Sailing Report – John Smalley, Vice Commodore

Class Race Day 4 on November 12th produced some close racing across all the fleets. The continuing sibling rivalry in RS100s dominated the Handicap results, with Andy Jones emerging victorious over brother Steve! Ian Cadwallader stamped his authority on the small but worthy Flying Fifteen fleet. Damian Boreham narrowly defeated Phil Pattullo in the Lasers and Chris Goldhawk saw off the (ex-Chew) raider from Salcombe, Graham Cranford-Smith, in the Solos.

The end of the Autumn Points series completes the ‘counting year’ for the ‘Points mean Prizes’ awards for 2016/17. All the points accrued during the year are added up and the result are Force 4 tokens for the leading lights and, this year for the first time, vouchers for either the Galley or, for the lower scorers, the Bar. The lucky winners are going to be awarded their tokens either at the fleet Christmas parties or on a date to be arranged at the Club. And this year, for the first time, we have a Force 4 perpetual trophy for the sailor with the most points gathered over the whole year.

This weekend, 2nd/3rd December, we have the Bristol Brew to look forward to. This is Bristol Uni’s annual fund raising team racing event when the club will be full of enthusiastic students from all over the country. The numbers in the clubhouse will belie the number of boats on the water – only 18. Team racing is rather like water borne chess; two teams of 3 boats race against each other on a very, very short course. Each race may last only 10 minutes! A challenge for the race officials and the ‘turnovers’, as each team has to hand their boats to the next team, are something to behold. Any breakages throw a spanner in the works for the University bosuns. PLEASE come along if only to watch the entertainment – it’s a fascinating spectacle! Remember, the very compact course they use means that there will still be Club racing taking place as usual with plenty of room left for casual sailing.

There have been a few members asking about windsurfing at Chew. This year the ‘windsurfing season’ runs from 15th Sept. to 14th March 2018. The Club bye-law states:-
“Sailboarding is permitted on the lake during the close season as noted on the sailing calendar and is available only to members who otherwise register and sail a dinghy at the Club. Sailboards are only permitted to remain on club premises during the sailboard season and must be kept in the owner’s boat space. Sailboards not displaying an authorised and current club plaque (in accordance with bye law 6) will be deemed not to be registered and will be removed.”
The current cost of a sticker for a sailboard is £ 40 – these may be applied for from our membership secretary, Sarah Benfield.

It was heartening to see 30+ racers taking to the water last Sunday – a glorious sailing day; these winter months often bring the very best breezes so please come and enjoy. AND, even better, the gents changing room has today been fitted with the new heaters – we’ll struggle even more to get those Flying Fifteen sailors to leave the warm and get to the start line on time….

Finally, the keen observers amongst you will have noticed that the water level is actually rising. Little Denny has disappeared such that ill-advised sailors may try to sail straight across – not yet you don’t!
PLEASE will powerboat drivers be aware that the lake is still very shallow in many places so take care not to damage your prop.

Boat Stickers

A reminder from Allen Marsh, our cheerful dinghy park manager: Where is your current boat sticker? It should be visible on your boat!

Gents Changing Room Heating

Some temporary heaters have been set up in the men’s changing rooms to try “to take edge off”. They are on timers, please do not move the heaters or attempt to adjust them. Thank you to Dave Bonstow.