Sailing Club News – Thursday 18-Nov-21

I am sorry to have to kick off on a sad note, but some of you may remember Terry McGrane, who passed away last week after a 5 year battle with cancer. Terry and wife, Debbie, were members for many years and great supporters of the Club. Their son, Ben, is a multiple championship winner across many dinghy classes – one of the finest sailors Chew has ever produced. Commodore Andy Jones has details of the funeral arrangements should you need them –

Since the last news we have enjoyed the spectacle of the Fireball Inlands and a 420 Grand Prix weekend. The fleets enjoyed some incredible high speed sailing over the two days, with many members in RIBs keeping everyone safe, and all supervised expertly by Keith Harris and Claire Jefferis. See the reports below.

Commodore’s notes

Outer gate access –
Several members have recently been inconvenienced when anglers have occasionally locked the outer gate on their combination padlock, ’short-chaining’ the loop and rendering our club lock redundant.

After discussion with Bristol water they have kindly agreed that we may pass on the anglers combination code so that you can access and exit the club and correct the locking error – the combination in case of need see email Sailing Club News 18-Nov-21.

AGM Minutes
For those of you that would like to read the minutes from the recent AGM these are now available on the clubs website AGM 2021 minutes

It was fabulous to see everyone recently at the annual club prizegiving, with a great meal courtesy of Antonia’s deli and a fun sailing sailing themed quiz which, for most of us, revealed how little we know about our chosen sport. Thanks to Paul, James and the sailing committee for all their work organising the event and prizes – for those of you that were unable to attend the various fleet captains will be passing on uncollected prizes over the coming weeks.

New Members meet-up – Sunday 28-Nov-21 2pm

If you’re new to the club this year (or still feel relatively new) then we’d love to welcome you properly at the new members meet up on Sunday 28th November 2pm (please note the change of time from the club calendar).
It will be a great chance to catch up with other members new and old and find out more about how to get involved.
The wonderful Antonia’s Deli will provide us with tea and cake. Why not dig out the wetsuits and woolly hats and join in the club sailing beforehand, whether racing or cruising. If you’d like to come, please let Anna Mason know on so we can get a rough idea of catering numbers and any dietary requirements.

Tasty News from Antonias Deli

With the end of year fast approaching, we would like to say a big thank you to everyone for all your support. You have been patient, kind and all the lovely feedback has really motivated us. We are hoping to get a few dates together for a monthly pizza night soon so watch this space! In the meantime, there a couple of things happening in December:

Pre Christmas Breakfast – 08-Dec-21 9:45 – organised for the ‘Police lot!” by Jeff Stratford. We have space for handful more should you like to come and join us. On offer is a full English or veggie breakfast with unlimited tea/coffee and toast for £10 per person. To book, please get in touch on or pop in to the galley to see us before the 1st Dec.

Christmas Lunch – 15-Dec-21 13:30 – organised by Brian Brooks for the ‘Wednesday lot!’. We can now extend this invite to all members (14 spaces left). We will be decking the halls and cooking up a festive and traditional feast! To book please drop us an email as above by 6th Dec or come and see us in the galley where a menu and booking form will be available. Price is £20 per person.

Antonia & Ben

420 Grand Prix – 06/07-Nov-21

We joined the 420 class this summer and were very pleased that one of the grand prix events (November 6th-7th) was being held in Chew. We were proud of our club – everyone really enjoyed themselves racing and socialising.

On Saturday the conditions could be described as interesting! …with vicious gusts followed by light lulls. The first race had the strongest winds resulting in number of capsizes and 6 boats retired (we capsized but managed to right the boat and finish). The wind had settled a bit for Race 2 and 3. By the end of the first day Joe Warwicker and Hugo Valentine were leading with Alice Davis and Oliver Raynor in 2nd place and Katherine Byne and Lia Horne in third.

The second day brought lighter conditions and a more stable breeze but still with some harsh gusts. The wind built throughout Race 4. This led to us deciding to move our shrouds down ready for Race 5…. A precarious decision….We almost missed the race due to an unfortunate capsize with the shroud off. With a bit of assistance, we made it to the start line just 30 seconds after the race began and managed to claw back a few places.

The final results – Joe and Hugo maintained their first place with Alice and Oliver in 2nd and Imogen and Dave Wade (father and daughter) were 3rd. We were awarded the Endeavour prize for our shroud incident.

Thank you to Chew for hosting a great event and the Race team for efficient, fair and exciting racing. We would like to say a special thanks to Antonia and Ben for working so hard to feed everyone.

Rosie and Susie Sheahan

2021 Gul Fireball Inland National Championships – Chew Valley – 06/07-Nov-21

19 brave Fireballs descended upon Chew Valley Sailing Club despite the rain showers and breezy forecast for the 2021 Gul Fireball Inland National Championships. Following the necessary bacon sandwiches and homemade scotch eggs, the fleet launched into 15-20 knots, with a few punchy gusts thrown in for good measure.

Race 1, triangle-sausage – Breeze on, racing got underway at the second time of asking. The racing was close, with plenty of place swapping. Following 3 fast laps race 1 was won on the water by Simon Forbes and Paul Cullen (better known as Spanner), with DJ Edwards/Vyv Townsend and Dave Hall/Paul Constable not far behind. But DJ/Vyv and Dave/Paul joined the OCS club with a few others, giving 2nd place to the last minute pairing of David Sayce and Ben Raynor and 3rd to Christine Slater and Jo Line.

Race 2, triangle-sausage – The race was dominated by Spanner and Simon, who decided to put on a show for the spectating 420 parents, leading from start to finish (Simon is adamant he recorded 20+ knots on his Garmin!). Close racing unfolded behind, with DJ/Vyv 2nd, Dave/Paul 3rd and Chris Gill and Adam Broughton in 4th.

Race 3, windward-leeward – The 3rd and final race for Saturday afternoon proved a close one with Derian and Andy Scott joining the mix, showing it’s not all about reaching downwind. Following some concentration issues, DJ/Vyv had a rare capsize on a gybe. Not to be out done, Dave/Paul decided to capsize on the following lap. It looked like Spanner/Simon and Derian/Andy were in the clear, but the split leeward gate proved a tough decision for some, and DJ/Vyv and Dave/Paul soon found themselves back in the race. Dave and Paul took line honours.

Saturday night provided excellent food at the club for dinner, birthday celebrations and a civilised curry supper in the village for those with hobbit-like eating tendencies.

Sunday was a completely different day, on the shore anyway, with clear skies and a shift in the wind direction. With the club now nicely in the lee, the spectators moved outside into the sun to get a better view of the action for 3 triangle-sausage races.

Race 4 – Spanner and Simon started strong again, leading for the majority of the race despite some extremely tight reaches and strong defensive sailing from DJ/Vyv. DJ/Vyv finished second, and Dave/Paul fought through the fleet to take 3rd.

Race 5 – Race 5 was another close one right down to the finish line where DJ/Vyv took 1st, Spanner/Simon 2nd, and Dave/Paul finishing in 3rd.

Race 6 – The final race of the weekend got underway with the Irish boys (Barry McCartin and Conor Kinsella) joining the fight. Rounding the windward mark in first, they proved that a long trip from Ireland, via Nottingham (to pick up their new boat) hadn’t been for nothing. The breeze felt like it was building again, or were the crews just getting tired? Lots of place swapping happened throughout, with the lead changing hands on a regular basis between the top 4. In the end Dave/Paul won the race, too far ahead for Spanner/Simon to catch, despite a valiant effort on the last run, going from 4th to 2nd. DJ/Vyv took 3rd, with Barry/Conor in 4th.

An excellent weekend’s racing for all, but Spanner and Simon got their hands on the silverware in the end.

The Silver and Bronze fleets were also strongly contested, with Alex Piggot and Andy Stewart taking the silver fleet in 7th (did Christine and Jo have too much birthday Fireball whiskey on Saturday night?) and Kath and Thomas Broatch taking the bronze fleet in 10th.

We are again hugely grateful to Gul for their continued sponsorship of the fleet, providing vouchers for the top 3 in the gold, silver and bronze fleets and merit awards, as well as spot prizes of 2 Evorobes. UK Global also provided a spot prize of a money-off annual boat Insurance voucher.

Overall results: Fireball Open 2021

Prize Winners:

1st Gold: Paul Cullen & Simon Forbes
2nd Gold: DJ Edwards & Vyv Townend
3rd Gold: Dave Hall & Paul Constable

Debbie Gibson & Simon Forbes

DF95 TT series at Southport. In at the deep end

As I walked through the valley of the shadow of death, I took a look at my competitors and realised I will be out of my depth!
Those were my thoughts as I arrived at West Lancs Sailing club in Southport, home of that infamous 24 hour dinghy race. I arrived at 8:30am and already there were many radio sailors rigged up and practicing out on the marine lake. Everyone there seemed to have brand new sails with no creases rigged onto their immaculately prepared DragonFlite95’s.

The event I had entered was the last of this years DF95 TT series, a National competition which attracts some of the best radio sailors in the country, if not the world. This was my first experience at competing at this level and it was going to be a baptism of fire for sure.
Racing was organised using the Heat Management System or HMS for short. This was all very new to me, and I had to listen very carefully at the briefing to the explanations given as to how the day would be run. Thankfully the Race Officer, a past acquaintance of John Smalley took me aside and gave me a simplified explanation as how things work at radio sailing events. It was much appreciated.

The sun was low in the sky and the glare off the water and sun in your eyes made seeing what your boat was doing very challenging for everyone. Start lines were busy so keeping clear of others was important. I was glad to say I was able to be on the line moving fast when the gun went off for all of my races. After the start – that’s when things started to go a bit pear shaped. These guys were professionals and they knew all the tricks in the book to keep their boats clear of others and moving fast in the right direction. I was well impressed with the skills on display.
Despite my very obvious inexperience in comparison to the others, I was NOT last overall, but much room for improvement required to get anywhere near the guys at the front of the fleet.

Errol Edwards

I must add a ‘well done’ to Errol here – I remember travelling to my first open event, and this was like starting with a Nationals! Our radio sailing group have boundless enthusiasm but, while our racing is great fun, the ‘bumper car’ philosophy is still very much to the fore….- clearly, we still have much to learn!

Even if sailing in the cold weather doesn’t appeal, please come along and support Antonia and Ben who are producing delicious food in our galley…..

John Smalley

Prizegiving evening

Steve Smith of Laser fame

Paul Smalley with his collection!

Our Treasurer, Sarah Harding, with the beautiful Dot Macklin Trophy

Taking time out from running the bar, RS200s Nick Martindale and Ruth Kenyon.

Flying 420s

420 start

On the limit!

A Fireball start

Chew’s Fireball hotshots, Derian and Andy Scott

Rest over at full crack!

Team Dinwoodie from Chew!

Ex-Chew Fireball legend, Dave Hall

Rear Commodore, Jon Elmes directing operations….

Another happy rescue crew..

DF95 TT event at Southport

DF95 TT event at Southport

Is that Errol at the Pin end??