Category Archives: General

Advanced Notification of Burnham Sailing Club pontoon access code change.

Hi all, we’re planning on updating the combination codes to the Pontoon and other gates around the club at the end of the month (Sunday Eve 30th June). If you are a current member and require access please contact any of the following for new codes:

Myself James VanSchagen

Sally Harbott                 

Liz Tolhurst                    

John Paul                       

Fiona Fraser                  

Andrew Hutcheon         

Lucy Heathfield              (SUPs)

Roger Simmons              (Kayaks)

Many Thanks James V

2017 St Mathew Cup

2017 St Mathew Challenge Cup

Sunday 16th July saw the four Burnham on Crouch clubs competing for the 2017 St Mathew Cup.

The St Mathew Challenge Cup was originally presented by the Officers and Personnel of HMS St Mathew stationed in Burnham on Crouch during WWII. The cup has been competed for annually since 1947 with each club taking it in turn to host the event in a format of their choice.

Club No. of wins (1947 – 2016)
Royal Corinthian Yacht Club (RCYC) 28
Burnham Sailing Club (BSC) 24
Royal Burnham Yacht Club (RBYC) 11
United Hospitals Sailing Club* 5
Crouch Yacht Club (CYC) 2

*moved away from Burnham at the end of the 90’s

This year it was the turn of the Royal Burnham Yacht Club who decided on a team racing format in their 80+ year-old Royal Burnham One Designs with two boats allocated to each club.

The 8-10kt WSW breeze provided classic RBOD conditions with a perfect foul tide beat. Team BSC comprised:

 Red Jacket (2)                 Beryl (14)

Ian Gray                               Ben Harden

Ian Simons                          Dylan McPherson

Ellen Morley                       Daniel Wastnage

A maximum of three races could be helmed by any one person so Ian shared the helm with Ellen and Ben with Dylan.

The clubs raced each other in a “Round Robin” on a windward leeward course of two laps.  The BSC’s first race was against team RBYC and although not getting the best start, helms Ben and Ian soon got to grips with team racing tactics and sailed brilliantly to cross the line first and second.

Race 2 saw the BSC up against the RCYC. This was a particularly tough race with the RCYC getting the better of the BSC although not without a failed protest from the BSC on the grounds of a boat interfering with another on a different leg of the course (not permitted in team racing rules). However, a lesson to all – if you are going to protest make sure you identify the correct sail number! But it did not matter – in the BSC’s third race we managed to secure first and second places meaning we were in the “race off” for first and second overall against our hosts, the RBYC.

The first beat was tense with lots of covering and place changes. As they approached the leeward mark one of the RBYC boats managed to get an overlap, gybed onto starboard and forced both BSC boats to take penalty turns, leaving us in 3rd and 4th with the two RBYC boats clear ahead sailing towards victory. However, the race was far from over, the BSC boats somehow managing to come back at them on the run towards the finish and Ben brilliantly got an overlap to luff one of the RBs past the finishing line allowing Ian and Ben to cross the line in 1st and 2nd.

But it didn’t finish there – a protest over the incident at the first leeward mark led to two hours deliberation by a protest committee who eventually deemed that one of the BSC boats had not taken the penalty turn at their first opportunity and disqualified the BSC, declaring the RBYC winners of the 2017 St Mathew Cup.

Whilst the outcome will be debated long and hard in the bars of the clubs for weeks to come, there are few who can remember a more intensely contested or enjoyable St Mathew Cup.

The BSC team proved to be formidably strong and sailed brilliantly on the day. They were absolutely fantastic and I would like to say thanks to Ian, Ian, Ellen, Ben, Dylan and Daniel for representing the BSC and doing us proud.

(Photos courtesy of Alan Hanna)

Results (winners)

Round Robin                                      Finals

RCYC     v              CYC

RBYC      v              BSC

RBYC     v              CYC                        1st/ 2nd                   RBYC     v              BSC

RCYC     v              BSC                        3rd/4th                    RCYC     v              CYC

BSC        v              CYC

RBYC     v              RCYC


Dear All,

A couple of postings have been made on the BSC FaceBook page today regarding the use and mis-use of the pontoon.

Basically, it is a private pontoon for the use of BSC members ONLY. All members must wear a suitable buoyancy aid or lifejacket when on the pontoon and be aware that it is potentially slippery. The pontoon is available to members for the purposes of sailing associated activity at all times – not just Wednesdays and Fridays. No overnight mooring or mooring by heavy vessels is permitted.

The floodgate is presently not locked so there is no restriction regarding access. Please treat the pontoon with respect at all times.

The committee is very aware that the pontoon is attractive to youngsters but it is not a lido, we do not have staff to provide supervision for unauthorised users and are therefore unable to and do not permit unauthorised use.

If there are any unauthorised people on the pontoon we recommend to politely inform them that it is a private pontoon, that they are trespassing and that there is a public pontoon outside of the Anchor public house.

We are aware of occasions when the pontoon has been abused, rubbish deposited and damage inflicted. Furthermore, there have been occasions when our members have suffered verbal abuse from a minority of people. The Committee has therefore decided to install gates on the pontoon to deter trespassers. These will be installed soon.

The gates will be opened by keycode to which members will have access. The lifeboat station will also be informed of the keycode for emergency access.

Finally, whilst the FaceBook page is a fantastic way to coordinate and inform, can I ask members to try and avoid using it to discuss club policy. This is best done directly via a Committee Member rather than on a public forum.

Thanks and kind regards,

John Saunders