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Chew Juniors at Portishead Topper Open:

Five juniors from Chew made the short hop to Portishead SC for their Topper Open meeting last Sunday. The event was part of the SW Topper Travelers trophy and open to anyone with a Topper and keen to compete (see:

There were 22 boats from across the SW each enjoying 3 races of about 30 minutes each over a triangular course, one before lunch (burgers etc...even for the parents !) and 2, back_to_back, after.

Chew did well. Noah Sheriff won the 4.2 fleet and took home a well deserved box of chocs.
In the main fleet the competition was even tougher. Frances Fox in her first Open event did brilliantly, despite a defunct self bailer she recorded a great result in first race and an impressive start in the second before the bailer finally gave up and she had to abandon ship!
Meanwhile Murray Scott, Oli Martindale and Freya Cumpstey battled out through the remaining races.
Great competition and much learnt by all, with Freya coming 3rd overall and Oli 5th - and yet more chocolates....!

The next event in the SW is our own Open at Chew on Sun 31st August. All Chew juniors able to negotiate a triangular course should give it a go. (preceded by some SW training on Sat 30th).
Details will be sent to all Chew Crew, or available direct from me.

Nick Martindale


Chew sailors do it again

At the Laser Masters Championships, Peter Sherwin has become the Laser Grand Masters National Champion, and not for the first time. Julian Cooke was a very creditable 10th overall and Steve Smith 3rd in the highly competitive Laser Radial fleet. (Steve also practices a lot but is probably only up to 7500 times per manoeuvre, just watch the next two years). Congratulations to all.


Stop Press: Shimell wins K1 Open

John Shimell has won the K1 Open meeting at Teign Corinthian Yacht Club against a fleet of 14 boats. He had two race wins to emphatically take the series. Well done, John!Stop Press: Shimell wins K1 Open


Chew Sailors Compete at the Flying Fifteen Nationals


In possibly the biggest ‘away fixture’ of the year, seven boats from the Chew Flying Fifteen fleet set off last weekend for an excellent National Championships at Parkstone Yacht Club. The forecast leading up to the event was for great weather – sun and plenty of breeze – and it didn’t disappoint.

The event got off to a slightly shaky start for some. It turns out stepping the mast on a Fifteen can be a risky procedure in a force 5, and a broken mast isn’t the best news to greet your crew with when he arrives for a championship! Thankfully a rapid delivery from P&B and a few hours with the toolkit sorted that one out!

Saturday morning and a fleet of 54 boats made the long sail out from Poole Harbour past the chain ferry and into the bay where the sun was shining and there was a nice force 3-4 blowing. Two races were run on a sausage-triangle-sausage course, in an increasing wind. The reigning World Champions set the pace with two first places – something we got used to seeing during the whole event. Best Chew result for the day was Ian Cadwallader and Dave Sweet with a 4th in the first race. Bill Chard and Simon Hawkes briefly saw the front of the fleet in race 2 but slipped back to 6th at the finish.

Sunday dawned with more fantastic conditions, with the wind building from 8 knots to 24 by the end of race 4 and some reasonably big waves. After missing out through illness on day 1, Mike Thompson and Lynne Adams made a comeback recording a 17th place in race 3. Ian and Dave were consistent with a 5th and a 7th, and top Chew result for the day was a 3rd from Bill and Simon. At the end of day 2 there were two Chew boats in the top 6.

Although less wind was forecast on Monday, in the end the fleet still enjoyed good sailing. Eventual overall winners Graham Vials and Chris Turner were still unbeaten but in race 5 Ian and Dave won the port end of the line at the start, having anticipated a big left shift 10 seconds into the race, tacked and crossed the whole fleet. They proceeded to lead the race until the final leg when Vials and Turner just pipped them to the finish. At the daily prizegiving that evening another Chew boat was in the limelight with Russell Abrahams and Mike Pearce winning the prize for most improved team.

The final day saw much less wind but after a short delay on shore the race officer had us back out in the bay hopeful of getting in another two races. In the end, after 5 attempted starts in a fickle wind that swung by 50 degrees or more, only one race was completed. Ian and Dave took this one – the only team apart from Vials and Turner to win a race all week. As soon as we’d finished, the heavens opened and we all got a good soaking before a long sail back to the club in a light breeze. Having finally got used to their new sails, this time it was Robert Pitts and Julie Jackson who won the most improved prize for their 30th place in race 7.

It was a great event for Chew. Ian and Dave improved on a very good result last year, with a 3rd overall in a very competitive fleet. Apart from the winners they were the only team to record all 7 race results in the top 10. Everyone had their good results and it was particularly good to see improvements throughout the week.

The finishing positions for all the Chew boats were:

3rd: Ian Cadwallader and Dave Sweet

11th: Bill Chard and Simon Hawkes

29th: Mike Thompson and Lynne Adams

36th: Russell Abrahams and Mike Pearce

41st: Danny Pilgrim and Josh Preater

48th: Peter Gifford and David Nash

50th: Robert Pitts and Julie Jackson

Chew was almost the largest visiting fleet, and I know there were other Chew boats who would have like to be there but had prior commitments. If you were there, thanks for a great week - the sailing and social were great fun – take a look at Sailing Scenes for loads of great pictures like the one above and see if you can find one for your wall or PC desktop! If you weren’t there this year, come and join us in 2015 for hopefully an even bigger Chew team.

Before then, the next outing for some of the fleet is Falmouth Week in August – someone else will have to report on that one though, as I’m staying at home for A-Level and AS-Level results day!

If any non-FF sailors are inspired to have a go after reading this, please give me a call and I’m sure we can arrange a sail.

Bill Chard.


Commodore's Blog


10,000 hours

In his book “Outliers” Malcolm Gladwell develops the notion that success is not just something that automatically happens. However, one theme he develops is the notion that if you do something for 10,000 hours you get quite good at it.

We have seen John Shimmel win a K1 Open event. If you go to the Club anytime there is sailing you will likely have seen John out practising. I doubt if he has done 10,000 hours but he has done a lot. Steve Smith takes time to practice whenever he can and he has just finished third in the Laser Radial National Championships including a race win. Peter Sherwin is the Laser Grand masters National Champion and I guess he has put a few hours in. The Toppers have done well at their Open at Portishead with Noah Sheriff  winning the 4.2 fleet and Freya Cumpsty and Oli Martindale doing well in the main fleet. No doubt they haven’t yet completed 10,000 hours but it is likely that the one that does will eventually be a champion. It’s only a good chunk more than a year.

Well done to you all and good wishes to anyone else venturing to compete in the outside world.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch I was interested in the Cabinet reshuffle and the comparison with our own Committee election due in the Autumn. We haven’t seen smartly dressed enthusiasts walking up to the Club to be welcomed into the inner sanctum to be given a job nor are we likely to. On the other hand the demotion-promotion system has some attraction. The Club still needs some help with the offices of Membership Secretary, Rear Commodore and all the component parts of the House and Grounds Committee.

And, by the way, where is Little Denny? We sailed over it last weekend and didn't hit it. It is so nice to have such an expanse of the lake for so long in mid-summer. It bodes well for the various Open evenys later in the summer.

Last Updated (Tuesday, 22 July 2014 08:22)


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Chew Valley Solo Open Report 2014

The May Newsletter is now online, download it here

NOR - Topper Open
SW Traveller Series
31st August 2014

Download NOR PDF


Ladies Day Report
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Wayfarer Twilight Race: Click 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

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