South Staffs Burgee
South Staffordshire Sailing Club
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West Lancs 24 Hour Race 2016 Commodore's Blog

West Lancs 24 Hour Race 2016 – Commodore's Blog 

The West Lancs 24 hour race has inspired a future generation into the sport of sailing.  As Commodore, I stood by our Club marquee and listened to our group of young children who had come along to watch their patents sail.  Throughout the weekend there was laughter, smiles and importantly the continuous questions about the event and sailing.  What a classroom!  There was excitement in seeing their parents and in some cases grandparents taking part on the water.  The one question that sticks in my mind is Can we come back next year? “  Then the excitement when they found out that there was also a Southport 12 hour race for the youths.  Well done WLYC for helping inspire our future generation of sailors!  

At South Staffs SC, the 24 hour event thrives on its ‘Club Team’ spirit.  The club built up an exhilarating club team atmosphere where all members get involved and feel part of its success, on and off the water.  South Staffs SC had five teams (three GP14s, Lark and Firefly) of sailors from our beginners to our elite, from young to senior members.  Indeed Tony and Brenda Hotchkiss won the Golden Oldies race.  Brenda’s excitement and expressions of joy when they found out was priceless.  Also huge congratulations to our Firefly team who came 2nd Firefly and 27th overall. 

South Staffs SC encourages all members to take part, regardless of age or ability.  In this unique event members can sail at night in a safe environment and push their own boundaries.   This can be sailing with a spinnaker for the first time or winning at our elite end.    

Our elite sailors help the less experienced with hints and tips on sailing at the event and the less experiences and off water members give their full support to our elite by ensuring we have a marquee, chairs, refreshments etc. over the weekend.  Everyone has a part to play. 

This is a momentous time in our club’s WLYC 24 hour race history.  After 42 years taking part in this event, in 2008 South Staffs SC finally won.  Since then we have won an incredible six times!  For any club out there aspiring to win our message is never give up! 

As Commodore it has given me the opportunity to meet people from other clubs, make friends, swop ideas and experiences and simply have fun and enjoy the hospitality of WLYC. 

Finally, I would like to say how extremely proud I am as Commodore and on behalf of all club members how proud we are of our 1st and 2nd place teams!  This is a remarkable achievement for both our GP14 and Lark teams, particularly as this is the second year that South Staffordshire Sailing Club have achieved 1st and 2nd place!  They are all truly an inspiration to us all.

Michelle Evans - 22nd September 2016

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