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What’s been happening at ROSC

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Members learn the story of Jeckells Sails and about the ins and outs of sail-making

7 February 2022

There was a terrific turnout at the club night as Chris Jeckells, Managing Director of Jeckells Sails relayed the history of the company (he's 7th generation!) and talked about how the company has evolved under his stewardship. Members heard all about types of sails, how they're made, what they're made from, and how this has changed over the years. Chris also talked about the art of setting sails and how to optimise sails for speed and cruising. His presentation finished with a short quiz and then questions from members.

Image by Green Chameleon

Day Skipper theory course likely to run from January 2022

3 November 2021

We currently have two or three students signed up for our next RYA Day Skipper Theory course, which will commence in January 2022 if there are enough takers. Anyone else interested in signing up for the course, which covers the basics of navigating for day sailing, should get in touch. Topics include charts, plotting, electronic navigation, safety, meteorology, tidal flows and heights, simple passage planning and pilotage, and seamanship. See our training page for more details.

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The fantastic story of the restoration of an Achilles 24 by our founder's family, celebrating his 90th birthday

7 October 2021

Have a read of this heart-warming story in which our distinguished founder, Mike Bowyer, a lifelong sailor, finds a truly fitting way to celebrate his 90th birthday. It tells of how his dedicated family, led by Mike's son John, re-wrote the fate of an Achilles 24, from scrap-yard to boat-yard, to end up on the water.

The article is in the latest edition of ALL AT SEA magazine on page 37. 

With warm congratulations to Mike from the club on his recent 90th birthday.

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East Coast Rally in Levington, Suffolk

24 - 26 September 2021

On the weekend of 24th-26th September 2021 several ROSC members enjoyed the delights of sailing in Suffolk waters and what a treat it was!  The weekend weather was perfect for practising our sailing skills and enjoying a little racing too!  Two boats were chartered from East Anglian Sea School and were joined by our members, John and Margaret Haines on their boat, Osprey.  Drinks were enjoyed aboard Osprey prior to dinner at The Light Ship in Suffolk Yacht Harbour marina. We were warmly welcomed by Paul Hunter, the Commodore of Haven Ports Yacht Club where Paul was presented with a ROSC burgee. 


On Saturday morning, once the fog had cleared, both charter boats set out for the entrance of the River Orwell where the crews wanted to practise their sailing skills which included MOB drills.  By 16.30 we were sailing back up the Orwell, under the Orwell Bridge and through the Ipswich Lock.  We proceeded to find our berths in Ipswich Harbour which were situated only a few steps down the ramp from our dinner location, The Last Anchor pub.  Ed’s entry on WhatsApp summed up in comedic style an incident from the pudding order: “Now who remembers Julie Walters comedy sketch “Two Soups”? We now have, (courtesy of The Last Anchor), “Two Scoops”!  A nightcap of Hungarian cherry brandy (thanks to Csilla) proved the perfect ending to a fun day of cruising.


Departing Ipswich by 08.30 on the Sunday morning, we took advantage of the F4 winds as both boats ‘raced’ down-river towards Felixstowe docks where we met another race of boats running up-river!  Exciting stuff!  In our own race, Cirrus 2 with their strategic final tack enabled them to finish just ahead of Luna!  


Boats were returned and cleaned by 16.00 when all crew said their goodbyes for the journey home.  Luna’s skipper, John Pengelly put his crew through their paces with great confidence.  Our guest skipper on Cirrus 2, Chris Gent sends his thanks to all for making him feel so welcome.  Special thanks go to John and Margaret who hosted Lynda Turner on their boat together with the ‘land attendees’, Ed Davies and Bernie Bellchambers.


All in all--a wonderful weekend of sailing!

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Thames Riverboat cruise in commemoration of ROSC’s 50th year

19 September 2021

2021 is an auspicious year for the club as it is our 50th anniversary.  Plans were started early in the year and it was the brain child of the late Dave Turner that we charter a boat on the river for the occasion.  Dave started the process and then the committee honoured his wish and finalised the arrangements.

12.30 saw a large number gathered on the tow path by Caversham Bridge.  Windguru and Predictwind had been consulted and as expected it was slightly overcast but destined to be sunny and warm during the afternoon.  Friends old and new greeted each other with a mixture of delight and curiosity- I know the face......!  A number of former members were able to join us from various locations around the country to share former sailing stories and club memories.  The first ROSC Commodore and founding member, Mike Bowyer was sadly indisposed on the day but was represented by his family and still plans to be with us for the AGM in November.

After boarding and some words of welcome from Steve Giggs, our acting commodore and a safety briefing from the captain, we slipped the lines and gently moved off downstream.  A deal of chatter could be heard from the top aft deck of people catching up, not least from the last 18 months.  At the bow there was the band for the afternoon, ‘11th Hour’, an ensemble of 3 providing a variety of live music.  A number of people were spotted singing and dancing along! 

A generous buffet on a ‘mariners’ theme was provided and the bar was working overtime.
The craft moved gently down the river negotiating the locks as necessary until we went about just below Shiplake College for the return trip. There was a plethora of activity from the river and the tow path.  Plenty of frivolity and hilarity on the boat along with a banner identifying who we were on the side of the boat ensured that people knew who was responsible for the noise.  A lot of waving and encouragement ensued.

The Commodore once again picked up the microphone and had some words about the club, the members, the past, the future and thanks to those who had been involved in the arrangements.  A number of former and current members took the microphone to tell of assorted experiences and members of Mike Bowyer’s family read out messages from him and his disappointment at not being able to join us.

We continued on up river and passed our starting point to Mapledurham and turned until finally we ‘docked’ back at Caversham Bridge about 6pm in a calm temperate summer’s evening.  We dispersed with promises of meeting up again soon at the clubhouse.