Why they're celebrating at Hastings and St Leonards Sailing Club
Like many sports organisations, the activities of Hastings and St Leonards Sailing Club were severely curtailed by the Covid-19 pandemic.
Only since July has any form of racing started again and the club’s social activities remain largely on hold.
The new Commodore for 2020, Philip Blurton, said: “It was sad to come into the role of commodore to oversee the cessation of most of our activities.
"Fortunately, sailing has started once more, much of it relying on sailors using their own boats and under their own initiative.
“Our racing is currently on a more informal basis than previously. A real positive has been the inclusion of sailors who may have been put off in the past by our usual structured and more procedural approach, although we intend to be back to a full sailing programme in the future.”
Other positive news is that the club has been able to celebrate the purchase of a new powerboat that will be officially welcomed over the August bank holiday weekend.
Additionally, the club’s longest serving members, Ann and Don Bowles, provided cause for celebration when they marked the occasion of 60 years of marriage. Ann and Don have been members of the club since 1958, long before many current members were born.
Don acknowledged that it had been an unusual first meeting when they were both about 17.
Ann was swimming in a competition at Bexhill swimming pool and he tipped a bucket of cold water over her to gain her attention - it has been plain sailing ever since!
Ann and Don sailed together locally, nationally and internationally in the 505 Fleet.
Club member, David Gain, made a commemorative plaque that was presented to Ann and Don along with flowers, on behalf of the club, on their anniversary.
Although Ann and Don no longer sail, they both still watch the racing on Sundays from the seafront and Don, who has been Commodore twice, continues to serve on the club’s sailing committee.
Blurton said: “Ann and Don are a wonderful example of long term commitment to each other and the club..”
Find out more about sailing at the club at www.hastingssc.org