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Dinghy sailing and racing in Christchurch Harbour

A unique friendly club that brings together sociable and competitive sailing in a safe harbour location

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Dear Members,

A very warm welcome to the 2019 sailing season.  Just in case you are not aware I volunteered to be Commodore at the 2018 AGM.  I would like to thank Jane Challener for all the work she has put in as Commodore.  Some of her more visible work has been acquiring the Hartley sailing dinghies.  But she has done a great deal behind the scenes as well, and luckily for MSC she continues to do so, as she is staying on the Committee, and more luck for me in that she is giving a transitional handover continuing with a few of the Commodore-ship responsibilities, thank you Jane.

I would also like to take this opportunity to thank Mike Roach, a long serving Committee member who stood down towards the end of 2018.  I thought I had better mention this as many members may not realise this as he continues with a few roles including regularly maintaining and updating MSC’s online presence – our excellent website and Facebook page – and he is always the first port of call for many Committee and Club members when a Club wide email communication is required. Members keep telling me how much they miss the Buoy 6 newsletter Mike used to produce as well.

On a particularly sad note, I know many will have already heard, Chris Rowland has passed away.  I know Chris did a fantastic amount of maintenance by organising working parties, but especially by himself.  In particular he took our committee boat, Dabchick into his own garage and restored and refurbished her.  Chris was also heavily involved in rebuilding our Dutch barge Clubhouse, Vrouwe Johanna, after she sank in the 2014 Valentine storm and he continued with a lot of preventative maintenance.  Chris has left a real legacy to the Club with all the work he did.  What is really remarkable about Chris is how quickly he (and his wife Lesley) became active involved members, and accomplished so much in a relatively short space of time, and especially the quiet and unassuming way he went about it all.

I know all Club members will join me in extending our heartfelt condolences to his wife Lesley, and daughters Jacquie, Nicola and Sara.

Enclosed with this letter is our Sailing Calendar booklet, produced by our Sailing Secretary Peter Reid, (and the sailing program in co-ordination with the MSC Committee).  Thanks also to Peter Nicholson and Mike Goodman for selling advertising space in it and raising funds for the club. It’s a format used prior to the internet and we hope you like it.  The Racing Calendar duties list is still published on the Club website (with the Race Officer and Safety Boat rotas). It is highly unlikely there will be any changes to the racing dates and times, though there may be some additions such as Junior Training which we will endeavour to keep you informed of.

This year we have decided on a Try-Out Mudeford Sailing Club Open Day. I know from Jane that she and relevant Committee members have had to put in a lot of work to run PTBO.  This year our aim is to more specifically target the promotion of the Club more locally to those who already sail (but may not race yet).


It would be fantastic to see as many Club members at this event as possible. Details of the date and format to follow shortly. Once the date is confirmed there will also be a an A4 poster produced for this event, which we will be grateful if as many members as possible can find a place to display it. The Try-Out day is not on the 26th May, its been changed since the calendar was printed, after paying more attention to the tidal curve that day. Apologies for any confusion caused.

Numbers of boats racing are down but the Hartleys have been well used so that’s two people on the water per boat. However we still need to encourage greater participation on the water, from existing and new members - just a few more people on the water would be fantastic.

This season has got off to a good start, on the Icebreaker series on March 24th we had a really beautiful sunny and warm days sailing. We had some very close racing at times. As the first weekend of the Icebreaker series had been cancelled due to very strong winds, the two races sailed made up the whole series. Rob and Tom Will (all the way from Plymouth) did very well to win the series in their Comet Trio.

Your help promoting your club

 At the moment we are calling on all members to take a little bit of time to help promote the Club.  With this letter and calendar are some really good leaflets. (Designed and printed by Jane).  Please, if you are able to, find somewhere prominent to place your leaflets.

Your place of work, or maybe somewhere public like a café, local shop, doctors’ surgeries, your library, or anywhere people may be looking for a welcoming Club to join…..that would be fantastic.  (The leaflets could also be displayed as a poster too).  We are happy to mention any business or organisation that displays the poster and leaflets on our Facebook page as a thank you.  Alternatively, if you know of someone who sails (with or without their own dinghy) please give them one of the leaflets. You may also know of someone that might be interested in getting involved with safety boat   You can also look at the Welcome on the home page of our Club website to remind yourself of what we can offer (I have changed it a little bit).

Please email me to let me know where you have placed the leaflets, so we have a record for marketing purposes as well as mentioning the business where it’s been displayed / distribution of leaflets.  If you do use Facebook you are welcome to post this directly to MSC’s Facebook page.

If you would like more leaflets please let me know. Or you can help yourself to some spare ones on the barge.

Facebook and internet users can also help promote the Club with just a few minutes of their time.  Firstly, if you view a post or photo (new or old) on our Club Facebook page please always ‘Like’ it!  The posts on MSC’s Facebook page get 100’s of views but very few likes.  If the post gets liked it spreads further, to friends of friends etc,  and also for anyone researching MSC and looking for a Sailing Club to join we will look more like the active and inclusive Club we are.  The other way to help is to give the Club a review on Facebook - five stars at the very least and a few kind words would not go amiss, with maybe even a club or sailing photo you have taken too!

The same applies to people looking for a Sailing Club in our area using GOOGLE, so please find Mudeford Sailing Club using WWW.GOOGLE.CO.UK or Google Maps and give it five stars, a few enthusiastic words and a photo if possible. MSC has quite a low profile on the internet, even when searching for MSC on some search engines - other local sailing clubs show up instead of MSC.  This is nothing to do with our website which does a very good job.  We need more frequent regular activity (just more likes on Facebook would help, (and more posts)) from more (different) people on the Facebook page and reviews and searches for MSC on GOOGLE so we are a visible and active sailing club to potential new members looking for a sailing club to join.  If you would like to add a review on Google but don’t know how please ask me.

Race Officer, Safety Boat Duties & Galley

Please make sure you swap well in advance if you can’t make your date.  If you are unsure in any way about any of your duties please ask.  Roy Smith and Bernard Batchelor have offered to provide advice and training if needed.  If you did not see Roy Smith’s email which included your responsibilities for swapping duties please let me know. Rowena will be providing food and refreshments up until the Easter Regatta. After Easter it is the responsibility of the Race Officer to provide the refreshments. If you are the Race Officer though, I encourage you to contact the Safety Boat Helm and Crew and co-ordinate to share the responsibility, maybe you could even encourage other family members of the Race Officer and Safety boat to come and help serve the galley. Even if they are not a member they would be most welcome, and would also enjoy watching the racing.

May / June Working party

As a club over the last 15 years or so we have been exceptionally fortunate to benefit from the dedicated efforts of just a few members (in proportion to the total membership) doing a lot of maintenance work, on safety boats, racing marks and (especially) the barge. Of these enthusiastic workers who have done more than their fair share, some are no longer members, others are turning their attention to other interests, but mainly the issue is that they are getting older and cannot do as much as they would like to, and is needed to keep the barge ship shape.

Top Cat has required extra work this year (and will require new plywood across the transom at the end of this season). There has been ongoing minor but essential works being carried out on the barge since the start of the year.

We are proposing a co-ordinated working party spread over a weekend, with the hope that all members could come and help for a morning or afternoon one day of the weekend. To keep our insurance valid the barge requires a survey to be completed this year, so there are a few important tasks requiring completing to keep our insurance.

Recently I was looking at some old photos of the Grebe (the clubhouse before the barge) being fitted out with at least thirty members working on her.

If you would by chance like to help in the meantime, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with myself, or Bernard Batchelor.

Just in case you don’t know me?!

For those of you who don’t know me I first joined Mudeford Sailing Club when I was 14 years old, as a budding Laser Radial sailor.  I joined after I took part in Mudeford Week in 1988.   I thought I was a pretty good sailor, however I quickly realised I had much more to learn now I was trying to race around a course with some competitive sailors well ahead of me at the front of the fleet!  The friendliness, support and coaching by Club members has certainly helped lead me to race dinghies all over the UK, Europe and in Australia, and I can confirm that I have yet to find a place that matches up to the combination of Mudeford Sailing Club and our special corner of Christchurch Harbour.

I have been in Australia approximately ten of the last 15 years, and returned to the UK last March, with my wife Suzi, daughter Charli, and sons Jamie and Brandon, so I will ask you to please bear with me whilst I get to know my role and members of the Club I have not met yet.

I am very approachable so please if you have a question, concern, suggestion or idea please don’t hesitate to get in touch, either in person, by phone on 07453 386 606, or by email -

If you would like to get involved with helping the club in any way, shape or form, big or small we would love to hear from you. It could be helping promote the club on the internet, researching grants and sponsorship opportunities, writing articles for local press and Yachts & Yachting, producing a newsletter, or even just taking photos. If you would like to help, but are not sure how, please let me know, I’m sure I could find something for you to try, big or small, to suit you. There is no obligation to commit to this longer than is convenient to you. You would be welcome to join the committee, but certainly not obliged or expected to. Maybe you have an idea how you can help, and we can pair you up with another likeminded person.  I would really like to spread out the work required to run the club as much as possible.

I look forward to seeing you at the Club in 2019, hopefully on the water.  I will most likely be in a Hartley or a Laser, or maybe even in my Contender!

Wishing you a fantastic sailing season, Richard Batten

(And please remember the Try -Out Mudeford Sailing Club Day is not confirmed yet, it is not on 26th May as per the printed calendar booklet.

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