A-Handicap Fleet start, Wednesday 23 May

Sailing Report

The Bank Holiday weekend was definite proof that summer has finally arrived. We have had a range of sailing weather, but the calms are easier to bear when it is warm! A good breeze on Saturday led to some great sailing and an ideal opportunity for the Power Boat 2 trainees to practise boat handling skills.

The early summer series with 4 races each Sunday have 2 more Sundays to run, including this weekend. The start lines have not been too crowded so, with plenty of room, come and have a go. Rumbling thunder and the threat of lightning caused a delay to the start of sailing last Sunday. RO Andy Harris’s pragmatic approach to setting and shortening courses meant all 4 races were completed.

The Wednesday evening series is as popular as ever – there were an incredible 71 boats racing the week before last, including 36 Lasers. Many open meetings don’t attract that number of boats! Also there has been a pleasing variety of conditions to keep both the ‘nifty drifters’ and the ‘wild winders’ happy! The leading runners and riders are Nick Martindale and Ruth Kenyon in the fast Handicap, (although John and Tom Rose have been putting in some impressive performances in their Scorpion). It is good to see Steve Smith back where he belongs (no – not at Woodford Lodge!), leading that huge pack of lawless Lasers. Tim Johnson in his black pearl Solo has muscled his way to the front of the slow Handicap fleet. The numbers were around 35 for this week’s race – the half-term droop! – but I expect normal service will resume next week.

The Chewfarers returned from their outing to Poole last week- hopefully we’ll see a report in the near future? However, to whet your appetite, Brian Brooks has written an article about Pete Cheek reaching the huge landmark of 90 years! You will be able to find this on the website by clicking this link…

RS Feva Nationals – Weymouth and Portland

Youth co-ordinator, Nick Edmonds, has sent me a blow by blow account of what sounds to have been a great week for the Fevas, with 106 boats competing. Chew had 3 boats representing us; Quin Edmonds and Fin Oliver finished 20th in the Gold fleet, having been in the top ten at one point. Ted Lane and Rupert Clapham comfortably won the Silver fleet having been disappointed at the halfway stage to miss out on getting into the Gold half – they shone when the wind blew on the last day. Will and Ben Hook finished 44th in the Silver fleet. Read the full account here.

Push the Boat Out Day on Saturday 19th was a massive success. We had 120 prospective wannabee sailors including families visiting the Club. All were treated to a trip on the water, either in our Wayfarers and Visions, or with Mike Meloy on the committee boat or Rob Mitchell in the Dory. (Most experienced both power rides and sail!). I will give some painfully learned advice – never visit a yacht broker with the possibility of considering buying a boat on a warm, sunny day – you will leave much the poorer! Well, Saturday was deliciously warm and relatively windless – the sailing boats were stable even for the most timid, the youngsters could use a paddle(!), and very little ‘sales pitch’ was needed! An incredible 12 member groups signed up to join with I suspect more following in the subsequent days and weeks. There were too many members working hard to make this happen to mention them all – you know who you are – thanks to all of you. Particular thanks go to the organiser in chief, Andrew Martyn-Johns; he made the day run like clockwork.

Looking Forward

Lake & Cake 3
The next lake & cake ‘get-together and sail’ is this Saturday afternoon (2nd June) – meet in the bar at 1:45 rigged & ready if possible. If you haven’t received an email reminder from Rosie this week and would like to be added to the list, please contact her on: rosie.bowers@btinternet.com

June is usually the ‘pre-summer holiday’ month for Open Meetings…

Solo Western Area Championships and Laser Open – Saturday 9th June
I hope we will have a big turnout for what is one of our regular fixtures. With 36 Laser competing on a Wednesday evening all coming to join in, this event should be exciting to watch. As with all open meetings, there should be plenty of free space for people who just want to come and sail provided the Race Officer is happy with the safety cover risk assessment.

RS Feva Inland Championships – Saturday 16th/Sunday 17th June
I am hoping there will be 60-70 Fevas coming to enjoy Chew for their Inlands. Our planning is almost complete, and the volunteer teams are ready for what should be a great weekend.

Thursday Evening ‘Start Racing’ – 7th, 14th, 21st, 28th June, 5th July
The Thursday evening sessions have been running for the last fortnight. 2 members are scheduled to man the RIBs from 6pm until 30 minutes before sun-down. These evenings generally are aimed at those that just want to come and have a sail, and possibly gain some help or advice from more experienced sailors who may be there. But, in addition, Nick Martindale will be running a simple introduction to racing for those that would like to try. Nick will explain everything over the next 5 Thursdays, and organise a simple race each week (weather permitting). There is no fee for this, and no need to register, just come along and dip your toe in the racing pool!

Safety Boat Training
Next course is on Saturday 23rd – to reserve a place on this or subsequent courses contact Jeff Stratford

Boat Park Notice

After an extensive boat park audit, and reconciliation with Webcollect, there will be a gradual clear out of the boat park over the next month or so. Please ensure that your boat registration fee has been paid and that a current sticker is displayed on your boat where it can be easily seen on the transom. I refer you to Bye-law 7 and rule 5.1.


You all know what I am going to say! We are a volunteer run Club – that is what you sign up to when you join. When you are allocated a Club duty, please rock up! No-shows place an unfair burden on those who do try their best to carry out what is expected of them (the duty information guidance is a step-by-step formula to follow). If you cannot make the date given, it is your responsibility to arrange a swap; contacting Rick Knapp, our duties secretary, is not arranging a swap.
Also, particularly with so many new members joining us, I do realise that there is a fear factor to being allocated a duty for the first time. Please, if you are worried, give Helen or I a call for any advice you may want, and remember there will invariably a more experienced member at the Club to offer help when needed.

John Smalley, vice-commodore@chewvallysailing.org.uk