Membership Renewals 2024/25 due by 1st April

Don’t forget to renew your membership and boat fees this month as all 2023/24 memberships expire on 31st March.

Renewal Reminder emails were sent out last Saturday (02-Mar-24) and contain your membership details and a link to renew. If you can’t find your email check your Junk/spam folder as it may have dropped in there. If you haven’t received it please let the Membership Secretary know.

If you are Not-renewing please can you also let us know by completing this form: We’ll cancel your Duties and refund your gate key deposit. We won’t assume you’re leaving if you we haven’t heard from you!

And a reminder if you paid your renewal last year by direct debit – our direct debits do notautomatically renew each year. You still need to log into your WebCollect account to renew and select Pay by Online Direct Debit’ to authorise your payment for 2024/25.

Please contact the Membership Secretary if you have any questions or would like help.

Coming Up

Things are starting to get busy ahead of spring at the club. A few things to look forward to in the next month:
Sat 9 Mar – First Aid Course. Still a couple of spaces available.
Fri 15 Mar – Start of Summer sailing (end of windsurfing)
Mon 1 Apr – Bank Holiday – General Sailing allowed
Wed 3 Apr – Wednesday evening sailing is back! A 18.30 start for the single practise race, back to 19.00 starts the following week for the beginning of the series proper. Come and join the most popular series at the club, followed by a great evening meal from Antonia’s Deli and a drink at the bar.
Sat 6 Apr – Advance Rescue Helm Course, the first of a handful of these great (and free courses) this year
Sat 6 Apr – Also the start of both Lunch on the Lake and Lake & Cake for their popular monthly gatherings on the water
Sun 7 Apr – Our next trophy race day for your calendars is the John Jarrett Trophy (1 all in handicap race in the morning) followed by the Commodore’s Cup (70% pursuit in the afternoon). Fingers crossed for some later winter breeze combined with some ealy summer sun!

Important updates to club SIs

The Sailing Committee have been hard at work over the winter making some updates to the club Sailing Instructions and starts, all of which will take effect from the start of April 2024.

The 3 main changes are:

  • Sunday PM racing,
  • Start sequences and
  • Shore based club line.

The Sailing Instructions will be updated and uploaded to the club website ahead of the changes coming in for the start of April.

Sunday PM Racing

Sunday afternoon points racing has had relatively low attendance over recent years and so we are going to try some changes in an attempt appeal to more people and encourage close and competitive racing.

So, following a format used successfully by other clubs around the country, and in light of feedback after recent Class Race Days, the Spring Series PM points will consist of 3 short sprint style races rather than the longer 2 races in the morning. The focus will be on turning the races around quickly and the courses relatively small and tight, so they will be an ideal opportunity for you to hone your skills.

Start Sequences

Following feedback from both ROs and fleets we are changing the starting sequence for Sunday morning points series racing. The Flying fifteens no longer have a fleet start, and the Handicap fleet will be split in to 2 separate starts; the windward/leeward fleet followed by the round the cans (conventional course) fleet.

So, on Sunday mornings for Points Series racing there will be four starts in the following order:

Windward leeward fleet (flag Q – solid yellow)
Round the cans fleet (Flag R – red with yellow cross)
ILCA/Laser (Laser class flag)
Solo (Flag S White with red spot)

For the afternoon sprint races, to shorten the sequence (and avoid too much waiting), we will revert back to just three starts and the normal A and B handicap fleet split and flags. The intention is to minimise waiting times and so to try and condense likely finish time spreads the start sequence will be in the order B Handicap (B flag), followed by ILCA ( laser/ilca flag), followed by A Handicap (A flag). The course will be a simple course at the RO discretion, likely to be a simply windward leeward or triangular course.

Shore Based Club Line

We’re simplifying the club start line definition. For all racing after 1st April there will no longer be a transit as at present. The start line for shore based starts from the race hut will be between the red and white pole in front of the race hut and a blue flagged outer distance buoy. There will also be an orange flagged inner distance buoy laid at the shore end of the line. You must start between the blue buoy and the orange flagged buoy. The orange flagged buoy may not be on the line.

This change will make it simpler for RIB crews to set the line as the removal of the transit means the outer distance mark forms the end of the line and so can be dropped where desired.


Thank you to those of you who have volunteered for duties.

Please consider volunteering going forward as this will enable you to choose your preferred duty type (subject to experience and qualifications), who you do duties with (eg your crew / partner), and to select your preferred day / date.

Duties that you volunteer for, count towards your 2-3 per duties per membership year as a requirement of membership.

We are short of members (who are qualified rescue helms) available to do duties on Wednesday 10am to 4pm. If you would be happy to do this as a duty, please let me know.

Please also ensure that all your details on Dutyman are up to date i.e. email, phone number, sailing qualifications, preferred role, preferred days and anyone you want to do duties with.
Please give consideration as to whether you are still physically able to do the roles that you have signed up to, and change your preferred duty role if necessary (or contact me).

As there will be a few members who have been assigned duties but then decide not to renew their membership, there may be occasions when we need to move duties or bring them forward. I’m grateful for your understanding with regard to this.

When you do a duty, please ensure that confirmation on the day is logged via the Officer of the Day in the duties book. It is easy to forget when part of the race team.

Whatever duty role you are undertaking, please ensure that you bring appropriate sailing gear for the weather/conditions to be able to go on the water (and possibly in the water), as any member of the duty team may need to go afloat or step in as a rescue crew if there are duty absences for whatever reason.

If you are not intending to renew your membership for 2024/25 then please let me (and the membership secretary) know.

If you aren’t getting Dutyman emails, having problems signing in or experiencing difficulty using Dutyman, please let me know.

Thank you

Mark Dinwoodie

Duties Secretary


Unsightly we know, but those of you that have been to the club recently will have seen the barriers now in place. I mentioned a while ago that we had had a building survey done, and one of the outcomes was that the existing balustrading, although appearing robust and sturdy, unfortunately fails to meet current building regulations and would need to be replaced with a heavier construction. Unfortunately there is also some concrete work needed before we can move onto that work and so, reluctantly, we decided that the only viable option was to put a visible barrier in place for the interim period as a highly visible reminder of the risk. The balcony can still be used, but please avoid congregating in large crowds on it and do not lean on the balustrade. There is also an area marked off under the balcony to keep clear of.

VHF Radios & Skip

Many of you will be aware that the RIBs are now all operating with handheld radios and a separate speaker/microphone which can be easily handled. Just a note from our bosun that in wind and rain a quick shake will ensure that any water ingress is cleared before you speak into it, or else your speech will sound very muffled.

There is also a skip that is located in the car park near the run of the Flying fifteens. This will be there for around 1 week to take any metal items that you may need to dispose of – please dont put any other waste into it but but feel free to put bits of old trailer and other metal items into it.

Call for Pay and Play helms

I hope you have heard of, or are familiar with, the club’s popular “Pay & Play” scheme:

Demand for P&P sessions, particularly taster sessions for non-members and lapsed sailors, increases as the season gets underway and peaks towards summer.
The idea is to provide P&P taster or informal coaching opportunities. I emphasise that in no way are P&P sessions regarded as RYA Training in any shape or form. No instruction to customers is offered or expected.

We generally do try to ensure P&P sessions are delivered by instructors. However, the General Committee has agreed that experienced members can volunteer to help deliver P&P taster sessions. This allows us to manage any waiting list of potential sailors and potential members desperately keen to get out on the water.
Instructors and helms can claim a flat £35 fee for delivering each P&P session. This is included in the cost of the session, and is not paid by the membership.

If you feel you could and would like to help the club promote the sport and the benefits of club membership as a P&P helm, please let me know.

If your own boat is suitable for these sessions you may prefer to take people out in it. Alternatively, the club Quests can be used. I can arrange a rigging/reefing familiarisation session for you if you’d like one.


At the moment I administer the scheme. I would like to step back from this role by the end of the year to concentrate more on RYA training issues, so I am – or rather the club is – looking for someone who’s willing and available to get a bit more involved in promoting the club and the sport.

As P&P isn’t RYA training, no instructing qualification or sailing competence is required to run this scheme. It’s a simple process of marrying requests for sessions with the list of club instructors and experienced helms who have offered to take people out and make the scheme work. Most of requests are emailed in from non-members keen to visit the club and taste what the sport has to offer.

Any keen member could do this, even a shore-bound one, to the benefit of all concerned. It would be great if someone could step forward to see how it works and we’ll do it together in 2024.

Give me a bell, or drop me an email, if you are interested in learning more.

Dave Orme, 0773 4815271

2024 Youth programme

The 2024 Youth programme is now live for bookings on WebCollect. We still have plenty of spaces on the following courses:
– Stage 1 (£115) morning course. 09:15 – 13:15 on Saturday 20 April, 27 April, 11 May & 18 May
– Stage 2 (£115) mornings (09:15 – 13:15) & afternoons (13:45 – 17:45) on Saturday 15 June, 22 June, 29 June and 6 July
– Stage 3 (£115) on Saturday 20 July & 27 July 09:15 – 17:45
– Stage 3+ Chew Crew (£135) on 11 Sunday afternoons (13:30 – 16:30), starting 21 April

There’s been huge demand for this year’s Stage 2+ Chew Crew and this course is now sold out. We are exploring whether it’s possible to open up additional spaces. Updates will be provided via future editions of the club newsletter and via the youth mailing list. We also continue to monitor demand for a stage 4 course.

We have a new email address Please use this for all future communications with the youth team. Please don’t hesitate to get in touch if you have any queries, or would like to get involved.

Lake and Cake season is here!

It is difficult to imagine sunny warm sailing after the snow and frosts this weekend but our first Lake and cake this year is on 6th April !

Usual format – meet at 1:45 ready to sail and armed with cake and £1 tea contribution!

If you need help with rigging or launching just ask.

Hilary and I are looking forward to seeing you all for some sailing serenity ( weather permitting) and comfort cake! Further details will be posted on the club Facebook page and the WhatsApp group, or contact Jo here!

First Aid, PB Courses and more!

Short notice, still places available on the RYA first aid course this Saturday the 9th March 2024 in the bar area 0930 to 1630 cost still £30. Please book via your Webcollect account or any questions contact

Want to do the RYA Powerboat level 2 course? On the 18th and 19th March, yes two weeks time we are running a course for Bristol Water Rangers, we can take four more students from the Club. There are no prerequisites, it is a two day course and the cost is £40. It is not yet on Webcollect so if you want to join us contact

Our first Advanced Rescue Helm Safety Course, formerly called Rescue Helm Safety Course of the year is on Saturday 6th April. It is NOT an RYA course but the aim of the Club is that all rescue helms will hold the RYA Safety Boat certificate or will have attended this course. You must hold a PB2 certificate to do the course.It is very practical and you will learn how to rescue people and boats. It is run by RYA instructors, it is free. It is not on Webcollect so book direct with

During the year we plan to run five PB2 courses and five Advanced Rescue Helm Courses all of which are on the Club calendar the sooner you book the more choice you will have.

Member Travels

Ollie Houseman continued his involvement in the SailJuice winter handicap series with the final event at the Oxford Blue in his National 18. Ollie and crew did enough in the 4 events they sailed to finish 10th overall for the series as a whole.
Ollie also brought his Merlin Rocket to Chew to take part in the open meeting last weekend, joining a club Flying Fifteen and an excellent 5 home Scorpions. Tom Jeffcoate won the Scorpion fleet on a cold and damp Saturday. Unfortunately the wind didn’t play ball to allow open racing on the Sunday. Huge thanks to everyone involved in running the event.
Oliver Allen-Wilcox attended a similarly weather shortened event with the first ILCA7 Qualifier of the year at Brightlingsea, finishing 3rd overall.
Bath University held their annual 2 day team racing event, the Bath Robe over the last weekend in February, ahead of the BUSA Play-Offs in Edinburgh last weekend. Following Play-Offs there will be 3 Bristol Uni and 2 Bath Uni teams competing at finals at the start of April.

Andy Jones