Visitors flocked to the Winsford Flash Open Day on 27 April! The first arrived as soon as we opened the doors to the public and couldn’t wait to get on to the water. They were soon kitted out with buoyancy aids and afloat, the first of many.
The club looked great with the large gazebo erected after much banter and laughter at the antics of members of the Enterprise fleet, and with bunting and banners to finish off the decorations. A smaller gazebo housed the BBQ from which Kate Billinge and Tom Mitchell cooked delicious burgers and sausages throughout the day to satisfy everyone’s hunger pangs.
Inside the clubhouse Commodore Sheila Sowley manned the welcome desk whilst Helen Walsh, Tammy Foulkes and Linda Shaw made numerous cups of tea and coffee accompanied by delicious homemade cakes.
Visitors were given the opportunity to sail in a variety of dinghies, including Albacores, GP14s, the club training boats, RS Visions, and a Mirror, under the supervision of our experienced helms, Paul Lennie, Jon Close, Dave Burrows, Tom Mitchell, Keith Sowley, Steve Bellamy, Alistair Gott and David Parke-Smith. Broad smiles on everyone’s faces showed that a good time was had by all, from the youngest 5 year old visitor to the youngest at heart 80 year old! Such was the enthusiasm of the visitors, many waited patiently to have a second (or third or more!) go.
Lots of visitors also took the opportunity to take in the beautiful scenery of the Flash during a cruise in the club Committee Boat. Tony Walsh provided a running commentary on the amenities that club members enjoyed and caused great excitement when he announced that the club would soon be installing a hot tub – he was only joking!
The chance to experience paddle power in kayaks was supervised by Tracy Cormes, whilst Malcolm Friar and his merry band of helpers ran informal learn to sail lessons in an Optimist for some keen young visitors. And visitors who already had some sailing experience tried their hand at sailing the club Laser and Topper.
Everyone was safe in the knowledge that Brian and Charlie Henbsy, Henning Caesar, Peter Bayliss and Philip Smalley were keeping a watchful eye on events in the safety boats.
Thankfully the weather was much kinder than it had been in the lead up to the big day and the gazebo provided welcome shelter from the squall that brought a hailstorm mid-way through the afternoon. Boats headed back to shore rapidly for this brief period, providing the shore crew, amongst them Jon Latham, Anna McCrae, Sam and Ian Clarke, Pam Gott, Fiona Niddrie and Ian Foulkes, with the challenge of catching everyone in time.
As the day drew to a close and visitors made their way home Barry Williams, who had met visitors at the gate and looked after the parking logistics, was delighted to report that everyone had commented that they had had a great time and how friendly club members were. The tired but happy volunteers packed everything away and some retired to the bar afterwards for a well-earned drink. Jo Cleary took his parting shots, having captured all the action on camera throughout the day.
Thank you to EVERYONE who helped to make the day such a success (and apologies if you haven’t been mentioned by name), we couldn’t have done it without you all.