Goring beach is the perfect place for a Clarion picnic, as it caters for picnickers and non-picnickers alike – the non-picnickers being able to avail themselves of the excellent Sea Lane Café. On this particular day it was also hosting a fascinating display of windsurfers and sailboarders. Or windboarders and sailsurfers … hang on, what exactly do you call those things? Well, someone told me the people we were watching – people on surfboards holding onto a sort of kite thingy – were windsurfers and the alternative method (which was also in evidence) whereby a sail, similar to that on a yacht, is fixed onto the surfboard, is sailboarding. But this was contradicted by someone else later on. Help! Let’s see what Wikipedia has to say … well, Wikipedia says what we saw were kite-surfers, and that the other sort are known as windsurfers OR sailboarders. It includes an impressive history and (as you’d expect for an American invention) an awful lot about patenting and trademarks. But let’s not worry about that when we can look at the superb photographs, assuming that is that anyone took any …
In attendance, having arrived from various quarters, mostly by bicycle, were Clarion regulars, in alphabetical order: Amanda; Angela; Anne; Corinne; Fred; Ian; Jenny; Jim; Joyce; Linda; and two Sues (Bullock and Pringle). We were joined by John Wells-Deamer, who had participated in what must have been the shortest ever Clarion ride, on 4 March 2007 (report at http://homepage.ntlworld.com/i.bullock/clarion/archive_winter2006.html), from Glynde to … errr … nearly-the-top-of-the-hill-at-Glynde, at which point not only had the rain become seriously heavy but a bit fell off Jeff’s bike, and we decided to abandon the ride. John is hoping to try out a longer ride with us in the near future. On the way out of Goring we met another John (Clinton) who is leading the next ride, and I was able to hand him the book in which the ride is listed. Phew!
I was wearing my Clarion T-shirt on which is inscribed our motto “Fellowship is Life” as well as the anti-motto, “Lack of Fellowship is Death”. Sadly, we split up into two groups for most of the time, one lot outside the café and the other group about 30 metres away on a bench. There is no doubt in my mind which of these two groups was displaying Lack of Fellowship, and must therefore pay the ultimate penalty; it was of course the other lot. Later, when it brightened up, the T-shirt came off and I went in the sea, which was quite warm really though quite choppy. Only Sue Pringle accompanied me; others had various excuses.
Thanks to Angela for heroically taking on the organisation of this event. There was some discussion of next year’s “weekend ride”, which is likely to feature Cornwall and to be somewhat longer than a weekend. I’ll leave it to Angela to enlarge on that, though, at the appropriate time.