Sailing Club News – Thursday 21-Oct-21

We are now one week on from our 2021 AGM which saw the installation of Andy Jones, Paul Nichols and Jon Elmes as our new Commodore, Vice Commodore and Rear Commodore respectively. I am sure you will all join me in thanking them for stepping up to the mark and wish them all the best as they get to grips with running the Club for us all.

For me personally it will seem very odd not having to attend or chair Club committee meetings – long overdue jobs on house and garden may find themselves attended to at last!

Please be aware that work has started this week to improve the steps down to the RIB pontoon. Depending on how this is left this weekend, the RIB pontoon may be unavailable.

Commodore’s notes

AGM Summary

The recent AGM came and passed without any significant incident of note. Those of you interested will be able to read more details from the minutes when they are made available, and it falls on me to use this news forum to once again publicly thank those ‘retiring’ committee members that have contributed so much for our club over many years – Mike Higgins (Rear Commodore), Craig harris (Sailing sec), Andrew Martyn-Johns (Vice president), Anna Mason (new members rep) and of course John Smalley, who will be such a hard act to follow as Commodore. Thank you for all that you have done, I feel sure that our new committee members will all continue to tap into your considerable experience in the future, I know I will!

Racing Update

We recently hosted the Flying Fifteen Inlands which saw a strong entry of 24 boats from around the country. Although the racing was blighted by light winds, it proved possible for RO John Smalley and his team to get 4 races off on Sunday with Jeremy Davey and Martin Huett from Draycote triumphing from Richard Lovering and Matt Alvarado, and Chew’s very own Bill Chard and Josh Preater putting in a stellar performance to come in at third overall. See Bill’s full report below…..

Last weekend saw us host our annual visitors day, with a good visiting turnout of boats from as far afield as Netley, Castle Cove and Lyme Regis, along with representation form more local clubs Portishead, Thornbury, Bradford on Avon. With 59 boats on the start line the race team, led by Pete Sherwin, did a fantastic job laying on sunshine, wind and some great courses that saw Paul and Peter Smalley in their Mirror win the morning’s race overall and B Handicap shield, while Julian Cooke triumphed in the A handicap. The afternoon pursuit proved an exciting affair at the front, with the mirrors holding the lead so nearly all the way through before being caught by the RS200 of Nick Martindale and Ruth Kenyon, while a swarm of RS100s and a cherub also managed to get into the mix. So far as the Top Club trophy for the day, I am pleased that Chew managed to win the trophy back, with the Chew Fools solo team of Chris Meredith, Toby Peacock and Damian Gardiner triumphing.

Coming Racing

This next weekend 23/24-Oct-21 sees us host the RS200s and RS100 Inland Championship. Club sailing on Saturday will be possible, although it will be at the race officer’s discretion on the day depending on the wind conditions. On Sunday, the RS100s will be racing in the southern area of the lake – those of you craving fleet racing will be pleased that we have agreed that normal club racing (and sailing) will also take place on Sunday, based in the northern lake area with starts and finishes from the club line.

We return to our normal winter series racing the following weekend before our final Open meeting of the season on the weekend of 6/7-Nov-21, when we will be hosting the Fireball inlands and 420 Grand Prix event. Again, club sailing will be possible on both days, subject to the Race Officer’s agreement on the day, although there will be no club racing on the Sunday.

Windsurfing Time!

You will all be excited to know that the windsurfing season at Chew is underway and runs until the middle of March next year, and that all members with a boat at the club are entitled to store a board on or under their dinghy, or indeed take it home and windsurf on the lake with a ‘boat’ sticker on the board which can be obtained from our membership secretary for £45 and whose details are on the website.

Windsurfing has been under review for a few years now but remains a part of the lease and so it would be great to see members take advantage of the opportunity. If anybody is interested in starting an informal windsurfing group and perhaps meet on Saturdays then let me know ( and I may even join you.

Flying Fifteen Inland Championship at Chew Valley Lake, 09&10-Oct-21

The 2021 Flying Fifteen Inland Championship at Chew Valley Lake SC on October 9th and 10th saw 24 entries, including six from the home fleet.

The forecast had looked light all week and proved to be remarkably accurate. Competitors arriving on Saturday were greeted with bacon butties, coffee and tea, a picturesque Chew Valley Lake, but zero wind! At 2pm, still with a flat calm and no prospect of improvement, racing was abandoned for the day giving everyone the afternoon for country walks and local sightseeing before a well-attended social at the sailing club in the evening.

Sunday morning started with the lake still rather calm, but by the 1030 start time the weather had improved to classic inland conditions, 8-10 knots with plenty of shifts and pleasantly warm sunshine for mid-October. The race team lead by PRO John Smalley got proceedings under way on time and ran 4 good races for a truncated but hotly contested championship series.

Race 1 started with a shifty first beat, and some competitors discovering the exact location of those shallows that someone mentioned in the briefing! There was plenty of place changing throughout the race, although on the last run Bill Chard & Josh Preater, and Charles & Charlie Apthorp, extended a lead from the rest of the fleet with Bill & Josh taking the win from the Apthorps, and Richard Hope & Mike Stenson in 3rd.

Race 2 started with a port shift allowing Chew skiff sailors Alex Knight & Rob Higgins in a borrowed boat to execute a perfect port end flyer and take the lead, only to have their race ended by gear failure on the first run. After three laps, Justin Waples & Jackie McKellar took first, followed by Jeremy Davey & Martin Huett, and then Bill & Josh.

Race 3 saw the only general recall of the event, but according to the committee boat it was a pretty blatant one! However the restart was still under a ‘P’ flag, and the fleet was away cleanly at the second attempt. Ian Pinnell & Ian Cadwallader rounded the windward mark first and went on to take a convincing win. Richard Lovering & Matt Alvarado were second, followed by Greg Wells & Elliot Wells.

Race 4 introduced a discard and would be the decider for the event, with 4 boats in the running. There was a short postponement, as a wind shift forced the race team to rotate the course to the left, making the shallows a more significant factor on the right side of the beat. Nevertheless, the right side paid, and at the first mark Jeremy & Martin (needing 2nd or better to win the event) rounded first.

Of the boats in contention, Bill & Josh, and Ian & Ian, were too far down the fleet to influence the end-result. At the front, Jeremy & Martin lead for most of the race pushed hard by Richard & Matt and Greg & Elliot.

Richard & Matt took the lead on the final run but second was enough for Jeremy & Martin to secure first overall. Richard & Matt’s race win put them level on points with Bill & Josh, but just ahead on count-back so they took second overall.

The top 5 finishing positions were:
1st: 3760 Jeremy Davey and Martin Huett, Draycote Water SC
2nd: 4002 Richard Lovering and Matt Alvarado, Hayling Island SC
3rd: 4069 Bill Chard and Josh Preater, Chew Valley Lake SC
4th: 4055 Ian Pinnell and Ian Cadwallader, Chew Valley Lake / Hayling Island SC
5th: 4030 Greg Wells and Elliot Wells, Hayling Island SC

With four different race winners, a very close overall result, and despite concerns over the forecast, The Inlands was a successful event to end the Flying Fifteen Championship series for 2021.
The future looks bright for the class going into 2022, the 75th anniversary year of the Flying Fifteen class, with a healthy number

of new boats launched and more being built. Next year’s calendar is looking good and includes the Nationals at Hayling Island, and the European Championship at Cowes. Then in 2023 the next World Championship will take place in Fremantle Australia.

Full results for the 2021 Inland Championships are at: FF Inlands 2021

(Many thanks to Errol Edwards and Ann Belcher for some amazing photos!)

Advanced Rescue Helm Course – from Jeff Stratford

Saturday 16-Oct-21 was the last safety course of the year.
Without the assistance of our young helpers we could not run the courses. For this last course we had Josh Lane, Noah Curtis and Charlie Muscat. They are three really great young men; they help rig the boats, sail them out onto the lake and capsize them as many times as we want them to. The water temperature has dropped 4c since the last course and we noticed Noah and Charlie we’re getting cold, they didn’t complain but we noticed it and we put them ashore to warm up.
After lunch they were up for going out again and capsizing the Quest, Josh jumped off the RIB numerous times and was rescued by the students. They derigged the boats and put everything away for us.

They have all done their PB2; we put Josh through the safety course today and I will put Noah and Charlie through it early next year. They are a credit to their parents and the Club.

Chew Cruise (Lunch on the Lake) – from Simon Conway

The last ‘official’ Lunch on the Lake took place on a glorious Saturday afternoon on calm waters, ( 5 boats and 7 people ), perfect for showing off the recently built galley box. A spicy rice and mince one-pot dish, made from scratch, on board, in full view of my fellow floating diners, oh how they chuckled! A few made a quick dash to Antonia’s Deli to grab a take-away box before setting a course-to-steer for our chosen patch of water.

Compared to the inaugural outing, we decided not to raft up but instead anchor and position our boats in close proximity, a far better solution, and we could still hear each other in conversation. Easier said than done, in some cases, but that just shows that our lake is the perfect safe venue for practicing such techniques in readiness for next year’s grand plan! (More on that in future news). The new club sailing calendar will soon show the previously named ‘Sail & Ale’ events as ‘Lunch on the Lake’ for 2022. Over the coming Winter we will hold more lunches afloat, but they will be ad-hoc and on good weather days. If you want to join in and show off those precision boat-handling skills, then please do get in touch.

Now a quick word of thanks. This may not be a brand-new initiative, but Lunch on the Lake this year has been very well supported by its participants and also by the general committee. We have learned, laughed and made new friends. Thank you – let’s do more!

Radio Controlled DragonFlite 95 Sailing at Chew by Errol Edwards

Autumn is now well and truly here and for us dinghy sailors, that means strong winds are now more likely! Exciting sailing conditions for some and time to stay ashore for others. If you are more of a fair weather sailor, there is a way to experience the thrills and spills of high wind sailing whilst staying relatively dry, from the shore or even the clubhouse balcony.

The DragonFlite 95 class radio controlled yacht arrived at Chew Valley Lake at the end of 2019 and it has grown in numbers since, despite all the covid lockdowns. One of the benefits that radio controlled sailing has had on the sailing community as a whole, is that it has provided a way to keep sailors sailing and racing when due to injury, illness or age, they have had to stop either temporary or permanently. Unless you have sight problems, anybody can radio sail. It is such an inclusive genre of sailing.

The DragonFlite 95 is a Restricted One-Design boat, whose sailors will be putting their sailing skills to the test and not their wallets. It provides close and exciting racing in an affordable and easily maintained design. A new boat including a radio set can be purchased for about £340 and is excellent value for money. A yacht built exactly as shown in the comprehensive instruction booklet, will be competitive ‘out of the box’.

Over the summer months, DF95 sailors form Chew spread their wings and visited other radio sailing clubs in the region. Whitefriars SC near South Cerney and Sutton Bingham near Yeovil are just two clubs that we have visited and have also played host to at Chew. Racing is very competitive and with races being of the ‘crash and burn’ type with a fast turnover between races; a dozen or more races are possible in 2 or 3 hours. All very exciting and entertaining, especially when the wind picks up.

Chew DF95 sailors usually meet on Thursdays, but this may be change to Wednesday, Saturday or Sunday if more favourable wind conditions are forecasted. Usually the decision is made by Monday evening which day we sail that week. Many members have had the opportunity to try radio sailing at Chew, and the DF95 sailors would be all too willing to let any member who is interested have a go with their boat and answer any questions about what is involved.

For further information, Errol Edwards, Simon Conway, John Spellman, John Shimell and John Smalley will be more than happy to share their knowledge and experiences.

Useful links: … Supplier of new boats, parts and accessories. … UK DragonFlite95 Class Association.

Finally, don’t pack away that sailing gear too soon! But when you do sail, beware the lake level is still very low with various shallow areas. With all the rain hopefully things should start to improve….!
John Smalley

The Universities are back in training.

100’s practicing for their Inlands next weekend.

Flying Fifteen Inlands

Chew’s own Tim and Jo Johnson

Michael Clapp and Howard Shawyer from Datchet





Alex Knight and Rob Higgins from Chew pushing the start line!


The Fifteen prizewinners

What happens when the PRO doesn’t keep the marklayers busy enough!!

Boats enjoying ‘Lunch on the Lake’.

For those who didn’t know GP14s come equipped with a galley!

Radio sailing at Chew

DF’s smallest ‘D’ rigs

Goose-winged in lots of wind…

A ‘C’ rig.

Sailors keeping dry but their hands warm!