On your marks!

posted Jul 6, 2020, 3:21 AM by SESCA admin   [ updated Jul 6, 2020, 3:31 AM ]

Following the easing of COVID restrictions, SESCA is now able to start racing again in a “conservative and considerate” manner, as described by the RYA.

The Club has performed a risk assessment and decided that we can run Pursuit events in an appropriately safe manner. The Pursuit format requires the least organisation whilst on site and avoids any crowded starts. 

A local interim race rule has been created where any sailor can call ‘water’ when another boat is moving towards breaching the 1m+ lateral separation of the concerned boat. The Pursuit format, in itsellf, significantly reduces the risk of congestion at marks around the course.

Racing will commence on Sunday 12th July. The race calendar has been updated to maximise the opportunity for as many qualifying events until the end of the season.      ( Please note that the calendar shows group and other club events, which are still on hold) .

Commodore Norman Savager said: "I know we can rely upon the stalwart regular sailors to start again but this could be an opportunity for lapsed racers to come back or newer Members to give it a try. The Pursuit format is an opportunity to start at your designated time and then sail the set course as briskly as you can safely do so.

I want to stress that one of the things that has most impressed me with the racing at SESCA is the friendly manner in which it is conducted. We want to take the opportunity this year to encourage more Members to give it a try, if only to give your weekly trip to the Club on to the water to sail a bit more of a purpose.

One of the things to bear in mind is that you don’t have to compete in all the races on any given day, and Pursuit races are typically of about 45 minutes duration."

To help Members get to the start line next Sunday, the Club will be hosting a Zoom conference meeting at 1900 on Thursday 9th July. The meeting will comprise 2 parts. The first part will be a briefing on the specific arrangements for ‘COVID Secure racing’ at SESCA, including the new arrangements we will have to make to be safe. The second part will be a summary of the main rules of racing to remind Members who haven’t raced for a while and give Members new to racing enough of an insight into the rules to get them going.

If you have any questions or require any further information, please contact

Sailing & Kayaking Resume

posted May 14, 2020, 3:13 AM by SESCA admin

The Commodore is pleased to announce that with the Government's easing of lockdown restrictions and guidance from the RYA that Members may resume the use of the Club's facilities, with the following provisos:

Do not come to the Club if you are:
Experiencing COVID-19 symptoms
Self-isolating because you or a member of your family has experienced COVID-19                            symptoms
Following ‘stay at home’ or ‘shielding’ guidance because you are classed as a Clinically                    Vulnerable or Clinically Extremely Vulnerable person
You must avoid using the clubhouse and other building facilities if you can possibly do so
These are assessed as being the highest risk areas at the Club, where there are communal              surfaces that would need to be cleaned after use, such as door handles, counters,                        changing rooms and toilet facilities
You are responsible as an individual for cleaning before and after use any shared                             equipment or club boats that you wish to use
The current advice is that the virus has a life of 72hrs on surfaces
You are responsible for bringing your own cleaning materials and PPE that you believe is                 necessary for every activity that you will undertake at the club, including opening the                     access gate
Please observe the social distancing instructions for 2m separation away from people                        outside your household
This applies throughout the site including the car park, slipways, boat park and pontoons
Please avoid forming ‘crowds’ should the site become busy
You may decide that there are too many people present for your own safety
You can 'meet up' with one person from outside your household, which enables recreational             ‘buddy' sailing to be performed
The Club will not be organising any events from the annual programme for the time being,                 including racing
Multiple person occupancy of a craft is only allowed with people from your own household
Please be aware that Members will not be asked to perform Safety Boat and OOD duties for             the time being, and thus the level of supervision and safety cover is reduced under the                 current arrangements, especially at weekends
This will influence the risk assessment you need to perform for on-water activities, including             whether you are competent enough to use the boat in the prevailing conditions
We must minimise the risk of needing to call out the emergency services
Please remember to make sure the SESCA site is secure in all respects when you are the                 last person to leave.

Please do not hesitate to contact if you have any questions about this guidance. We will provide updates when we are advised accordingly.

Virtual Racing

posted Mar 29, 2020, 7:43 AM by SESCA admin

If you are missing your racing, SESCA is now registered with  and will be hosting a series of free virtual races for club members. To play register on the website or download the app from the app store. It is proposed to hold the first series of races starting at 5 pm this evening (Sunday 29 March). 

Go to 'Inshore Regattas' > 'Custom Races' and enter SESCA's gate code (four figure number) to join in. It is not necessary to buy any of the 'promo packs' that are offered before starting to race. It is advisable to go through the 'Sailing School' training sessions before racing to get an understanding of the controls and how the game functions.

You can, of course, also enter any of the open races that are continually running.

If you are intending to race, please leave a message on the Club's Group Facebook page. Hope to see you on the 'water'! 

Coronavirus (Covid-19) Advice for SESCA

posted Mar 29, 2020, 3:51 AM by SESCA admin

The following guidance for SESCA has been drawn from that provided by the RYA and is consistent with the current advice from the UK Government and Public Health England.

As you will be aware, the essence of that advice and guidance is to take action to prevent the potential spread of infection.

Waterborne Activities:

SESCA has decided to cancel or postpone large group events at the Club for the foreseeable future. This includes race events. However, that does not mean the lake is closed or that you can’t sail. You will need to sail using the buddy system and ensure adequate ‘social distancing’.

Use of the Clubhouse:

We would prefer that you avoid using the Clubhouse facilities where possible. This, however, may be impractical if you need to access sailing equipment or use the changing/toilet facilities.
Members and their guests should ensure they are washing their hands with soap and water, covering their mouths when coughing or sneezing, and take any tissues home with you.
Hand washing must be completed before touching any sailing equipment. Please avoid using the galley and its equipment.

OOD and Safety Boat Duties:

The roster for OOD and Safety Boat duties is suspended for the foreseeable future. This means that the buddy system will be required for any waterborne activities to occur, especially at weekends.
We would encourage Members to use the Club’s Facebook group page  to arrange a buddy to sail with, if required.

Way Forward

As you will appreciate, the situation with this disease is evolving and your Committee may need to modify this guidance or even close the lake for waterborne activities.

SESCA's 2020 Vision

posted Feb 3, 2020, 6:44 AM by SESCA admin

Preparations are in hand for the St Edmundsbury Sailing & Canoeing Association’s 2020 season, which 
commences on Sunday, 29 March at Lackford Lake, five miles NW of Bury St Edmunds.

This year’s programme is busier than ever with on the water activities scheduled for nearly every day throughout the summer. Club dinghy racing is held on Sunday mornings and Thursday evenings, while social sailing and training mainly take place on Saturdays and Sunday afternoons. It is a great feature of the Club that it has its own fleet of dinghies and kayaks, so that you don’t need your own boat to sail or paddle.

The highlights of the season will be the Club’s RYA (Royal Yachting Association) ‘Discover Sailing’ Open
Day, which is being held on Sunday, 10 May, and the ‘8th Antigua Sailing Day Regatta’, which is being held on
Sunday, 7 June. The Open Day is a fun occasion when members of the public are invited to visit the Club and
try sailing or kayaking for free. The Regatta celebrates ‘Antigua Sailing Week’ and is, once again, being
generously supported by the Antigua & Barbuda Tourism Authority, who will be
providing a steel pan band for lunch time entertainment.

SESCA is an RYA recognised Training Centre, so will again be running a number of ‘Learn to Sail’ courses and
a series of monthly ‘Sailing Support Sessions’ for members looking to improve their skills. The Club’s flourishing disabled sailing group, WASH Sailability, will be sailing on Thursday mornings; Tuesdays and
Saturday afternoons, while the Club’s junior sailing group, Young People Afloat, will be sailing on Wednesday
and some Monday evenings. The Club’s three Sea Cadet Units – Bury St Edmunds, Mildenhall and Newmarket – are also thriving and will each be running several sailing and gig rowing sessions per week. The Cadets are looking forward to getting out in their new RS Quest and Zest dinghies and doing some more racing.

The Suffolk Scouts, who run nearly all their watersports activities at Lackford, have also significantly expanded
their programme this year and will be running multiple sessions for Cubs, Scouts and Guides from across
the County. Finally, but not least, Priory School will be continuing their paddling outings on Monday evenings.

Anyone interested in dinghy sailing (pottering or racing), canoeing or kayaking is most welcome to visit the
Club to see what is on offer. The Club prides itself on its low membership fees and being affordable to all. (Cadet £25 pa; adult £62 pa and family £90 pa). New members welcome. 

Beginners celebrate success

posted Sep 29, 2019, 2:24 PM by SESCA admin

Thanks to all the instructors and helpers who braved the elements to assist with the RYA Adult 'Learn to Sail' Course, this weekend, and congratulations to all the participants who overcame the challenging conditions to be awarded their Level 1 and 2 certificates.

The Caribbean comes to Lackford

posted Jun 5, 2019, 12:58 PM by SESCA admin   [ updated Jun 5, 2019, 1:09 PM ]

Competitors and spectators enjoyed Caribbean like conditions for SESCA’s ‘7th Antigua Sailing Day Regatta’ on Sunday.

Mike Steele from SESCA said ‘The event was initiated six years ago as a fun event to celebrate and coincide with Antigua Sailing Week. Through a Google news alert, the event came to the attention of the Sailing Week race committee and the Antigua & Barbuda Tourism Authority, who were so impressed with the initiative that they kindly came onboard as event sponsors. After a couple of years of particularly chilly April weather, the Regatta was moved to June in pursuit of warmer conditions.’

With temperatures rising into the upper 20s, the organisers were not disappointed. Shorts and T shirts were the order of the day, as a record 38 dinghies took to the water. Numbers were boosted this year with the inclusion of WASH Sailability’s (disabled sailing) 10 Hansa dinghies, which made a colourful and welcome presence.

Racing was close, particular throughout the 12 boat Laser contingent with Jack Knight, Mike Steele and Ed Deacon battling it out at the front of the pack. Elsewhere in the fleet, Sam and young Bertie Parrett were putting on a great performance in their Wanderer, while James Green showed fantastic determination to complete the course in his Topper, despite several capsizes in the gusty conditions.

After a lunch time break with suitably Caribbean fare, the competitors ventured out for the third race, accompanied by the Calypso sounds of the steel band wafting out over the Lake.  Knight secured first overall but winning this final race by a boat length from Steele, with Deacon taking third. Sheila Norman came first overall in the Toppers and first lady helm. Sam & Bertie Parrett won the Wanderers; Phil Lee won the Picos; Chris Willoughby won the Hansas, with Alan Jones 2nd and Alan Turvey 3rd; and Harry & Jack Royston won the Sea Cadets’ prize.

The prizes were presented by Cherrie Osborne, Director of Tourism, Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Authority.

Open Day Success Despite Chilly Conditions

posted May 6, 2019, 7:31 AM by SESCA admin

On Sunday, nearly 160 visitors braved the chilly conditions to try their hand at sailing at the St Edmundsbury Sailing & Canoeing Association’s (SESCA) Open Day at Lackford Lake, near Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk. 
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 sailing and boating.  During May, sailing clubs and water sports centres across the country are opening their doors and inviting the public to come along and try sailing for free.

Mike Steele, SESCA’s event organiser, said: ‘Everybody seems to have thoroughly enjoyed themselves and spoke enthusiastically about their experience and impressions of the Club. It was great to see so many people out on the water enjoying themselves.  SESCA is located in a beautiful part of West Suffolk, on the edge of a wildlife reserve. 
We had a total of 156 visitors and gave 144 sailing tasters. The kayaking also proved very popular. We received payment for one family membership on the day and four other families indicated that they intend to join. A further 30 visitors took away membership application forms, which bodes well.’

The Club is very grateful to Haart Bury St Edmunds, who kindly provided ‘For Sail’ signs to help promote the event; BBC Radio Suffolk, who invited SESCA to talk about the ‘Push The Boat Out’ in Suffolk on their Sunday morning programme; SESCA Group Members: WASH Sailability, who took out visitors in their disabled sailing Access dinghies and the Mildenhall and Newmarket Sea Cadets, who provided a colourful display of their water sports activities on the Lake.

SESCA is one of the most isolated sailing clubs in the country.  It is 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 available for members to hire at token cost. Anyone who missed the Open Day is most welcome to visit the Club to find out more about it’s activities.

#PushTheBoatOut Open Day

posted May 1, 2019, 3:44 AM by SESCA admin   [ updated May 1, 2019, 3:48 AM ]

The St Edmundsbury Sailing & Canoeing Association is one of hundreds of clubs and centres across the country getting involved in the annual RYA ‘Push the Boat Out’ campaign in May. The nationwide ‘have-a-go’ campaign gives all comers the chance to try sailing for free.

SESCA, based at Lackford Lake (IP28 6HX), 5 miles NW of Bury St Edmunds, will be holding its Open Day event on Sunday, May 5 from 10.30 am – 4 pm. Weather permitting, sailing taster sessions and joy rides will be run on an as available basis. Buoyancy aids will be provided but please bring soft soled shoes, a towel and a change of clothes if you want to sail - as you may get wet! The Club will only be able to take out children over 7 years old, accompanied by a parent or guardian.

Representatives of other organisations that sail at the Club, including the Bury St Edmunds, Newmarket and Mildenhall Sea Cadets; YPA (Young People Afloat); Suffolk Scouts and WASH Sailability (disabled sailing) will be on hand to answer questions.

SESCA is a small, friendly, family orientated club which runs on-water events from the last weekend in March until early November. The Club organises dinghy racing on Sundays and Thursday evenings throughout the summer. The Club also runs RYA sailing courses and coaching sessions for members. A fleet of Club boats is available for hire to members, so it is not necessary to own your own boat if you want to sail.

“Sailing is such an accessible sport and many people aren’t aware of the opportunities available close to them or how affordable the sport can be” said Mike Steele from SESCA. “We’re inviting the local community to come down to have a go at sailing, see what the Club has to offer and get involved.”

More than 90,000 people have experienced sailing at Push the Boat Out events since 2013 with many becoming members of sailing clubs and signing up for training courses. Saskia Clark, Rio 2016 gold medallist, said: “I got into sailing through my local sailing club, so it’s fantastic to see so many people given the opportunity to discover what the sport’s all about right on their doorstep. “If you want to inspire your non-sailing friends and family to give sailing a go, make sure you put Push the Boat Out in the diary.”

For full details about what’s going on at SESCA visit or follow the Club on Facebook 

Details of other RYA Push the Boat Out events can be found at:


2019 Season Preview

posted Feb 3, 2019, 7:49 AM by SESCA admin

Another busy programme is scheduled this year with sailing, rowing or canoeing activities taking place on nearly every day throughout the summer. In 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 throughout the summer. 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, the Regatta will not coincide with Antigua Sailing Week in April but will be held on Sunday, 2 June. This later date will, hopefully, provide warmer sailing conditions.

The Club will also be holding a series of monthly, Sunday afternoon, Members' Sailing Support Sessions. These are an opportunity for new and less confident sailors to sail with more experienced members of the Club.

In addition, the Club will be holding its annual RYA ‘Push The Boat Out’ Open Day on Sunday, 5 May. This is an occasion when members of the public can visit the Club and try sailing and canoeing in one of the Club's boats. It is a great feature of the Club that it has a fleet of dinghies and kayaks, so that members do not need to own their own boat to sail or paddle.

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