Otter Week 2019 14 Aug 2019
Otter Week 2019 – a week with a lot going on!
With an ambitious programme packed full of sailing and entertainment the only thing left to chance for Otter Week 2019 was the weather – and it certainly didn’t disappoint!
Varied conditions brought some incredibly challenging racing testing sailors of all abilities. Light winds on the Sunday gave even the most experienced of sailors a tough time getting the boats moving. Steadily building winds throughout Monday to Wednesday saw all sailors pushed to their limits with some excellent, albeit exhausting, racing. What we needed next was a break and right on time conditions abated for the traditional Thursday Long Distance Race with just enough wind but not too much so as to ruin the picnic! Friday brought much stronger winds and it is fair to say that all sailors were put through their paces!
Away from the race course there were also some testing activities, with the Otter Water Games bringing out the competitive spirit in everyone where there was simply no holding back! A well-adapted Treasure Hunt saw the Otters searching high and low for clues, whilst brandishing a variety of water guns, both on land and on the water. Pretty much everyone got totally soaked, but they were rewarded with the Treasure – a huge box of sweets!
After racing on Tuesday morning the afternoon was spent in a more relaxing fashion, with the junior sailors going to Keeway at Creeksea for organized games and a dip in the pool. Meanwhile the senior sailors were certainly not left out, with a trip to Parlour Cafe to have a casual afternoon playing disc golf where they quickly learned that Frisbees don’t swim very well!
The evening activities again showed the Otter’s talent, with the fancy dress resulting in some truly amazing homemade costumes along with the creative team efforts from both River 1 and the Pond groups. Led by the Otter President, Judy Waples, the Judges were given a very difficult task in deciding the overall winners. Joined this year by the Mayor of Burnham, Wendy Stamp, who was thrilled at having received an invite to such a prestigious event, they eventually crowned the winners before everyone headed upstairs for a delicious takeaway style meal. The evening didn’t end there though with the traditional Otter games next on the agenda with Otters being wrapped up as Egyptian Mummys and a hugely entertaining pop the balloon contest. The highlight of the evening however was when our Otter, Ryan, won the musical chairs competition over one of the visiting sailor – the cheers were deafening and even our visitor seemed pleased!
Otter Week first and foremost is about EVERYONE having fun so it was only fitting that the parents and helpers working so hard during the week to make the event a success were rewarded with a drink (or two) at the Commodore’s Reception and the President’s Pimms party. It seemed that they all had a good time if the number of empty wine bottles and smiling faces was anything to go by!!
Sadly Otter Week did eventually have to come to a close – but of course this was done in style! 210 sailors and parents sat down to the traditional Bangers and Mash prepared by Simon before a dazzling Prize-Giving event with sailors rewarded for their brilliant performances in all fleets. As always prizes were awarded not just for sailing prowess, but also for sportsmanship and of course, for the Pond Group, the coveted Capsizing trophy…
Prize Giving gave way to the now infamous Will Palmer disco where the Otters danced with as much gusto as they had sailed with. As the final bars of Wonderwall played (the traditional last dance featuring every single Otter on the dance floor) people were already starting to discuss the date for Otter Week 2020. Oh yes – we will all be there!
So that was Otter Week, a week of brilliant sailing, fun activities and excellent team spirit!
The Otter Flag Offices would like to thank all the parents and volunteers who gave up their time to be involved in making Otter Week 2019 a truly fantastic event.