Sailing Club News – Friday 12-Mar-21

As we count down the days to ‘R’ day (the big return to sailing) on Wednesday 31-Mar-21, I can report that both of our committees are gearing up their activity to ensure everything is in place for this to happen smoothly.

Well, those are the best laid plans!

Club Email outage

We had a problem with the clubs Email server last weekend (around 04/0 7-Mar-21) and could not send or receive some of your emails. Some emails were lost. If you emailed us around this time on any of the … addresses please can you send your email again and let us know you haven’t had a response. As Donald Rumsfeld once said ‘there are known unknowns … but there are also unknown unknowns’

Return to Sailing

It is with great pleasure that we continue to plan our return to sailing, beginning from Wednesday 31 March, when the normal Wednesday 10-4 duty cover will be rostered. Excepting any late curve balls in the more detailed DCMS guidance expected out later this month, we plan to make a few slight changes to the previous covid sailing arrangements as summarised below:

  • It will still be necessary to pre book to come sailing, although there will be no cap on numbers. Booking links will be sent out nearer the time.
  • We will be rostering duty teams through dutyman in the ‘normal” way, including increasing the numbers of RIB crew to 2 per RIB, reflecting the latest Government & RYA advice and guidance; we are in the process of updating all our return to sailing guidelines for duty teams and sailors with more details. Should anyone receive notification of a rostered duty that they feel unable to fulfil at present (for example they may be shielding, in a vulnerable group or not comfortable with the risks involved) please either try to swap to a date later in the year, or if that is not possible, contact either myself or Tom Skailes and we will arrange to swap you out.
  • There is no access to the changing rooms at this stage. Toilet facilities will be available as previously. We await detailed guidance but hope some access will be permissible from mid April.
  • We are increasing the maximum wind limit for sailing to 20 knots. So, not quite back to our normal limit just yet as we don’t feel it appropriate to sail in more extreme conditions that would make the likelihood of needing assistance very significant.
  • You must be competent and physically able to sail, recover yourself from a capsize or gear failure and get back to shore. It remains your responsibility to assess the conditions, sail within your limitations and reduce the risk of needing to call the emergency services. Rescue cover will be provided but is but is available for emergencies only.

Rob H’s Galley

The intention is that Rob will have the galley up and running to offer a food ‘Take-Out’ service on both Wednesdays and Weekends. If you can, please try to support this – the lockdown has been particularly hard for him. Certainly on Wednesdays it will be a case of use him or lose him….

In terms of racing

We will start our Spring racing series on Sunday 4th April. Racers should note the following:

  • You must prebook as before to sail. This booking is effectively your race ‘sign on’. Enter your sail number accurately!
  • The start sequence will revert back to three starts – handicap fleet (including FFs), followed 3 minutes later by lasers, and then the solos. We are discontinuing our trial of a revised starting sequence and start time for radials and 4.7s having had insufficient sailing time in what we hoped would be quieter winter months to draw firm conclusions. So radials will revert to start 1 minute ahead of the laser off, and 4.7s 2 minutes, just like the old times!
  • We will be continuing to try and set a windward leeward course option for those handicap boats that prefer this configuration.
  • 2 morning races will be held back to back from 10.30. As we cannot take shelter inside the clubhouse at lunchtimes or provide access to changing rooms just yet, we are not starting our previously planned afternoon series of racing, but hope to be able to get this up and running from mid April.

Club sailing and events calendar:

As previously advised there will not be a printed club calendar this year. So, to keep up to date with what’s going on you can

  • either check the club website frequently, or better still
  • simply subscribe to the club calendar on your phone or tablet via the link below. This will automatically refresh your personal calendar when we make changes to the site, ensuring your electronic diary is always up to date with what’s going on-

Subscribe to the website CVLSC Calendar …

Upcoming Social events – mark your diary!!

Friday 19-Mar-21 7:30pm. John Kelly Quiz night

Another one of John Kelly’s legendary quizzes. It guarantees to be a fun hour or so and is not to be missed. We will send a reminder nearer the time with a few more details.

Saturday 27-Mar-21 7:30pm Adam and Rick Bowers discuss ’Starting’

Another not to be missed evening with Rick and Adam hopefully telling us all in their own special style where we go wrong in our approach to starting and how we can guarantee (my words and hope, not theirs!) the best start every time to lead away the fleet. Their talk takes about 40 minutes. Zoom details etc will be sent out nearer the event.

RYA Training Principal

Over the last 2 years we have been lucky to have Cathy Bartram fulfil the role of our RYA Principal, overseeing our activity as an RYA Recognised Training Centre and keeping all our training delivery on the straight and narrow.

Some of you may be aware that Cathy recently relocated to the south coast and consequently we have been on the search for a replacement to take on the Role. I am delighted to confirm that Dave Orme, who will already be known to many of you as our Chief Dinghy Instructor (CI), has agreed to step across into the role and, in the short term, continue also as our CI until a replacement for that role is found. Dave will bring the same knowledge, love of sailing and training expertise and enthusiasm to the role that Cathy bought, and we are extremely fortunate to have such an easy handover.

I am sure you will all join me in thanking Cathy and wishing her well in her future sailing, and also in welcoming Dave, and supporting him through the challenges of the year ahead.

Andy Jones –

Southern Pontoon

I would have liked to gloss over the fact that the storms leading up to the 24-Feb-21 once again succeeded in separating our pontoon, but the pictures tell the sorry tale.

We hoped swift action to secure the parts would give us time to devise a plan to piece it all together. However, the storm this week, with alarming waves rolling all the way up the lake, meant that urgent action had to be taken yesterday to pull the various pieces ashore. We all owe a debt of thanks to Andy Jones, Simon Conway, Helen, Steve Turner and Alan Coventry for braving the conditions on the lake at the time to do this.

A working party has been convened, with assistance from Pontoon and Dock, to carry out the re-assembly next week if the weather Gods are kind, hopefully in good time for our return on the 31-Mar-21.

So, what is the problem I can hear you thinking? Basically, the rubber, ‘dog bone’ shaped connectors can break when the motion becomes excessive. This is intentional apparently, rather than damage happening to the pontoon sections. We intend to institute a weekly programme of checking the connectors along the pontoon so that any with cracks can be replaced. This had not happened since the November lockdown and we suspect there were broken connectors before the storm struck in February. The main thrust of the work that was undertaken last year was placing substantial anchorages, and a system whereby we would be able to keep the pontoon secure as we moved it as the water level in the lake rose and fell. Happily no anchoring connections have been lost.

New Picnic Tables

In his previous stint as Rear Commodore, Mike Higgins apparently acquired the picnic tables we all still use outside the Club. But it was a very long time ago – Mike was in his 20’s (!), and many of them were beyond repair. He has ordered 4 new ones made from recycled plastic.

With the help of John Bone, who the picture shows resting after his labours, these are now assembled and in place. Hopefully they should give even longer service than the wooden ones. Many thanks to the pair of you!

Laser Limericks!

A little bird told me that our much loved Laser fleet had turned their hands during lockdown to producing limericks, and also to designing nautical cocktails. Who knows, we may even see one or two of them spending money in the bar when it re-opens!!
Sarah Tauwhare kindly agreed to share some of the printable ones:-

Oh yes, we have many Laser Limericks
Admittedly many are just gimmericks
They can be very silly
But some are lovely lillies
Feel free to share, just choose from the mix

We’ve also created Cocktails – or dodgy drinks with floats
And made Special Decorations for our much-missed boats
Each week there are Prizes
And always Surprises
Next time its Vegetable Carving- just for a laugh, a Lockdown Antidote

A young Laser sailor from Chew
Whose lovers are more than a few
When she found every shift
All the boys there were miffed
So they stuck to her transom like glue!
(Now I wonder who this refers to??!)

So, to sum up, with the Quiz and Racing Tips social evenings, the Americas Cup match final shaping up to be a duel to match the sort we see at the front of the Solo fleet, and all of the above to digest, the 31-Mar-21 will be with us in no time at all…..!

John Smalley –

Our pontoon after the February storm

After the winds this week!

John Bone trying out the newly assembled picnic tables.

Join our very own Quizmaster, John Kelly, on Friday 19-Mar-21.

Adam Bowers – expansively entertaining as always on Saturday 27-Mar-21.

Serviced and ready to go!