Sailing Club News – Thursday 29-Apr-21

We have been enjoying a bit more breeze these last couple of weeks; Andy Jones described conditions last Sunday as Champagne Sailing! This has certainly produced some more exciting pictures for me to paste into this news!

Also, a word of thanks once again, to John Bone for, as you will all be ‘noticing’, the repaired fence and smart new signs at our entrance gate. We look like a ‘proper’ smart sailing club now!

Sailing Summary

Looking back on our first few weeks sailing following our latest, and hopefully ongoing, return has seen a variety of always enjoyable sessions on the water. The wind has varied from the flat calms of a couple of weekends ago, to a full on day of Sunday racing last weekend which saw most sailors limp off the water with aching muscles after 4 adrenalin fuelled races.

Turnouts have been exceptional, with a peak of 99 people signing on to sail on Wednesday 14-Apr-21, and just shy of 90 joining last Sunday’s fun, while Saturday has generally seen around 50 sailors pottering on the lake. Across all this activity, aside from the racing, it’s been great to see the schools and Universities honing their team racing skills in preparation for coming events, the skiffs starting up their ’Super Saturday” informal racing series, growth in many of our racing fleets (particularly the RS100s and other assymetrics), lake and cake getting going and of course loads and loads of training activity across all our groups beginning to start up.

Upcoming Events/Racing

Saturday 01-May-21

This Saturday we are pleased to be able to support Clifton College in hosting a Western Region Schools team racing event alongside our normal club sailing.

After a year in which both schools and University team racing has been decimated by the pandemic, it will be fantastic to see team racing on the lake again.

The event will see around 7 teams competing and has been carefully planned to ensure it can be hosted in a covid-safe way. As a result, there are a few changes to normal arrangements:

  • The southern end of the car park will be allocated for the sole use of the schools for parking and race management.
  • Launching and flight changes will be managed using the southern pontoon. The flights are being run to minimise use of the pontoon and avoid congestion, but inevitably there will be some brief periods during the day when access to the pontoon will need to be limited. Club members may prefer to use other slips to launch if possible, or if necessary, should please liaise with the event ‘beachmaster’ on the day to secure a safe ‘window’ to use the pontoon
  • Access to the club changing rooms on a limited basis is being allowed for children to change before and after sailing. This is in accordance with the RYA guidelines; I’m afraid access for the wider membership is still not permitted except for disabled sailor’s or in an emergency
  • 3 portaloos have been installed in the upper dinghy park for the exclusive use of the team racing groups to help minimise footfall in/out of the limited clubhouse toilet facilities

Sunday 02-May-21

This Sunday we will be re-sailing the John Jarrett all in handicap race (11am start) and Commodores Cup Pursuit race (1.30pm first boat start). This follows the aborted drift around the lake a couple of weekends ago when we first tried (unsuccessfully) to race for the trophies.

The weekend of 08/09-May-21

This weekend will see Bristol University hosting a Western Region University team racing event over both Saturday and Sunday. The club and university are working closely together to plan each day and ensure it runs alongside our club activity safely and in accordance with guidelines, for example with limits on the number of people attending the team racing, while teams will travel home at the end of each day’s racing.

It is planned that club sailing will run alongside the team racing as normal on Saturday 08-May-21.

On Sunday 09-May-21 general sailing will take place as normal, but racing will be split into morning and afternoon racing fleets to reduce the number of people potentially on site at any one time; the Laser and Solo fleets will start things off with a class race morning consisting of at least 3 races held back to back from 10.30am, while in the afternoon it will be the turn of the handicap fleet and flying fifteens to have their class race afternoon, starting from 2pm.

Some words from the Boat Park Team

Return to Sailing has meant a very busy time for the Boat Park Team with many new boats needing spaces. We are working hard to make room for incoming boats but there is now a shortage of available space. So, to help us help you these are some important reminders on boat park etiquette:

  • Please contact the Boat Park Team before bringing a new boat to the club as it’s possible there may not be a space immediately free. An empty space it is not necessarily a vacant one and boats found in spaces that have not been allocated by the Boat Park Team may be removed.
  • If you remove your boat from the Boat Park temporarily (and intend to return it), mark your space clearly with your membership number. Also contact the Boat Park Team to let them know your plans. Otherwise, you risk losing your space if it’s reallocated.
  • If you remove your boat permanently, tell the Membership Secretary and/or Boat Park Team so that we know the space is free.
  • If you have a trailer at the club that’s not stored under your boat, we politely ask you to remove it by the end of June. This includes stacking and box trailers left in the upper boat park. The club does not provide storage for members trailers unless they are under your boat and in your allocated space. Any loose trailers found after this date may be removed.
  • Ensure your boat displays a current sticker on the transom
  • If you buy or sell a boat within the club, please tell the Membership Secretary and/or Boat Park Team as soon as possible, so that we can update your records.

When was the last time you familiarised yourself with the Club Rules relating to boats and equipment? Are you aware there are limits on the number of boats per membership, and rules relating to resignation and removal of equipment. These rules may not be obvious, but if we run out of space we may need to start enforcing them.

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

RYA Combined Level 1/2 Beginners Course – May/June 21

The first of our 2 adult beginners’ courses is scheduled to run over the 3 consecutive weekends 22/23, 29/30 May and 5/6 June.
I’d ask any instructor who’s willing and available to help with the course to get in touch with me ASAP (if you haven’t already done so in response to the emails I have sent d’reckly to DIs) so we can finalise arrangements. Many thanks – we can’t do it without you!
Additionally, members may wish to note that the club’s double handers – the Quests and the Vision – will be needed over those weekends so will not be available for hire.
Dave Orme – RYA Principal.

Radio Sailing Report by Simon Conway

A variable North Easterly breeze this week and crystal clear skies offered the perfect setting for another miniature sailing exercise. Setting the day’s course is now a rather swift task, thanks to John Shimell’s buoy deployment and retrieval system.

Six participants this week, all now donning a bit of a suntan from the chin up, and all enjoying the benefits of the Southern pontoon as it offers a closer stand point to the windward marks. Shifting winds often changed the order of supremacy, and on more than one occasion we saw the tail-enders hitching a ride on some very unexpected lifts and suddenly finding themselves leading the pack to take the win. As usual it was all very enjoyable, perhaps addictive?

We are looking towards a regular, weekly radio sailing Thursday evening meet, starting in May. If you’d like to be involved in any way, shape or form, or just come along and risk the addiction, maybe have a go at sailing one if these Dragonflite95’s for yourself, please get in touch –

Lake & Cake

The next lake & cake is on Saturday 15-May-21 when it WILL be warm! I’ll send round a reminder nearer the time, and if you want to know more about lake & cake, or join our WhatsApp group (& email) please contact:

Lost Club Keys

There have been several incidents recently of members losing their Club keys – this often seems to occur at the outer gate, where one or two have been recovered.
Our membership secretary, Rosie Bowers, has a record of ALL the key numbers, and who should have them. Please, if you happen upon a key, would you contact Rosie who can then inform the frustrated owner of the good news.

Please, if there are any budding photographers out there, I am always on the lookout for more! And indeed any bits of writing you would like to share with everyone will be gratefully received.
Although the forecast for this bank holiday weekend is somewhat mixed, I hope you take the opportunity to get afloat and, if you haven’t yet, make many spiders search for a new home!

John Smalley –

John Bone with our smart new entrance signage and fence

Action from the Champagne sailing last Sunday


Thanks to Ed Higham for the action pictures


A close squeeze at the mark!

Split tacks up the beat.

Thursday’s DF95 battle.