Sailing Club News – Friday 18-Sep-20

So far, our trial of Return to Sailing Phase 3 appears to have been going well. We have seen some of the busiest sailing days since re-starting but the Club and the lake seems to be able to accommodate everyone without an undue sense of crowding.

Beware that the water level has fallen dramatically – yes folks – we need some rain! Take care when on the slipways – some are nearing their ‘bottom’ end with an alarming step. There are serious shallows appearing and the concrete jetty is waiting to destroy unsuspecting foils….(and RIB propellors!)

Many of you will be concerned about the impact of the newly announced ‘Rule of 6’, and how this may impact on us. Helen has tried to summarise this below.

Also, I can reassure you that much thought is being given as to how we may improve the limited facilities we currently can use in and around the clubhouse, to improve both the changing and eating experiences. This will become more relevant shortly as we approach the colder and wetter months.

Rule of 6 – implications for us?

So, yet more to get our heads around. The small Covid sub-group attended a zoom session run by the RYA on Friday afternoon and we’ve trawled through the documents again.

Essentially, we can continue to operate our “Covid secure” sailing activities. This assumes everyone takes extra care to follow social distancing and personal hygiene expectations and thinks about the number of people they interact with on shore. The latter is particularly important if you sit down to eat with a small group of fellow sailors – who else do you then come in to contact with?

As we have gradually increased the numbers of members on site the toilets necessarily are used by more people. It takes less than 30 seconds to pull out an anti-viral wipe from the tubs provided, wipe the surfaces you have touched and put the wipe in the pedal bins. Please enhance our “covid security” by doing this.

Don’t forget the outer gate. Hand sanitiser should be there too (so far it hasn’t disappeared) – but please do continue to bring your own or use gloves, as I know many of you do.

Here is a quote from the RYA guidance:

“The government have made it clear that sports like sailing, which have submitted their guidance to DCMS as part of the Return to Organised Team Sport Framework, can continue to operate in a Covid secure way. It is still appropriate to run club on-water activities including racing and events, and people from different households can continue to sail together as long as they observe the RYA guidance.

However, it is clear that clubs and members will have to take more precautions when onshore.

Members will need to ensure they only gather in groups of 6 or less and that these groups do not interact with each other (from Monday 14-Sep-20, this will become law, whereas up until then we have been advised to do so in the form of Government guidance). As of 18th September clubs which serve food and drink must maintain records of staff/volunteers, customers/members and visitors to support NHS Test and Trace and follow the Government Guidance in this area.”

Let’s enjoy the wonderful weather, the sailing and the opportunity to carefully meet our friends at the club. I think we can expect further government changes to the advice in the coming weeks. But don’t forget the fundamental rule is social distancing, and the ‘Hands, Face, Space’ doctrine.

A note from our Duties Supremo – Tom Skailes

Rostering of October and November duties is imminent, and the duties for these months are up on Dutyman for people to volunteer if they wish.
There are some changes planned as we move into October. The Race teams on a Sunday will consist of a Race Officer and 2 AROs, and Tom is planning to increase the number of OODs each sailing day to 2.

Call for pontoon handlers! (not Lion Tamers)

With the ever-changing water levels at the lake, both pontoons need constant attention and adjustment. I am looking for a small group of volunteers that I could call upon when such adjustments are needed. It only takes a couple of people (three, if it is blowing a hooley) but I appreciate not all will be available all of the time. So, to have options would be ideal.

The adjustments are usually done on non-sailing days and will require some ‘getting a bit wet’ and some holding of ropes and chains that are constantly wanting to pull you into the lake, sounds exciting? Great! Then please send your contact details to
Simon Conway our new ‘Pontoon Volunteer’

A word from our Dinghy Park team – FLY PARKING!

Please could you put a note to members regarding fly parking. If a member vacates his boat park space e.g. for holidays, open meetings, boat maintenance etc, please could they cable tie a note to the tie down wire with their name and membership number. A laminated A4 sheet works best. This will prevent a ‘cuckoo’ boat appearing in your prize spot!

Adult RYA Training – Level 3(Better Sailing) Course

There are still spaces left on this amazing course

Cathy Bartram and Dave Orme have asked me to publicise their proposed Level 3 RYA Dinghy Course.
We can work within the current RYA guidelines and the club’s return to sailing arrangements to offer an RYA Level 3(Better Sailing) course to members aged 17+ over the weekends 10/11-Oct-20 and 17/18-Oct-20. In ideal conditions the course can be completed in 2 days so we may not need the 4 scheduled – we are just allowing flex for weather.

The course is for sailors whose sailing skills are at the standard of RYA Level 2 (Basic Skills). The aim of the course is to provide further coaching to consolidate Level 1 and 2 skills and provide taster sessions from the advanced modules. At the end of the course sailors will be more confident in sailing skills and techniques, and ready to progress onto the advanced modules. More details can be found here:

We are limiting the course to a maximum of 6 students. We can accept bookings from single-handed sailors or helms and crews of double-handed dinghies who are either from the same household or are happy to crew a dinghy together – unlike on our usual beginners’ courses, we will not be allocating helms/crews to dinghies. Students can either sail their own boats or, having secured a place, book the use of a club dinghy through the club’s current arrangements for weekend sailing sessions.

Places on the course can be booked through Webcollect after 01-Sep-20. The cost of the course is £100.

Racing News

First I need to confirm that our racing programme as detailed in the white sailing programme, including the Open events, is cancelled, up to the end of October (at this stage). Please refer to these News communications to unearth what the Sailing Committee has planned.
This Sunday will see us back to ‘normal’ – that is post lockdown normal – sailing races 15 and 16 in our Return to Racing Series 1. Race Officers Adrian and Jo Cudmore are planning a brief briefing at 10.30 with a view to running two races, back to back, starting around 11.00.

You will all be champing at the bit to know the results of our racers survey…. I am grateful to most of the current, post-lockdown racers (62 of you) who gave us your views.

Race Timing:-
77.4% opted to continue the current two race back-to-back formula, finishing for lunch.
19.4% wanted racing in the morning, a break for lunch and then racing again in the afternoon.
3.2% wanted racing in the afternoon only

Course Configuration:-
41.9% wanted ‘traditional’ race courses with a mix of reaching, running and beating.
29% wanted windward/leeward courses.
29% were not bothered.
0.1% spoiled their ballot paper!

Race Starts:-
53.2% wanted some fleet starts consolidated to reduce number of starts and minimise waiting between races.
46.8% preferred separate class starts for each fleet.

The Sailing Committee will digest this information and determine how best to organise racing going forward….

Anniversary Pursuit Race – Sunday 13-Sep-20

Mark and Helen Dinwoodie set a large course covering the whole lake for those of us contesting the Anniversary Trophy. With a light and fickle breeze at 11.00, this hopefully ensured that there would be a beat at least somewhere!
At least 45 boats set out to compete….Paul and Gabs Nichols and Peter and I started strongly in the Mirrors – it wasn’t to last! Having negotiated two trying beats only to fall into a 15 minute ‘hole’, it was disconcerting to find the fleet chomping at our heels, very early on, having enjoyed a succession of reaches! It was pleasing to see the return of the Flying Fifteens! (Uncovering them must have made a whole host of spiders homeless!).
The Trophy was won by Reuben and Jo Woodbridge in their RS200 – I think everyone was delighted at the prize giving to see a regular racing couple win a Club perpetual trophy for the first time! Derian and Andy Scott miraculously navigated their Fireball into second place – impressive considering that Andy might well have not bothered to wear his trapeze harness!
3rd was Steve Penfold in a Solo, 4th Vice Commodore elect, Andy Jones in his RS100 and the Flying Fifteens of Ian Cadwallader and Bill Chard finished 4th and 5th.
Everyone enjoyed the sail and it felt good to be able to hold a socially distanced prize giving – if only to get rid of some of our rapidly approaching out-of-date chocolate and beer!

Radio Sailing

On Thursday morning 4 of us enjoyed a session of many cut and thrust races in the vicinity of the hammerhead pontoon. The wind was a brisk North Easterly – reassuring if anything was to go wrong as the boats ought to arrive back on the shore! The picture was taken mid-race – I asked the others to allow me some slack whilst I took the picture – needless to say John Shimell ignored this and delighted in getting to the windward mark first only to get trapped in irons…..!
Our group is about to be joined by Simon Conway of Pontoon Management fame who has just acquired his DF95. If any of you are dithering about getting into this, it is a great fun way to spend a competitive hour or two!

As always, I hope to see as many of you as possible at the Club enjoying the sailing while we can. These are uncertain times and the spiders may have the place to themselves once again if the country does not show an improvement in Corona virus levels.
Also, I apologise for the lack of fresh pictures – please, photographers out there get active!

John Smalley –


Oh for all that water now…



There is a lot of concrete jetty exposed


Close DF95 racing

I have had no correct answers for who this is!