The courageous, bold rescuers….

Sailing Club News – 30th May 2019

I have had a hectic week of ‘catch-up’ after deserting my post at Chew to enjoy a river cruise up the Mississippi. 640 miles against the flow of that impressively dangerous looking river – in full flood the whole way, and I didn’t spot a single sail! However, stay away for a week from our sailing club and you realise just how much you are missing!
The Wednesday evening series is still consistently seeing almost 60 boats on the water each week – keep it up. And now the Thursday evenings are also running, there should be a time to suit everyone to have a sail.

News of another massively successful Push the Boat Out Day

Push the boat out day was greeted by grey skies and very light winds but this didn’t seem to put off the visitors who turned up in force. By the end of the day around 120 people had been taken onto the lake by our hard-working team of helms and beach masters, sailing gently or in some cases paddling slowly. Mike Meloy supplemented the effort with pleasure cruises on board the Committee boat and Sandie organised a ‘boat on a rope’ experience for the younger visitors which proved popular. Back in the club house our team of meet and greeters were kept busy and our membership secretary, Rosie, was pinned to her computer for much of the day, answering questions from visitors interested in joining the club.
Thanks go to all our volunteers as well as All-Aboard who lent us lifejackets and helmets for the day. Feedback from visitors has been very positive, with several families being signed up on the day and a number joining since. One boy, sailing for the first time, when asked what score he would give it out of ten, said seventeen, so we must have got something right….

British Schools Dinghy Racing Association Western Region Championships

Clifton College, with the assistance of CVLSC, hosted and competed in the inaugural British Schools Dinghy Racing Association’s Western Region championships on Saturday 11th May. A total of 13 teams of six sailors took part in the regatta, including five home teams; two representing the sailing club, and one each from group members Clifton College, Millfield School and Prior Park School.
Light winds made for slow and tricky racing, but the sunshine and warm weather were enjoyed by all. Around 60 races were completed throughout the day, before the top two teams competed in a final. Both Chew teams showed their fleet racing pedigree and were perhaps the fastest teams on the water, with the CVLSC Youth team finishing the round robin in 2nd and CLVSC Junior in 4th. The final was therefore between CVLSC Youth and The Royal Grammar School Guildford. Unfortunately RGS showed the benefit of having more team racing experience to win the best of three final 2-0.
The overall positions of the home teams were:-
CVLSC Youth 2nd
CVLSC Junior 4th
Clifton College 8th
Millfield School 12th
Prior Park School 13th
Many thanks on behalf of Clifton College to everyone at the club who helped make the event a success.
Jim Rosser, Groups Representative.

Youth/Junior News:=

Six of the clubs Junior sailors spent the first part of their half term at the RS Feva National Championships at Abersoch, North Wales. With 94 boats competing, the first 2 days were spent in a qualifying series, sailed in a mix of conditions, to decide the split between a gold and silver fleet. All 6 Chew sailors made it into the gold fleet – a first for CVLSC.

Monday & Tuesday gold fleet racing was sailed in an offshore 15-20 knots with plenty of shifts, gusts and lulls to keep everyone on their toes. With the exception of the first place boat it was a high scoring regatta, with a real emphasis on consistency. The courses were large and the days long, but everyone had a great time sailing in the challenging conditions against some top competition.
Chew Results (out of 94)
45th – Rosie & Susie Sheahan
23rd – Alfie Sheahan (crewing for Henry Hallam from St Mawes)
18th – William de Jaeger (crewing for Sam Cox from Restronguet SC)
6th – Quinn Edmonds and Fin Oliver

Looking Forward

Lake and Cake 3 – Saturday 1st June

The next lake & cake is this Saturday afternoon (1st June). Yes it’s this Saturday and the weather forecast is wonderful!
Meet in the bar at 1:45 rigged & ready if possible.
If you would like to be added to the email distribution list please contact Rosie on

Class Race Day 2 (Sprint races) – Sunday 2nd June – Another Early Start 10.30! Briefing at 10.00.

You racers must absolutely not miss this fun day. I am leading a strong race team to try and deliver 8 fast and furious races – 4 before lunch and 4 in the afternoon when you have got your breath back. The course will be beautifully simple. There will be NO DISCARDS!
Prizes will be awarded to the Class fleets at the end as usual.

Start Racing 1 – Thursday 6th June from 6pm

These sessions are a truly gentle, friendly introduction to racing for those tempted to have a go! Two of our hottest ‘hot-shot’ racers, Nick Martindale and Andy Bones will be running the 5 weekly sessions. Generally the format is a brief lesson on the shore followed by a race around a simple course on the water, with Nick and Andy giving advice where needed, and a resume of the race in the bar afterwards. This is open to anyone, whatever your boat; there is no need to book, just turn up rigged and ready as near to 6pm as you can.
Judging by the great comments after last year’s evenings, you will be certain to learn lots and have fun at the same time.

Laser and Solo Open Meeting – Saturday 8th June – start time 11.00 (NOT 12.00 AS IN OUR CALENDAR).

Claire Jefferis and her team will be organising a full day for our two single hander fleets, with one race before lunch and two in the afternoon. There is always a good turnout for this Open so come along and watch the fun…

Thursday evening sailing –

We have already had 3 Thursday evening sessions. These start at 6pm and are open to anyone who wants to come and have a sail; there will usually be an experienced member on hand to give any advice about your dinghy, launching, recovering or anything at all!

Powerboat Training – RYA Level 2, Thursday 20th and Thursday 27th June.

The next PB2 course is on two consecutive THURSDAYS and we currently have three spaces. The cost is only £25, bookable via webcollect – any problems or questions please contact Jeff Stratford.

Also Jeff has asked me to ask if anyone has got a windsurfer mast foot universal joint that they would like to donate. They borrowed the Avon Scouts windsurfer for the last safety course and the mast foot ‘uj’ broke so they need to replace it and to date trawls of eBay, gumtree and Friday ads have failed to find one.
They are still looking for a complete windsurfer for training – the two so far donated are incomplete and do not have compatible parts!
Jeff can be contacted at

Masts and Sails in the undercover boat store –

A request from Allen Marsh – please, if you have a mast stored in the undercover boat store, can you label it with your membership number. A clear-out is imminent….!

Calling All Club Dinghy Instructors

The club’s ability to run training courses depends on the availability and willingness of our members who are dinghy instructors. To maximise the availability of training opportunities for prospective and new members – and to try to ensure that we don’t inadvertently take advantage of a very small group of instructors who always seem keen to help – we need to be in regular and close communication with all our members who have an instructing qualification. To that end, as we’ve completed this year’s membership renewals it’s a good time for me to check that my training address list is up to date.
So if you are a dinghy instructor (SI, DI or AI) and want to be sure you are on the club’s dinghy training mailing list please drop an email to me, Dave Orme, at
If over the last few weeks you have been receiving emails from me about the forthcoming RYA Combined Level 1 and 2 training courses, and about opportunities to help with the popular “Pay & Play” scheme then you are on it. If you haven’t, you’re probably not! If you want to be doubly sure, email me anyway. Thanks.

Finally a tale of a courageous, bold rescue to warm your hearts….(see the headline picture)

Captains Log :-
May 15th 2019 at 11.05am – Four Lives saved.
10 Knots Easterly – Wayfarer number 10975
Chew Valley Lake. Colin Shepherd and Phil Burnham – 2 highly decorated sailors – found much difficulty attempting to launch their strawberry and lime coloured kite.
After much effort, and commands being sent to the sharp end, up she rises! However celebrations were cut short when the crew heard what sounded like bird noises. This was followed by said crew disappearing along the kite shute.
There then followed shouts of “Stowaways!” Four tiny kittens were brought out from under the decking. A distress call was placed to Chew Lake Rescue Control Centre which dispatched Alan Coventry with box, along with the RIB crew of Dave Hopkins and John Balcombe.
This breed of cat is apparently highly intelligent and after scouring the boat park came to the conclusion that a Wayfarer was by far the most comfortable maternity suite.
A quick inspection revealed some small rips in the spinnaker. It could have been worse as mum could have delivered the kittens on the NEW Michael Macnamara sail.
Mother is now reunited with her kittens and doing well. The kite has been through the washing machine on 30° degree wash!
Colin Shepherd 266.

Hope to see ALL of you out sailing in the coming weeks,