The intrepid pontoon rescuers!

Sailing Club News – 27-Feb-20

After all the storms and strong winds have done their best to wipe out sailing and racing for the last three weekends, at least until last Sunday afternoon, I thought there might be a glimmer of hope for this weekend. Now I see that storm Jorge is rapidly approaching to shake the trees and wreck our burgees! No doubt some of you will be distracted by the Dinghy Show at the Ally Pally – go on Saturday – the wind prospect looks slightly better for Sunday.
The pictures show the valiant team that rescued segments of our Southern pontoon from far flung corners of the lake after storm Dennis. There are now six smaller pontoons scattered on the water and various slipways! We will hopefully be engaging Pontoon and Dock contractors to get us back up and running as soon as possible.

If like me you are growing tired of your old, dog-eared sailing programme for 2019-2020, I have some good news – Rosie has the secret for getting yourself a shiny new 2020-2021 version!

Membership Renewals – yes, it’s that time of year!

The Membership Renewal emails are being sent out at the beginning of March. There will be a link in your renewal email to your WebCollect account. When renewing please check that your personal information and boat details are up to date (the email provides guidance on making changes).
If you would like help renewing and can visit the club on Wednesday 18th March, our Membership Secretary Rosie Bowers will be in the bar area from 10:30am to 1pm to help – remember to bring your WebCollect log-on details (Email Sign-on & Password) with you.
For more renewal advice Rosie can be contacted on

Please help the volunteers who manage your memberships by renewing before 01-Apr-20.

‘Nipigegi’ Round Britain Wayfarer non-stop sailing record.

There was a full audience for this final Winter Warmer evening, and what an inspiring bloke Will Hodshon turned out to be. His round Britain sail with Rich Mitchell was a true family effort; his grandfather bought the Wayfarer 60 years ago, and all of the family were involved in restoring the boat, preparing everything for the voyage and driving around the country, often spotting the boat from vantage points and supplying up to date weather data.

I am fully expecting to see conversions going on to the many Wayfarers in our dinghy park as inspired owners dream of broadening their horizons!

£92 was raised for the RNLI, and Nipigegi herself will be on display at the Dinghy Show this weekend where Will and Rich will be speaking on the main stage.

Looking Forward

BUSA Team Racing Playoffs – Sat. 29-Feb-20 and Sun. 01-Mar-20

Not such a large event as the main trials at the beginning of the month, but important for the ‘runners up’ that day to try and gain a place in the National finals. This includes Bristol’s 2nd team – their only hope of representation sadly.
The small courses and multiple quick-fire races make for great spectator sport. They are hoping for gentler breezes than are presently forecast, but do come and watch.

Class Race Day 7 – Sun. 01-Mar-20

As I said at the start, with so many racing days lost to strong winds this year, I think there could be a big turnout for this Class race Day.
With Ian Cadwallader and Bill Chard in charge, you should be guaranteed a great day of racing. Hopefully the plan is for two races before lunch and two afterwards in the usual Club racing fleets. At last a chance to win yourself a bottle of finest sailing club wine at the close of play prize giving.

Start of Summer Sailing (!) – Sat. 14-Mar-20

Sadly this also marks the end of permission for windsurfing on the lake.

Powerboat Training

Level 2 Course – Wednesday 25-Mar-20 and Thursday 26-Mar-20

This is a rare opportunity for a midweek powerboat course, specifically targeted at helping Bristol Water rangers obtain the qualification. There are two places available. It’s not on webcollect; the cost is £40 – contact if you are interested.

Advanced Rescue Helm Course – Saturday 04-Apr-20

There are two places available, it’s free and you need to hold the PB2 to do it. Again contact Jeff if you would like to enrol.
To run the safety course we need help from our less mature members who are happy to sail and capsize Oppies, Toppers and the Vision. All I can offer is my thanks and lunch. Again, if you can help please contact Jeff.

Got a PB2 Inland Certificate and want to upgrade it to an “Open” one? We will be running a short course on a Saturday morning cost £15 register your interest with Jeff now.

Radio Controlled Yachting at Chew

This initiative, approved on a trial basis by Bristol Water, is bubbling away quite nicely. A group of us have been enjoying some competitive sailing on Wednesdays, and there are now 4 Dragonflite 95 boats involved – see the picture from Errol Edwards.
My hope is that this will carry on into the warmer weather and that we will see more members joining in. The boat is made by ‘Joysway’ and costs <£350 with radio control unit.

“The new Dragonflite 95 is the next logical step in providing a high performance, competition yacht at a fraction of the price of normal models in the 1 metre class. This yacht is unique in concept from nearly every aspect. The sleek and narrow hull is designed to cut through the water with minimum drag. The fin is moulded from ultra-rigid carbon fibre to provide the correct balance of low drag and high strength. Above deck, the entire sail rig has been optimised through careful testing for both area and shape, and the sails are made from durable Mylar with all necessary reinforcements. The unusual ‘kick’ in the main boom is designed to prevent it dragging in the water at extreme lean angles.
The kit includes a high power sail servo and a metal-geared servo for steering.”

Help required and advanced notice / warning

Scrap metal clear out and upper boat park tidy

04-Apr-20 9.30-12.30 (times to be confirmed). Volunteers needed for both tasks

Scrap metal clear out; what would appear to be abandoned items will be rounded up and placed on a lorry. The lorry then being dispatched to our local scrap metal merchant.
If you have a mast/spare mast in the under-cover boat store or laying in the undergrowth in the boat park. Then identify it clearly with your name and membership number, similarly road trailers. Unmarked items may end up on the lorry.
Upper Boat Park tidy; we need to bring this into better use by pulling the weeds. There is a good base membrane so they pull out very easily. Bring really good gloves and maybe loppers / secateurs. 20 people clearing approx. 2 boat park spaces each could finish the job in an hour and a half, maybe less.
SO….. Volunteers please, some to assist in the gathering of the scrap and loading the lorry and another group working on upper boat park. It’s usually very sociable and a great way to get to know other members. A Hot Drink and a Bacon Roll from Hatherell’s Hostelry will be provided as a thank you.
To help us plan the activity, please let me know if you are coming. With thanks in anticipation. Helen

Finally, they are bound to run out of storm names any day now, which should mean the weather has to improve…
John Smalley –

Pontoon hiding in the trees…

John Shimell cast adrift!

Will Hodshon in full flow

A full house!


The growing Dragonflite 95 fleet