Bristol Brew Team Racing

Sailing Report – John Smalley, Vice Commodore

The Bristol Brew lived up to all the hype; once the wind decided to co-operate, the racing got going last Saturday afternoon. After many, many races, the semi-finals were sailed on Sunday afternoon, followed by the finals. I enjoyed chatting to the PRO, Martin Smethers, a regular visitor to Chew in this capacity, on the shore! Easy life I thought, until I realised that he was continually making decisions that governed the racing using the radio. The winners were Royal Thames followed by Exeter Uni in second place. Many thanks go to Nick Martindale who worked hard as an ‘on the water’ umpire and liaised effectively with our own race Officer, Ken Comrie, who was trying to run Club racing at the same time.

The Winter racing series continued, unaffected by the University Fireflys buzzing around. We are all delighted to see Andy Harris back from his working sojourn ‘down under’; however, anyone hoping that his sailing prowess had been diminished have had their hopes dashed – he won both Handicap races in his Europe. Andy Bones bossed the Flying Fifteens winning both races. Chris Goldhawk did the same in the Solos, whilst Cathy Bartram showed her credentials by dominating the Lasers – though that wily fox, Julian Cooke put her back in her place in the morning race. It’s all great spectator sport – if you feel it’s far too cold to go sailing, come along and watch!

Out of date Lifejackets – Jeff Stratford, who is leading our current Powerboat training effort, has requested that if any of you have air cylinder lifejackets (not buoyancy aids) that are now out of date, please could you let him have them to use for demonstration purposes on his powerboat courses. Contact Jeff Stratford.

Volunteers Needed – Seasonal Races

Oh dear, what a turn off headline! We have the Tap Trophy (Tuesday 26th December) and the Resolution (Monday 1st January 2018) approaching; these are historically manned by willing volunteers. I will be acting as Race Officer for the Tap day, and new Club PRO, Keith Harris, has volunteered for the Resolution day. We need help! Please offer to assist us on both days – we need helpers in the race hut and on RIBs – these events can only run with the help of willing volunteers. Let me know if you can help. However, they are both great social occasions – come along and cheer the sailors trying to ‘sail off’ their festive hangovers!

Early Warning – Next Guest Speaker

Thursday 1st February at 7pm we will have an evening with Ian Walker, voted ‘sailor of the year’ last year after winning the Volvo Ocean Race. This Olympic medallist was renowned for sailing with the late John Merricks. There will be a suggested minimum donation of £5 per person to Ian’s John Merricks Sailing Trust. Put the date in your diary now…

General Committee Info

The gentleman sailors (??!) owe a debt of gratitude to Dave Bonstow for organising the temporary heating in the men’s changing room. The good news is that the new heaters are now installed and working; girls – look out for all those hot men emerging from the room on the right!

The powers that be are aware that there is a lack of internet in the clubhouse at the moment. I am told they are ‘on the case’ and hopeful or an early resolution to the problem.

Fleet Prizes

Most Importantly for sailors in the Handicap and Flying Fifteen fleets – there will be a Grand Prize-giving at the Club on Sunday 17th December during the lunchtime interval. Any of you who have scored points in the many series over the 2016/17 year will be due prizes, either Force 4 tokens or vouchers for our own Galley or Bar. The Laser and Solo prizes will be awarded at their Christmas gatherings but, if you are in either the Handicap or Flying Fifteen fleets, be there on the 17th or be square! The more members in the crowd the better; not only will you get to see who the leading lights in the fleets are, you will get a chance to keep your hands warm by applauding them!