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Oppy Camp at Bowmoor Sailing Club
by Lucie Spurway
5-8 June 2012
45 Optimist dinghy sailors and their families took part in this year's Oppy Camp, with every inch of the Bowmoor clubhouse and facilities put to use over the 4 day camp. A further 7 youngsters joined the Pirates Group – younger siblings of those at camp and had an action packed week of fun activities both on and off the water.
With ages ranging from 7-13 years, camp attracted sailors of all abilities, from those just able to sail a triangle to National Squad sailors, with a third having sailed at Regional Squad level or above this year.
Sailors were placed into one of the 3 mixed ability teams, team leaders and names were decided upon and team points were awarded throughout the week for achievement, effort and good deeds both on and off the water.
Coached in ability groups there was no shortage of wind and for the first 3 days sailors took to the water soon after the 9am briefing, some having already taken part in the traditional early morning swim (for team points!) At the end of each day almost everyone took part in a race series with those new to racing supported round the course by their coaches.
Wednesday evenings' club racers joined us, many staying on to experience both the friendly atmosphere of camp as well as the delicious food. Throughout the week parent helpers prepared, served and cleared up close to 1000 tasty and nutritious meals in the extended kitchen – an incredible achievement.
By Friday the winds had built and were gusting 40mph. Several tents had succumbed to the elements, but undeterred, 18 sailors were able to test their skill and gain valuable experience of high wind sailing whilst the remaining groups got stuck into theory and rope work in the clubhouse.
Fridays prize giving saw each child being commended and receive their certificate and highly valued camp hoodie! The sailors placed 1st and 2nd in the race series from each coaching group were:
Gold/Silver: 1st Jamie Harris (BCYC) 2nd Rosie Williamson (Bowmoor)
Silver/Bronze 1st Matthew Brown (Bowmoor) 2nd David Nunn (Bowmoor/CBYC)
Bronze 2: 1st Phoebe le Marquand (St Catherines) 2nd Ben Wood (Bowmoor)
Bronze 1: 1st Barty Gray (Bowmoor) 2nd Alex Knatchbull (Bowmoor)
Copper 2: 1st Christian Conlan (Bowmoor) 2nd Lucy Strover (Bowmoor)
Copper 1: 1st Bertie Barker (Bowmoor) 2nd Sam Gregory (Bowmoor)
The team prize for the most team points was awarded to the ‘Super Seals' led by Sarah Bibby (Oxford SC).
Since camp, the committee have received a lot of positive feedback – here are a few of the comments received:
"Thanks for a brilliant week. We all agree it was the best holiday we have had for a long time and we do have some great holidays."
"Our daughter is booming with confidence. An amazing transformation from the girl who would not go sailing."
"Can I please say a big thank you for last week and making us all feel at home. I was a little out of my comfort zone but we were all made to feel very welcome."
"Many thanks to everybody for making us so welcome and entertained- it was a great few days and we look forward to next year's!"
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