Sailing Club News – Thursday 07-Oct-21

First and foremost, I am sure I don’t need to remind any of you that one of the highlights of our Club year, the AGM, is scheduled for 7.30pm next Wednesday the 13-Oct-21.

What an enormous relief it should be to us all to be able to hold this in the Clubhouse once again – ‘face to face’ as it were, but not too close! The General Committee are aware that Covid has not ‘gone away’, and that some members remain concerned. We intend to try and maintain social distances and concerned members are most welcome to wear face coverings.

Also, the excellent news is that Antonia and Ben will have the galley running serving food from 6 until 7.15pm, and the Bar will be open – who needs to see the latest Bond film when this sort of entertainment is on offer!!

The New Lift

The General Committee are pleased to confirm the completion of the extension to the clubhouse to provide a new lift and additional storage which was handed over by the Contractor, Stuart Chugg-Jones of Featherbed Construction on Tuesday. Most will be aware that this replaced an external lift that had been in place for 10 years but with the prevailing south westerly wind, rain and snow had become unreliable, with a slug shorting the control circuit board being ‘the straw that broke the camel’s back’ as the part could not be replaced.

The new building will protect against the weather and hopefully the slugs to provide much needed improved access to the upper floor and additional storage and the club took the opportunity to thank Stuart and his team for their work in delivering a superb addition to our facilities in challenging times.

Calling All RIB Drivers

Water levels are currently very low and we have had a spate of badly damaged props, as evidenced in the pictures below. This is time consuming and costly to repair. Please take great care launching and recovering the RIBS, coming onto the pontoons and around the lake and take special care to stay in the deepest areas possible (for example moor the RIBs at the outer extremity of the pontoon, the inshore end is in very shallow water).

Sailing Update from Andy Jones

As we move out of the summer, we are now entering a busy period of Open meetings and other events. recent weeks saw over 20 Toppers compete at their open meeting which proved a tight run but very enjoyable days racing, expertly managed by Chris Goldhawk (who managed to finish 1 race within 10 seconds of the target race time!!), after a training event on the Saturday.

This coming weekend sees us host the prestigious FF Inland Championship. Please remember there is no club racing on Sunday – general sailing will be permitted at the Race Officers discretion.

The following Sunday 17th October sees us host sailors from other clubs for our Visitors Day – racing in the morning will be for the RNLI A & B handicap prizes (we are suggesting a £5 donation to the RNLI when you sign on). The afternoon will see us race for the Chew Rose Bowl, over a 70% pursuit race. This is also an opportunity for you to sail as part of a team of three boats – so select you team partners and let us know at registration and potentially win the top club trophy for your club team!

After all that, it’s back to our winter series racing as we head into the colder weather and winds, and hopefully a rapidly filling lake to enjoy! We then have the RS200 open meeting and RS100 inlands coming up towards the end of the month; we plan to host the club racing alongside the 100 event on the Sunday, with club racing continuing in the northern area of the lake while the 100s compete in the south.

Chew Travellers

More news reaches us of results by Chew members on their travels:

Musto Nationals (end July / start Aug) – Bill Maughan 7th, Jason Rickards 40th
Solo Nationals (end of Aug) – Bill Chard 82nd
RS800 Nationals (mid Sep) – Josh Poat & Hattie Field 35th
RS800 Inlands (last weekend) – Josh Poat & Hattie Field 13th
Fireball Nationals (last weekend) – Derian/Andy Scott 16th, Matthew Scott/Doug Byatt 25th – mega windy event just see the action photo of Derian and Andy going downwind
RS200 Open at Exe (mid Sep) – James Williams and Anna Mason 5th
RS200 Open at Papercourt (end Sep) – James Williams and Sarah Tuppen 1st

Windsurfing Time!

You will all be excited to know that the windsurfing season at Chew is underway and runs until the middle of March next year, and that all members with a boat at the club are entitled to store a board on or under their dinghy, or indeed take it home and windsurf on the lake with a ‘boat’ sticker on the board which can be obtained from our membership secretary for £45 and whose details are on the website.

Windsurfing has been under review for a few years now but remains a part of the lease and so it would be great to see members take advantage of the opportunity. If anybody is interested in starting an informal windsurfing group and perhaps meet on Saturdays then let me know ( and I may even join you.

Chew Cruise (Lunch on the Lake)

The penultimate Lunch on the lake had to be cancelled due to a forecast worthy of biblical drama; what actually occurred was a complete absence of breeze and a persistent drizzle, neither of which I am sure anyone would want to sit in for any length of time. Had it taken place then I could easily have bored the hind legs off a donkey with tales of my recent trip to Liverpool Sailing Club who kindly hosted an ‘Advanced Dinghy Cruising Course’. As residents of an inland sailing club, I can safely say we have an easy life!

Three days on the very tidal Mersey estuary with its silt and 4 – 5kt flows, large shoal bars and even an airport lighting gantry to avoid was an experience I am both pleased to have had, and also pleased to not have to do again in any hurry! Blimey! Those duty crews work very hard for their supper every weekend. It wasn’t all ‘4ft waves and cling on for dear life’ though; Saturday saw the opposite problem of all tide and no wind. Then on our final day we enjoyed a 12nm round trip in somewhat friendlier conditions before executing a pin-point landing on an 8ft patch of concrete on a lee shore & 4kts of sideswipe. A thoroughly exciting, hugely beneficial and definitely educational experience. If you want to know more then please do keep an eye on the weather for the 16th October when the next Lunch on the Lake is planned, I will happily expand on the detail.

16th October

The plan will be to anchor up (see the permitted anchoring map in the clubhouse or the new webpage ) at about 12:30, in close proximity, bring your own lunch or grab a bite from Antonia’s Deli first. I will have with me the newest addition to the good ship ‘skismo’ – a plywood home-built galley-box with a spirit stove, just one of the items to kit your cruising vessel with before going coastal. As the Autumnal temperatures are now upon us, please remember those extra layers.

Eds Note – I can add that Simon actually took his own boat to face those fearsome Mersey conditions – I bet the Beatles never tried it!! – John Smalley

Lake and cake (6) – Saturday 25-Sep-21

This was the last lake & cake in our 2021 Club Calendar. It was a lovely warm Saturday afternoon but there was very little wind. Just the one optimistic L&C sailor launched their boat into the still waters, whilst the others started on tea & cakes early. There was not much lake, but the right amount of cake!
Lake & cake will be back in the spring with a new lady (or ladies) at the helm. But before then we’ll organise some local walks, and an ‘impromptu’ Lake & cake if I see some good ‘Saturday afternoon weather’ in the forecast.
If you would like to be added to the lake & cake WhatsApp Group, or would like more information contact Rosie:

Wayfarer Cruising

These last couple of years it seems that our departing Rear Commodore, Mike Higgins, along with Patrick Slade have been keeping the flag flying for Chew Waybarging travels. In fact Mike managed to persuade his son Rob, better known for his hotshot results in the ‘Ferrari red’ RS700, to join him in slowing down to Waybarge pace!

Patrick has sent me a brilliant article about their recent ‘Lundy Yet’ voyage made a few weeks ago. Some of the pictures are on the right, but please, I thoroughly recommend you click the link below to read about their intrepid journey….. Lundy-Yet

Chris Ashley-Davies

On a final and very sad note, Chris Ashley-Davies passed away last week after an all-too-short battle with Cancer. Many of you will not have known Chris and his wife, Ros, but they have been members for over 20 years.
I first met them when their sons joined the travelling circus of young, hopeful Topper racers. Please follow the link below to read what is the most amazing and inspirational obituary written by Ros herself. Chris Davies Obituary.pdf

I hope to actually see lots of you (well not the troublemakers!), at the AGM – lets try and celebrate returning to a face to face meeting with a bumper turnout!

John Smalley –

Wow – Antonia and Ben – Antonia’s Deli – take to the water….

The enclosure for the new, wonderful lift!

Propeller damage…

More of the same….

Derian and Andy Scott enjoying Fireballing at its very best!

Our new Health and Safety supremo, David Johnson, taking it very safely!

The world famous Nipigegi heading for Lundy

The Wayfarers arriving at Lundy

Is that the famous Rob Higgins wishing for his RS700?!

The feast on Lundy – spot the Higgins hat!

Simon’s GP on the Mersey

“Ferry me, to the Mersey…..”

The wind died, but the tide never gives up!

Lake and Cakers…..

The cakes!!!

Long standing members, Ros and Chris Davies – Chris sadly passed away last week.