Sailing Club News – Tuesday 01-Dec-20

Well, I am sure I don’t have to tell any of you the good news from tomorrow!
My problem is working out exactly how it will change my life with the exception of – we can get back to sailing!! (Well some of us can – which is truly a sad state of affairs.)

As explained in the last news, the first bookable sailing days will be this weekend – Saturday 4th and Sunday 5th December. The booking email will be sent out on Thursday. Apart from being a little chilly, there should certainly be some wind on both days….
Rob will have the galley up and running, and we are hoping to be able to resume racing on Sunday.

Sadly I have to remind you all of the government guidelines:-

The Government’s Covid winter plan published on 23 November confirmed the allocation of 3 Tiers within which there is specific guidance on what activity is allowable. The Tier applicable to the Sailing Club will be confirmed in the booking email, and is within Tier 2 as of 2nd December 2020.
Those living in Tier 1 and Tier 2 areas should avoid travel to Tier 3 areas but you can pass through as part of a longer trip. Those living in Tier 3 areas are advised against travelling out of their area. Those living in Tier 2 and Tier 3 areas should aim to reduce the number of journeys they make.
If you are in Tier 3 you should not plan to travel to the club. If you have a rostered duty please advise us as soon as possible so we can seek a replacement.

The RYA have published FAQs on the new rules in line with the Government’s Winter Plan which you may also be interested to read.

Volunteers will be needed once again

The Tier restrictions will mean that many scheduled duty personnel in December will be unable to carry out their duties.
Please would any of you in the Tier 2 areas consider volunteering to fill a slot and so facilitate our Back to Sailing plan. If you are willing to do this, please send an email to Tom Skailes at

Also we are hoping to run the two seasonal trophy races – the Tap Trophy on Boxing Day and the Resolution Trophy on New Years day. These events are always run by volunteers. If you are prepared to volunteer as part of the race team or Rescue Helm on either day, please Andrew Jones or I know at or

Annual Prize Giving – 7pm Saturday 12-Dec-20

Covid restrictions have curtailed much of our racing activity and put paid to our traditional end of year prizegiving.
However, not to be defeated, we will still be celebrating those that have been successful over the year with a ‘virtual’ prizegiving to be held on Zoom from 7pm on Saturday 12-Dec-20.

As an added attraction, we will be joined by Mark Rushall, who will give us a brief talk about his sailing experiences and lessons learnt.
Many of you will already know of Mark, but for those that don’t, he is a vastly experienced and successful dinghy racer with successes that include winning the BUSA Team Racing Championships (4 times), multiple national dinghy and big boat championships and runner up in the Fireball Worlds (twice).
He coached the successful Paralympic Sonar team at the Beijing and London 2012 Olympics, and was the Team Strategist for the Bristish Sailing Team’s campaign for their highly successful 2016 Games in Rio. He now works as a well established sailing coach, mentor, author and sailing journalist, and is currently working on strategies for both Tokyo in 2021, and Marseille in 2024.

He’s quite good!!

Zoom codes etc. will be communicated by email prior to the evening.
So, please mark your diaries and join us to hear what Mark’s got to say, applaud your fellow racers, cheer our Trophy winners, and maybe share a drink or two over Zoom!

Andy Jones – Vice Commodore.

News from the Sailing Committee

Although the recent lockdown prevented the club opening and any sailing activity, it seems to me that the weather would not have been particularly amenable for sailing over the last month, with a succession of extreme winds (strong and light) seeming to dominate most weekends. Hopefully the future months will bring us more suitable weather.

Return to Racing Series 3

As we again return to the water, we are drawing a line under the previous racing series and starting a new, return to racing series 3. The format will be as previously, two races back to back starting from 11am. We will be continuing with 2 course options for the handicap fleet, with a windward leeward course for those that prefer that as well as a conventional course option. As the committee boat is now out of the water, it may not be always possible to set a ‘pure’ windward leeward course, but we will strive to get as close as possible.

New starting sequence

One important change for this series is that for this series we will be trialling an alteration the normal starting sequence to better reflect the relative laser, 4.7 and radial handicaps over a typical race.

As a consequence, the first start in the sequence will now be the Laser fleet start: any 4.7s racing will start two minutes after the 6 minute warning signal, and any radials 4 minutes into the countdown sequence, giving them each a 4 and 2 minute start ahead of the ‘actual’ laser start.

3 minutes after the laser start the handicap fleet will all start, and three minutes later the final start will go off, for the solo fleet. So three starts with an interval between each of 3 minutes – Lasers, Handicap and Solos.

The Rose Bowl and RNLI Trophy Races

Some of you have been asking about these annual trophy races, which were to have been raced for in November but first severe winds and then the lockdown mean they are still outstanding. We will get up and running again in the lead up to Christmas and will plan to race for these trophies in the new year, probably later in January/early February. I will let you know in good time when we have fixed a date.

As I am a Bristol resident and so currently within Tier 3, I will be following the government advice and not travelling to the club over the coming weeks. Hopefully things will equalise soon, and I can get on the water, but in the meantime, for those of you that can, enjoy your sailing and I will hope to join you soon.

Andy Jones

Hopefully this weekend’s bookings will reflect how much sailing has been missed – wrap up warm.
Finally I am sure we will all be hoping that the members in Tier 3 are downgraded and can join us again in two weeks time.

John Smalley –

Yes, this beautiful bridge forms part of our dam.

A perfect day for fishing!

One early morning last week

Mark Rushall – sailing legend and tactical genius – hear him on 12th December

Mark’s articles are well thumbed!

Some familiar faces

Still Waters

A lonely Laser sailor somewhere?