Written by Fiona Tylecote
Last Updated: 01 September 2015
Created: 01 September 2015
Holiday week 2015 – the 8th one and perhaps the best one yet.
Rutland Holiday week is the biggest family activity in the club calendar. It aims to put families together to make friends and to strengthen sailing partnerships. It is all about enjoyment and fun both for the kids and the adults – making sailing a lifelong sport.
It is a mix of relaxed racing at different levels of ability for all; challenging on the water activities be they long distance sails or pirate battles and teddy bear challenges. It is aimed at everyone – and hence the week is a little bit hectic.
Open to all club members and guests of members it is a great way to get to know more people.
This year we had over 100 people taking part. Of these 89 competed in at least 1 race: 73 took part in the Main Race Series, 32 in the Junior Pro Series; 18 in the Junior Jetty Series and 8 in the Novice Adult Series. It is racing with a difference. You can sail in any boat as either helm or crew and your results in each of these races counts towards your final placing. This gives everyone a chance to try a new boat, sail with a different friend or to get out in a boat with a hot shot. Star performers in the ‘going in lots of boats’ category were Charlie Turnbull and Simon Morley.
Then there were the model boat competitors - a 25 boats in total; and the Teddy Bear parachutists. 35 boats made their way from the club to Whitwell – a total of 80 sailors and there were even more pirates forming part of the Thursday battle.
What with all that and crafts every day – thanks to Julie McAnally, it was a busy week!
It all started with the erection of tents and a briefing on Sunday evening – the boys and girls areas were soon established. This was followed by Tie dying T shirts led by Alex W who likes to start the week getting everyone covered in ink! The main briefing was given by Steve Tylecote and then it was time for the party tent
Monday morning started with the racing. The beauty of the week is that there is a series for everyone. ‘Novice Adults’ allow less confident adults to get on the race course without the large numbers of boats or the intimidating youths of the Main Series. Junior Jetty is for those youngsters not yet able to sail confidently around a triangle or for whom that is still a challenge if the weather is tricky. Junior Pro is for the more experienced juniors with the added bonus that the boats on that start line are smaller and slightly slower than the main startline. Inside the Junior Pro series is the Primary School section and the Rookies – for those kids less experienced at racing. The conditions were so good during the week that the teddies sometimes found themselves without a playmate as their friends took to the water having a sail around in Optimists prior to some of them taking part in the Junior Jetty Series. It was great to see kids as young as 3 sitting up the front of an Optimist grinning away – well done Amelia and Charlotte.
But the week wouldn’t be the same if it were all racing and the afternoons are given over to doing something slightly different on the water and aimed at getting everyone involved. Monday was Dunkirk – or was it D Day? Well actually this year it was both. Our trusty ‘Little Ship’ ( Topper) captains brought their boats into the shore to rescue the already injured ( thanks to the McKees and the red paint) Allied forces but they had to get out of the throws of the German’s under the control of John Barraclough. The safe bear ship ensured a safe passage for the less confident amongst the troops but otherwise it was every man and girl for himself. The Germans put up a gallant fight but there was only one way for it to end – a rather watery firing squad! Monday evening was a campfire, toasted marshmallows and a game of bingo beautifully called by Oliver McKee.
Tuesday brought Singing Sally for our younger visitors – a great opportunity for a bit of tuneful fun. This was meant to be followed by and cruise to Whitwell for ice creams but the weather just didn’t come up to temperature so instead a Chocolate Tower Challenge was arranged. Everyone got on the water either in a sailing boat or a committee boat and each boat stated the number of laps they were hoping to do and then set about meeting that target. There were a few slightly overloaded boats and a few mutinous crews who learnt a lot about the tipping point of a Feva. The twins dutifully kept hold of the chocolate and ensured the Committee Boat captain didn’t eat too much.
Tuesday evening brought the Rutland has talent(??) competition which started with the water melon challenge. There were the obligatory ‘Wierdo brothers’- thanks Jamie, Tom and James, Hula hoop demonstration – thanks Lauren, Stand up from Carys and the Haka from Solomon. William K showed he still has it with the press ups and John B gave some impromptu driving lessons. There was a lot of laughter to be had!
Wednesday morning brought back the sunshine and a change to the programme brought forward the Model Boat Race – a heavily fought competition with brought in Naval Architects etc. With this being the 8th year this competition has been held there is a certain amount of built up knowledge in the fleet, however this did not stop the pre-race testing in the new lagoon which could have been purpose built. The runners and riders lined up on the shore ready to release and Steve gave a commentary on their progress. In the first heat it was Jamie, Tom, Joseph and James’s boats which came out on top. However in the Medal race it was Annabel and co who triumphed, 2nd Jamie and co and 3rd Jordan and Freddy.
There were 12 entrants in the Teddy Bear parachute jump competition but in the end it was Eeyore ably assisted by William Hitchman who came out on top.
Wednesday and the weather was perfect again so the teddies had to forego their picnic as their friends keenly took to the water again for a spot more Optimist sailing. The racing continued and then it was time for Ice Creams – always a popular one. It was a downwind sail to Whitwell – an opportunity to sail with your friends or to push yourself a little. Particular well dones to Lauren Attwell who sailed there in her Optimist, to Aimee and Stephanie who sailed the Pico there; William H who helmed the 2000 beautifully and Georgiana and Annabel Caldecott who helped their dad get there also in a Pico. Also joining us that day were Andy and Chloe in the Mirror and Chloe did some great smiles on the way back. The sail back was a stiff beat and it was fantastic to see so many people managing the long upwind sail. Particular note to Florence who found a new sailing partner in Annabel Turnbull and to Freddy Monk and Jordan Shales who got their Topper back well.
Wednesday night is the BBQ and normally the thunderstorm however this year it we had only a few spots of rain and then a warm evening with a quiz courtesy of the Westwood family.
Thursday is the big day of the week ‘PIRATE DAY’. With our boats and sailors decorated appropriately the fleet of over 40 boats made its way to Pirate Island for a picnic. You didn’t know there was an island in Rutland? Yes, it is next to the ‘Haunted House’! A quick treasure scavenge and then back in the boats for a sail home and then the battle commences. Please note it is not just the kids who become demons on the water or in some cases more aptly in the water. There are plenty of parents whose kids no longer take part who still seem to show up for Pirate Day.
After the battle some kids still hadn’t had enough. Oliver McKee was keen to get out in a Topper and in the end he got to play with the big boys for about an hour as Ben Tylecote ably accompanied by Oscar Morley and Charlie Turnbull went for a play.
Thursday evening is club racing and astonishingly quite a number of people still had the energy left to do this. For the rest there was a trip down memory lane as Stella and Debbie introduced the kids to traditional games such as skipping, two balls and others – fantastic fun.
Friday and we are still going strong – although the bacon reserves in the camp site seemed to have dwindled. The problem with communal camping is that you cook something nice and all the kids turn up for a share. This year the highlight was pancakes kindly produced by Slug who despite having only 1 daughter had a queue of 12 at one point waiting for their food.
The final races were sailed, more optimist training undertaken and then it was Topper Relay racing before everyone finally got changed out of their wet kit for the last time that week. Thanks to Jamie Tylecote and Carys Attwell who kindly crewed in some of the Junior Jetty races to enable more kids to take part.
Friday night was disco night and prize-giving. As usual Steve from Kidzco came to keep us all dancing on our toes.
Before the main prizes the Glamping prizes were awarded – John B and Kathy M had done a great job analysing the different tents for facilities, decoration and totally useless items and they awarded the prizes. Then it was prizes.
Congratulations to lots of kids who came along knowing nobody and went home with a new bunch of mates.
And then it was home to bed – or for some a trip to find a new party tent as the last one had blown away and a chance to reminisce again on a great week. Well done everyone.
If you missed it this year don’t make the same mistake in 2016!
1st Alex Wilby 10pts
2nd Sarah Kemp 10pts
3rd Ben Tylecote 10pts
High Performance 1st Damon, Daniel and Myles Westwood
1st Family Boat Nick and Nelson Streatfeild
1st Chris Monk
2nd Will Ashmore
3rd Jonty Hitchman
1st Oscar Morley
2nd Carys Attwell
3rd Jamie Tylecote
1st Ewan McAnally
2nd Joseph Green
3rd Tom Coates
1st Lauren Attwell
3rd Alex and Georgina Fordham
1st Topper Natasha Hitchman
1st Optimist Freddy Monk
1st Ameila Green
2nd Norah Brill
3rd Oliver McKee
Junior Jetty Optimist
1st Annabel Caldecott
2nd Lauren Turner
3rd Evie Coates
1st Topper Imogen McEwing