The latest news and events from the Dark Horse Sailing Club.
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It’s time to get your sailing trips booked!

With two wonderful ‘heatwaves’ and a royal wedding already, this year is slipping away fast. The club has already run three events — a Training Weekend, the Kick Start Rally and a Cross-Channel Mid-Week Cruise — plus of course our AGM. You can see some photos from the events on our Facebook page. We’ve also got an entry in the Bank of England Inter Bank Regatta this weekend, the Taittinger Regatta in July, and bookings for lots more events.

That’s all great and encouraging news… but sadly we’ve also had to cancel several events already. As normal, some were speculative events in the extensive programme. However, a couple of weeks ago we had to pull the plug on the end of May Bank Holiday Scottish Cruise, which was a great shame.

Despite having five club members booked, we struggled to get a willing skipper. One was eventually found from within the White Horse Sailing Club — thanks Patricia for persistent searching and Colin for volunteering! — but by then the charter options were very limited and the finances just didn’t stack up.

So, let’s not let this happen again with future events: please get your bookings in NOW for the rest of the season!

2018 Programme: Book Now! 2018 programme

There are over twenty events on offer for the remainder of the season, so there will certainly be something of interest to you… but if not then let me know what would be of interest. I’ll do my best to accommodate any and all event ideas!

For now, here's my selection of events that need promoting in the 2018 Programme:

South West Cruise, w/ owner (23-34 June)

We last ran this event a couple of years ago. Attendees enjoyed the plush saloon and cabins of Mike Thompson’s Oceanaire (Grand Soleil 46.3) and the stunning coastline of the South West.

If you’ve not explored the area before you truly don’t know what you’re missing out on! Indeed, one of the reasons Mike originally berthed his yacht in Plymouth, despite living in Hertfordshire at the time, was to maximise his time sailing in that area; the drive down was definitely worth it!

We still have two more places to fill: drop me an email now if you’d like to book yourself on. If we don’t get at least one more booking, we may have to cancel the event. Note: If you want to extend your stay, Mike also has some cottages to rent at Butstone Farm.

Under 30’s Sailing Weekend (23-24 June)

This event is aimed at our younger members, given them the opportunity to get out and about on the Solent on an Oceanis 37. It’s exciting to report that we have several tentative bookings already, including some interest from prospective members… but we need more!

We’re still after a skipper (at least Day Skipper qualified) and we can keep costs down by filling all eight berths on the boat: final costs work out as £177 each with six crew, £153 for seven or £135 for the full eight. Please let me know now if this event is of interest to you asap.

Scottish Cruise Week (2-8 July)

This was a late addition to our programme, as a request from a few members. They were after a longer cruise up in Scotland, from either Craobh or Dunstaffage. I’ve received a few quotes from charter companies, with the club fee range working out as £280 to £330 per person (this could be more: it depends on what’s still available to charter once we have sufficient bookings).

If you fancy a week gently cruising the beautiful lochs and isles of west coast Scotland, please get in touch now.

Mid-Week Cruise & Brownsea Theatre (23-27 July)

Last year’s End of Season Rally took us to the lovely town and natural harbour of Poole. Inspired by the location, we are offering a mid-week cruise with Poole as the main destination (but several places on the way there from the Solent and back). The boat will be available from Sunday evening, sailing Monday and returning by Friday lunchtime.

On the Wednesday, the plan is to go to Brownsea Island for one of their open-air theatre events. This year they are performing Shakespeare’s Titus Andronicus, directed by Don Cherrett.

“Why makes thou it so strange? She is a woman, therefore may be wooed; she is a woman, therefore may be won; she is Lavinia, therefore must be loved.”

Interested in more? Get in contact with me now.

End of Season Rally (13-14 Oct)

The last promotion for this newsletter is the End of Season Rally. Bookings are coming along nicely, but it would be great to have some more. This is most certainly an event where early bookings really help so great berthing and Saturday night venue can be organised while places are still available.

If you’d like to come along, please make sure you’ve sent your booking in; thank you!

The Atlantic Stop-Over

I’m typing this newsletter from Horta on the Azorean island of Faial, as a stop-over from Antigua to Majorca, on a lovely Oyster 82. This is my first west-to-east transatlantic passage, and so far it’s been superb. We had fair winds and good speed for the first few days, followed by a huge high-pressure system, complete with virtually no wind, glassy waters, stunning sunsets, several whale and countless dolphin sightings (plus, of course, a mid-Atlantic swim!)… and lots of motoring.

Aschanti IV mural, Horta

Being pretty much the mid-Atlantic stop-over, it’s customary for yachts visiting Horta to paint a little (or not so little!) mural on the marina pontoon. Some are very basic while others impressive works of art, the whole pontoon being a patchwork of murals from hours young to over a decade old! It’s quite fun meandering along, spotting yachts that you have previously seen, or even sailed on.

Dark Horse mural, Horta

It was interesting to see one of the more basic murals being for ‘Dark Horse’: I wonder if it's the club’s former Ocean 60 of the same name? Unlikely given the club’s Dark Horse was twin masted…

Your Club Needs You!

Your club needs you!

As mentioned previously, plus at our AGM, we’re keen to encourage members to consider joining the committee team. Suitable for both long-standing members and comparative ‘newbies’, being part of the committee can really help shape and steer the club for the future. Whether it’s cruising or racing, money management or marketing, or just a gentle nudge in the right direction, we’d love to hear from you.

Being a committee member can be as ‘light touch’ or ‘full on’ as you’d like; the most important thing is that you get your voice heard, and that can really help with the running of the club. Contact Angela ( for more information.

DHSC Posters

Membership Posters

As always, we're keen to attract new members. A great way to help with this is through advertising the club in your place of work or local sports or sailing club.

Feel free to print the posters yourself (available for download from the website), or drop me an email and I'll send some in the post.

That’s it for now. If you have any sailing or club related stories we could publish in a newsletter, send the draft copy to me. A photo or two always helps make the item more interesting, too.

Please check out this year’s programme, and just email me if you have any questions. As always, when booking please let me know the role you’d like on the boat: skipper, mate or crew. Don’t forget to check the latest news on the DHSC Facebook page too!

Note: I’m setting sail later today for the Mediterranean, so I won’t be able to reply to emails until we’re close enough to mainland Europe to get a mobile phone signal.

Kind regards,

Simon Jackson
Dark Horse Sailing Club

Please note: While the language used in these newsletters sometimes implies the reader is a DHSC member, its distribution is to a much wider audience. Indeed, we actively encourage all readers — club members or otherwise — to forward the newsletter to friends, family and colleagues who may be interested in sailing.

If you're not yet a member and like what you've read, you can subscribe here or contact me about membership. We're open to all, from complete beginners to Ocean Yachtmasters!
Copyright © 2018 Dark Horse Sailing Club, All rights reserved.

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