Saturday at last produced some decent weather for the QMSC Family Day and Push the Boat Out pre-Olympic Celebration. As in previous years we had a fine selection of club members boats to try and these were kept busy throughout the day taking out young and old, both club members and guests. All enjoyed the trips and were grateful to the club members for their time and the use of their boats. Those attending also had an opportunity to try windsurfing and kayaking and these proved popular too, as did the rib rides around the lake (which went better it was found when the rib had fuel in the tank). At 1200, all boats on the water lined up for a photograph which will be published to the RYA Push the Boat Out website as our salute to the Team GB Olympic and Paralympic sailors.
New for this year we gave all-comers the opportunity to Beat the QM Stig and this proved very competitive in testing conditions. The Stig set off in a light and variable breeze and did an outstanding job of drifting the Laser round the corners of the square course to set the benchmark time at just under 15 minutes.
Several members, guests and staff posted a good time but not good enough to beat the Stig, and then an ex QM club member visiting for the day went one better than the Stig but the best time was set by Freddie Cardew-Smith and he was duly crowned the winner.
The day finished with Dragon Boat racing and two highly trained teams were assembled to compete on a 100m straight course set just off the clubhouse. Team 1 steered by Vicki set the fastest time in training and their war-cries and thunderous drumming contributed for sure. Team 2 steered by Freddie were determined to reverse the results in the best-of-three racing. They were given an unusual advantage in the first race when it seemed that Team 1 were confused and were steering the square Beat-the-Stig course. Team 2 coasted to an easy victory. Race two was much tighter and saw Freddie's Team 2 consolidating a slight early lead to win by a small margin. Race three was now a formality and perhaps with their nerves settled as a result Team 2 built up a commanding lead and maintained it to the end. Ashore prizes were presented to the winning team and also to the losing team's enthusiastic drummer.
Throughout the day the attendees enjoyed the QM catering with the lunchtime barbecue and afternoon cakes proving particularly popular. At the end of the proceedings Commodore Andrew Craig thanked all those involved in making the day such fun and so successful, and in particular he thanked Caroline Fitzwater, David Bithell and Phil Dickinson for their roles in the excellent planning of the day.
All hoped the Family Day events can be held again next year.