Club boats at anchor off Ringstead beach

It was a beautiful Bank Holiday Sunday morning and after a quick briefing in the clubroom Race officer Mark Bugler and family on Saskia VII lead the fleet of Squibs and cruisers out of the harbour. Unfortunately there was not enough wind for the Squibs to race so reluctantly the decision to cancel racing was broadcast and instead cruisers were requested to tow the Squibs to Ringsead.

The objective was to anchor in deep water close to the shore at the White Nothe end of Ringstead beach locally known as “Burning Cliff.”
Burning Cliff was so named after a landslip in 1826 triggered a spontaneous oil-shale fire which smouldered for several years. The Kimmeridge shale of this part of the coastline contains up to 70% organic material, which makes it burn easily when it is fractured (a process currently being considered as a form of alternative energy, known as 'fracking'). A small fire is thought to happen somewhere in the area every few decades, burning in a series of small explosions and giving off oily, sulphurous fumes. However fortunately there were no cliff fires or explosions last Sunday!
Twelve cruisers, five squibs and the club Wayfarer all made it to Ringstead. After everyone had either successfully anchored or attached themselves to an anchored cruiser it was the job of the RIB team to get everyone and their gear ashore. Many thanks to Ian and Katherine Thomas and Brian Hillson for working hard to ensure everyone made it ashore without getting too wet!
I counted over sixty members, friends and family making it quite a large beach party! Fifteen BBQ’s were lit and we all basked in brilliant sunshine with near to zero wind. It was so hot it was not long before both adults and children were in the water. Thanks to Pauline Edge and Andy Whitlaw for providing four Stand Up Paddle boards for members to use. The boards were an instant hit with young and old alike. The children loved playing on the boards and seemed to eclipse the older members in the tricky art of paddle boarding. Adults used the excuse of having a higher centre of gravity but it was more likely they simply lacked the youngster’s courage and finesse. However paddle boarding antics did amuse assembled party on the beach. I awarded cruiser class captain Nick Munson with the dismount of the day for his back flip of the end of the board.

Eventually it was time to leave the beach and once again the Squib race had to be cancelled due to lack of wind. The RIB team did a sterling job getting us back to our boats before we motored back to Weymouth in time for a last drink at the bar. I was unable to award to trophy to the winning Squib but nobody was disappointed as we all felt like winners for having enjoyed such a rare event as a sunny Bank Holiday in Weymouth.

Mark Bugler Saskia VII

Submitted on Tuesday, 29th August