Sailing Club News – Thursday 24-Jun-21

With Summer sailing now in full swing, there has been lots happening as you will read below.
Whilst there may have been a little organisational rustiness, you would not have known as our first open meeting for two years happened in best ‘well oiled’ Chew fashion. There will be more practicing this weekend as we welcome the Feva Inland Championships.
We hosted the Police National Championships on Wednesday and Thursday last week.
At the RYA Discover Sailing Day, superbly organised by Andrew Martyn-Johns, we had 63 visitors to the Club. All of them were taken for a sail and Helen organised for the many youngsters to ‘have a go’ on their own in an Optibat – this went down particularly well. I think there will be a rash of new members as a result; the only limiting factor is that our training programmes are full, and many want this as a starting point.

Our ‘Return to Sailing’ programme will see some changes as we move into July.
We are doing away with the need to sign in with the OOD when you arrive at the Club –unless you have NOT pre-booked. Booking to sail will still be necessary.
We are not replenishing the hand sanitiser at the outer gate – we advise that you should bring your own if you feel the need to use it at that point.
Also, we will be re-instating the need for racers to sign on before going afloat.
Finally a reminder that Club boats are now being charged for – see the fee scale further down this News.

Membership Renewal 01-Jul-21 – reminder

Membership renewal for extended 2020/21 members is a week away. Many of you have renewed already, but if you intend to renew and haven’t done so yet please can you renew by 01-Jul-21.

When renewing please check your details are up to date on WebCollect – check your email & postal addresses, you have the right membership category (and haven’t grown out of or into a different category), and you have a boat fee for all your boats. Also remember to check your duty preferences in Dutyman.

If you pay by Direct Debit, your payment does not automatically renew (unlike many utility bills). You must still renew via your WebCollect account and select Online Direct Debit as your payment method.

Please let the membership secretary know if you can’t find your renewal email (sent on 3rd July). Do check your spam folder as it may have dropped in there.

Rosie can be contacted on

Family Regatta – Saturday 10-Jul-21

This is the first reminder for you to get this date pencilled into your diaries. It has not happened since 2019, but for those new to the Club since then, it is without doubt the most popular day in our calendar.
It is the only day in the year that we are permitted to sail around Denny Island, and indeed to set foot on the island itself.
There will be a bouncy castle on the green area.
Plans are afoot for clearing a path on the island so that the traditional hunt for buried treasure can happen.

Volunteers to help with this on Wednesday 07-Jul-21 will be most welcome – meet at the flagpole at 10.00 with legs well covered and a means of chopping nettles!

Starting at 11.00, we have the Round the Island Race. Boats of all shapes and sizes set off, many dressed all over with bunting and full of rowdy pirates.
Young (and sadly also old) members dress as pirates – there is a parade to select the best dressed, and after a hearty lunch Short Fat Silver leads the way to the far side of the island, where incidentally there is a harbour (!), and the search for treasure begins.
This is NOT a day to be missed.

Boat Park

You will have seen a steady flow of new membership application emails in recent months, and although the club has seen a few members and boats leaving us for pastures new the boat park is still very busy with several new boats arriving each week. We are short of available boat spaces and the boat park team is working hard to find places for new and existing member’s boats.
So here are a few reminders on boat park etiquette that will help to keep things running smoothly:
If you have any trailers at the club that are not stored under your boat please remove them from the boat park or put them under your boat. The club does not provide storage for trailers unless they are under your boat and within your allocated space. Any loose trailers found in the boat park will shortly be collected up and removed to make space for boats.
Please attach your orange 2021/22 boat sticker to your boat as soon as you are able. It provides a clear indication to the boat park team that you have paid your boat fee. If you are unable to apply your sticker shortly after receiving it, please let the Membership Secretary know. Anyone not displaying a 2021/22 sticker may be challenged.
If you are planning to bring a new boat to the club or return a boat that has been away for more than 3 months, please contact the Boat Park Team beforehand as there may not be any free spaces, or your original space may be reallocated if your boat has been away for a long time.
Please remember, an empty space it is not necessarily a vacant one and there are many reasons why a space may be empty, especially on sailing days! If you are unsure, speak to the Boat Park Team. If you are selling or removing your boat, please let the Membership Secretary and Boat Park Team know as soon as possible.

Boat Park Team (Jon Elmes & Allen Marsh)
Membership Secretary

New Weather Station

After a long period where the club did not have an onsite wind speed instrument, we now have an ‘all singing and dancing’ Tempest Weather Station mounted on the very top of the Race Hut Flag Pole thanks to the work of John Smalley, Simon Conway and Dave Oakey.

Supplied by WeatherFlow based in the States we have a Tempest smarter home weather system which gives us the following data:

Wind Speed and Direction
Air Pressure
Rain duration and intensity
UV index and solar radiation
Lightning detection

Data readings from the Tempest weather station are wirelessly transmitted to a WeatherFlow mains powered hub in the race hut, where the data is forwarded to the internet to be viewed via a web browser.

The unit has no moving parts which is a disadvantage to some sailors, no more glancing at the Race Hut mast and judging the wind speed and direction from the Anemometer Wind vane.

The Tempest is solar powered with a rechargeable battery to keep it operational at night.

How much sun does the Tempest need to keep it operational?
Not much! The Tempest only needs about 4 hours of adequate sunlight every two weeks on one or more of the four solar panels to operate. This is a rule-of-thumb and our mileage may vary. In the event of extended periods of low light conditions, power management code in the firmware will help the Tempest operate for as long as possible.

How does it measure wind speed and direction?
It measures the wind using an ultra-sonic anemometer which comprised of 4 transducers housed in the top of the device. The Tempest measures wind speed and direction based on the time of flight of ultra-sonic pulses between pairs of transducers. This allows for a high degree of accuracy especially in variable wind conditions.

How does it measure rain?
Tempest uses a patent-pending haptic rain sensor in the top of the device. Using a combination of pressure and capacitance, Tempest measures and counts each falling raindrop. Algorithms exclude things that are not rain (like the rumblings of a passing train or Harley, Most unlikely at Chew). This allows Tempest to report the instant rain begins falling, the current intensity, and the total rain accumulation over time. Accuracy compares to a large tipping bucket but does not get fouled with leaves or bird poop.

How do I view the data from our Tempest?
You can go to the CVLSC website weather page or directly to the WeatherFlow Tempest CVLSC website
The Club Weather page has instructions on how to add the CVLSC Weather Station to your smart Phone Home Screen
For now, Tempest data can only be viewed via the internet, but we are looking at displaying the data on a screen in the Bar area.

Saturday 03-Jul-21 – Ladies Trophy Day

The next (and perhaps most important) date in the lake & cake calendar is the Ladies Trophy Race on Saturday 3rd July. Practice will be available in the morning to get you in the mood for some light-hearted competition in the afternoon.
The plan for the day is:
10:45am – morning briefing for a short practice session on the water at 11am
1:30pm – race briefing for a 2pm start. There will be 3 short races.
then tea, cake & Prize-giving
You can enter the races without doing the practice session. Any skill level can join in – you don’t need to be an ace sailor. Male crews are welcome but the helm must be female. Tea & cake are mandatory.
The current holder of the prestigious trophy is Ella Cudmore who won the title in 2019 (pre-Covid) sailing her mum’s Europe. I’m hoping we’ll have a lot of contenders for this coveted trophy this year!
If you would like to be added to the lake & cake WhatsApp group & Email, please contact Rosie on

Fun Thursdays are back – Jeff Stratford

Following on from Thursday improvers and Thursday start racing the Police Group are running four FUN Thursdays.

The dates are:-
Thursday 8th July
Thursday 22nd July
Thursday 5th August
Thursday 26th August

Starting on Thursday 8th July we will provide the OOD, Rescue helm and rescue crew from 2pm onwards so that anyone can come along and have a sail.
At about 5.30 to 6pm we will have a short briefing, we will announce the exact time on the tannoy, we will then have a very simple FUN race. We will do a countdown to the start; it will be a simple triangle course, no entry fees, no prizes just bragging rights that you beat us.

At about 7pm one of our BBQ kings will set the barbie going, it will be simple burgers and sausages with an honesty pot for contributions, we obviously will need in advance some idea of how many people will join us for the BBQ. If you have any dietary or fancy requirement then please BYO and we will incinerate it for you.

We plan to have everyone off the water by 8pm.

You can arrive and leave whenever it suits you but you will need to book exactly the same as you have done for the previous Thursday sessions.

To make it viable we do need your support.

Power Boat Training

The next Powerboat level Course is on the 24th and 31st July. You must be a club member, 16 yrs or older and you do not need any experience. You have to be able to do both days as it is a progressive course. There are places available please book via your webcollect account. The Club takes safety very seriously and remember no safety, no sailing.

We hope to restart the advanced rescue helm safety courses when it is safe to do so.

Junior and Youth News from Nick Edmonds

The Chew Crew Sunday program continues with the first of the Stage 3 students receiving their certificates last Sunday. Well done to them all. By mid-July the remaining Stage 1,2 & 3 students will all have completed their courses.

August Antics, held on the August Bank Holiday weekend, is on the horizon and currently is without an organising committee. If you are able to help with the planning, admin, logistics, on and off the water activities etc please contact (for those in the current Chew Crew program an online poll form will be sent to you directly).

Away from the club our junior and youth racers have been competing. At the end of May Rosie & Susie Sheahan competed in the Feva National Championships at Hayling Island, finishing in 16th place with a 3rd place in one of the final gold fleet races. Noah Curtis finished 21st at the Poole YC Topper Super South Traveller event. Rosie, Susie and Noah will all be competing at the RS Feva Inland Championships at the club this weekend. We wish them good luck!

In the Youth classes William de Jaeger and Sam Cox attended the 29er Typhoon Trophy held at GrafhamWater earlier in the month. Sailing a newer boat picked up in the week before they scored a 9th, 4th and 5th in the 3 races to finish on count back in 4th place overall. A great performance in a competitive fleet of forty 29ers. The youth Lasers attended the WPNSA Open Meeting back in May. All raced in the ILCA 6 class with Oliver Allen-Willcox finishing 27th, Dru Townsend 26th and 2nd in the U17 female category. Ed Baker had a great weekend closing off with a 3rd place finish to boost his score to 9th overall, and 3rd in the U19 male category.

Congratulations to all our travelling racers on a fine set of results and to our novice and improving sailors achieving their certificates at the club over the past few Sundays.

Solo Western Area Championships Saturday 19-Jun-21 (see the pictures!)

Nineteen Solos from six clubs took part in the Solo Western Area Championships at Chew on 12th June.

The forecast was for a light westerly breeze and plenty of sunshine, and whilst on average this was true it masks the wide variety of wind on offer for Race 1. We launched in 5kts, started in 10kts and finished in 2kts. A minute before the start the wind swung 45 degrees making starting on starboard surprisingly tricky. Stephen Penfold was most awake to this getting off to a port flyer and setting the early pace.

A few more wild swings later Rob Mitchel and Alex Corby found themselves comfortably ahead at the halfway point. Nick Martindale, possibly the only sailor to have switched from singlehanded to double handed sailing during the pandemic, showed why he is the defending Western Area series champion pulling through on the last beat to take the win from Alex in second. Rob went the wrong way up the final beat to allow Stephen to take third and Ian Bartlett from South Cerney was the first visitor in fifth.

Race 2 got underway in 10-12kts easing slightly as the race progressed. Gary Molton, formerly of Chew showed a mastery of the light conditions to lead throughout. Rob Mitchell again played the shifts and puffs right to take second and Nick consolidated his win in the first race with a third. Chris Meredith put a disappointing first race behind him to take fourth and Dave Oakey took a well deserved fifth.

Race three started in the best wind of the day, but as before it eased in the second half. Nick got away cleanly and wasn’t seen again. The second beat was puffy and shifty and Malcolm Davies of Teign Corinthian in a woody and Andy Scott with a Dacron sail made the most of the fluctuating wind to finish second and third. Rob Mitchell again finished fourth and Chris Meredith fifth.

Overall Nick showed a remarkable consistency in the challenging conditions to take a well earned win, with Rob second and Alex taking third on countback. Only five points separated third to eleventh in what was a high scoring series.

The vibrancy and choice within the class was demonstrated by the fact there were at least five different hull designs, seven different sails and four masts competing, nearly all which recorded at least one top five result.

Many thanks to the RO Andy Jones for getting three races underway in challenging conditions, to everyone who helped organise and run the day and to all the visitors for braving the forecast and the ongoing pandemic to come and play with us.

Wessex Laser / ILCA Grand Prix Series at Chew – 12-Jun-21

CVLSC staged its first Open event since 2019 on 12th June – the 4th round of the Wessex Laser / ILCA Grand Prix alongside the Solo Western Area Championships. Brightly did the day dawn but only slightly did the wind blow, and mighty shiftily at that. Friends old and new came to enjoy light wind lake sailing at its frustrating finest. Race 1 started with a pin-end bias that, five minutes later, turned into a giant shift and those caught on the wrong side of it were badly wrong-footed (note to self – go up the middle next time). RS200 sailor and Laser occasional John Spelman took full advantage of his light weight and his full rig to come through in fourth, preceded by Damian Boreham in third, Chris Sunderland in second and Peter Sherwin in first place. Damian had to use all his race craft to recover from a 720 incident but class will out, he was not placed lower all day. After lunch and a delay for the wind to make its mind up, Race 2 commenced with a general recall and RO Andy Jones kindly flew the U flag to calm everyone down. Jim Shaw came from right-field to take the win followed by John Spelman and Damian in third. Come the final race and we had another winner, Steve Smith somehow taking it in his Radial / ILCA 6. Which meant that after discards we had three sailors tying for the win five points each! Countback gave Peter Sherwin the cup on account of his first place, but Damian and Chris Sunderland each had one second place and one third place. Thankfully the SI’s could cope and awarded Damian second place overall on account of beating Chris in the final race of the day.
Steve Smith took the Radial / ILCA 6 trophy home, followed by Ed Baker and Jon Lewis, narrowly beating Dru Townsend who took the prize for the first women overall, followed by Christi Brasher and Sarah Harding. Thanks to the Race Team and Rob in the galley for feeding us all.

The series continues
17-Jul-21 Saturday Cotswold
31-Jul-21 Saturday Thornbury
02-Oct-21 Saturday South Cerney
16-Oct-21 Saturday Avon
23-Oct-1 Saturday Bowmoor or
06-Nov-21. Saturday Bowmoor

Sailing Rope at Chew

We dinghy sailors are passionate about rope! Old off-cuts tend to stay with us forever!
With the demise of Force 4 Chandlers in Bristol, getting supplies is sometimes problematical. The club has managed to secure a job lot of sailing rope and two stands at a significant discount. There is a variety of sizes from 2mm to 12mm including the more useful 4, 6 and 8mm braid on braid polypropylene. The smaller sizes are stored in the buoy store and the larger sizes near the bosun’s bench in the boat garage. Each stand has a 1m length of rope to assist with measurement and there is a pair of scissors attached to the stand in the buoy store. The rope is available to members on an honesty payment basis with all profits going to the club funds. Please measure your purchase and pay by credit card to the Officer of the Day. The costs are displayed and are 2 mm to 4 mm diameter at £1.00 per metre, 6-8 mm diameter at £1.50 per metre and 10-12 mm diameter £3.00 per metre.
Please address any questions about this to David Johnson

Club Boats for Hire and Guest Fees

Just a reminder for you all that the Club has a number of boats available for members to hire. The Committee has allowed this to happen without payment for the duration of the pandemic, but from Monday 17-May-21 we are once again charging as follows:-

  • RS Vision, 2x Quests, 6x Fevas, 4x Teras and 2x Picos – £15 per 2 hour slot.
  • 10 x Toppers – Free to Under 16’s £5 per slot for adults.
  • 10 x Optibats – Free

(All of these boats may be unavailable if they are required for Club RYA Training/Coaching or Chew Crew sessions).

Members may bring a Guest to sail with them for a fee of £5.
A visiting boat will also be charged £5.

‘Birds of Chew Valley Lake’ by Keith Vinicombe

The club has a sample copy of this beautiful book by Keith Vinicombe, about the habitat that is Chew Valley Lake. The book is not only about the birds – it covers the history & construction of the lake, leisure at the lake including a chapter on the Sailing club with many photos by Errol, ecology of the lake, and as you would expect some ‘birding moments & tales’ by Keith. It has 400 photographs and over 300 original illustrations. The author says the book will also be of interest to ‘non-birders’ and anyone interested in the natural world, not just the lake.
It has also been distributed to outlets around the lake (Salt & Malt, Woodford, West Harptree PO) and also online at certain bookshops, including Waterstones. If you are interested in the book and would like to browse through our copy (& perhaps order), please let the membership secretary know – Rosie can be contacted on

Thanks to all the many contributors of ‘news’, and of course providers of pictures. Please keep things coming; where have you been sailing? How have you modified your boat – anything that might be of interest!

John Smalley –

Police National Championships

Lead Boat – would you follow this pair?!

Start Racing Course – Nick Martindale and Andy Scott taking charge.

Their audience

RYA Discover Sailing Day




Our new weather station

The ‘boat cutting up crew’ – remember to display your current boat sticker!

Read about our new rope store

Laser Open Meeting


Solo Western Area Championships