Birmingham based sailing club start new ‘Bartley Beast’ event

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A Birmingham based sailing club has unveiled a new racing event called the Bartley Beast.

The event is open to both club members and visitors, allowing people to sail competitively in the winter.

From November 5, there will be four races held each month, with prizes being awarded to the first three places.

The first and third races will require teams of two for 50 and 45 minutes respectively, with the second and fourth being individual races for the same amounts of time.

Event organiser Nigel Hudson said: “It’s the first time we’ve run this event and it’s true to say the large number of people in the event will be club members, but we do hope to attract some externals and we have a number who have signed up already.

“We’re looking to run this event for a number of years so we really want to treat this one as a test event and hopefully this will grow and move on from there.

“We’re looking at having around 70 boats out so 40 single-handers and up to 30 doubles which is quite a lot of boats to run in one race on a lake the size of Bartley, but it should be fun.”

The sailing club was helped during the pandemic with funding from Birmingham City Council alongside a small business grant support from the Government.

When asked about if the event will contribute a good amount of money to the club, Hudson said: “Of course, we’re run as a members club and it’s a very small business in that sense, we have around 250 members and with clubs like this it’s always marginal, we’re trying to make as much as we can from that and give the people as much sailing as we can and make sure we earn enough to run the club.

“Open events are important because they help that and over the last two years it’s been pretty tough but actually, we seem to have retained a lot of members.

“Since opening up again, numbers are down in terms of open events as people aren’t tending to travel around the country and go to these events as much as they normally would do but there is a hardcore that do and I think as we go forward over the course of the next year, hopefully we’ll get more used to living with this new world and we can start to make it work.”

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