Well, the past few months have brought plenty of rain and wind, not all of it entirely when we wanted it! The lake is just about full which means those shallows that were so good at catching the centreboards of the unwary have gone, but we have lost a few days’ sailing to the extremes of wind ( both too much and too little).
In terms of open meetings, we started the year with a successful Topper Winter regatta attended by 35 boats in blustery conditions. Chew’s Henry Martindale and Ellie Hitchings were third and fourth. This was followed by the Asymmetric open meeting where we welcomed a total of 67 boats from the RS800s, 29ers and Musto Skiffs. The Saturday saw good racing, but on the Sunday, the wind refused to play and the competitors made an early return home. Chew’s highest placed boat was Ian Collis-Smith in the skiffs.
The asymmetric weather was a complete contrast to the Phantom Inland championships held at the club over the weekend of 28/29 April where only 16 boats made the journey in the face of a horrible weather forecast. Most managed three races in challenging conditions on the Saturday, however 40kt gusts and white horses saw off the Sunday’s racing.
The most recent open saw a total of 59 Flying Fifteens, Scorpions and Fireballs competing over the weekend of 12/13 May. One race was lost when the wind died on the Saturday, but despite this the racing was close and all reported on how much they had enjoyed the event. The Fireballs and Scorpions in particular attracted the top names from the national fleet to sail on our water, and dominated the results with Chew’s Derian and Andy Scott finishing 7thin the Fireballs and Peter Rose 12thin the large Scorpion fleet with son John 14th. In the Flying Fifteens, Ian Cadwallader and Nick Stone were second and our Commodore, Mike Thompson was third sailing with Simon Millington.
Running these open meetings gives the club a lot of prestige nationally as well as providing opportunities for competitors and the race management teams to home their skills at a high level. Thanks to all who have been involved in running these events and making them successes despite the weather.
Closer to home, we are well into the spring points series and the Wednesday evening racing is under way. This is the best attended event at the club with almost 100 boats competing on the nicer evenings. In the recent Trophy races, Chris Goldhawk won the John Jarrett trophy and Helen Martin the ladies’ trophy. Paul Croote and Andy Hewitt won the Commodore’s cup in a Cherub, from Chris Goldhawk’s solo.
The Four Seasons series has also been hit by the weather, and after two attempts at rescheduling the winter race, it was held over to be run with the spring race on 15 May which turned out to be a glorious spring day. Nick Fisher won both races.
It is interesting to see the development of the fleets at Chew. The Solo and Flying Fifteen fleets are enjoying steady growth in numbers despite the age of the boat designs. In the handicap fleet, the composition of the fleet seems to regularly change with fewer skiffs and more hiking boats being apparent. Sadly the Topper fleet seems to have diminished significantly – although this is in part due to the hotshot juniors spending their time at squad and open events where they continue to shine. We have decided to experiment by widening the old Topper start to allow juniors in a variety of boats to get involved with the racing, particularly in the light of the growing number of Fevas at the club. The weather has been awful to date, but we hope to see more juniors getting into the club racing as the weather improves.
I should also mention the Junior Fun Sundays which are well attended. It is great to see enthusiastic youngsters and their coaches out on the water.
We look forward to welcoming new members at the new members’ day on 19 May, and hope to see them and all the existing club members out on the water over the summer.