Happy new year everyone.

With the dawn of another year we have lots to update you on, please do take the time to read on and get up to speed. In particular there are calls to action with help needed on the clubhouse renovations, the pay and play scheme and a suggestion for you to volunteer for your duties to avoid any risk that you are rostered a date you cannot make.

Club House Renovations

Over recent months our Rear Commodore has been busy considering how best to further improve our clubhouse, ideally to allow us to take advantage of more sustainable technologies and reduce our running costs.

One of the early steps towards the end of last year was to commission a structural survey. The structural survey highlights a number of issues that we will need to resolve before moving forward, to ensure that our aged clubhouse is able to withstand the challenges of the future. While we are still very much at an investigative and early planning stage, this will likely comprise a significant series of upgrade projects.

One outcome that we need to remedy in the short term is to sure up the balcony ballustrading around much of the club, which is below the standard needed to meet current building use regulations. While their normal use by small groups is acceptable, over the coming weeks we will be erecting a temporary structure and some signage to keep people back from the balustrades, and erecting signage to prevent large numbers gathering on the balconies. Race Officers/OODs in particular please note that large numbers of competitors gathering (as in the picture) along the balcony for briefings or at the University events should not be permitted

For those interested in reading the survey please contact me.

To assist our already extremely hard working rear Commodore in working through the outcome, we are hoping to identify a small group of people with a range of skills to input to planning and help shape things. If you are able to assist, either with relevant professional knowledge and skills or just with the gift of some time to help spread the load, please do contact me or speak with Jon.

As we firm up plans we will of course advise members of any impacts and thank all members in advance for their ongoing support and cooperation throughout

Duties. Important message: please sign up for duties

The duty roster for the first 6 months of the next membership year (April to September 2024) has now been posted on Dutyman.

To avoid any possibility of being rostered on a day you cannot attend, please consider signing up (volunteering) for one or more duties, so that you can ensure that you undertake your preferred role on a date that is convenient to you.

Signing up (volunteering) for a duty counts as one of the 2 to 3 duties you are required to do each membership year as a condition of membership. You can sign up (volunteer) at any time through Dutyman by clicking on the volunteer tab on the right-hand side of the webpage and selecting a duty/date which has a volunteer or swap symbol.

I will start assigning duties mid – February. If the duty you are assigned is not convenient, then the onus is on you to swap the duty. Therefore, it is probably better to sign up (volunteer) for duties.
Please note the following points:

  • You should only sign up as a rescue helm if you are suitably qualified and experienced. If in doubt, please ask.
  • You cannot volunteer for a Wednesday evening racing duty as this is a separate roster undertaken by those who raced in the 2023 Wed evening series.
  • Please only sign up for Wednesday daytime and Thursday evening sessions if you are a qualified rescue helm and have Officer of the Day (OOD) experience.
  • Race officer duties are allocated by the Principal Race Officer.
  • If you are a member of the Core Race Team, you are likely to be asked to do duties as part of an open meeting.
  • If you are not going to renew your membership for the 2024/25 season, please let me know.
  • If you have difficulties logging in to Dutyman, please contact me.

Please sign in to Dutyman and check that your email, mobile phone number, preferred duty role, preferred duty days of the week, sailing qualifications and who you would like to do duties with is up to date, by selecting the Update your contact details tab.

Thank you for undertaking your duties as all members and the club rely on you doing so.

Mark Dinwoodie
Duties secretary

Vistors Day 2024

The Sailing Committee are looking to give the club open event day held each October a bit of a refresh due to declining visiting numbers, starting with finding a more attractive name! Similar other events around the country include the Tiger Trophy (Rutland SC), Bloody Mary (Queen Mary SC), Starcross Steamer (Starcross YC), Draycote Dash (Draycote SC), Grafham Grand Prix (Grafham Water SC) and Brass Monkey (Yorkshire Dales SC). Some suggestions already in for the Chew event include the Chew Chase, Chew Gold, Chew Ball Scramble and the Timbuk Chew.

Think you can do better? Let us know at this form (include your name if you want crediting when your name is chosen!).

Wednesday Evening Duties

As always, the duties for Wednesday evening racing are produced based on those that competed last year and are currently being pulled together. Unfortunately again not enough individual sailors took part last year for only 1 duty each this year so the most frequent racers will find themselves with a 2nd evening duty.

Honours Board

We’re aware that the Honours Board in the main club room (just outside the bar) hasn’t been updated for a few years. We know of a couple of names that should rightly be added, but can’t be sure we have all of them. If you have a nomination (winners of Inland, National, Europena or World Championships) then please send it to sailing@chewvalleysailing.org.uk.

2024 Calendar

I’ll give a wider update on some of the plans for this coming year in the next newsletter, but between now and then things already starting to get busy, with the club hosting the Solo Winter Championships on Saturday 27th January (entry here), the usual BUSA team racing qualifiers over the first weekend in February ahead of another few weeks of other university and school team racing events.

Looking for a volunteer – the Pay and Play scheme

The Pay & Play scheme is a club initiative to offer taster sessions to people wanting to know more about our sport, to encourage people to join the club, and to offer members a chance to improve their sailing skills, or try something new in an informal but controlled environment. It is not, in any form, RYA training.

We are looking for someone to take over administration of the scheme. The simple task is to connect someone asking for a P&P session and an instructor (or an experienced club helm) from the list I have of those who are willing to help deliver the sessions. This is usually done by email or phone. Once they are in touch, they sort out all the details to suit them both and meet for the session. There’s no involvement in any of that practical detail, or delivery of the session on the lake, by the administrator.

As this administration requires no sailing knowledge or experience, this call goes out to all and any members who feel they can get more involved in the club’s activities. I hope someone feels they’d like to know more about this, and perhaps be blind copied into the conversations I’ll be having with our P&P customers as the scheme picks up (as it always does) in spring. No obligation!

Dave Orme, RYA Principal training.cvlsc@gmail.com

International Blind Sailing Keelboat Event by Malcolm James

Last month I was privileged to sail with a group of visually impaired sailors at the International Blind Sailing Keelboat League Event 2023 held at Rutland SC 16-19 November. 4-crew teams from the UK, France and Australia competed in the club’s RS21 One Designs, each team sailing 28 ‘sprint’ races over a windward/leeward course. Conditions in excess of 22 knots prevailed on the Sunday, with exemplary boat handling from the VI helm and mainsail trimmer throughout. A truly awesome and memorable experience for all competitors and excellent organisation on the part of Rutland SC and the GBR Blind Sailing sponsors.

Further details, race photos and overall results are on-line at:




Member Travels by James Williams

There’s been very little travelling in the last month with few events taking place. Ollie Houseman (pictured above) raced his National 18 in the famous Bloody Mary pursuit race at Queen Mary SC last weekend, finishing a very creditable 28th in a fleet of 175.

Andy Jones