Celebrating everything that the members achieved in 2017 and after the festive season had passed, members gathered in the Kippford Village Hall on Saturday for the Club’s annual prize-giving and winter social. This year the Club’s special guest was Councillor Davie Stitt, known to many from his role on the Stewartry Sports Council.
Launching the celebrations, the Club Commodore, Ian Purkis, presented a review of all the Club’s 2017 activities with a photo and video montage of the highlights. He went on to give the members the great news that the Club has been awarded a grant by the Holywood Trust to buy two new training boats, aimed particularly at bringing local children into the sport.
Then the prize-giving, narrated by the Sailing Secretary, Lindsay Tosh with Councillor Stitt presenting the series prizes before the incoming Cadet Officer, Joanne Harris said a few words. Handing over to the 2018 Cadet Captains, Huw Williams and Lilli Bell, they presented the Club’s two special Cadet awards, the Sally Hampton Trophy for the greatest contribution to the Cadet fleet, on and off the water, jointly awarded to Ellie Rowand and Hannah Davison, and the Cadet Boat Handling Trophy to James Bishop. Then back to Davie Stitt, for the overall Club Championship awards, the Juniors going to Pip Howie and Louisa Birdsall and the overall winner to Stewart Biggar. Well done to all them all!
Once all that was over, it was the culmination of a new competition; The Great Solway Yacht Club Scottish Bake-off! Over the previous days, members had been challenged to produce a baking masterpiece for judging on the day. It was “anything goes”, but judging would include SYC, sailing and nautical themes. Entrants displayed their creations and were invited to “speak to their works” to explain their theme. Only two did, Willie Patterson launching into a lecture on the history, and his tribute, to the first successful steamboat, the “Charlotte Dundas”.
Willie explains, “My culinary contribution (The 'Banauti Dundas') was a celebration of the first ever application of a steam engine in a sailing vessel. This took place on Dalswinton Loch in 1788 after the estate's owner Sir Patrick Millar commissioned local mining engineer William Symington to adapt one if his mining engines to fit a pleasure craft. That craft acted as the prototype for the “Charlotte Dundas” which become the first ever successful commercial application of a steam engine in a towing boat. After Sir Patrick Millar died Dalswinton Estate was purchased by Sir David Langdale of Jardine Matheson fame and it was his family who were the original donors of the Holywood Trust who have just awarded a substantial grant to the Solway Yacht Club to purchase two new training boats to help, encourage and train local children to join the club and learn to sail.”
Gavin Phillips now from Dalbeattie but once from Down Under, then spoke to his creation, addressing the judges, now chaired by Davie Stitt, as “Members of the Admiralty” and explaining how his ship has sails made of cabbage leaves so the crews could eat them to prevent scurvy!
All very creative but the Judges had the hard task; selecting the winners. Best cadet entry went to 3-year-old Katie Gasgoigne (with a little help from Mum, Jane) but the overall prize was for Margaret Purkis’ Solway Yacht Club in miniature, complete with boat shaped Bakewell tartlets, rigged with chocolate masts and rice-paper sails, afloat, wobbling on a sea of jelly, surrounded by rock-(cakes!). Close inspection even revealed fish and a sea snake beneath the waves.
All great fun and the Club looks forward to another great year in 2018. Look out for the Club’s Open Day on Sunday 29th April.