July/August 2016 Newsletter No 4


Welcome to our 4th Newsletter of 2016.  Here we have a mixed bag of news, including our members’ involvement in numerous World and National Championships around the country.

Sad News

Since our last newsletter, we have received news that two past members have sadly passed away.
Many will remember David Ashworth (he with the Streaker in Compound 4).  Whilst he was never the racing type, he did enjoy the comradeship of PYSC and was always keen to engage in conversation at the club, or often in the Portishead High Street.  I seem to recall his call to fame was having difficulty in getting back to the slipway! – many times the rescue boat was summoned to assist him.
Our second loss has been John Warne; also a resident of Compound 4 with his Laser.  In recent years he did not sail, but was always on hand when called to do his duties, a thoroughly decent gentleman who is sadly missed by his family and friends.

Severn Bridge Race 26th June 2016

The Severn Bridge race this year was greeted with a nice force 4 south westerly.  9 club boats plus 3 visitors from Thornbury SC  made the 7 mile journey to the Bridge and back.
The course was a simple short beat to number 2 and then a long downwind leg straight to the Bridge, turning on the right hand beacon and back to the club.
All but one of the boats started on the last start available and when Derek and I arrived at the turn mark we were accompanied by Roger Oldershaw in his Fireball and Chris Thorne helming for Peter Weeks in the RS400.   As we turned, the tide was still flooding strongly and this caused all the boats to close up as the leaders were unable to make progress against the tide.
We were now on a starboard tack from the Bridge right into the beach at the Royal Hotel, Portishead.   This must have been at least a 40 minute tack and all the sailors said that they had stiffened up whilst on one tack for so long.
As the tide turned the sea began to chop up a bit and we were all glad to see the club finish line.  It had been a great sail and we were the first boat back completing in just an 1 hour and 36 minutes.
We had won the race with less than a minute to spare from Caroline and Nick Smith from Thornbury SC in their Marauder.
The Severn Bridge race is for the Chris Makins trophy and it was nice to see Wendy and her family at the club to present the prizes in Chris's memory.

1st Fireball  Colin & Derek Jarvis
2nd Marauder Caroline and Nick Smith (Thornbury SC)
3rd Laser 3000  Mike Chorlton and Anne Clubb

Unveiling of the PYSC Defibrillator 4th August 2016

A new Public Access Defibrillator (PAD) for Portishead has been unveiled on the outside of the clubhouse linked to the emergency services via the South Western Ambulance Service.

A brief unveiling ceremony on 4th August was followed by an excellent presentation and demonstration by Clive Setter of AED Locator (EU) who explained in graphic detail how it operates and what is best practice in the event of an emergency.

The initiative to have a PAD at PYSC resulted from the personal experiences of a PYSC member Derek Jarvis, who along with his brother, Colin, and Sister-in-Law, Christine, began raising funds in 2014.  Since then the Club along with other interested parties have raised sufficient money to acquire the unit outright.  It was entirely appropriate that Christine was invited to open the facility.

This community facility has been wholly funded from donations generously given by:

Members and Friends of Portishead Yacht and Sailing Club
Clevedon Pilot Gig Club
Portishead Raft Race Committee
Portishead Loafers Swimming Club.

Members from each of the funding organisations were present along with many local residents.

The defibrillator is located on Mariners Path which is a popular walking route between Portishead and Clevedon.

Representatives from Clevedon Pilot Gig Club were so impressed by Clive’s presentation that they plan to invite him to one of their winter social evenings.  PYSC has been invited to join them, so as soon as we have further details these will be circulated.

Revised Protocol for OODs

All OODs should now be aware of the new arrangements when communicating with the Avonmouth Signal Station immediately prior to any sailing event at PYSC..

Our President Chris Thorne recently attended a meeting with the Bristol Harbourmaster from which a revised protocol was developed to enable us to give and receive the most up-to-date and appropriate shipping and weather information.  The Port of Bristol has recently improved its website with a lot more information on shipping movements and weather conditions

It was agreed that it remains important that phone calls continued to be made so that the Vessel Traffic Service (VTS), previously known as the Avonmouth Signal Station,is aware of our activity on any particular day.  However, in future the PYSC OODs are requested to:
1) Go to the Bristol Port website before the race and look under Shipping Information, then Tide Tracker which would give details of all planned shipping movements on each tide.
2) Phone the Vessel Traffic Service (VTS) on 0117 980 2638 and:
a)  advise that we are sailing, together with the approximate times and locations – eg around Firefly, mainly south of the shipping lane (when sailing in the Bay) etc.
b) Ask if there are any known changes to the shipping movements on their website.
Notes on Tide Tracker Information on Bristol Port Website:

Most of the columns are self-explanatory but the following are the key ones for OODs.
Type:  ARR means Arrival;   DEP means Departure;  CHA means Channel Movement (ie ship passing but not docking) – eg to or from Sharpness.
ETA/ETD means estimated time of Arrival or Departure.  For most Arrivals the time is the pilot pick up point west of the Holms.  A ship will typically arrive in King Road about 90 mins after this stated time, although car carriers can be quicker.  The exception is when times have a ‘K’ after them. These are pilot exempt ships and the ETA is at King Road.  These are usually smaller ships that are regular visitors, although some car carriers, eg Autosun are also pilot exempt.  Departure times are from the quay so arrival in King Road will be about one hour later to allow for locking out.
L (length) x B (beam) and D (draft) will tell you how big they are!
Tugs:  the number of any escort tugs.  For bigger incoming ships these will often come down channel through our racing area to meet them.

It was agreed that the parties would meet again in 3 months time to see how the revised system was working.  Both parties emphasised that safety was paramount and the steps each took were intended to avoid any incidents between sailing craft and shipping.

News from Worlds and National Championships

Many members have been participating at various events during July and August.  Most notably was our President’s appearance as official correspondent for the 505 World Championships at Weymouth.  With a total of 140 competing boats he did remarkably well reporting from the water on all the action.  Chris has previously been a enthusiastic 505 competitor and past International Secretary for the Class Association.  I hope you all enjoyed his daily commentaries on the Yachts and Yachting website.

Elsewhere Nick Noble competed in the Contender Nationals where he came a very creditable 4th, just missing a podium spot as a result of a broken rudder.

Pete Truin and Anna Trimarchi have been at the 50th Anniversary Firefly Nationals at Tenby. Whilst they would be the first to admit they were not competing for prizes, it sounds as if it was a great experience and great fun.

Paul Roberts and John Clark have been at Mumbles for the Osprey Nationals whilst the Willcocks family and the Gill Brothers have been competing at Hayling Island in the Fireball Nationals.

You can read about their exploits on www.yachtsandyachting.com

All credit to these and others who are flying the flag for PYSC.

Hannah and Nick Smith form Thornbury, winners of our 2016 Pill Race and runners up in the 2016 Severn Bridge Race have recently retained their National Championship title in the Miracle Class at Plas Heli, Pwllheli, North Wales.

Have You Ever Fancied Sailing in Bristol Docks?

Baltic Wharf Sailing Club are holding an Open Weekend for local Clubs and sailors on 1st/2nd October 2016.  PYSC has received an invitation to participate in this event.  Further details when known will be posted on the club notice board. That particular weekend is poor for tides at PYSC, so there is no scheduled racing.  Why not take your boat or go as a spectator and/or willing crew?

PYSC Landscape Group

Members will have noticed that Wessex Water have now completed their sewer realignment work and have removed their extraneous materials and rubbish.  They have carried out some reinstatement of our grounds which should allow us to carry out our own grounds maintenance unhindered by their activities.

As part or our ‘grounds maintenance renewal’, a new group, the PYSCLG has been formed which is looking for volunteers to take up the rotary lawnmower and petrol strimmer etc in order to keep our grounds in good shape.  David Shaw is keen to hear from any member willing to assist him, and others in keeping up with the task of grass cutting, trimming back vegetation and generally keeping our grounds in good order.

Request for Contributions

Your GC welcomes contributions from the membership for future editions of the Newsletter, so please submit these c/o Steve Gill, at: stevegill1947@hotmail.co.uk   Anything you think might be useful, newsworthy, or just of interest to members will be welcomed.


(Updated on 20/08/2016)

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