Sailing Club News – Thursday 22-Jul-21

It was so good this week to be able to send out the mail setting out the various measures the Committee authorised as we follow Government guidance out of Covid restrictions. I suspect some of our old routines will be dim and distant memories, and of course for the many new members we have gained since the pandemic began, our ‘pandemic’ practices are all you have known. I would particularly ask you to remember to actually stop your car at the signing-in hut and sign in!

Also don’t forget that this evening is the second of the Fun Thursdays when safety cover is laid on by the Police Group from 14.00 until 20.00. As always on these evenings there will be a fun race organised around 6pm and a BBQ afterwards. Hope to see lots of you there in the slightly cooler evening breeze!

Chew Crew 2021 – by Philippa Power

Sunday 18-Jul-21 was the last session of Chew Crew 2021.

After a blustery start at the beginning of May, the young sailors had the lake almost to themselves on Sunday. Sailing proved to be challenging but the warm sun and water were appreciated by all. Special congratulations should go to those parents who achieved runner up in the paddling race!

It has been great to be able to run Chew Crew this year and to see the children and young people grow in confidence and skill. Congratulations to all the students who achieved their RYA Stage 1, Stage 2 and Stage 3 certificates.

Many thanks to Nick Edmonds and Dave Orme for all their help. Also thanks to the Chew DIs and AIs without whom the courses couldn’t run and to all those parents who have spent their Sunday mornings wading in and out of the lake.

I would like to add a massive thanks to Philippa and Angus Penrice, along with their many helpers, for their astonishing effort of running the Crew this year. It has been inspirational to us old lags to see so many happy and confident youngsters setting out in dinghies on their own.

Call for Pay & Play Scheme Helms

I hope you have heard of, or are familiar with, the club’s popular “Pay & Play” scheme: payandplay

Demand for P&P sessions, particularly taster sessions for non-members and lapsed sailors, has rocketed since lockdown started to ease in April. So much so that, this year, we’ve been unable to keep up with demand by sticking to the general rule that dinghy instructors must deliver sessions.

The General Committee has agreed that, in these circumstances, suitably experienced members can volunteer to help deliver P&P taster sessions to the waiting list of potential sailors and potential members desperately keen to get out on the water.

The idea is to provide P&P taster sessions much as we do for the annual RYA “Push The Boat Out”/Discover Sailing days. I emphasise that in no way are P&P sessions regarded as RYA Training in any shape or form. No instruction to customers is offered or expected. No instructing qualification is therefore necessary.

If you feel you could and would like to help the club promote the sport and the benefits of club membership as a P&P helm, please let me know ASAP. Contact details below.
If your own boat is suitable for these general taster sessions you may prefer to take people out in it. Alternatively, the club Quests can be booked and we can arrange a rigging/reefing familiarisation session for you if you’d like one.

Happy to answer any supplementary questions if required.

Hope you feel able to help the club in this effort to clear a substantial P&P waiting list.

Dave Orme 0773 4815271

Chew Crew 2021

Chew Crew 2021

Family Regatta – Saturday 10-Jul-21

Whilst not enjoying the blazing sun which usually happens on Regatta Days, it was warm, and in the morning, there was a gentle southerly breeze – ideal for pushing dinghies anti-clockwise around Denny Island. 40 boats entered ‘the’ biggest race of the Club’s year, with barely a sight of those hot-shot, fancy pants Sunday racers! Errol Edwards sorted the results into some kind of order (not easy with many boats being unidentifiable, overloaded with pirates and bunting and no sail number!).

Two of the CLADS Challengers rattled out in front – the winner proved so handy with a paddle he should definitely be going to Tokyo.

Family teams were rewarded for deducing the word ‘Black Spot’ from the Code Flags hidden around the Club. (Sadly, many of the young pirates had not heard the expression – whatever do they teach them at school these days?). Whitebeard Whatley supervised the parade of pirates, and then with his old mate Short Fat Silver, he disappeared to organise the treasure hunt on Denny Island. By this time the wind had died completely so a procession of RIBs and the Dory ferried the keen hunters to and fro.

A great time was had by all – lots of happy faces. Several children expressed that it was the best day of their lives – they hadn’t been up close to a bouncy castle since the pandemic began.

Finally, a word of thanks to the many members, rostered or otherwise who all pitched in to make things run smoothly, and particularly to the troops on the Island nettle bashing day – see the picture. (It was blisteringly hot!)

Walking the Plank!

The Island clearing crew

Lake and Cake 4 – Saturday 31-Jul-21

The next lake & cake is only 9 days away, so enough time to bake some scrumptious cakes? The weather forecast is currently looking good at a very comfortable 20°C and moderate breeze.

Meet by the Gazebo at 1:45 rigged & ready to sail for a great afternoon on the water

If you would like to be added to the Lake & Cake WhatsApp group contact Rosie on

Chew Stoke Primary Sailing

Every Wednesday afternoon during the summer school term, 6 pupils from Chew Stoke Primary School, years 5&6 have been visiting Chew Valley Lake Sailing Club to take sailing lessons from instructors and volunteers from All Aboard Watersports. Wednesday 14th July was their last session. All 6 children and their parents have been very complimentary about their experiences at the sailing club and they have all enjoyed themselves immensely. Roll on next Summer term when the next cohort are already eager to start to learn to sail.

Chew’s very own ‘duel in the Sun’

It will almost certainly have escaped the notice of most of you, but for the past few years there has been building a deep and sorely felt animosity between two of our group members; I am referring to the leaders of CLADS – Steve Nash – and the Avon & Somerset police groups. – our chief powerboat instructor, Jeff Stratford.

They are both the proud owners of Topper Omega dinghies. (These fine but rather bulky boats were once the weapon of choice for the prestigious Endeavour Trophy for Class Association National Champions).

The bitterness and rivalry came to a head last Saturday when I was asked to arrange a race – if not to the death, as near as!
To cut a long story short, and I have to say, against ALL the odds and pre-race betting, Jeff Stratford and the police galleon won the day. The pictures tell the tale. and I can re-assure you that amicable relations have resumed between the protagonists – until next year I suspect!

Lunch on the Lake – Saturday 14-Aug-21

Saturday 14-Aug-21 (weather permitting) GP14 (sail number 10562) will be dropping anchor and sails and having lunch on the lake. In preparation for dinghy cruising later in the year and throughout 2022 Chew Valley Lake is the perfect safe environment to hone those skills and discuss the necessary equipment and boat set up required for safe coastal navigation. So come alongside, raft up (rope fenders will be available, I can even show you how to make them for your own boat!) have lunch and a chat. All welcome. Those with anchors are especially welcome 🙂

Response has already been positive and I am hoping for good weather to guarantee a successful and fun first Lunch on the Lake event.

For more in-depth detail see the Facebook post, posted 17-Jul-21 or email me

RNLI – Tea and Cakes beside the Lake – Friday 03-Sep-21 3pm -6pm

Come and enjoy an afternoon beside the lake! And support the RNLI at the same time.
Tea, coffee, cakes and more. Cash Bar.
Ticket £5. Children under 10 free.
Contact Tim Gracey – 01725 854623

Hopefully you have all been enjoying the good weather and are looking forward to more sunny days in the summer holidays.

John Smalley –

The Duel in the sun – Jeff Stratford fine-tuning the spinnaker.

Hot favourite Steve Nash and crew.

Lunch on the Lake!