St Edmundsbury Sailing & Canoeing Association’s 2016 season preview
The St Edmundsbury Sailing & Canoeing Association’s 2016 season commences with a Spring Working Party, on Saturday, 19 March, before sailing gets underway on Sunday, 27 March. SESCA is based at Lackford Lake, 5 miles NW of Bury St Edmunds. It is the only sailing club in West Suffolk, Mid Suffolk and SW Norfolk.
A busy programme is scheduled this year, with sailing, rowing or canoeing activities taking place on most days through until the beginning of November. These include events organised by SESCA’s group members: the Bury St Edmunds, Mildenhall and Newmarket Sea Cadets; YPA (Young People Afloat – a sailing youth club); WASH Sailability (disabled sailing); the Suffolk Scouts; Priory School and Culford School, as well as by the parent Club.
Dinghy racing takes place on Sundays and Bank Holidays, with a less formal Thursday evening series running from the end of April. The Club has a mixed handicap fleet of dinghies under 4.5m, with growing numbers of Lasers, Wanderers, 2000s, Gulls, Enterprises, Mirrors and Toppers. WASH disabled sailing sessions are held on Tuesdays and the first and third Saturdays of each month. Saturdays are also used for training, race coaching and social sailing. The Club is a recognised RYA (Royal Yachting Association) Training and Foundation Centre running adult and junior RYA sailing courses for members during the summer.
The Club will be holding its now famous ‘Antigua Sailing Day Regatta’ on Sunday, 24 April. The Regatta celebrates and coincides with ‘Antigua Sailing Week’ and is, once again, being generously supported by the Antigua & Barbuda Tourism Authority, who are kindly providing a steel band for lunchtime entertainment and prizes of a suitably Caribbean nature.
There will be several opportunities for potential members to visit the Club and try sailing throughout the season. A series of monthly, Sunday afternoon ‘Have a Go’ sessions are scheduled from May, in addition to the Club’s Open Day, which is being held on 22 May. The latter is part of the RYA’s ‘Push The Boat Out’ initiative to encourage everybody to celebrate a national week of sailing.
The Club will also be participating in Sport England’s ‘Sportivate’ programme, in conjunction with the Sea Cadets, to give 14 -25 year olds an opportunity to try sailing and is planning to run a sailing ‘Work Place Challenge’ course, on behalf of the RYA and Suffolk Sport, from the end of April.
The Club prides itself on being accessible to all and being a great resource to the local community. It has very low membership fees (junior £25 pa; adult £62 pa & family £72 pa) and a fleet of club boats, so it is not necessary to have your own boat if you want to sail. Anyone interested in dinghy sailing (pottering or racing), canoeing or kayaking is most welcome to visit the Club to see what is on offer. New members welcome.