The AHOY Shipmates visit Burnham

»«2nd & 3rd June 2007

Strong tides and light winds meant progress was slow. Despite the conditions great fun was had as Shipmates and Otters jumped between boats.

Tony, the AHOY Senior Instructor, proved that a heavy crew on the front of a Topper, lifts your rudder so far out of the water you cannot steer. One of the Otters, a member of the world team , and an Otter Instructor managed to capsize their boat and gave the Shipmates some unscheduled capsize practice.

We all retired to lunch on the yacht Mealasta. Yes, it is possible to fit more than 36 children plus adults on a yacht, more than one child per foot! After lunch there was a race back up the river and local knowledge hugging the shoreline when against the tide paid off for the Burnham sailors.

Tents were pitched in the Tavinors' garden. Skills at pool, table tennis and trampolining were tested, but perhaps the best game was the rugby and we expect Sarah Chowienczyk to be called up for the English rugby team any day now. Our thanks to all the Otter parents who brought and cooked a barbeque for all of us.

Sunday morning the children raced the Visions just off the yacht club, again tacking close into the shore and catching the tide for the run back on the second leg. Chris Sycamore and Matt Young, Otters, finished the morning with a bang as they received a cannon finish on the club line for the last race, although Saul and his crew were close on his tail.

After lunch, the AHOY shipmates enjoyed a long tradition of swimming off the club balcony. Pete Clark completed that tradition by jumping in from the balcony - only for the brave at heart (or foolish)! Tents were struck in record time with the promise of a stop at MacDonalds if we had time. Ten sunburnt, tired children arrived back at the AHOY centre, looking forward to their next visit to Burnham.

Liz Chowienczyk