Welcome to another news. There’s lots going on detailed below and while not everything may be relevant to your sailing, please do have a look through, and particularly please take some time to read the membership and duties updates to help us run these aspects efficiently and with minimal disruption. Thank you 🙂

2024/25 membership renewals

from Rosie Bowers, membership sec.

There are still some members who haven’t renewed their memberships yet for this year. If you haven’t renewed yet and want to continue sailing on our fabulous lake, you MUST renew now! All 2023/24 memberships expired at the end of March (over a month ago).

Please remember – if you paid by Direct Debit last year, your membership does not automatically renew this year. You still need to renew through your WebCollect account:

  • To sign-in: Click here to sign in and renew.
  • check your membership and boat details are correct.
  • select ‘Pay by – Online direct debit’ to renew for 2024/25

The final batch of Membership renewals (reminder) emails are going out tomorrow, If you receive a reminder it means you still have to take action.
If you didn’t receive the previous ‘Chew Valley Lake Sailing Club – Membership renewal’ emails sent out on 2March & 19April, do check your junk/spam folder.
If you’re Not-Renewing, please let us know by completing this form: https://www.chewvalleysailing.org.uk/not-renewing/ as we won’t assume you’re leaving just because we haven’t heard from you.

Any questions please contact Rosie (membership@chewvalleysailing.org.uk)

Duties Update

by Mark Dinwoodie, Duties Sec

Thank you to those who have volunteered for duties. As a reminder, volunteering for a duty counts as one of your duties for the membership year. It is not extra! It does mean that you can choose the date of your duty, your preferred duty type (subject to experience and qualifications) and who you do duties with.
Most members will need to do at least 2 and probably 3 duties a year as a requirement of membership. (Wednesday evening racing duties are additional to this if you race on a Wednesday evening).
You can volunteer for duties via Dutyman.
The roster is currently open until the end of the year.
I will allocate further duties for the Autumn in a few weeks’ time.


Occasionally people are unable to do a duty that they have either volunteered for or been allocated. If this is the case, it is your responsibility to try and swap the duty. The more notice you give and the more swaps you offer, the higher your chance of achieving a successful swap.

If trying to swap is unsuccessful, then please contact me to see if I can help, which will usually involve placing a message on facebook.
Thank you to those members who have agreed to swap on these occasions or stepped in at short notice to do duties. Again, these count towards your annual requirement.


If you have recently joined the club and are required to do duties, you should receive a welcome email from Dutyman, the on-line duties system that the club uses. If you haven’t, it is worth checking that it hasn’t gone into your Spam folder. To try and avoid this, add duties@chewvalleysailing.org.uk to your list of contacts (or safe senders list). If you have any difficulties using Dutyman, please let me know.

Mark Dinwoodie
Duties Secretary

Youth Update

from Ruth Gribble

The CVLSC Youth programme is back in full swing. On Sunday 14th April the instructing team took to the water to refresh their skills. On Saturday 20th April the RYA stage 1 course started, with 16 intrepid young sailors successfully taking charge of their own boats, for the first time. On Sunday 21st April the Chew Crew programme, for more experienced young sailors, kicked off, with 20+ young sailors braving a chilly wind to enjoy a fantastic first day back on the water. On Sunday 28th April the first ‘Youth start’ took place, as part of the club’s Sunday morning racing series. The programme’s running until 21st July, with plenty more in store!

If you’re looking to join this year’s youth programme, the following courses/spaces are still available:

  • RYA stage 1 youth course: £115 for four afternoons in June/July, starting 15th June
  • RYA stage 2 youth course: £115 for four mornings/afternoons in June/July, starting 15th June
  • RYA stage 3 youth course: £115 for 2 full days in July, starting 13th July
  • “Pay as you go” Chew Crew sessions: £17.50 per session for both the stage 2+ and stage 3+ groups on the afternoons of 5 May, 12 May and 9 June. More June/July dates will be released in due course
  • Sunday morning Youth racing: Free. We will be running a separate youth start as part of the Sunday morning racing for the summer season of 2024, as a trial. The trial started on Sunday 28-Apr-24 and will run each Sunday through to 21-Jul-24. The format will be a separate Youth start at the end of the normal start sequence. Boats doing the Youth start will have the benefit of a qualified instructor/coach or experienced racer providing assistance and coaching points, on the water, from a club RIB. The Youth sailors will also get a specific race briefing, to ensure sailors have signed on, understand the course and know to stay clear of the preceding club racing starts. To take part meet in the Bar at 09:45. Arrive changed, rigged and ready to be briefed. This activity does not need to be booked, but please email chewcrew@chewvalleysailing.org.uk so we know how many racers to expect. Those doing the Sunday morning Youth racing are encouraged to also attend the afternoon stage 3+ Chew Crew sessions and vice versa.

Courses/spaces can be booked on WebCollect, or email chewcrew@chewvalleysailing.org.uk for more information, or if you’d like to help out.

We are also looking at enabling our older and more experienced youth sailors to join the instructing team for next year’s programme. If your child will be aged 14+ in March 2025, is already sailing at stage 4+ level and is keen to instruct, please email chewcrew@chewvalleysailing.org.uk to register their interest.

Well done to our PBI instructors

With safety such an important consideration on the water we are hugely grateful to our PBIs who are able to train and guide our members on using the RIBs on the water.

With a view to the future, Jeff Stratford in liaison with the RYA recently arranged a for some additional volunteers to complete the Instructor training, beef up the club team and spread the load. I am pleased to be able to report that Jo Muscat, Simon Conway, Chris’s Platts, Errol Edwards and Andy Allen have now all passed the Powerboat Instructors Course ( with John Smalley likely also to complete when he is able to jump back in the boat). Congratulations to all and many thanks to the RYA trainer Pete Bone and RYA moderator Howard Painter.


Advanced Rescue Helm & First Aid Courses.

On Saturday 11-May-24 we are running our in house Advanced Rescue Helm Safety Course, the only prerequisite is that you hold the PB2 certificate. It’s a one day course and it’s free, places still available. Contact jeffstratford@btinternet.com

On Saturday 08-Jun-24 we are running a RYA first aid course, cost £30 places still available. Please book via your Webcollect account.

Thursday evening sailing, Improvers and Start Racing commences from 09-May-24

Safety cover from 6pm, starts on 09-May-24 until 27-Jun-24 (start racing begins on 30-May-24)

There are 3 ways to participate:

  1. Have a lovely sail on our lovely lake
  2. “Improvers” (you can sail but maybe have only just learned or haven’t sailed for a while)
    You might like some help with rigging, a bit of advice or suggestion of an activity on the water.
    An experienced sailor will be on hand from 6pm- meet by the flagpole.
  3. Start Racing,

For anyone interested in taking up racing or looking to build a bit more confidence to race, this is for you…
The start racing sessions kick off on Thursday 30-May-24 and run over 5 successive Thursday evenings providing an informal and relaxed introduction to racing at Chew.

Each week we meet at 6pm, rigged and changed, for a quick chat covering some of the basics before taking to the water to practice. We’ll be ashore by 8pm with a further opportunity for discussion and questions. We usually open the bar too.
To get the most out of these sessions, please try to attend at least one Thursday session before 30th May to refamiliarise yourself with your boat.
No need to book, just turn up as and when you can. You’ll need your own boat or access to a club one – any class is fine.
Hope to see you then.

If you have any questions, do contact us
Helen Martin helen.martin@sandsfoothouse.co.uk
Chris Meredith cncm63@gmail.com
James Williams sailing@chewvalleysailing.org.uk

RYA Level 3 (Better Sailing) Course – August 24

If there is enough demand to make it viable we will run an RYA Level 3 (Better Sailing) course over the weekend 3/4-Aug-24. We will plan to have 11-Aug-24 as a reserve day in case an extra day is needed due to weather etc.

The Better Sailing course offers coaching to consolidate and develop sailing skills beyond those learned during Level 1 (Start Sailing) and Level 2 (Basic Skills) courses. It includes short taster sessions from the advanced modules such as spinnaker handling and seamanship skills.
The course isn’t really suitable for sailors who have only recently got to Level 2 standard. To get the most out of the course, I’d recommend that sailors get at least a full season’s sailing behind them before going on it.
If you are interested, drop me an email and I’ll keep you informed.
Dave Orme, RYA Principal training.cvlsc@gmail.com

Training Support needed please

We are looking for help from members to support, and/or get back into, training at the club this season. here’s a quick summary of things needing help:

Adult RYA training courses – various throughout the year

Youth RYA Training and Fun Sessions: Chew Crew 2024. Help is always needed and welcome. If you’re interested to find out how you could best help and when, contact the team chewcrew@chewvalleysailing.org.uk

Pay & Play Scheme. If you can help get keen newcomers out onto the lake for a taster session, or help a club member improve their skills in an informal session please let me know and hopefully we can keep on top of any waiting list. No training qualification needed!

Personal Development. The work has all but been done for this year to get our RYA training planned and offered out via Webcollect. So, if you are at all interested in developing your own interest and skills towards that SI or DI ticket some time in the future, we now have a window to help you (at any level) to get more involved in the club’s training in terms of looking at how the 2025 season will be put together and how we use Webcollect to make it work. Let me know if you’re interested.

DI Re-validation Day. PLEASE PLEASE, if you have previously had a train qualification that simply needs revalidating to enable you to assist on some of our courses, let Dave Orme know

First Aid Course. As I type there are places available on the next First Aid Course being organised and run at the club.

RYA Combined Level 1 and 2 Course Completes

In ideal conditions, with ideal students, the RYA’s Combined Level 1(Start Sailing) and Level 2(Basic Skills) course can be completed in 4 days. Well after the series of hoolies over the early spring weekends we were lucky to enjoy ideal conditions, so you can draw your own conclusions about this crew who got their RYA certificates in 2 weekends.

Well done to (L-R) Nick Jones, Jo Lasso and Oscar Wyatt!

A big shout out to David Pye and Martin Reynolds who helped instruct along the way.

Lake and Cake 13:45 11-May-24

The next Lake and Cake is on Saturday 11-May-24

Hilary and I are looking forward to seeing you all for a hopefully perfect sail with a gentle wind and sunshine! Meet at 13:45 rigged and ready to sail.

Lunch on the Lake by Simon Conway

Well April was ‘blown away’, let’s try again this month. Saturday 11th May is our scheduled day for the second Lunch on the lake. Keep an eye on the Facebook page for any last minute changes/cancellations etc. otherwise we meet on the water anytime after 12:30 for a floating lunch.

If you are new to the club and require more info then please contact Simon

Meet our new club members!

Not an April fool and despite appearances I am still of sane mind (well as sound as normal). These three model foxes are (apparently) super scary to geese and the idea is that we will position them near the slips in an attempt to scare off the hundreds of wildfowl birds that descend every evening on us, leaving their calling card all over the slipway and in so doing increasing the slip hazard. I am reliably informed that other clubs have used them successfully so let’s see, it feels worth a try. I am sure everyone will be glued to the webcam around sunset when they are in place, seeing if the geese are indeed scared away, or choose to cuddle up with our feline friends!

Weather Station

The weather station at the club was recently replaced and as a result those of you with a link to the information available (shown in the screenshot above) on your smartphones will need to delete and update the old link. You can find full details on our website here along with the new link

Member Travels by James Williams

The number of members travelling with their boats is on the up, locally, nationally and internationally. 

Oli Allen-Wilcox travelled out to Palma to compete in the Trofeo Princesa Sofia Mallorca, while half a dozen others in the ILCA fleet made the annual pilgrimage to Rock, Julian Cooke coming out on top (sadly not considered prestigious enough for Yachts & Yachting write up).

The RS200 fleet is back travelling again for the new year, Ed Harris returning to the East Coast to finish 3rd at the Waldringfield Easter Egg, before being joined a couple of weeks later by another 4 Chew boats at the Bristol Corinthian open. James Williams and Ruth Kenyon best placed Chew boat in 2nd. A couple of boats then stayed on for some Sunday coaching. The fleet shared the open with the RS400s, including Paul Smalley and Anna Kerslake, who seemed to control the fleet off the start and round the first lap in every race.

Closer to home the RS100 fleet hosted a handful of visitors alongside the Chew locals for a Saturday training day, run by David Smart, Andy and Steve Jones. The visitors stayed on for club racing giving a great asymmetric turnout for the start of Spring Points racing. David Smart took his own advice all the way to Rutland to win the RS100 Sprint Championships, winning nearly half the races over the weekend. 

The youth side have also been away at open events. Giovanni Bianchi attended the RYA Youth Nationals at Weymouth, while Toby and James Colls travelled down to beautiful Fowey for their Topper SW Area Traveller event.

Andy Jones