Paul Clements – Obituary

Paul Clements was a sailor of exemplary skill gained from a lifetime of yacht and dinghy racing which he undertook with boundless energy and passion. His enthusiasm was infectious, and combined with his generous “she’s rigged so you may was well take her out” approach meant that he was regarded as a mentor by many, so lengthy debriefs in the bar and by email would follow any sailing outing.

Born on 25th April 1955, Paul gained his sea legs before he could walk by being lashed to his father’s yacht on trips out of Poole harbour. He sailed at Parkstone Yacht Club in Cadets and 420s, and later Merlin Rockets. As a youth sailor he became the 420 National champion twice as a crew and went to two world championships as part of the Youth squad, in a class that he would return to many years later when married to Liza. The young crews who they sailed against were greatly perplexed when this much older couple turned up and finished consistently in the top ten.

Paul’s yachting experience included a few years as a yacht bum that only ended when his father force-marched him back to university to complete his engineering degree which led to a career in aeronautical engineering at Rolls Royce in Bristol.

As a young man Paul sailed in the infamous 1979 Fastnet Yacht Race and his jaw-dropping account of it is an incredible story of seamanship and survival.  His yacht was rolled twice, swamped, all its navigation equipment was destroyed and the majority of the crew laid-low with seasickness, hypothermia and injury. Paul too was injured when the yacht was rolled whilst he was attached by his lifeline to the backstay. When the yacht came upright he found himself at the top of the mast and he then fell to the deck below.

Paul owned and raced “Super Nova” for a number of years in the competitive quarter-ton class where he won many trophies.

For 20 years Paul sailed with Liza at Portishead SC in 420s, and later in the Buzz and the Spice (winning the nationals a number of times in both classes) until the arrival of children meant that Liza stopped sailing. And it’s here that he also became one of the first proponents of the Musto Performance Skiff. Conditions at Portishead were not suitable for the Musto so they moved to Chew. Paul’s mastery of the Musto (he was the Grand Master National Champion in 2009) meant that Paul was then well placed to coach others from Chew including Graham Crandford Smith and Chris Goldhawk who followed in his footsteps. Teenagers would marvel wide-eyed at his antics, and then be amazed when he would get back to shore and insist they have a go.

Paul swapped the Musto for an RS800 which he and I sailed together for a number of years. Our many memorable moments include the most thrilling sailing I have ever done: sailing in the Europeans at Lake Garda.

Always looking for the next challenge, Paul moved from RS800 to the Cherub, buying the notorious “Shiny Beast” and then joining the Cherub fleet in their antics around the country. At the Pwllheli Nationals his stand–out performance was entering the wellie throwing competition with a throw that also resulted in him dislocating his shoulder – Paul would always push everything to the extreme and often beyond.

Chew also provided the perfect environment for Paul to introduce his son Ian to sailing in the Access 303. Of course they had to sail competitively and they went on to win the Nationals.

Paul was a great mate and I feel privileged to have sailed with him. Paul will be missed by Liza and their sons Simon, Mark and Ian. Details of the memorial service on 1st May are here.

Richard Hole

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CLVSC No. 43


Ellie Cumpsty is UK National Champion


Ellie has just won the UK Youth laser Radial Championship and will go on to represent Great Britain at the World Championships. The other Chew sailors performed well in this event which represents some of the best of British sailing. Simon Cummins describes the week:

Last Updated (Tuesday, 22 April 2014 18:06)

Read more...


Duty updates

New Duties:

We have now added duties to the 31st of November 2014.

Thursday Evenings:

We have added 2 unallocated Rescue Helm duties between Thurday the 5th of June and Thursday the 10th of July.  The Rescue Helm's will be a combind O.O.D./Rescue Helm.  If can can volunteer for some of these evenings the please email me with the dates that you can do.

Many thanks,
Duty Sec.
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Last Updated (Monday, 21 April 2014 11:11)


Commodore's Blog

Paul Clements 1955-2014

It is with great sadness that I have to bring to you the news that Paul Clements died yesterday. 

Our thoughts are very much with Liza and Paul's three sons Simon, Mark and Ian at this dreadful time.

Last Updated (Sunday, 20 April 2014 17:18)


Welcome to Chew Valley Lake Sailing Club

Sail for Gold Regatta - Follow the action

Chew Valley Lake is the biggest inland waterway in the south-west of England and a great place to sail.

The lake is situated on the northern edge of the beautiful Mendip hills, eight miles south of Bristol.

The picturesque surroundings make the lake a popular destination for walkers, picnickers, bird watchers and anglers as well as sailors.

On the water, the Club can easily cater for fleets of over one hundred boats and we have in the past been called upon to host many large events. Five separate slipways enable easy launching. Off the water, the clubhouse facilities include large changing rooms, hot showers, galley run by professional caterer (serving hot and cold lunches, light refreshments and drinks) at the weekends, a fully licensed bar and terrace overlooking the lake.

We also cater for disabled people with facilities on both floors and a lift.

The Club is open for sailing on Wednesday, Thursday and every weekend with racing held on Wednesday evenings and Sundays. Various sailing courses are held at the club including RYA training, various youth training, powerboat training, race officer training as well as more informal training run within each fleet. A selection of dinghies is also available for members to try.

If you are interested in joining the club then why not come down on a Saturday or Sunday, have a chat with one of our friendly members and have a look at what we have to offer. The good news is that you may not have to wait too long to join as sometimes we have vacancies throughout the year.


To put your suggestions to the committee click here for more details.


Wayfarer Twilight Race: Click here.

The January Newsletter is now online, download it here

Read about the BUSA Western Team Trials here

A new book about the History of CVLSC has now been produced, click here for the full story


The laser fleet have created some training videos. See them here

WiFi internet is now available in the club.