My sailing story – Beryl Dyton

"We are going to learn to sail" Roy informed me one day in 1996 when I enquired why he planned to retrieve an
old Mirror dinghy with a hole in the hull from a neighbour’s front garden and bring it round to ours. "What me?"
I replied. We were both in our early 50s and neither of us had any experience of sailing. Being a dutiful wife, I
agreed and the next step was to go to CYE at Cobnor, with our two married daughters, for a taster family day.

It was suggested that at our age it would be good to learn to sail in the warm water of the Med and our first
tuition was at Sun Sail in Greece. We had a great time – we were hooked - so began a new phase of our lives.
We lived in Guildford and found Dell Quay Sailing Club with it’s notice ‘new members welcome’ on a tour around
the harbour to find somewhere we could sail our newly refurbished Mirror. Everyone welcomed us especially
those whose boats were near to ours in the dinghy park and we met more people by joining in working
weekends and dinghy day cruises.

Roy soon realised that the Mirror wasn’t fast enough and, encouraged by a visit to the London Boat Show, we
bought a Laser 2000, the first of many at DQ. This was a great boat to sail with plenty of room to move around
and the excitement of an asymmetric genneker. Roy went on a training weekend to learn how to use it and we
both did RYA training on a Neilsen holiday in Grenada in the Caribbean as a treat for our 60th birthdays. We
joined DQ L2K class events and I enjoyed the exhilaration of racing until quite recently.

When we retired, we moved to West Wittering to be nearer to Dell Quay and joined in more club activities. Roy
became Club Secretary and I joined the House Committee. This gave me the chance to give back to the Club
which had changed my life!! I enjoyed the planning and preparation for Club events and made more friends of
all ages. I have been a Duty Officer, Galley Supervisor, Patrol Boat Crew and recorder at Regattas. I have also
participated in some of the WOW activities and have had fun with other ladies.

I am grateful to our DQ Cruiser friends who have kindly invited us to sail with them in the Solent and across
Channel and for many years we had the privilege of sailing holidays with Bill Munnery and DQ dinghy sailors in
Greece, Turkey and Croatia.

I enjoy being the crew and are still not very confident as a helm but last summer as a lockdown project we
renovated a 30yr old Keyhaven Scow dinghy which had been garaged for eight years and so Roy and I were able
to sail together despite Covid restrictions. This is a small, stable boat in which I feel safe. I have found over the
years that wearing the appropriate clothing as given me confidence as when I am warm I feel safe.

Another great experience has been to be part of the Race Team at Fed Week (now Chichester Harbour Race
Week) at Hayling Island Sailing Club. I would recommend getting involved with this week of sailing either
competing or on the support team – free lunch and T shirts are provided. Here is a photo taken by Sue Manning
of some of the team from DQ in 2017.