With Summer finally making itself known, here’s your monthly taste of what’s happened and what’s coming up.

Of particular importance, please read the renewal information, display your boat sticker, and please consider if you are able to help us out at the forthcoming ‘Discover Sailing Day’

Help Needed Please – Discover Sailing 25-Jun-22

On 25-Jun-22 we will be opening the club for the local community to come and Discover sailing, as we have done in previous years. This is part of a wider RYA initiative to help attract more people into our marvellous sport.

We are looking for enthusiastic people to assist on the day in a number of roles:
helms to help out taking people for a sail in some of the club boats – you dont need any formal qualification just a level of experience to enable you to take novices out safely for an enjoyable sail
Meeters and greeters – to meet people on arrival, show them around and generally look after people
If you are able to help in some capacity, either all day or just for part of the day, please contact me

Nettle bashing 29-Jun-22!

Hot on the heals of the Discover sailing day the following weekend is our family regatta. More on this nearer the time but in preparation Jeff Stratford is organising a nettle bashing visit to Denny Island on Wednesday 29-Jun-22. Everyone welcome – meet by the flagpole at 10am with whatever nettle bashing tools you have and suggest boots and long trousers!

Boat stickers

Don’t forget to put your purple 2022/23 sticker on your boat as soon as you receive it. We are now checking the boat park for out-of-date stickers.

If you haven’t renewed a boat fee for 2022/23 your boat needs to be taken away from the club so we can provide boat spaces for new members now requiring access to our limited number of available spaces.

Boat Space Tidy

You may have noticed that spring has sprung in the boat park and the grass and weeds are in abundance. While the club maintains the shared areas, please keep your own spaces tidy – free from weeds and long grass. It’s a good thing to do, both for your boat and your neighbours.

Racing Round up – Sailing Committee

Champions League Competition

The eagle eyed amongst you will have noticed a new event in the calendar this year which replaces the “Admiral Chase”. The Champions League starts 26-Jun-22 and is a new afternoon race format that deserves a short explanation. As the name suggests, it is a little like the football competition with a group stage and a knock out semi final and final.

Group Stage
A four race series, with three to count (i.e. one discard). One all-in, mass handicap, start. At the end of this mini series the top third qualify for Gold fleet, the middle third for Silver fleet and the lower third for Bronze fleet for the Semi Finals.

Semi Finals
A two race series, with one to count (i.e. your best result!). One all-in, mass handicap, start. The top 20% in the Silver and Bronze Fleets will replace the bottom 20% in the Gold and Silver Fleets respectively.

The Final
A single race shoot out. Separate starts (and prizes!) for Gold, Silver and Bronze Fleets.

  1. FAQs
    Seems complicated? Not really – just a short qualification series, a shorter promotion/relegation series and a final. Simple!
  2. What’s the benefit? Every race builds towards the grand finale, with every boat in with an equal chance of winning until the last race is run. The format will spread the prizes through more of the fleet and sailors of all abilities and experience will find others to compete against.
  3. What if I miss the Group Stage series? You may enter the Semi Finals in the Bronze Fleet.
  4. What if I miss the Semi Finals? If you entered the Group Stage but miss the Semi Final, you will be relegated to the fleet below (unless already in Bronze Fleet).
  5. What if I miss the Group Stage and Semi Finals? If you have not entered any previous race in the Champions League then you have not qualified for the Final and may not enter.
  6. How do I know what fleet I am in? All boats are in the same fleet during the Group Stage. Gold, Silver and Bronze Fleets for the Semi Finals and Final will be published on the website and posted next to the signing on sheets on the day.
  7. I am the race officer – help!!!!? Dont worry, someone from the sailing committee will be around to help explain and ensure you are clear on what you need to run!!
  8. I still don’t understand! Don’t worry – just turn up for a fun afternoon of racing!

Start Racing 09-Jun-22 – 07-Jul-22

Not to be deterred by the minor inconvenience of his achilles injury, Nick Martindale will once again be running these fantastic sessions once again over coming weeks. So, if you’re comfortable cruising around the lake and tempted to have a go at racing then this is for you…

On Thursday evenings we’ll be running an informal and relaxed introduction to racing at Chew with the emphasis very much on fun. There’ll be lots of practice on the water so each week after a quick chat we’ll get afloat and run lots of short races around a simple course. Afterwards there’ll be time for more chat and questions. We’ll cover the basics including race format, tips and techniques and a few simple rules.
The sessions will run over 5 consecutive weeks, 09-Jun-22 – 07-Jul-22. No need to make it to all, previous years have seen 15 – 20 boats dipping in and out and getting a good grounding to join in the club racing proper.
Just turn up for a 6pm start (preferably rigged and ready to sail) we’ll have a quick chat then go float until about 7:45.

Hope you can make it.
Nick Martindale

Young Sailors – Topper Race Training Group

If you have a young sailor that is interested in progressing to racing and may be interested in joining the club’s Topper Race Training programme please register your interest using the link below

Topper Race Training Interest

Lake and Cake

Our second Lake and Cake on 21 May was most successful. We had an excellent turnout of familiar and new faces. We were joined by Peter Sherwin, one of our top Laser Sailors and Olivia Jones, our Commodore’s daughter and a qualified dinghy instructor.

Peter facilitated an excellent training exercise of Gate starts and about nine of us participated. We were blessed with sunshine and light winds( just a few gusts to keep us watchful) and had a lot of fun and maybe improved.

Needless to say, Tea and cakes were superb and delicious. We were able to sit outside and chat at one big table and were joined by Helen Martin, Rosie Bowers(our photographer) and a grateful Duty Team.

Thanks everyone for your participation and support.

Our next date is Saturday 18-Jun-22.

Hilary and Jo.

Cruising Update

Lunch on the lake #2 held on 21-May-22 was held on yet another glorious day, we’ve been very lucky so far, let’s hope for a repeat prescription on 18th June when the next one is scheduled.

I have been lucky enough to venture out on Ullswater and Bala Lake over the last few weeks and managed to exercise the kedging, anchoring and sheltering techniques that we practice on our lunch on the lake days.

The pictures above doesn’t quite paint a full picture of our day on Bala. The 4.5mile beat to the Southern end of the lake in a F3 took a little over 2 hours. After lunch the wind had dropped completely and the first hour was spent drifting back and forth. Then, after a change of wind direction we were whipped up into an F4 and treated to a 20 minute hailstorm en route. Apparently perfectly normal weather for a day on Bala Lake. All in all our 5 hour sail was thoroughly enjoyable and had all the ingredients for a great mini adventure.

For anyone wanting more information regarding dinghy cruising activities at CVLSC please get in touch either via the Facebook page, email or in person at the club.


Ship Shape and Bristol Fashion

You can’t fail to have noticed the many small, and large, improvements being made around the club premises, mainly through the continual hard work of our Rear Commodore Jon Elmes. The list is long but recent highlights are shown in the pictures below and include:

  • Numerous potholes in the access road now filled
  • New picnic benches now installed and in place on the terrace and front of club
  • Car parking area redressed and surfaced
  • Clubhouse lighting replaced and now functional
  • Race hut flooring replaced and new comfy chairs in place

PB2 and First Aid Courses

Picture above courtesy of John Smalley – participants at the May First aid course

A single place remains on the PB2 course on the 18-Jun-22 and 25-Jun-22.

There is also an RYA first Aid Course running on Saturday 09-Jul-22 with currently 4 places available; a must for instructors, recommended for everyone. Still only £25 including RYA manual and 3year certificate.

If you are quick and spaces remain, you can book on these via your webcollect account.

RYA Beginners Course Completes successfully

Congratulations to Caroline, Paul, John, Mace, Lavinia, Rachel, Billy and Alexander who all successfully gained their Level 1 and 2 Certificates on the 29-May-22.

The course was blessed with staggeringly good conditions throughout and all the students made best use of them to cruise through the syllabus. It’ll be great to see them out on the water.

Many thanks to the club’s instructors who helped deliver the course: Helen, Tony, Henry and David
Dave Orme RYA Principal

Book – ‘Birds of Chew Valley Lake’ by Keith Vinicombe

The club has a copy of this beautifully illustrated book by Keith Vinicombe which is about the habitat that is Chew Valley Lake. The author says it’s not only about birds and will be of interest to ‘non-birders’ and anyone interested in the natural world, not just the lake.
It covers the history & construction of the lake, leisure at the lake including a chapter on the Sailing club (with photos by Errol), ecology of the lake, and birding moments & tales by Keith. There are 400 photographs and over 300 original illustrations
The book is available at online bookshops, including Waterstones and at outlets around the lake (Salt & Malt, Woodford, West Harptree PO) for £26.95. But the author is happy for the club to promote it at £20 a copy. Our copy is on the OODs desk for you to look at (from Saturday) and if you are interested in ordering a book, please let the membership secretary (Rosie) know: membership@chewvalleysailing.org.uk

Caption Competition Winner

And the winner of the May competition is Ros Davies, who not only proved she had read to the end of the newsletter, but made me chuckle with her entry below:

Remind me: Is it 3 of your boat lengths or 3 of mine?

The follow on question is – what’s the answer?

Calling for room at a mark: is it 3 of the RS100s boat lengths, or three of the National 18’s?

On the Road

Our members continue to fly the Chew flag through out the country, here’s some recently spotted:

  • Simon Conway has had cruising trips with his GP14 to both Chichester Harbour and more recently to the Lake District and North Wales.
  • 4 RS100s attended their National Tour event at Paignton at the start of May, with David Smart top Chew boat in 4th
  • Paul Croote won the Cherub fleet in the Weymouth Skiff open at WPNSA with Andrew Whapshott . Alex Knight and James Clark were 7th in the I14 fleet
  • The RS200’s have been to both South Cerney (2 Chew Boats in 4th and 8th) and St Mawes (4 Chew boats, including Ed Harris winning 3 of the 7 races and the silver fleet in 4th overall)
  • Derian and Andy Scott in their Fireball have been to Blackwater (3rd overall) and Poole (2nd overall)
  • John Ellis took his Solo to Hayling Island for the Southern Area Champs
  • Tom Jeffcoate was 4th at the Scorpion open at Sidmouth with Alex Hayman, with Ian Cadwallader and Ellie Devereux in 8th and
  • Bill Chard and Josh Preater, and Ian Cadwallader crewing for Ian Pinnell travelled to the Flying Fifteen Inlands at Grafham, with the Ian’s winning the event overall

Andy Jones