!

The Largest sailing Race in the World. This year it’s all happening over the weekend of 15/16 September 2018 and there are lots of ways you can get involved at Queen Mary to join in the largest sailing race in the world. As well as the main race on Sunday morning, we have a race on Saturday morning and the Bart’s Buoy Race will be running all weekend so you can turn up and try your speed in a Pico on either day.

Saturday 15th September

Saturday Club will be out in full force with a briefing at 10:00 and their race start at 11:30.

The course and the racing will be suited to boats of all speeds and crews of all abilities. To take part you don’t need to book if you have your own boat, just turn up on the day. If you plan to use a Club or Sailability boat then that needs to be booked in the usual way. By signing on and taking part, your results will be entered for you into the global table.

Also on Saturday Team 15 will be taking part in their own special Bart’s buoy race.

Sunday 16th September


The first race of the day on Sunday will count as our Bart’s Bash main race. This is the Club’s normal Sunday race and counts towards the Autumn Series so a double bonus for all involved! Newcomers and potential members are welcome to join us on this special day. There will be a briefing at 09:30 and the race starts at 10:30. If you plan to use a Club boat then that needs to be booked in the usual way. By signing on and taking part, your results will be entered for you into the global table.

Also on Sunday our Intro to Race Group and Youth Group will be doing their own special events for Bart’s Bash.



All weekend (10am till 4pm both days) there will be a fleet of Picos available to jump in and sail around the ‘Bart’s Bash Buoy’ and back. Record a time and distance to get an official result on the world wide Leaderboard, as you compete against the best in the world all over the world!


There are no charges for entry to Bart’s Bash, but if you would like to donate and help raise funds for disabled sailing you can: Make a donation via the Bart’s Bash website or put money in the club’s collection tin.


Bart’s Bash is when the world goes sailing!

It’s a global sailing event raising funds for the Andrew Simpson Foundation and verified by Guinness World Records as ‘The Largest Sailing Race in the World’. Bart’s Bash is the day when we especially remember and race in memory of Andrew ‘Bart’ Simpson, the double Olympic medallist who tragically lost his life whilst training for the Americas Cup in 2013. Since its launch in 2014 more than 800 venues, 54,000 sailors across 62 countries have participated, these figures calculated before this year’s event due to be held on 15th, 16th September.


RNLI Pursuit Race

Bank Holiday Monday 27th August

RNLI Pursuit Race – this has been cancelled.  However, the QM Team will be setting up a triangular course for anyone who wishes to practice mark-rounding, or have an “unofficial” friendly race with others.  Please feel free to come up for some social sailing!  Any donations to this fantastic cause are always welcome.

NSSA Success for the QM Youth Squad 23rd – 29th July


Last week the QMSC Youth Squad arrived at Datchet Water Sailing Club for the National Schools Sailing Association Regatta ready to have a fun week of sailing, little did they know that we would come away triumphant. all our sailors did exceedingly well with our greatest achievements in the Topper fleet were we came away with 7 of the top 11 places much to the frustration of other teams.

A fabulous week was had by all both on and off the water and it’s fair to say Steph is a very proud team manager.

Most of those sailors are now away at national and world events and we hope their success continues.

QMSC Saturday Club Visit to Weymouth 2018

The fabulous summer weather continued for the Saturday Club trip to Weymouth on 14th and 15th July. This great event was organised by Peter Caselton, aided by Andrew Craig and there were 12 QM members in all, based out of the Andrew Simpson Sailing Centre (ASSC). Weymouth was a glorious picture postcard under the blue skies, with crystal clear water.

The light winds in the morning were followed by a good sea breeze in the afternoon.  Saturday saw all the group close–quarters racing in the new RS Zest single handers and to their delight some beating the ASSC instructors.

On Sunday there was the opportunity to try something, heading out in the RS Ventures and Laser Stratos beyond the harbour to Weymouth for a sandwich lunch in the bay.

As for the social side of the weekend, there were ‘nautical debates’, lots of laughs, but if you want to find out about why they were given a ‘dispersal order’ by a local pub, you’d best ask them …

The Weymouth Trip is a firm favourite in the Club’s calendar, so watch this space for the 2019 dates and details.

10 top tips – making the most of your Open Day

How Queen Mary Sailability Pushed The Boat Out – by Terri Pilgrem and featured in RYA news 

More than 40 people tried sailing as individuals or as part of groups at Queen Mary Sailability’s Push The Boat Out Open Day in May.

So how did they engage with new groups and individuals so successfully that many have or are planning to return to sail at QMS again? QMS Open Day Co-Ordinator, Terri Pilgrem, has their 10 top tips…

1. Our Open Day as part of a wider marketing plan

We didn’t start off planning an open day. Instead, we were looking at how we could make QMS more visible to local people and groups. We decided to offer free ‘taster’ sailing sessions, which could show people what a fantastic facility and activity we have at QM.

2. Professional appeal

We wanted to have a distinct identity so people and organisations would immediately recognise and remember us. We created a central QMS email address for all incoming queries. I designed a new QMS logo and stationery and produced two flyers – a generic ‘Let’s Go Sailing’ flyer and one promoting the Open Day.

To save on printing, we created a low-resolution version of the PDF that could easily be emailed or posted to social media. I also set up a QMS Facebook page. For all the promotional material it made sense to use photos showing good weather and happy participants. We were then ready to start promoting QMS.

3. Think creatively about how to reach people

Back in January I compiled a target list of about 50 groups and organisations to contact, coming at it from all angles and really thinking about where disabled people go and where they find their information. This included researching local disability groups and partnerships, UK-wide charities and organisations, disabled sports organisations and businesses providing services to disabled people.

I entered our event on search databases that the disabled community uses, such as “”, Open Sessions, Active Surrey, etc. The list also included, for example, sport/event venues where there is a dedicated Access Officer who can display promotional material in the disability access areas of these stadia, as this presents an opportunity to put your name in front of lots of people.

4. Find your champions in organisations and groups

You need to reach the key workers, therapists or clinical practitioners, the people making decisions about the care of or looking for things to do with their clients, or the people who deal with communications/social media.

Once I had my contact list I started at the top and just started ‘cold calling’. I kept my message short, simple and clear; saying who I was, that we were running an open day where people could try sailing for free and could I speak to someone who might be able to help share our flyer. I found people were really happy to help. The telephone may be the old-fashioned way of contacting people but it works. It’s an opportunity to inspire a response with your own enthusiasm for your subject.

5. Other people marketing you is very powerful

Some organisations kindly offered to put our flyer in their membership newsletter or on their website or Facebook page. It’s helpful if a disabled individual or group can see the information is coming to them from an already trusted source. Even the big national organisations and charities have local branches and groups, and the communication channels within these organisations work very effectively. Sharing on their social media enabled people from our area to learn about our event, but raised wider awareness of sailing in general too.

6. Keep in touch

Follow-up but don’t chase. Like, share and comment on what organisations are posting on social media to gently remind them about you, or tag them in activity you’re doing that might be relevant to their audience.

7. Relationships can be mutually beneficial

Be conscious a reciprocal arrangement can work between you and another organization. For example, organisations like Gwennili Sailing Trust, Access Adventures or Sportability provide adaptive outdoor/sport adventure programmes so, with that in common, we can promote their opportunities to our members too.

8. Advance booking is preferable

Know in advance who will be taking part on the day. We wouldn’t have turned away individuals who turned up to the Open Day without booking, but knowing who was coming ensured their expectations were met and we had enough resources, including catering, available on the day.

We organised the day into hourly sailing slots between 11am-4pm. When an individual or group contacted us, they were assigned a slot of their choice. This was their sailing time – they could stay on or come early and have a look around and some lunch, which we had set up beside the water, which kept everybody together and made it a very social ‘buzzy’ day.

9. Set expectations

Pre-event communication was key for participants and volunteers. If a participant was unsure about what boat they’d like to sail in, I sent them a sheet with photos and short description of our three boat types to choose from Longboat, Yeoman or Hansas, with a proviso that they could change on the day if we had the boats free.

Once people began expressing an interest I set up a Master Schedule which contained the following… Time Slot, Name, & Contact Details, Name /
Disabled Sailor, Boat, Helm/Crew, Disability Hoist,  Disabled Parking Source

I initially spoke to the participant, and followed up with an email confirming the details they had given me, and the time slot they had chosen, reminding them the event was weather-dependent and we would confirm everything closer to the day. Our next contact with them was two days before the event with a weather report, map/directions, confirmation of time slot, clothing to bring, etc.

It meant they were clear what to expect and we were clear we had the resources and capacity to manage the day successfully. All the boats were in the water by 11am, ready for the first participants to arrive and go sailing in their pre-assigned boat with their pre-assigned crew, followed by lunch organised by our Secretary, Dee.

10. Investing for the future

The positive outcomes of organising and hosting an event like this are not simply the people taking part and their return to us, but the relationships formed with other people/ organisations throughout the process, relationships, which no doubt will be fruitful in the months and years ahead.