When all is said and done this Class is the most important of all for the Club and its future. It provides for initial experience on the water with proper instruction accenting on safety, on and in the river, sailing and racing tactics. It provides for our succession. Its success is dependent as much on the members in charge as on the young members and here the Club has been most fortunately served.
Duncan Waugh was Class Secretary for two years after Paddy Booth’s three years in charge from June 1961. When Duncan departed for New Zealand, Wendy Wagstaff took over for four years, June McFarlane for a year then came Geoff and Tro Rowarth who had five years before departing to New Zealand leaving it all to Walter and Ronnie McKinlay. To all these dedicated seniors, class secretaries and cadet officers, the Club is much indebted.
1961 was a most successful season with numbers increasing from 30 cadets in 14 Scows to 38 cadets in 18. In the prize winners were Michael Worthington, Nicky Perren, George Winder, Clare Rowe, Diana Booth, Elizabeth Law, David Hall, David Booth, Alison Waugh and Mike Derry with Nick Prior in CRUMPET.
Instruction in swimming, rowing and sailing took up four days in the Regatta Week with the accent on swimming.
In 1962 Harry Bird and Brian Berry joined the winners but there was a big exodus at the end of the season as our cadets grew older. In 1963 Richard Barnes and Piers Bierne were prize winners.
In 1964 there was talk of a more exciting craft which could be sailed by cadets of 15 and over. Several dinghies were test sailed and criticised. 1965 saw a fall in the number of helmsmen as expected. Only 4 were qualified and agreement was reached with the Corinthian Otters to hold some joint races. Cups were awarded by each club for the two series. Piers Bierne for the RBYC won our cup, Sara Goodman of the Otters won theirs.
When Duncan Waugh left for New Zealand in mid 1966 Lady (Joan) Worthington ”held the for” until the end of the season when Wendy Wagstaff took over the secretaryship.
After much nail biting and lengthy discussion, the 1967 Racing program for the R B Cadets was finally drawn up with the Corinthian
Otters, it being agreed that all races would be joint and all trophies and Otter Week racing open to both Clubs. Chris Noakes, David Melville, Paul Fleming (who was later to die tragically), Jennie Bird were very successful there were 17 Scows racing. John Gilpin joined in August and won the Junior Boys’ Points.
1968 was a much happier season stemming from the continuing inspired leadership of Wendy and David Wagstaff and the enthusiasm of the Class Captain Chris Noak’s. 12 Scows were in the class with a waiting list for another 4 boats. Stuart Galloway (PENNY) and John Gilpin (PIP) took honours.
Tremendous enthusiasm is the only description for 1969 with a good tempered tussle between the leading helmsmen, of whom John Gilpin swept the board. The R B fleet of Scows increased to 17 at the end of the season, the terrific success of R B Scow Week being largely due to Dr. Bill and Shirley Gilpin. The Cadets meeting place was the ”Snake Pit” which had been very well organised by Tim and Cathy Herring for a number of years. This year, the ”younger” generation, Nicky Prior, abetted by Harry Bird, took over. West Wight Scows on the river Crouch 1970’s
David and Wendy Wagstaff left Burnham at the end of 1969 on this high note. Wendy had taken over just after there had been a sudden loss of senior members as happens from time to time and had at once injected life, energy and enthusiasm into this important class. She maintained this attitude for these three years. It was most infectious and permeated the whole class. The Class and the Club have very good reason to be very grateful to her for such personal efforts. Wendy returned to Burnham and took over the secretaryship again at the end of 1983.
Geoffrey Rowarth agreed to become Cadet Officer from 1971, the interregnum being covered by June McFarlane. Paddy Booth agreed to look after the introduction of the Mirror dinghy to the Cadet class.
The situation in 1971 was that Corinthian Otters would sail Cadets and Scows and R B Cadets would sail Mirrors and Scows. Six Mirrors were racing as well as 22 Scows, in the R B fleet the team race against the Otters receiving full national press coverage. It so happened that two Cadets were rescued by a Club member, the Prime Minister in his Yacht MORNING CLOUD after they had capsized ”in rough seas off the Essex coast” otherwise known as Burnham Fairway.
The 1972 season started in boisterous style with enough breeze to make it Caroline Methven’s fourth time out as a Mirror crew before she realised that capsizing was neither obligatory nor inevitable! All Scows were now sailing with their new jibs and there were 20 in use.
A novelty was the appearance of a completely new all fibreglass version of the Scow from a local builder. As, on test, this sturdy little craft proved to be slightly faster on all points, it was not possible to accept individual Burnham Scows into the fleet. 44 boats took part in Regatta Week, a record, as was an instance in Otter Week, when 12 year old Stephen Herring completed the single handed race together with a red mullet which had just jumped into his Scow. This fish was also looking surprised!
There were now over 90 RB Cadets under 18, most of them active for a least part of the season, and the list of elected officers and committee members started to show an inclination to the distaff side. This situation meant that the rule denying full membership of the Royal Burnham to the ladies might come under pressure in the near future.
Two new Scows belonging to Charles Pitcher and Justin Tooth were launched in 1973 while the Mirror fleet grew to 12. Jackie Rowarth, Chris Booth, Piers Symes and the Galloway twins took honours. Kelvin Aqua, our friendly ”next door” chandlers, presented a cup for the crew who tried hardest during both race weeks. Thomas and Rodger Goodman won it in 1972: Annalisa Young and Emma Stokes this year. One ”bon mot” came from a protest meeting ”I was passing him when he luffed me, so I hit him”.
Two more new Scows joined the fleet the next year but Mirrors, now numbering 19, outnumbered the Scows, and of the fifteen Cadets (boats) five belonged to the R B Cadets, Nick Wood being most successful. Membership now exceeded 100 with newcomers proving to be every bit as promising as the more experienced ones and more swimming, rowing and helming certificates were awarded than ever before. 1975 Cadet Week reached a new peak 115 competitors in 20 Mirrors, 15 Scows and 14 Cadet dinghies.
Over the season, John Waples, Stephen and Andrew Herring, Louise Soloway, Jeremy Polturak were successful in Scows. Nick Wood likewise in Cadet dinghies and Piers Symes, Nick Hunter-Blair and Chris Booth in Mirrors.
And on this highnote Geoff Rowarth and his family ”took off” for New Zealand handing over to Walter McKinlay.