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.

Season Preview

posted Mar 16, 2017, 3:06 PM by SESCA admin   [ updated Mar 16, 2017, 3:10 PM ]

The St Edmundsbury Sailing & Canoeing Association’s 2017 sailing season commences on Sunday, 26 March, at Lackford Lake, 5 miles NW of Bury St Edmunds. 

Another busy programme is scheduled this year, with sailing, rowing or canoeing activities taking place almost daily, until the beginning of November. These include events organised by SESCA’s  eight group members: the Bury St Edmunds, Mildenhall and Newmarket Sea Cadets; YPA (Young People Afloat – a sailing youth club); WASH Sailability (disabled sailing); the Suffolk Scouts; Priory School and Culford School, as well as by the parent Club.

Dinghy racing will be taking place on Sundays and Bank Holiday Mondays, with a Thursday evening, personal handicap series running from the end of April through to September. The Club has a mixed fleet of dinghies, which principally comprises of Lasers, Wanderers, 2000s, Gulls, Enterprises, Mirrors and Toppers. WASH disabled sailing sessions are held on Tuesdays and the first and third Saturdays of each month. Saturdays are also used for training, race coaching and social sailing. The Club is a recognised RYA (Royal Yachting Association) Training and Foundation Centre, running adult and junior RYA sailing courses for members during the summer.

The Club will be holding its popular, early season, ‘Antigua Sailing Day Regatta’ on Sunday, 30 April. The Club is hoping to make the event even bigger and better this year, as a fitting tribute to ‘Antigua Sailing Week’, which is celebrating its Golden Jubilee from 29 April to 5 May.  The Club’s Regatta is once again being generously supported by the Antigua & Barbuda Tourism Authority, which is kindly providing a steel band for lunchtime entertainment and prizes of a suitably Caribbean nature. 

As in previous years, there will be several opportunities for potential members to visit the Club and try sailing throughout the season. A series of monthly, Sunday afternoon ‘Have a Go’ sessions are scheduled from the beginning of May, in addition to the Club’s RYA ‘Push The Boat Out’ Open Day, which is being held on Sunday, 21 May, when sailing trips and joy rides will be run on as available basis.

The Club prides itself on being accessible to all and being a great resource to the local community. It has very low membership fees (junior £25 pa; adult £62 pa & family £72 pa) and a fleet of Club boats, so it is not necessary to have your own boat if you want to sail or kayak. Anyone interested in dinghy sailing (pottering or racing), canoeing or kayaking is most welcome to visit the Club to see what is on offer. New members welcome.

2016 Season Review

posted Jan 24, 2017, 8:33 AM by SESCA admin   [ updated Jan 24, 2017, 9:23 AM ]


Having, sadly, lost a number of members over the winter, due to the extreme wind conditions and unprecedented amounts of weed in the lake in the summer of 2015, there was some trepidation as to what this year would bring.

Natural England and Suffolk Wildlife Trust were extremely sympathetic to our predicament and kindly gave their permission to allow harrowing and weed cutting of the Lake. Fortunately, this proved to be unnecessary, as the weed did not reappear and we experienced pleasant sailing conditions throughout the season. The continuing success of our RYA ‘Push The Boat Out’ open day and monthly ‘Have a Go’ sessions resulted in a steady influx of new members, which resulted in the Club sustaining a net increase in membership from last year.

The sailing season started in April with a series of race training sessions prior to our popular Antigua Sailing Day Regatta. The Regatta was again generously sponsored by the Antigua and Bermuda Tourism Authority, who provided a three piece steel band and prizes of English Harbour Rum, for which we are extremely grateful.  The Regatta was once again a well contested event in both the adult and junior divisions. Next year is the 50th anniversary of the start of Antigua Sailing Week, so we are hoping to make our 5th Regatta a suitably fitting tribute.

Bury St Edmunds Sea Cadets continued the regatta schedule by hosting the South Norfolk and North Suffolk Sea Cadet district rowing, boat handling and sailing regattas at the Club, while the Newmarket and Mildenhall Sea Cadets hosted a couple of multi-activity days for the Cambs Sea Cadets district.

We were very pleased that Cllr Patrick Chung, the Mayor of St Edmundsbury Borough Council, was able to visit the Club in May, as one his last appointments while in office. Fortunately, the weather conditions were perfect, so that he could go for a sail in one of the new WASH Sailability Access dinghies, that he had helped to purchase for sailors with disabilities.

As already mentioned, the RYA ‘Push The Boat Out’ Open Day, at the end of May, was another great success with over 100 visitors; 85 sailing taster trips being given and eight more families joining the Club. Haart Bury St Edmunds were again very supportive in providing and displaying ‘For Sail’ signs to publicise the event around the area, while BBC Radio Suffolk sent along a radio car to help promote the event on air.

At the beginning of June, we were delighted to welcome our local Councillor, Susan Glossop, and our new Club patron and local MP, the Rt Hon Matthew Hancock, to the Club and take them out for a sail. During the visit they were able to inaugurate the new aft benches for the Club’s Wanderer training dinghies and the wheel chair friendly picnic table, which Cllr Glossop had kindly funded from her Locality Fund.

The Club’s RYA training team got together in June to run the first of the Club’s, adult, RYA Start to Sail courses. This course was fully subscribed, as were the second adult course and the two junior courses that were run later in the year. The training team also ran a six session, Work Place Challenge sailing course, on behalf of Suffolk Sport and the RYA. This course also proved extremely popular and was oversubscribed as soon as it was announced.

YPA (Young People Afloat) continued their usual high level of activity over the summer, getting at least 40 youngsters out on the water each week. They also ran additional sailing sessions for Fairstead School, Priory School (special needs) and Suffolk Young Carers.

The Suffolk Scouts extended their activities this year with several units arranging to camp in the Club grounds over a weekend, while participating in canoeing, sailing and rafting events on the water.

Wash Sailability also had a very good year, seeing a significant increase in both the number of disabled people joining the group and the number of volunteers coming forward to help with running the sailing sessions. They took full advantage of the good weather throughout the summer to get many more people afloat.

Priory School and Culford School were equally successful in getting a group of their pupils out paddling and sailing, at least once a week, during their spring and summer terms. We are very pleased to hear that Culford Prep School will be offering sailing opportunities to their pupils in 2017, while a number of other schools have also expressed interest in sailing at the Club.

Finally, a tremendous job was done by Club members at the Autumn Working Party in repainting the changing rooms; re-staining the clubhouse and tidying the club grounds for next season.

The 2017 Spring Working Party will be held on Saturday, 18 March with the sailing season commencing on Sunday, 26 March.

Photos of the 2016 season can be viewed here.

Autumn Working Party

posted Oct 25, 2016, 1:50 AM by SESCA admin

Thanks to everyone who helped out at the Working Party and to Kathie who produced another delicious lunch. A fantastic number of jobs were done including: repainting the changing rooms; restaining the outside of the clubhouse; recovering the roofs of the workshop and shed; restaining the outside tables; cleaning the gate; packing up the Club boats; derigging the 420s; pulling out SESCA1; strimming all round the dinghy park; servicing the mower and cutting back the brambles.

'Push The Boat Out' Success

posted May 30, 2016, 10:24 AM by SESCA admin

SESCA held another very successful RYA 'Push The Boat Out' Open Day on Sunday, 22 May. Over 120 people visited the Club and 96 visitors were given sailing tasters. Many thanks to all the helpers; haart Bury St Edmunds for providing the promotional boards and to Rob Medd and BBC Radio Suffolk for covering the event. We look forward to welcoming all the new Club members.

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