Light winds on Sunday 6th May (Photo: Ed Higham)

Sailing Report

The Class Race Day on the 6th was remarkable only because the wind simply refused to cooperate and only one lap of one race was completed all day! The prize winners were: James Williams and Vicky Counsell in an RS200, John Kelly and Colin Shepherd in the Flying Fifteen, Andrew Southall in the Laser fleet (the largest turnout was of Lasers – 11 in all), Dave Oakey in the Solos and the aptly named Short Course winners were Paul and Harry Smalley in a Mirror.

Sundays for the rest of this month constitute the Early Summer Points series – two races in the morning and two in the afternoon make two ‘stand alone’ series, so racers can choose to compete in one or the other. Remember the early start time for the morning racing – 10.30 am means setting your alarms earlier!

New Members Day last weekend was well attended by members who had not only recently joined us, but also those who had arrived throughout the last year. There was lots going on – an RS800 training day, the second Safety Boat Course and of course CLADS in their trimarans. Mike Meloy and Steve Turner used the Committee Boat to show off the far flung corners of the lake, and the sun shone! We hope to see many of these enthusiastic newcomers take to the water in the coming weeks and months.

Cruising Survey Results

Firstly many thanks to the small but select group of you that responded to this survey – there were many relevant comments and suggestions which the Sailing Committee are determined to take up.

Most of you sound satisfied with the Club, don’t race and have no desire to start racing. Several commented on the feeling that, as cruisers, they were expected to keep well clear of racers.

I would like to include more from cruising sailors in these reports – please, any contributions will be warmly welcomed.
One opinion was that, although our racing activity is excellent, we do little to encourage cruising; once again I hope this is going to change – watch this space…

Several responders would like to see safety cover provided after 2pm on Wednesdays.

Junior and Youth News

The new Youth section of the clubs’ website has gone live with all the information about learning to sail, Chew Crew, the various class training groups and the Chew Youth Sailing Pathway. The Youth section now has its own calendar of events which includes all the training dates, as well as youth news and announcements.

Looking Forward

Thursday Improvers (and Start Racing) – By the time you read this, the first Thursday evening sailing session will have happened, with lots more in the forthcoming weeks. For each evening 2 Rescue Helms are scheduled to cover the safety and OOD duties, and there will usually be an experienced sailor/instructor also on hand to hopefully be able to offer you any help you may need with your boat/rigging/launching/sailing etc etc. Please just ask!

Start Racing evenings – Thursdays 7th, 14th, 21st, 28th June and the 5th July will be structured to help anyone ‘dip their toe in the water’ at racing. Nick Martindale, one of our most experienced racers, will create an informal structure each week explaining what is involved in racing and organising simple races to encourage people to have a go. This is run a simple turn up and go evening, free to all, and should be thoroughly enjoyable. Start time as near to 6pm as can be managed!

Open Meetings – Laser/Solo Western Championships (Saturday 9th June) and RS Feva Inland Championships (Saturday 16th/Sunday 17th June).

The excitement is building around both of these events which will see the Club very busy, and many members involved to make them run smoothly.

The ‘D’ notation in our calendar means ‘Club Sailing at Race Officer’s discretion’. The reason for this is simple; during such events, particularly if a Junior Class is involved, we use the maximum number of RIBs we are allowed by Bristol Water on the lake for safety. The intention is not to stop any general sailing – in fact I cannot remember the last time general sailing was interrupted for an open meeting – however, if the wind conditions are severe, all the RIBs afloat may be fully occupied with the open meeting competitors leaving none available to cover cruising sailors. In this rare event, the Club burgee may not be raised.

Please do come to the Club on ‘Open’ days; if you are sailing there will usually be plenty of lake left over from the meeting to sail on. If not, they are great spectator sport!

Wayfarer week at Falmouth – room for one more couple to join the group!

This year’s trip to Falmouth for a week’s sailing in Wayfarer dinghies is from June 9th to June 16th.

We have space for one couple (or one individual) on this annual trip – no boat needed and staying in a well-appointed holiday flat with views over Falmouth harbour. The normal routine is to day sail in one of the many areas around Falmouth – picnic lunch – evening meal together at the Royal Cornwall Yacht Club.

The cost for accommodation plus RCYC membership fees plus launch and recover fees total around £200 each. If you are interested, please contact Dave Hopkins: or 07532 264284.

Junior and Youth scene

Coming up on the water, the Feva training group kick off their summer of training with a coaching day on Saturday 19th May. Places and club boats are still available. Contact Clare Sheahan ( or sign up on webcollect if you are interested in attending any of the summer coaching dates.

For the Toppers, Andy Price has been busy planning a summer of activity and fun. The new Topper Club will be starting up on Sunday 3rd June with a kick off day where all are warmly invited. It’s aimed at anyone looking to get more out of their Topper, improving their boat set up and their own sailing. To register for the kick off session contact Andy ( There are more dates planned throughout the summer – the new Youth calendar has them all listed.

For the Feva racers the next big event is the National Championships in Weymouth at the end of the month, and then the event they’ve all been waiting for, the Chew Valley Lake hosted Feva Inland Championships on 16th/17th June. We’re hoping for around 50 Fevas for the Inlands. Our 4 club Fevas are available for those that want to join in the fun (contact Clare Sheahan), and for everyone else it will be a great opportunity to come down to the club, enjoy the atmosphere and cheer on our younger sailors. The 29er Class will also be in attendance on Saturday 16th running a demo day for any sailors thinking of moving on to the 29er.

Finally some reminders from Helen

Please ensure that your red 2018-19 boat sticker is actually stuck onto your boat.

Have you cleared your boat park space of grass and brambles yet? It is your responsibility.

The outer gate should be kept locked.

Come sailing, it’s getting warmer and the lake and surrounding countryside look stunning. A bit more of the outside of the clubhouse has had a spruce up and the showers are working well. Thank you Chris Platts for sorting out our plumbing issues.

John Smalley,