Cadet Week A Great Success
Saturday: The Week kicked off on Saturday16 August with a Moonlight Cruise when, under strict supervision, the younger members of the Club headed up to Holland Haven as dusk fell. They then returned in darkness, guided back by the twinkling lights of Holland on Sea.
Sunday: On Sunday 17 August it was "Bring a Friend" day and the Club's Cadets and Otters brought their friends down to 'have a go'. Having been taken for a spin in the morning several of the guests took the helm in the afternoon and found out first hand the thrill of sailing your very own boat.
Monday: Oh dear - someone turned the wind up! Never mind, the Club was buzzing on Monday 18 August with the Cadets and Otters learning to rig Toppers (and de-rig them) before trying some dry sailing. The boats were taken up onto the greensward where everyone had a go at tacking, reaching and gybing; and such was the strength of the wind there were a few near capsizes!! It was then all into the sea for a bit of body-boarding.
Tuesday: The winds got even stronger on Tuesday 19 August but this didn't stop all the Cadets and Otters heading over to Brightlingsea (by road) for a trip around Formula White to see how Toppers, Topazes and many of the faster range of boats are built. After a visit to Brightlingsea Sailing Club to look at all the many different classes of boat that are sailed it was back to Gunfleet for a game of rounders (girls versus boys - and the girls won!!), before a mass dive into the rather rough seas.
Wednesday: The wind seemed to play tricks on Wednesday 20 August, keeping nice and low whilst the Cadets and Otters rigged the Topazes on the beach, but straight after lunch it picked up quite considerably (something to do with Big Andy's curry for lunch maybe!!). This didn't stop everyone getting out for a sail, with several going out in both a Topaz and the Magno. Only a couple of capsizes; and a lot of smiling but quite tired Cadets and Otters went home today.
Thursday: The sun came out and the planes came out - it's the first day of the Clacton Airshow - and there was a fresh breeze. The Toppers and the Topazes were soon rigged and on the beach, and before lunch everyone had a go at righting a capsized dinghy. Soon some 20 Cadets and Otters were not only righting their craft but learning the art of staying dry in the process! After lunch, whilst the Red Arrows were flying overhead, the boats were reaching in and out with the youngsters getting experience at the helm.
Friday: A light breeze along with blue skies and sunshine greeted the Cadets and Otters for their final day of the Week. It was a case of everyone on the water for some sailing practice, with the more experienced taking the novices out to have a go at helming from one point to another. After lunch a race was arranged and seven boats took part. It was a close run battle with places changing throughout the event, but eventually the winner was Bethany Ford and Chelsea Millward in their Topaz.
Sunday: On Sunday evening the Cadets and Otters, plus mums and dads, packed the clubhouse for a barbecue and presentation. A trophy was awarded to Bethany and Chelsea for winning the race and everyone received a T-shirt with the slogan "I survived Gunfleet Cadet Week 2008" emblazoned on it. Cadet Officer Andy Ford and GSC member Simon Clarke also received T-shirts and were thanked by all the youngsters for the hard work they had put into making the Week such a great success. There then followed a mamoth firework display...wow!