Antigua comes to Lackford

posted Jun 25, 2018, 4:51 AM by SESCA admin   [ updated Jun 26, 2018, 6:25 AM ]

Competitors and spectators enjoyed Caribbean like weather at the St Edmundsbury Sailing & Canoeing Association’s ‘Antigua Sailing Day Regatta’, at Lackford Lake, near Bury St Edmunds, on Sunday.

This was the 6th running of the event, which was originally conceived to celebrate and coincide with Antigua Sailing Week. The move of the Regatta to June certainly provided warmer temperatures than in recent years, although the wind turned out to be rather light and shifty. The Chief Race Officer, Debs Steele, did well to get three races completed during the day with time for a lunch break.

The fleet was boosted by a large contingent from the Newmarket and Mildenhall Sea Cadets, who coped well with the challenging conditions. The racing, however, was dominated by the Denny brothers – James, Richard, Sam and Ben – who showed remarkable speed and consistency in the fickle breeze.

Their performance may have been enhanced by the mellow, calypso sounds of the steel pan band, that had been generously provided by the Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Authority, wafting over the lake.

In the final standings, James Denny won the overall prize, with three first places in his Laser; Mike Senior came second in another Laser, with Mike Steele third.  Sam Denny won the junior prize in his Topper, narrowly beating his older brother Richard, with Ben and Finn taking third in a Pico. The ladies’ prize went to Sea Cadet Sophia Shaw.

Prizes were presented by Cherrie Osborne, Director of Tourism for the Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Authority.


#PushTheBoatOut Success

posted May 6, 2018, 2:18 PM by SESCA admin

There was a tremendous turn out for SESCA's #PushTheBoatOut Open Day. We couldn't have hoped for better conditions. It was great to see so many boats out on the water with people of all ages enjoying themselves. We gave 222 sailing and kayaking tasters (twice our previous record) and have already received payment for seven new family memberships, which is fantastic. We are very grateful to BBC Radio Suffolk having featured the Open Day on Leslie Dolphin's Show (hosted by Rachel Sloane) earlier in the week; haart Bury St Edmunds for having provided the 'For Sail' promotional boards; the Mildenhall, Newmarket and Bury St Edmunds Sea Cadets for turning out in force to support the event; the Bury Free Press for sending a reporter and photographer to cover the proceedings and all the Club members who assisted with running the event, both on and off the water.

Off to a good start

posted Apr 30, 2018, 4:23 AM by SESCA admin

The St Edmundsbury Sailing & Canoeing Association’s sailing season is now well under way at Lackford Lake, with activities taking place on most days of the week. The disabled sailing group, WASH Sailability, has had a particularly strong start to their season with sailing sessions now take place on Thursday mornings, as well as Tuesdays and Saturday mornings, to meet the demand for places. The Club has also been pleased to welcome the St Edmundsbury Radio Yacht as group members. They have started racing One Metre class yachts on Sunday mornings and are planning to adopt the popular Dragon Force 65, entry level class. 

After a week of balmy weather, it was unfortunate that the conditions deteriorated markedly for the weekend. It was a hardy few who ventured out for the Club’s Tulip Trophy series on Sunday. James Denny, Tim Perree and Mike Steele battled it out in the Laser Class, while the younger Denny brothers, Samuel and Ben braved the elements in their Toppers. Ben handled the gusty, breezy conditions particularly well, considering it was his first outing in a Topper after forsaking his more stable Optimist. James Denny showed mastery of the conditions and deservedly took the day’s trophy.

Next Sunday sees a break from racing, with the Club holdings its annual RYA ‘Push The Boat Out’ Open Day. This is an opportunity for members of the public to come along and try their hand at sailing or canoeing for free. The Club will be open from 10.30 am to 4 pm, with taster sessions being run on as available basis. The weather forecasting is looking promising, so it should be an enjoyable day to be out on the water. 


posted Apr 23, 2018, 11:58 PM by SESCA admin

SESCA’s RYA #PushTheBoatOut Open Day is fast approaching. This year, it is being held on Sunday, 6 May from 10.30 am – 4 pm. 

For those who haven’t been involved before, the Open Day is the Club’s principal opportunity to showcase what we do and to attract new members. It is part of the RYA’s initiative to encourage everybody to get out on the water and celebrate a national month of sailing and boating. We have run the event for the past five years and it has proved to be very successful and enjoyable on each occasion.

We are very reliant on Club (Individual, Family and Group) members volunteering to help run the event, both on and off the water. We should be most grateful if you could let us know if you (and any family/friends) are available to assist and what you would opt to do. 

If anyone is able to provide cakes to be put on sale, they would be greatly appreciated. Kathy is also providing hot food for purchase from the galley.

As last year, we are planning to have an information desk in the clubhouse and sailing taster registration desk set up under a gazebo near the waterfront. Sailing tasters will be available for anyone over 7 years old but children must be accompanied by a parent or guardian. Numbered tickets for trips will be allocated on a first come first served basis.

We intend to use the Club's Wanderers and WASH’s Access dinghies for sailing tasters. If anyone is happy to use their boat or make it available for sailing tasters, please let us know.

There will be a pre-event working party on Friday, 27 April to sort out the Club boats and tidy the grounds.. Final set up will be from 9 am on Sunday, 6 May. 

We are very grateful to haart Bury St Edmunds, who, once again, are kindly producing and putting up ‘For Sail’ signs around the area to publicise the event. 

2018 Season Preview

posted Mar 18, 2018, 4:42 PM by SESCA admin   [ updated Mar 19, 2018, 2:38 AM ]

Another busy programme is scheduled this year with sailing, rowing or canoeing activities taking place on nearly every day throughout the summer. I
n addition to the parent club's own events, the Club hosts the on the water activities of Bury St Edmunds, Mildenhall and Newmarket Sea Cadets; Suffolk Scouts; Young People Afloat (a sailing youth club); WASH Sailability (disabled sailing) and Priory School. 

Dinghy racing will be taking place on Sunday mornings, with a personal handicap series running on Thursday evenings. Saturdays are usually reserved for training and social sailing. The highlight of the racing programme is the Club’s ‘Antigua Sailing Day Regatta’, which is once again being generously supported by the Antigua & Barbuda Tourism Authority. This year, in a departure from tradition, the Regatta will not coincide with Antigua Sailing Week in April but will be held on the 24 June. This later date will, hopefully, provide warmer sailing conditions than have been experienced in recent years.  

As in previous years, the Club will be holding a series of monthly, Sunday afternoon, ‘Have a Go’ sessions, in addition to its RYA ‘Push The Boat Out’ Open Day which will be held this year on 6 May. These are occasions when the public can visit the Club to try sailing and canoeing in one of the Club's boats. It is a great feature of the Club that it has its own fleet of dinghies, so that members do not need to their own boat to sail. 

Preparing for the 2018 Season

posted Mar 6, 2018, 2:31 PM by SESCA admin   [ updated Mar 7, 2018, 3:09 AM ]

The start of the 2018 sailing season is fast approaching. 

SESCA's Spring Working Party will be held on Saturday 17th March 2018 10.00 -- 16.00. We would be grateful for your help to get the Club ready for the start of the season. If you cannot stay all day, just a few hours of your time would be greatly appreciated. 

Please wear suitable clothing and bring any appropriate tools (eg strimmers; secateus; croppers etc). Kenny Robinson will be allocating and co-ordinating jobs. These include:

Cleaning the clubhouse: toilets, windows and roof lights
Flattening mole hills
Strimming and mowing around dinghy park
Staining sections of the clubhouse 
Preparing club boats for the season, including checking sails and rigging
Tidying the trailer park
Deciding positioning of new foreshore planking
Power washing jetties

A hot lunch will be provided for all, starting at 12.00. Please let Kathie know if you will be attending and whether you would like lunch and your menu choices, so that she can cater accordingly. Please choose from the menu below:


Shepherds pie with a mix of vegetables  


Thick,  homemade leek and potato soup with fresh bread rolls (vegetarian)


Lemon sponge with custard and/or ice Cream

 Selection of fresh fruit  

Autumn update

posted Oct 24, 2017, 2:16 AM by SESCA admin   [ updated Oct 24, 2017, 2:20 AM ]

Thanks to everyone who came along to help out at the Club's working party. A lot of good work was done but there a still a number of jobs that need doing including: re-staining the sheds with red cedar; cutting back bushes along the foreshore; more strimming around the dinghy park; re-emulsioning some of the walls in clubhouse and cleaning & polishing the Club boats. 

The Sunday morning Winter Series continues until the 19 November. There has been some very good racing amongst the Lasers and Toppers of late. There are Club boats available to sail if anyone else would like to join in. Please note that there is no Sunday afternoon sailing during November.

The final race will be for the Beaujolais Bottle, which will be followed by the Laying Up Lunch. Details will be announced shortly. 

The Club's AGM and Prizegiving will be held in the clubhouse on Thursday, 23 November.

SESCA 'Push The Boat Out'

posted Jun 15, 2017, 2:40 PM by SESCA admin

The St Edmundsbury Sailing & Canoeing Association held a very successful Open Day at Lackford Lake, near Bury St Edmunds, on Sunday, 21 May.

The event formed part of the Royal Yachting Association's 'Push The Boat Out' initiative to encourage everyone to get out on the water and celebrate a national week of sailing. The Open Day also featured as a BBC Sports' 'Get Inspired' Activity, as sailing trips and kayaking tasters were offered throughout the day. Local estate agents, Haart Bury St Edmunds, helped promote the event by putting up 'For Sail' signs around the area, which generated considerable interest.

The sun shone and there was light breeze which provided perfect sailing conditions for over 100 visitors, who came down to the Club. These included local councillor Susan Glossop and her family. Most of the visitors went out on the water and experienced sailing for the first time. Six families joined the Club, while several others took away membership application forms.

WASH Sailabilty, the Club's disabled sailing selection, took out visitors in their Access dinghies, while the Newmarket and Mildenhall Sea Cadets provided a colourful display by sailing around in their Toppers, Picos and new Quest dinghies.

SESCA is one of the most isolated sailing clubs in the country being the only sailing club in West and Mid Suffolk and SW Norfolk. It prides itself on being accessible to all with very low membership fees and a fleet of Club boats, so that it is not necessary to own your own in order to sail. For those who missed the Open Day, the Club will be holding a series of monthly Sunday afternoon 'Have a Go' sessions. See the Club's website, for details.

Bright & breezy Antigua Day

posted May 7, 2017, 12:25 AM by SESCA admin   [ updated May 7, 2017, 12:57 AM ]

Competitors in SESCA's 5th Antigua Sailing Day Regatta were greeted with bright, breezy and chilly conditions on Sunday. However, while the temperature was significantly cooler than that being experienced at the 50th Antigua Sailing Week, that had just started in the Caribbean, there was a similar warm atmosphere and fun side to the racing. This was in no small part due to the Calypso sounds of the steel band, which had been generously provided by the Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Authority, wafting over the Lake.

The racing consisted of three races for both adult and junior divisions. In the first race, Alison Stevens led the adult fleet away in her Laser, pursued by Carl Day & Alan Shaw (Enterprise) and Jon Holmfjord (RS Aero). Ali built up a commanding lead to take both line and handicap honours, while the RS Aero and the Enterprise battled for second place. Jon ended up snatching the position from Carl & Alan by just 2 seconds on corrected time. Leslie Denny (Vibe) and Jon & Finn Senior (Vibe) took 4th and 5th spots respectively. Tim Perree (Laser) and Mike Senior (Laser) found the conditions a bit too lively and succumbed to several capsizes.

The junior fleet was bolstered by entries from Ben Stringer and Sophia Shaw from Newmarket Sea Cadets in their Pico single-hander dinghies. Ben led at the end of the first lap, pursued by Sophia, Richard Denny (Topper) and Ben Denny (Optimist). Richard handled the conditions well to take the win.

The breezy conditions were a challenge for the fitness and stamina of competitors, but recovery was certainly helped by the tremendous range of delicious cakes (all cooked by Shena Senior), plus free hot & cold drinks provided by Shena throughout the day.

Suitably refreshed, the competitors headed out for Race 2, with the wind as breezy as ever with plenty of challenging gusts just before the start. Ali led the way again, followed by Carl & Alan, then John Holmfjord and Mike Senior. Jon & Finn Senior, now in a Wanderer, suffered a capsize near the start but managed to complete a lap before retiring. Tim had more capsizes just after the start and decided to retire early and try to recover with more coffee and cake. The finishing order was Ali in 1st, followed by Carl & Alan, Jon and then Mike.

In the junior race, Sophia led the first lap while Richard was set back by capsizing and fell behind Ben Stringer. Richard recovered to take second place behind Sophia, with both Ben Stringer and Ben Denny retiring from the race.

After a well-earned lunch-break, accompanied by the soothing sounds of the steel band, a reduced complement of hardy competitors took on the final race. Once again, Ali led all the way from Jon & Finn Senior in the adult race, with Richard Denny beating his brother Ben.

In the overall standings, Aly Stevens was the winner of the adult prize, with Jon Holmfjord sharing equal second with Carl Day & Alan Shaw. The 3rd place prize was awarded to Jon and Finn Senior. The junior 1st prize was won by Richard Denny, with Sophia Shaw in 2nd, and Ben Denny in 3rd.

A special thank you was given, once again, to the Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Office, represented by Sean Matthew on the day, for supporting this unique event in SESCA’s racing calendar. Sean was presented with an engraved SESCA tumbler as a mark of thanks.

Well done to all the competitors for surviving the conditions, and many thanks to all the helpers who made the day a success. Racing continues at Lackford on Thursday evenings and Sundays. The season is now in full swing with many other groups using the lake, including: Culford and Priory Schools, WASH disabled sailing, Young People Afloat, Suffolk Scouts and the local Sea Cadets. 

The Club's next major event is the RYA 'Push the Boat Out' Open Day on Sunday, 21 May when free sailing taster sessions and joy rides will be on offer to potential new members.

A Flying Start

posted Apr 10, 2017, 12:53 AM by SESCA admin   [ updated Apr 10, 2017, 12:58 AM ]

It was a glorious weekend for sailing and great to see so many boats out on the water at the start of the season. Several people were out social sailing on Saturday and there were nine boats out racing on Sunday, with a large contingent of Toppers. We were also pleased to have several prospective members come along to visit the Club. We hope to see them on the water soon. 

Preparations are in hand for the Club's Antigua Sailing Day Regatta on Sunday, 30 April. We are endeavouring to make this event even bigger and better than ever and would like to encourage everyone to come along to participate in the racing or just spectate and enjoy Kathy's delicious catering and the steel band, which is once again being generously provided by the Antigua & Barbuda Tourism Authority.

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