Spectators at the RS 200 Inland Championships at the Club this weekend saw the Club performing at its best organising a major event with 58 boats producing some very high class racing. The success depended on a large pool of volunteers who gave their time with obvious enthusiasm. The Race Officer, Keith Harris and his assistants managed the racing to a professional standard. Even the weather came up trumps with sunshine and a good breeze ahead of Hurricane Gonzalo.
Contrast this with a lovely summer Saturday afternoon when a number of families come down to the lake to enjoy the lake scenery, good company, a nice lunch and some sailing. Just as good in its own way. And try telling the Wednesday sailors they aren't quintessentially Chew and you will be quickly put in your place. The Club racers produce a high standard. The barometer we can use is the level our members reach when performing at National Championships. They do well. Just look at the honours board. For most of us mere mortals, though, it is simply the good racing and camaraderie of sailing at the Club which is such fun. Wednesday evening racing proves the point. We have a buoyant junior section, now known as the Chew Crew, which has spawned some good racers at the Club and even at World Championships. I hope the honours board is littered with their names in the next few years. Most won't reach such dizzy heights but learning to sail at this age gives them a lifelong ability to sail where and when they choose. CLADS continues to produce a good facility for disabled sailors entirely supported by a team of enthusiastic volunteers. It is always a pleasure to see them on the water enjoying their sport.
None of this happens by accident. The Club has a well tested Modus Operandi but it is only viable when supported by a large number of members who give of their time to oil the wheels in all sorts of ways. It is to them I want to offer my personal thanks. All of the substantial time given to the Club is well received. To those who have served on the various Club Committees my special thanks are given for they keep the Club running. Whilst the introduction of new and challenging ideas with a view to improving the Club is interesting, much of the time is spent on apparently very mundane matters. For example, enlarging the diameter of the water main was one of the most revolutionary changes in recent times: water came out of the showers in decent quantities and the Galley staff could fill a kettle in less than half an hour.
The Club is in a reasonably strong position but not such that it can rest on its laurels. Constant reappraisal of the status quo, challenging unproductive habits and renewing good ones is needed. New ideas and methods have to be reviewed and introduced if the Committee considers they will be beneficial. We will elect a new and exciting Committee on Wednesday who will, broadly speaking, run our affairs for the next three years. There will be some substantial challenges ahead. All of us can help the Committee by being supportive or critical and suggesting new ideas. From the Committee's point of view the most difficult thing to know is the view of the member sailing a "moderately priced boat" whatever that is. If you think your view doesn't count or is irrelevant, you're wrong. Keeping your ideas or grievances to yourself doesn't help the Club. Every member is equally important. The Annual General Meeting has an open forum where anyone can express a view. If you have an opinion or suggestion about any aspect of the Club you can air it then. You may have the best idea generated in years. Don't hide it under a bushel. The meeting is in two days time: Wednesday at 19.30 in the Clubhouse.
But the thing that has impressed me the most is how nice it is to meet so many people of all sorts of backgrounds and different interests in sailing and how much they obviously enjoy their time at the Club.
I hope this column, started by my predecessor, has helped to involve each reader a little more in the Club. If it has, job done and if it hasn't you're in luck, there's better coming.
Good luck to all of you in your sailing.
Last Updated (Monday, 20 October 2014 10:26)
Those of you who drive around the valley with your eyes open – and I hope you all do – cant fail to notice the Scarecrows that have been put in place again this year; some 129 of them in all.
Well that’s because the annual October appeal on behalf of a young lad named Harvey Hext, who is suffering from Neuroblastoma, is upon us again. I don’t intend to go into the details of his illness because these and details of his appeal can be found on his website by typing “Fan Harvey Hext – Justgiving” into your browser or Google.
Mary and I felt it about time that we both, together with the Sailing Club, got involved in this, a community charity and so we have made our own scarecrow. It now proudly stands at the outer entrance gate to the club. No, it’s not the best exhibit in the valley but it is there to draw your attention to the charity appeal. By the way it is supposed to represent Captain Pugwash as he would appear in modern day sailing apparel.
Our Commodore Mike Thompson has given his blessing to the club making a donation; something that I assume will require rubber stamping by the General Committee. Also a donation box is now sited on Georges Bar. I am sure George wont object!
All we ask is that you put in any spare change (or notes) that you may have in the box to support a deserving cause.
Brian and Mary Brooks H2
CVLSC Bart's Bash
In addition to online donations we collected £400.00 towards the Andrew Simpson Sailing Foundation. See the article on the back of the Chew Valley Gazette:
The "Photo Gallery" link on the left menu now takes you to the CVLSC Flickr page.
Topper Open Weekend– 30th/ 31st Aug 2014
Eight visitors joined nine Chew juniors for Topper race training last Saturday. This training was run by the SW Topper Association as a precursor to the Open meeting on Sunday. The sailors were split into two groups based on their experience and put through their paces by the RYA Coaches. They practiced starting techniques, upwind tactics and general boat handling before completing a short final race series. Despite the blustery conditions all enjoyed themselves and gained lots of top tips from the coaches.
On Sunday, 28 Toppers (including 13 Chew boats) enjoyed champagne conditions for the 2014 Open Meeting.
Racing got underway early with two races before lunch in 9 – 13mph breeze and factor 30 sunshine. James Hollis of Bartley SC took the early lead with a 1st and a 3rd closely followed by Hugo Hanson with a 4th and 1st. Chew boats were also in the mix with Kieran Moore leading the way and Murray Scott hot on his heels.
After lunch a further two races in slightly more breeze and yet more sunshine completed the series. James Bartley showed consistent form to record a 5th and 1st, equally consistent was Ellie Hutchings of Roadford recorded a good series with a 4th and a 2nd, securing 1st and 2nd overall respectively. Chew Boats were well represented in the final results with 4 boats in the top 10, led by Kieran Moore in 3rd.
Six Topper 4.2’s raced alongside the full rigs with some really close racing amongst the younger sailors with Miles Ripley at 9 years old and Eleanor Cooke, 10 years, competing in their first Open Meeting.
Lots of prizes courtesy of Rooster were enjoyed by competitors throughout the fleet, with special awards for those competing in their first Open event.
1st: James Hollis (Bartley SC)
1st 4.2: Noah Sheriff (Chew Valley LSC)
By Nick Martindale