Commodore’s Newsletter 2016

Dear all,

2016 has arrived and may I wish you a very Happy New Year.
For those of you who have not seen me around the club house or on the water my name is Clive and I have been given the honour of being elected by the members to be Commodore for 2016. I sail a Comet 704 which is a little like a cut down Laser. It is a boat ideally suited for small water sailing.

My introduction to Shearwater was by attending the Comet Open which the club holds each year. I drove down from London and was stunned by the beauty of the lake and its setting. Whilst sailing I was fascinated by looking up watching buzzards circling high above me as I vainly checked my burgee to try and work out the wind direction. When I returned to my old club I remember saying what a beautiful place to sail but a nightmare to race. Two years later I retired and moved to Bourton, a village near Gillingham. Shearwater was the nearest club and so four years ago I became a member. My views on the sailing have not changed, it’s still a nightmare picking the shifts but I was made very welcome by the friendly Shearwater members and the rest as they say is history. It is a great club!

The high winds and rain have not made me sorry that sailing for the time being has stopped. I should, like many other members cast an eye over my boat and carry out the necessary repairs before the new sailing season starts in March. I regularly fail in this endeavour.
The membership renewal form has been updated and is available on the website. Don’t forget to license your boat with Longleat Estate.

Details of the work parties (two to be held in February) and the first Social events will follow in my next newsletter.

It would be remiss of me not to thank the committee members who have stood down this year. We are a small club and rely heavily on the willing volunteers to ensure its smooth running.
This year there will be change in the organisation of the duty roster. All members are expected to do two duties throughout the year. Early inspection of the roster will enable you to select dates that fit in with you and your family. There are 38 sailing days requiring a minimum of an Officer of the Day (OOD); an Assistant Officer of the Day (AOD) and a Safety boat operative. In windy weather two people are needed on the safety boat. Mathematically, we need a minimum 114 volunteers to run the sailing on Sundays throughout the year. (The Sailing committee have generously volunteered to run the Tuesday evening racing between them). A commitment of two duties is essential if the work load is to be shared. If you do not sign up then you will be allocated your duty days.

2016 looks to be an exciting year. New race formats and a full racing programme. It only takes one sunny day and a good sailing breeze for me to wish I was out on my boat sailing around the lake and watching the buzzards circling. Roll on the 6th of March and the First Bash.

Clive Chapman

November Newsletter 2015

The end of the season is fast approaching. We have our annual Prizegiving and Dinner on Friday 27th November 2015. All members should have received an email about this and all meal orders and payments must be made by 18th November to secure your place.

Unfortunately in October/November we had a couple of Sunday’s where racing was abandoned because of lack of wind! The reflections on the water were very picturesque and photo worthy as the lake was like glass! This is most unusual as October is often a very good month for sailing at Shearwater, with good winds. We have 3 sailing Sunday’s left so make the most of it, knock the cobwebs off your boat and take to the water. The last of these 3 will be the last Thrash,on Sunday 29th November, after which there will be mince pies and something fortifying in the clubhouse! Then all that is left to do is organise Winter storage for your boat, as all boats must be removed from the boat park by December 31st at the latest.

Thanks must go to all committee members who work hard to see that everything is in place for the club to continue. There have been several days with no members volunteering for duties at this end of the season. We are all set for the next 3 weeks but please remember that you need to do a duty as part of your commitment to Shearwater Sailing Club. It is quite good fun in the start box and you can learn a lot about what to do (and what not to do) by watching other sailors! So if you didn’t do a duty this year, next year’s draft programme will be in the clubhouse from the Last Thrash and at the AGM. Those duties not signed for will be allocated to members.

I hope to see as many of you as possible at the Dinner and later at the AGM
I leave you with a photo from Yachts and Yachting of one of our members and a past commodore sailing in the Bosham Classic Event in a Hornet.image

Summer Newsletter – July 2015

Summer has arrived and we have had some very windy weather at the lake. Not always in the right direction but we can’t expect everything! I hope you have all noted the anti slip surface to the jetty has been completed thanks to Martyn, Mike D and Nic. Also a big thanks to Mike D who has repainted the clubhouse doors and windows.

We have several events coming up and we need some help be it in the start box, safety boat or galley. Please read the schedule below and let me know a.s.a.p. If you can be available to offer support.

C.V.R.D.A. (Classic and vintage racing dingy association) Open
We are hosting this event on the 22nd and 23rd August. There will be lots of beautiful wooden boats and several more unusual boats so do come along. The Saturdays racing will be for the older boats only but on Sunday the vintage boats will join in with our normal club racing. We will be serving rolls for lunch on both days and hope to have a social event on the Saturday evening at a local hostelry (as yet undecided) for the visitors to the event as well as club members.
Help required: Nic is OOD for the event but we need safety boat cover for both boats. We also need to have the galley manned for both days, this involves making drinks and selling rolls, crisps, cakes etc Any offers of cake for either day gratefully accepted. Please email me if you can offer help on the day. I will be sailing but will manage registration for the visiting boats and crews.

Roadford Lake – the Goodacre Cup – August Bank holiday
Chris Mullholland is promoting this event instead of our annual trip to Roadford Lake, so if you want to know more talk to Chris. Those of you who know Roadford Lake will know that it is a large inland Lake with excellent sailing. Camping is on site and it is a great place to sail. This is a great opportunity to sail with others and I highly recommend it. Roadford Lake is very family and dog friendly with canoes, kayaks, wind surfing and other equipment for hire or you can take your own.
There will be no club racing at Shearwater that w/e but as advertised in the fixtures list safety boat cover will be available for social sailing on the Sunday.

Bart’s Bash and Summer Social – 20th September
On Sunday 20th September it is Bart’s Bash where we race and try to raise some money in honour of Andrew Simpson. There is more information about this world wide event on the Bart’s Bash website. This year we are combining Bart’s Bash with our Summer Social in the form of an early evening BBQ so be sure to mark the date in your diary. We are also hoping to have a ‘Boat and Outdoor Pursuits Jumble’ so if you have any equipment you no longer use please keep it to one side and bring it along. This is a fund raising event for SSC so we are asking for a minimum 20% donation to the club on any sales – more details will follow.

Sunday Duties
We request that all members do at least one Sunday Duty, this can be as OOD (officer of the day), AOD (assistant officer of the day) or safety boat cover. Currently a few members are doing lots of the duties and so missing out on their sailing. If you don’t have much sailing experience the AOD is a great way of learning to improve your sailing by watching those racing, read the winds and adjust sails etc accordingly. We are a small club and we need all our members to support us. Please fill in dates on the website or contact Martin Honor (duties officer)with dates you could help out.

Have a great Summer
Lois Barlow
Commodore SSC 2015

April Newsletter

Topper and Comet Open

Last Saturday we welcomed Topper and Comet sailors to the club for their annual open event. The weather was very blustery and not for the faint hearted! Everyone enjoyed the day and it was a pleasure to see all the youngsters out on the water as well as the more seasoned comet sailors. Some pictures of the prize giving kindly sent by Mike Jones.


Gilmer Trophy

Firstly a reminder that there is no Club sailing this Sunday (19th April) as we are hosting the Gilmer Trophy which is a team event between Bristol Avon Sailing Club (BASC) and Shearwater SC. There are 10 boats from each club involved. It promises to be good spectator sport so if you’d like to come along and support us please do.

Tuesday Evening Sailing
Now the evenings are getting lighter it will soon be time for the popular Tuesday evening sailing. It kicks off with race 1 of the Putty Trophy on the 28th April. An evening meal/drink at the pub often follows, so it is a good social time too.