Bristol Brew in full swing.

Sailing Club News – 13-Dec-19

Sadly the beginnings of storm Atiyah reduced the entry for Sunday’s Class race Day to three! There was a steady 20+knots of breeze with squalls probably doubling that. And of those, only Pete Sherwin sailing a Laser radial made it to the end. All three, Rich Staite, a relatively new member with a lovely wooden Solo, and Gus Cameron also sailing a Radial, were awarded bottles of wine for the entertainment value to the balcony watchers…

Bristol Brew

Was sailed in perfect team racing conditions. On Saturday the course was set directly in front of the clubhouse providing a grandstand view of proceedings. Things became more complicated on Sunday when the event has to fit around our Club racing. With a chilly Northerly breeze, Derian and Andy Scott managed to set a great course from the Club line whilst sitting in the warmth of the Race Hut!

Hugh Whatley

Got our series of Winter Warmer talks off to a good start last Wednesday evening. Having enjoyed a meal, the audience gathered in the bar (for warmth!), and were treated to a fascinating account of Hugh and his son Alex’s preparation for the Fastnet Race in a Sigma 38. Hugh’s recollections of the race itself were remarkable as he gave us a blow by blow account of the close tacking duels at the Rock itself, and then as his section of the fleet neared the Plymouth breakwater. Great stuff! So good in fact that several listeners rated it one of the best talk at the Club ever….. high praise indeed.

Wednesday sailors Christmas lunch

I enjoyed being a part of this traditional, cheerful gathering once again this week. After a group had visited Denny Island for the traditional carol singing (check out the picture), Rob in the galley did us all proud – the food was delicious. Brooksy gave us all a stirring speech. The gist was, although the numbers may be slightly less each year, there is still a massively strong bond of friendship among the group. Thanks are due to Brian and Mary Brooks for the organising and table laying – it looked lovely.

Junior and Youth News

Many of the club’s junior and youth sailors spent the autumn at a variety of qualifying and indicating events hoping to secure a place in one of the regional or national RYA or Class Association run training squads. These squads are a huge part of the social and performance improvement side of competitive racing in the junior and youth classes, and generally consist of 6-7 weekends over the winter. So it was great to witness a really strong showing by our younger Chew sailors over the qualifying events with 13 of them gaining a squad place.

In the single handers Dru Townsend, Emily Elms and Oliver Allen-Wilcox were all selected for the Laser 4.7 RYA UK Junior Squad, and together make up 20% of the UK squad, our best showing ever! It was great to see Noah Curtis’s enthusiasm for just getting out on the water sailing, rewarded with some strong qualifying results and a place in the Topper RYA South-West Zone squad. In the double handers William de Jaeger (this year’s winner of the John Smalley Junior Endeavour Trophy), and Rosie & Susie Sheahan (last year’s winners of the JSJET) all achieved a place in the RS Feva RYA UK Junior Squad, also our best showing for Fevas. Maia Delin and Vanja Ramm-Ericson, two incredibly young talented sailors who recently joined the club from Malta, gained places in the RS Feva RYA South West Zone Squad. In the Youth 29er class, Quinn Edmonds and Finlay Oliver secured places in the 29er Class National Squad. Ted Lane and Rupert Clapham were selected for the 29er Class Development Squad – once again these were our best numbers ever for 29er squad places. Congratulations to them all and watch as they all continue to get quicker and quicker over the winter months!

Back at the club we are starting the planning for Chew Crew for next year. A huge thank you to Philippa Power and Angus Penrice for stepping forward to take on the administrative side of running Chew Crew across 20 Sundays in 2020. To complete the organising team we are still looking for a Senior Instructor/Dinghy Instructor/Experienced Sailor to help plan the curriculum and sessions. We are also looking for a Topper Fleet Captain to organise some Topper specific training. For further details on both Chew Crew and Toppers volunteer positions contact Nick Edmonds our Youth Coordinator at

Chew Youth Keelboat team

Just as the RYA winter magazine hits the mat with a cover story of keelboat racing going from strength to strength, you may remember from an earlier edition of Club News, Chew Crew will include a Keelboat pathway for 2020. Nick Edmonds and Dan Schnurr have put together an exciting programme for next year which will include 4 shore based sessions and extensive on the water training. We are looking for up to 10 youth members, potentially but not exclusively those who have completed Feva squad training and are not progressing to 29ers. After training on the lake in Dan Schnurr’s new Open 500 youth sportsboat, the aim will be for a youth entry to the British Keel Boat League next summer racing the new RS21. If you are interested email Dan or Nick on Details of the shore based sessions which commence in February, will be advertised soon.

Looking Forward

Winter Points Series

This continues on Sundays 15th, 22nd and 29th December.
With three more racing Sundays, and some good turn-outs to date, the finishing places are far from decided.

Tap Trophy

Boxing Day Thursday 26-Dec-19 Start Time 1.30pm.

Resolution Trophy

New Year’s Day Wednesday 01- Jan-20 – start 1.30pm.

Volunteers are needed to man the RIBs for both days.
There will be mince pies and mulled wine on Boxing Day, and both days are traditional get togethers for racers wanting to escape from the rigours of the holiday season, and they are the very best prescription for hangovers!

Lake & Cake – Sat 21-Dec-19

Come along on Saturday afternoon for an end of season and festive Lake & Cake get-together. The weather will be the decider on what we do – if dry and cold we’ll arrange another country walk, or if wind is good and temperature bearable you may prefer to sail. No matter what the weather chucks at us (even if it is still raining!) do come along for a pre-Christmas tea, cakes and a social catch-up instead.

As daylight fades around 3:30/4pm we’ll need an earlier start if walking or sailing and meet-up around 12:30-1pm. Rosie will check the weather forecast early-mid next week and send out a WhatsApp message with the proposed plan.

Please contact Rosie on if you would like to be added to the Lake & Cake WhatsApp group and Email list.

Also make dates in your diary for future warmers:-

‘Meet the Commodores’ – Wednesday 22-Jan-20
QUIZ night with John Kelly and Ruth Kenyon – Friday 07-Feb-20
‘Nipigegi – Wayfarer non-stop around Britain Record’ with Will Hodshon – Wednesday 26-Feb-20

More details in future news!

RYA first Aid Course Saturday 07-Mar-20 – at the Club 0930 to 1700.

All instructors must have a current certificate, it is recommended for all Rescue helms and crew and of benefit to everyone. There are 12 places and six are already booked so if you want to do the course book today. Cost is £25 which is about third of what you would pay elsewhere, it includes a RYA qualified instructor, the RYA first aid manual and a certificate valid for 3 years. Please book via webcollect; any questions contact Jeff Stratford by email

Finally Seasons Greetings to you all – I hope to see lots of you on Boxing Day or New Years Day – and good sailing in 2020.
John Smalley –

More Brewing!

Hugh in full flow…!

Carol Singing on Denny Island

Youth keelboating on cover of RYA magazine

More of the same…

What self respecting youth wouldn’t want to train in this?