Sailing Club News – Thursday 13-May-21

Today is the first scheduled Thursday evening improvers session – you should all have seen the booking email yesterday. (Hopefully on Monday we will be one step closer to just being able to turn up to sail with no booking….). From 6pm there will be two RIBs on the water and you can enjoy a sail until one hour before sunset. Once again, I apologise for the short notice afforded by the booking option – in fact the radio sailing team are the ‘duty’ crew this evening, so please, if you missed the 6pm cut-off, come anyway and report to us at the Clubhouse in the normal way.
Tom Skailes, our ‘Dutyman man’, has asked for volunteers – a Rescue Helm and Crew – for these evenings. This will count as one half of a normal day’s duty – it’s a no-brainer – get volunteering.

You will all be aware that the next step in easing of restrictions should come into effect next Monday 17-May-21 and we will implement whatever changes we can from Wednesday 19-May-21.
We hope this will mean that using the changing rooms, showers and additional toilets can happen. This will carry the provisos of limited numbers in both the gents and ladies changing areas, and that using these facilities carries a greater risk of Covid transmission, and members may prefer to carry on in the ‘al fresco’ way of the past year.
Eating of food may happen inside both the main club room and the bar area. You will be asked to observe the instruction relevant to this, including the maximum of 5 people at any one table.
The guidelines do not allow us to open the bar unless the Club provides table service for both food and alcohol drinks. In these circumstances the committee felt it was prudent to delay the bar opening until the ‘next step’ easing predicted to be 21-Jun-21.
We are in the process of updating all our guidelines to reflect these changes and the updated documents will be linked in the booking mails from next week – please take time to read through these

In the meantime, a reminder that sailing continues as normal this Saturday, and we return to our Spring series racing on Sunday with two back to back races from 10.30am and another two in the afternoon from 1.30pm.

RYA Discover Sailing Day on Saturday 19-Jun-21

Volunteers wanted – you can help

We’re holding our annual RYA Discover Sailing Day on Saturday 19 June and are looking forward to welcoming budding sailors aged 8 to 80, able bodied and disabled for a taster sailing session on our beautiful lake.

We want to encourage as many visitors as possible to come and try sailing. Events start at 10 a.m. and we’ll be giving tours around the club house, offering taster sailing sessions, together with talks about the types of boat we have at the club. CLADS will also be offering taster sailing sessions and all activities will be free.

We’re looking to involve as many club members as possible and you can help in a variety of ways:

  • Boat helms to provide sailing taster sessions either in the club’s boats or your own.
  • People to meet and greet visitors and show them round
  • On shore dinghy demonstrators to show visitors the different types of dinghies at the club and the basic sailing controls.

The RYA Push the Boat Out Day is an excellent opportunity for us to showcase the club and potentially gain new members and your support would be really appreciated.

If you think you can help please contact:

Andrew Martyn-Johns
Tel: 07785 331512

Powerboat Refresher on Saturday 29-May-21

Jeff Stratford has advised me that on Saturday 29th he has arranged for two instructors, each with a RIB, to give 1:1 instruction. This is particularly aimed at anyone who is new to the Club and got their PB Level 2 elsewhere, or who did their Level 2 a while ago and would like a refresher session.

The session will last 90 minutes. It will be very friendly (as if Jeff could be anything else!), and informal, and will cover the equipment carried on the RIBs, daily checks, use of the kill cord and VHF, use of the tractor for launch and recovery and the layout of the lake.
There are currently five slots available – and it is FREE – to enrol please contact Jeff at

Lake & Cake – Saturday 15-May-21

The next lake & cake will be this Saturday 15th. Meet outside the training room door at 1:45pm, changed, rigged and ready to sail (if possible) for some fun on the lake and tea & cake afterwards. Any sailing ability will do so join us if you can. To find out more about lake & cake and join our WhatsApp group contact:

Club Boats for Hire and Guest Fees

Just a reminder for you all that the Club has a number of boats available for members to hire. The Committee has allowed this to happen without payment for the duration of the pandemic, but from Monday 17-May-21 we are once again charging as follows:-

  • RS Vision, 2x Quests, 6x Fevas, 4x Teras and 2x Picos – £15 per 2 hour slot.
  • 10 x Toppers – Free to Under 16’s £5 per slot for adults.
  • 10 x Optibats – Free

(All of these boats may be unavailable if they are required for Club RYA Training/Coaching or Chew Crew sessions).

Members may bring a Guest to sail with them for a fee of £5.
A visiting boat will also be charged £5.

Newly Qualified RYA Assistant Dinghy Instructors

Congratulations to Cat Wallace, Noah Curtis and Ben Hook who have all been awarded their Assistant Instructor certificates. It’s always good to see enthusiastic and experienced sailors stepping forward to help others into our sport and develop their skills.
If you would like to become involved in our training programme, please contact Dave Orme at

Weather Information at the Club

For most of you it will have gone un-noticed that the weather station readout in the Bar has not been recording the wind speed and direction, and therefore there is no current information getting onto the website.
However, thanks to some wizardry from Steve Nash, our website now has a weather feed from the Windfinder app.
Hopefully we will have a bar display running again in the near future.

BSDRA Westerns – from Jim Rosser

On Saturday the 10-May-21 50 pupils, representing three schools, competed in the British School’s Dinghy Racing Associations Western Area Championships hosted by Clifton College here at Chew.

It was great to get this event running again, having been first held two years ago, and then being a victim of ‘you know what’ last year. For many of the young sailors it was the first competition they had been involved with in over 12 months.

The event took place with two divisions; juniors racing in teams of four in RS Feva’s, whilst the youths were in teams of six in Fireflys. Both divisions were team racing, with each team racing against each other at least twice.

The weather gave us a bit of everything, including wind shifts from every point of the compass- so it was certainly a busy day for the mark layers. Despite this we were able to run around 50 races with each team getting lots of good experience.

In the youth division the winners were Royal Grammar School Guildford, who defended the title they won in 2019. The junior event was won by Sherborne School. In terms of home sailors, Clifton College were 3rd and 4th in both divisions, and all gained a lot of valuable experience as we start our team racing season.

The Committees thanked Jim for the Herculean effort he put in to making this event happen, setting a benchmark for how team racing can start to happen again.

The Committee Boat’s Lucky Escape

On Bank Holiday morning, shortly after the duty crew had got the Club and RIBs up and running – and this was very keen as the wind was blowing from the South at roughly the limit set for our ‘Back to Sailing’ initiative, and the waves were building – when some eagle eyes spotted the Committee Boat making its way rapidly towards the dam! Some prompt action from the RIB crews meant a line was attached and the boat returned, with some difficulty to its rightful spot.

It transpired that a substantial shackle had broken between the mooring chain and the riser chain. The pictures show both the boats bid for freedom and our bosun, Steve Turner ultimately restoring the mooring system with and additional safety chain such that it can’t happen again….

Thanks are due to William Hope, Sam Leach, Charles Clapham, Mark Fraser and the intrepid Rob Higgins, the duty team that saved the day! (Sorry Rob, the Committee did briefly consider your request for Honorary membership as a result, but it was a thank you but No!!) Had the boat waited until that night when the wind increased I fear the outcome would not have been good.

All-Aboard Watersports – Job Opportunity

All-Aboard is a charity based in the heart of Bristol (and also operates at Chew) who are open to all in the community but focus on reaching those who are disabled or disadvantaged for any reason. They run activities and courses in sailing, paddlesports, motorboating, rowing and more, and are fully inclusive with a range of adaptive equipment allowing those with disabilities or limited mobility to access the water.

All-Aboard’s Centre Manager is due to go on Maternity Leave at the end of July 2021, and so they are looking for a replacement for a 15-month contract from June 2021. (Dates TBC!) Ideally, they are looking for someone with experience working within the watersports industry, but most important is someone who will take the reins of a very busy Centre and help to navigate it through this time. General tasks involve maintaining NGB standards, overseeing day to day running of the Centre, managing funded projects and people management. Key skills are the ability to multi-task, keeping a ‘hands-on’ approach and maintaining a busy work schedule. If you are interested, please get in touch with Jenny Haworth ( or Simon Chapman (

John Smalley –

A retired Commodore trying out an Aero??

..being trained by Derian Scott!

A passing Scorpion

A fine pair of racers – but their handicap is harsh…

Chew Crew back in action

The BSDRA team racing – see the report from Jim Rosser


A Clifton College Firefly

The Committee Boat’s bid for freedom!

Inspecting the mooring when the wind had moderated

Safely and hopefully securely back where she belongs!