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training - cruising - racing

Handbook 2013 Page 1

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Contents 5.

Commodore’s Welcome


Facilities at Bewl


Start Sailing




Youth Sailing


Families and Cruising






Adult Fleets


Sailing Events Calendar


Mariners of Bewl


Membership and How to Join


Practical Information


Club Duties


Safety Information


How to find us

Commodore: Mike Wilcock Vice Commodore: John Langridge Rear Commodore (Sailing): Jo Mayes Rear Commodore (Services): John Dennis Honorary Secretary: Simon Keen Honorary Treasurer: Richard Page Committee: Richard Hayden Gillian Hill David Hewett Sue Humphries Abbey Rance Richard Smith Trevor Spink Ray Tennant Club Manager: Club Professional:

Vince Nunn David Radford

tel: 01892 890930 Bewl Valley Sailing Club Ltd Bewl Water Lamberhurst Kent TN3 8JH

PINNACLE ExCELLENCE IN vIsuAL CommuNICAtIoN • 08707 707 765 • Bewl Valley Sailing Club & Pinnacle wish to thank the advertisers who appear in this publication for their support and wish them every business success. The contents of this brochure are believed to be correct at the time of printing, nevertheless, we cannot endorse and readers should not rely solely upon the accuracy of any statements or claims contained herein without prior consultation with the service provider.

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Commodore’s Welcome


ear Sailor,

Welcome to our 2013 handbook. I hope this will give you an idea of the facilities and activities that you can enjoy at the Club, whether you are a complete beginner, a keen sailing family or a championship racer. We welcome members interested in sailing dinghies and sailboards of all classes up to an overall length of 6.2m for monohulls, and 5.5m for multihulls, and we are proud of our reputation for being a friendly club. We cater for all aspects of sailing from family cruising, to club racing including Regional and National Championships. Several of our past and current members have achieved National and Olympic status. We also have numerous social events during the year. Unlike many other clubs we are open throughout the year, allowing you to enjoy your sailing whenever you want to. We are a recognised RYA Training Centre and Volvo Champion Club and offer a range of training courses for all, from absolute beginner, to one to one race coaching. Our popular youth training week in August is a highlight of the year. Training is available for adults and juniors so newcomers to the sport or those simply wanting to brush up their skills are always welcome. If you wish to join the Club, simply fill in our Application Form and return it to the Club office or join online. Your application will then be processed and you should receive your membership number and full documentation within a few days, alternatively come to the Club and join there and then. If you would like someone to show you round the Club and introduce you to key members, please contact the Club office. You can also find more information at or follow us of Facebook and twitter. I look forward to seeing you at the Club in the very near future. Best wishes Mike Wilcock Commodore

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Facilities at Bewl The Clubhouse

The Clubhouse is a delightful and comfortable purpose-built facility where members like to spend time when they are not out enjoying themselves on the water. The seating area has panoramic views over the reservoir, while outside there is plenty of space for picnics or simply enjoying the scenery. Wi-fi is available. There are good-sized male and female changing rooms complete with hot showers and bag racks.

Club Galley

Upstairs there is a bar and galley serving hot food and drinks on Saturdays and Sundays throughout the year, on Wednesday evenings from May to September, and on Friday evenings during June and July. The menu is extensive and varied and offers hot and cold food ranging from snack favourites all the way through to delicious meals from the specials board.

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Boat Park and Parking

The boat parks can accommodate up to 1,200 craft and there is plenty of room for all members’ boats. Car parking is not a problem either. There is ample parking space and cars can be used to tow boats to and from the water’s edge.

Slipways and Pontoons

Launching is from large concrete slipways, two pontoons or, if preferred, the beach area. We have a modern fleet of power boats to provide saftey cover on the water during Club sailing hours.

Access to Bewl for cycling and other days out

Membership of the Club also allows you access to the whole of the Bewl Reservoir site, including 13 miles of wonderful cycle and walking routes around the shore. Other facilities on site include cycle hire, a separate restaurant/pub, a rowing club and a canoe club. Other seasonal activities are also a regular feature at Bewl including Dragon Boat racing, and family-orientated events.

Start Sailing


ewl Valley Sailing Club is the ideal place to start your journey in the rewarding pastime of sailing.

Being a large body of inland water it is non-tidal with plenty of room to sail and explore but is relatively safe, with safety boat cover during sailing sessions. As a large Club with a broad and varied membership there will always be other members at the same level and with the same interests as you. The Club training centre has created a pathway for both adults and children to progress from a beginner through to an experienced racer.

We run a series of “Try Sailing / Windsurfing” Taster Sessions through the training school, or you can come along on a Club Guest Day or our annual Open Day when we would be delighted to take you out for a sail. If you are sure you want to give sailing a go then there is no better place to start than booking on to our “RYA Youth Stage 1” or our “RYA Adult Level 1” courses. These courses introduce the sailor with little or no experience to the sport, covering all you need to know to get afloat and the basic boat controls. By the end of this course you should feel comfortable to sail in light winds under supervision.

The Club offers a range of opportunities to give sailing a go.

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Start Sailing


Buying a Boat Buying a boat can be a difficult decision to make with a large number of boats on the market. The best plan when looking to buy a boat is to decide what you want the boat for i.e. to race, to cruise, or just sail with friends and family. Youth Boats The RYA have classes of boat that they support at junior and youth levels. It is a good idea for young sailors to stay within these classes so that they can have the best opportunity to progress in their sailing career. Types of Boats Plastic boats have been on the market for a number of years. There is little upkeep needed and they have the ability to take a few knocks without getting too damaged, but on the down side, if you do hole the boat fixing it is a little more difficult. Fibreglass boats are generally lighter than plastic boats making their performance better. Fibreglass boats can be more delicate than plastic boats so more care is needed when sailing them but they can be easily repaired. Wooden boats are often heavy and take a lot of maintenance. We would not necessarily recommend a wooden boat for beginners but there are bargains around.

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The Club training centre has created a pathway for both adults and children to progress from a beginner through to an experienced racer.



s an RYA recognised Training Centre courses are run following the National Sailing, Windsurfing and Powerboat Schemes.

Whatever your age or ability, Bewl Valley Sailing Club has a course for you. Whether you have never stepped in a boat or onto a board before, want to improve your skills, or simply need help getting back out on to the water, our excellent team of qualified instructors have all the skills and knowledge to help you achieve

your goals, and all this is done in a fun and relaxed environment. Our comprehensive Training Brochure and our website give further details about our courses and current prices. For further information please phone the Club or see our website at The following paragraphs summarise what we can offer but if you don’t see what you are looking for, please just ask.

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Youth Sailing


ewl Valley Sailing Club is committed to introducing a whole new generation of sailors into the sport, and to supporting our keen youth sailors to compete nationally, to the best of their ability. With the success of Great Britain at the Olympic Games, the profile of sailing has grown and will continue to do so. Children inspired by what they have seen on the television and hoping to emulate their heroes

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and become the next Ben Ainslie should head down to Bewl Valley. Bewl offers a host of opportunities for youngsters to discover sailing, then progress through improving their skills and to race competitively. • Learn to Sail: There are frequent training courses held throughout the year enabling young people to learn how to sail in a friendly and safe environment.

• Improve: Once the sailing bug has bitten, we have a structured programme aimed at building children’s confidence on the water and in handling a boat to become proficient sailors. • Competitive Sailing: We then have squads for each of the RYA Pathway boat classes to allow competitive sailors and windsurfers to hone their skills and to compete nationally and abroad

Learn to Sail Intro to Sailing: School Taster Courses. Try and Open Days. Families.

Stage 1&2 Courses: Extensive training programme of RYA stages.

Improve & Learn to Race Intermediate Youth Squad: Saturday afternoon (1:30-4pm) Sailors with Stage 2 or have taken part in the RYA OnBoard. Focus: improving basic skills using coaching and games.

Competitive Sailing Advanced Youth Squad Saturday Training (9.30-12.30). Saturday Racing (1.30). Wednesday Evening Training. Focus: Honing skills and racing.

Class Squad: by boat type Dedicated sessions by class. Support to compete nationally at open events/championships. Developed towards RYA Squads.

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Youth Sailing



he dual ethos of all these groups is that children need to have fun to get the most out of their sailing and there is no better way to gain experience than by being on the water. Club training boats are available to members to use as part of our youth training programme at competitive rates. If youth sailors then choose to progress their sailing we encourage them to buy one of our adopted youth boats (i.e. the RYA Pathway boats: Optimist, Topper, RS Feva or BIC Techno windsurf) so we can further develop our Youth Racing programme across these craft. The Optimist is the classic first dinghy (Ben Ainslie and most of the Olympic team learnt to sail in them) for children from 7 or 8 right up to international competitors of 15. Topper dinghies are single-handed craft with one sail for older children and with a good programme of support from the RYA. The RS Feva is a double-handed boat with a jib, a mainsail and an asymmetric spinnaker. We have Bewl sailors competing at the Feva World Championships this summer. Our schools programme also uses the RS Tera and we are developing a fleet to support them as they start to race. The Youth programme operates year round with the less experienced sailors typically joining in the warmer months. Saturday Youth Squad Training is split into intermediates in the afternoon and the more experienced in the morning with racing in the afternoon. As well as improving general sailing skills, Youth Squad includes the key aspects of racing: starting, the rules, flags and the optimum ways to negotiate a racing course. To support competitive sailors and complement the Saturday Youth Squads, each of the major boat classes has a dedicated squad run by a parent fleet captain to coordinate additional training, help transport boats to external events and liaise with the RYA and class bodies who provide training, racing

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and funding. In recent years Bewl has been very successful in developing sailors to be selected for the RYA National and Zone squads. Sunday is traditionally Club race day and every week we are able to offer a saftey boat to our young sailors, so that they feel comfortable about joining in with our adult dinghy fleets in the more formal Sunday racing. There are no forms to fill in, just sign your name on the signing-on sheet and be ready to race at around 10.30 a.m. If you are unsure what to do, then make yourself known to the day’s race officer who will guide you the rest of the way.

Youth Week

The highlight of the Bewl Youth calendar is Youth Week during the summer. This is a fun week’s sailing with over 100 children improving their skills, playing games and competing in a fun end of week regatta.

As well as improving general sailing skills, Youth Squad includes the key aspects of racing: starting, the rules, flags and the optimum ways to negotiate a racing course.

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Families and Cruising


VSC is a very family-orientated club. Members like to spend time together socially when they are not out sailing so we provide a varied programme of social events, both water and land based for families, children and adults.

Family Week

Family Week has been running for over 20 years and is the highlight of the social calendar for many members. Organised by volunteers, fun and frolics both off and on the water are the order of the day, with prize-giving every morning during the day’s briefing sessions. Camping is available and activities are organised throughout the day and evening.

Camping Weekends

Throughout the year we open the Club up for members to camp and sail. Evening activities will often be arranged for these weekends.

Away Cruises

Away cruises are organised to various tidal locations, members will either take their boats, or arrange to hire local boats at the destination. This gives members a good opportunity to experience sailing in other conditions and locations.

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Midweekers We take it in turns to suggest a destination for our walks, though a pub is usually included somewhere en route!


ot everyone wants to race or take part in formal training groups which is why we formed the Midweekers over 20 years ago. An informal group who sail throughout the summer on Wednesday afternoons, Midweekers meet at around noon for a picnic, before sailing from 1.30pm to 4pm. Members take turns to provide safety cover in one of the Club support boats, and everyone is expected to help out if they are competent to do so. Once the summer is over Midweekers sail on alternate Wednesday mornings and organise walks of about 4-6 miles on the other Wednesdays. They take it in turns to suggest

a destination for their walks, though a pub is usually included somewhere en route! They also try and include a friendly race or games on the water during the summer, a barbecue for their AGM, a longer cruise with a walk to the pub for lunch, and many other activities. From time to time they do other things such as go on trips to France for lunch, or enjoy a skittles evening and many support the LAMPS theatre group in Southborough. An annual Christmas lunch is held for every Midweeker including non- sailing partners.

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The afternoon races are Handicap races and have one start and every sailor sails the same course Club Race Series

This takes place throughout the year, sometimes in conjunction with other events, for example, the annual Bewl Blaster. There are different series in the morning and afternoon so you have the opportunity to test your skills whether you have half a day or a full day to devote to sailing. The series have names appropriate to the

season and are slightly shorter in the depths of winter. The afternoon races are Handicap races and have one start and every sailor sails the same course. The results are then separated according to the Portsmouth Yardstick number of your boat ‘(a nationally recognised handicapping system based on boat design) in order that you can assess your capability!

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Open Meetings

Bewl runs a programme of more than a dozen ‘Open’ events throughout the year which welcome competitors from all over the country. As their name suggests, these competitions can be entered by allcomers, not just our own members, and it is good for the Bewl Valley sailors to gain experience racing against unfamiliar faces once in a while. We often host National Championships for specific classes.

There really is racing from January right through to December, with the calendar starting with the aptlynamed Frostbite Series. Windsurfers are not overlooked either with the London Windsurfing Association hosting both a summer Open event and one of their winter Icebreaker Series at Bewl. If you want to come and enjoy the experience of racing with us, visit our website for details of upcoming events.

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Adult Fleets


ewl members sail in over 190 different sorts of boat, or classes, ranging from the fast and sometimes furious Fast Handicap Fleet to the slower but no less enjoyable Slow Handicap Fleet. We have also adopted two specific fleets of boat, Flying Fifteens and Lasers, simply because of the size of these fleets at the Club.

Flying Fifteens

The Flying Fifteens are probably the largest racing fleet in the Club. They are a 20-foot-long planing keelboat running three sails including a spinnaker, carry two people and are fast and fun. With the age of boats ranging from Classics through the Silver fleet right up to brand new, there is always competitive sailing to be had, whatever your ability as a racer. Free friendly advice is on hand from the helms and crews; sometimes you don’t even have to ask! A friendly and welcoming bunch, the group spends regular evenings together enjoying a sociable drink. There is an annual barbeque and crews race and several of the boats join with the Midweekers and Wednesday evening cruising.

A friendly and welcoming bunch, the group spends regular evenings together enjoying a sociable drink.

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Lasers, Radials & 4.7s

The Laser is Bewl Valley’s adopted single-handed class. It is an ideal boat for improving younger sailors as the rig can be changed from 4.7 to Radial to Standard rig as the sailor’s ability progresses and confidence improves. It also gives more experienced sailors the opportunity to race competitively in a wide variety of wind strengths – choosing either a standard or Radial rig depending on their weight and the wind strength. The onedesign boat also allows members of all ages to race competitively on a budget; older boats regularly beat

the newer boats at club level and beyond. The simple design makes it an easy boat to maintain with parts and advice readily available. The Laser fleet has its own start for Sunday morning racing. Those with little racing experience are welcome to come along and have a go, more experienced sailors are usually around to offer advice and support. For non-racers the Laser is a great boat to take out on the lake and just have fun. The training team offer regular training including the popular UKLA youth programme in the winter.

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Adult Fleets


The Fast Handicap Fleet

This is potentially the largest racing fleet at Bewl. It consists of dinghies with a Portsmouth Yardstick No. (speed rating) of 1090 and lower. Frequently, if not always, taking part are RS200 and RS400 owners, Laser 2000, Vago and Topaz Xenon owners. Members who do not own a boat can provide essential crew support in the double-handed boats, of which there are too many to mention separately. The independently developed PY No. for each dinghy enables a range of different dinghies to race against each other and gives all an equal chance of winning a Series of races.

These members gather fairly regularly on a Sunday morning to test and improve their sailing skills. At least that is the excuse. In practice it is very enjoyable to meet together, make new friends and do our best to cope with the weather conditions, and then afterwards meet briefly over a cup of coffee to discuss the sailing. Dinghy racing works wonders to improve sailing skills. In particular new members with limited skills will be made warmly welcome, and judging by the reaction from some recent new members it can prove a whole new, enjoyable experience. If you would like more information on joining this Fleet, without commitment, simply email the Fast Handicap Fleet captain to express an interest. It is usually possible to arrange a sail with an experienced racing helm as a gentle introduction or taster, just let us know.

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Programme of Events March Sun 10th 16th Straight Sun 17th 23rd - 24th Sun 24th 29th - 1st Sun 31st

Spring Series A&B 1 Beating the Bounds - Cruise up Hook Spring Series A&B 2 Flying Fifteen Open Spring Series A&B 3 Camping Weekend Spring Series A&B 4

June Sun 2nd Sat 8th

Key Open / External Events Club Racing Social, Family and Crusing

Early Summer A&B 4 Open Day ILING


13 0 2 Y A Saturday PEN D Y SA ALLE V L W E



8th June

Free e nc ntra

April Mon 1st Sat 6th Sun 7th Wed 10th Sun 14th Sun 21st Sat 27th Sun 28th

Dehibernation Family Day Optimist Open Topper Open Spring Series A&B 5 New Members Evening Catapult Open Spring Series A&B 6 Spring Series A&B 7 Family Picnic / Peg Race Spring Series A&B 8

May 4th - 5th Sun 5th Mon 6th Sat 11th Sun 12th 18th - 19th Sun 19th 25th - 27th Sat 25th Sun 26th Mon 27th

Camping Weekend Youth Sailing Weekend Early Summer A&B 1 5 Hour Race Guest Day Club Championships 2000/Laser Vago Open Early Summer A&B 2 Camping Weekend Enterprise Open Early Summer A&B 3 Family Sailing and BBQ


fun d day of s A packe sessions: ily boat and fam Have a go ngle handed in si g n ili Sa rfing Windsu g Canoein RC Boats Trips at Steambo d fun to citing an ction- ex ing in A nghys See Rac t their di arn abou watch rs and le ilo Sa t Mee lvalleys www.bew 30 09 TN3 8JH 89 2 t, Kent, Tel: 0189 berhurs ater, Lam Bewl W

Sun 9th Sat 15th Sun 16th 22nd - 23rd Sat 22nd Sun 23rd Sun 30th

Early Summer A&B 5 Guest Day Family Picnic / Balloon Race Early Summer A&B 6 Camping Weekend Mid Summer Ball Early Summer A&B 7 Late Summer A&B 1

We are always adding and updating our events so please take a look at our website for our up to date Programme 26 Page

July Sun 7th Sat 13th Sun 14th 19th - 21st Sat 20th Sun 21st Sun 28th

Late Summer A&B 2 Family Picnic / Treasure Hunt Late Summer A&B 3 Sailing Weekend - Chichester Harbour Guest Day Late Summer A&B 4 Late Summer A&B 5

Family Week

29th July - 2nd August

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Sund a 28th J y uly to Frida 2nd A y ugust

The program me will inclu de: Cheese & Wi ne Quiz Race Night (th e gee-gees!) Sail away and BBQ at Duns ters Bay The infamou s ‘Bewl’s Got Talent’ Games on the water Racing every morning Build a Raft Co mpetition Tug of War, Ro unders, Boule etc Square Danc ing and Hog Roast Finale

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August Sun 4th Sun 11th Sat 17th Sun 18th

Late Summer A&B 6 Late Summer A&B 7 Guest Day Late Summer A&B 8

August (continued) 24th - 26th Camping Weekend Mon 26th Family Sailing / Boat Swap Sat 24th Youth Regatta Sun 25th Open Regatta Sat 31st Comet Open September Sun 1st 7th - 8th 6th - 8th Sun 8th Sat 14th Sun 15th Sun 22nd 28th - 29th Sun 29th

Autumn A&B 1 RS Tera Inland Championships Bradwell Cruising Weekend Autumn A&B 2 Laser Open Commodores Trophy Family BBQ Autumn A&B 3 Wanderer Inland Championships Autumn A&B 4

October Wed 2nd Sun 6th Sun 13th Sat 19th Sun 20th Sun 27th

New Members Evening Autumn A&B 5 Autumn A&B 6 KSSA Inland Regatta Autumn A&B 7 Pioneer Open 1

November Sat 2nd Sun 3rd Sun 10th Sun 17th Sun 24th

LWA Icebreaker Pioneer Open 2 Pioneer Open 3 Pioneer Open 4 Pioneer Open 5

December Sun 1st Sat 7th Sun 8th Sun 15th Sun 22nd Thu 26th

Winter Blaster Open 1 Childrens Christmas Party Winter Blaster Open 2 Winter Blaster Open 3 Winter Blaster Open 4 Boxing Day Bottle

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Adult Fleets

Slow Handicap Fleet


The club has a diverse range of Slow Handicap dinghies – ranging from Wayfarers, Enterprises, Wanderers, Gulls, Comets etc.- but there are more than 40 types of dinghy in the Slow Handicap category, and approximately 400 boats in the fleet, although you won’t normally see them all out at the same time! Many are content to cruise around the reservoir, perhaps stopping for a picnic, or a walk to the pub at Three Leg Cross. Some join in the Sunday racing, a pastime we

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can recommend for improving your sailing and boathandling skills in general, and getting extra enjoyment from sailing your boat, through the friendly competition and camaraderie which is generated by club racing.

Other Fleets

We welcome the organisation of other fleets by members, providing there are enough boats of a class we are happy to ‘adopt’ and give them their own start time.

Windsurfing Fleet

The windsurfing fleet at Bewl has been part of the sailing club for many years and its members cover the whole age spectrum, all with different abilities and interests within the sport. Young windsurfers are particularly welcome and will be given all the help and support they require. There is a T15 group called the Bewl Blasters who compete against other clubs and also hold Open events with other organisations.

Members mainly meet on a Saturday, but are able to windsurf on all club days and during the week if you sign in at the Clubhouse with your competent helm or Level 2 RYA Windsurfing certificate. Fleet members enjoy each other’s company off the water too and they enjoy a get-together or a trip to the local after a good day’s sailing. Introduce yourself to the group on the beach and you will be guaranteed a warm welcome.

The windsurfing fleet at Bewl has been part of the sailing club for many years and its members cover the whole age spectrum, all with different abilities and interests within the sport. Page 29

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Mariners of Bewl


ariners of Bewl – or MOB for short – is a group that promotes and encourages those with physical disabilities to come together with the able bodied on equal terms to enjoy sailing at Bewl. Established in 1988, it became a registered charity five years later and currently has an annual membership running at approximately 35. The group sails on Saturday mornings from April through to October, organising social and fundraising events throughout the year, and staging an annual MOB Regatta at Bewl, which is normally held in early September.

The fleet of dinghies, which are owned, maintained and available to sail by members include Challenger trimarans, a Drascombe Lugger, a Laser Stratos keel boat and a Wayfarer. New members, with or without previous sailing experience, are always welcome. For further details please contact the Club office or meet us on Saturday mornings at the ‘MOB HQ’ just before you get to the main Clubhouse. Registered Charity No 1027432

Page 31

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Membership and How to Join


ew members are always welcome to join Bewl Valley Sailing Club and the good news is that despite our popularity often there are no waiting lists.

All classes of dinghies (without motors) not exceeding an overall length of 6.2m for mono-hulls, and 5.5m for multihulls, and not displacing more than 700 kilos unmanned are accepted. New members can download a membership application form from the website,, or you can join by filling in your details and making a secure payment online. Once completed please return the form to the Membership Secretary who will post out your membership pack once the application has been processed.

Young Adult

Open to any person aged 18 or over and under 25 on subscription due date. Entitles member to use all facilities. Named member has full voting rights and is obliged to perform rostered duties (as above).


Open to any person under 18 on subscription due date. Entitles member to use all facilities except the bar. May enrol one adult as a social member free. Have no voting rights. 16 and 17-year-olds are obliged to perform duties.

A series of events aimed specifically at new members are held throughout the year. Membership categories are as follows:

Full (family)

Open to any person over 18 on subscription due date. Entitles main member, spouse and children under 21 on subscription due date to use all facilities. Named member has full voting rights and is obliged to perform rostered duties (normally only 2 a year). Other family members are welcome to help in this way.

Full (individual)

Open to any person over 18 on subscription due date. Entitles named member to use all facilities. Named member has full voting rights and is obliged to perform rostered duties (as above).

Page 33


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We offer special rates for youth zone squad members – further details can be obtained from the office.


Open to any person over 18 on subscription due date. Entitles member to use shore-based facilities only. Have no voting rights. Social members cannot register a craft. A couple wishing to be social members would have a combined rate of £89.


As for Full (family) but only for the period from October 1 in any year to March 31 the following year. Have no voting rights. May be asked to do a duty.

Young Winter

As for Young Adult but only for the period from October 1 in any year to March 31 the following year. Have no voting rights. May be asked to do a duty.

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As Junior but only for the period from October 1 in any year to March 31 the following year. We offer special rates for youth zone squad members – further details can be obtained from the office.

Page 35


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Practical Information Organisation

Bewl Valley Sailing Club is a company limited by guarantee; and run by a Committee made up of elected members chaired by the Commodore. Their photos are on the Club noticeboard. The Committee is supported by our Club staff who run our office and training school. We are a friendly bunch and welcome enquiries from anyone considering joining the Club. The Club office is open from 10.00 am to 3.00 pm Monday to Friday, and 9.00 am – 6.00pm at the weekends.

Session Times when Support Boat Cover is provided by members Every Saturday & Sunday throughout the year Wednesday Evenings Friday Evenings Easter Holidays Summer Half Term Summer Holidays

1st May - 28th Aug 7th June - 26th July 1st April - 12th April 27th - 31st May 22nd July - 6th Sept

Ladies that Launch - Friday Mornings


Experienced sailors meet on Wednesdays throughout the year, for sailing and other activities. During session times the Club aims to provide saftey boat cover, and the Red Ensign will fly from the Clubhouse balcony indicating that a session is covered.

Sailing at other times

Bewl is open 364 days a year (weather permitting) and members aged 16 and over may sail outside Club sailing session times at their own risk provided they have a Club Competent Helm Certificate, or at least RYA Level 2, or RYA Windsurfing Level 2 and their details are entered in the register. They must sail with a buddy in another boat and notify the Club office of their intention to sail. Competent Helms under 16 must be accompanied by a responsible adult. Members with a Club Competent Helm Certificate can request an access card to the Clubhouse and changing facilities.

Page 37

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Practical Information Clubhouse

The Club office is situated to the right of the main entrance. Changing rooms with toilets, showers and hairdryers, plus a disabled toilet, first aid room and security lockers are located on the ground floor.


Our chef, Tracey, provides fresh food and drinks from 8.30 am to 5 pm on Saturdays and Sundays. Hot food is available at lunchtimes. From May until the end of August the galley will also be open on Wednesday evenings from 6.30 to 9pm and on Fridays in June and July. The Bar is open from 12 to 5 pm on Saturdays and Sundays and on Wednesday evenings in the summer and Fridays in June and July. There is a cold drinks machine on the top floor and hot drinks can be purchased from the downstairs vending machine when the galley is closed. The Clubhouse and catering can also be hired for private functions.


All dinghies must show a valid craft sticker on the transom. Windsurfers must show a registered number on the sail. You will be allocated a boat space when you join. All dinghies must be properly secured so as not to cause damage to other boats.


Car Parking

Please display a current car sticker when parking on site. You are not allowed to park along the road in front of the Clubhouse.


These can be found throughout the Clubhouse and feature craft/clothing for sale/wanted, individual fleets, youth fleet, Optimists and Saturday Club and a wanted ‘crew/helm’ board.


The visitors’ book is kept in the Club office. Let office staff know if visitors are coming independently – for gate check prior to the expected visit. Guests must be signed in by a full member and we would ask no single guest visits more than 4 times a year before taking out the appropriate membership.

There is a cold drinks machine on the top floor and hot drinks can be purchased from the downstairs vending machine when the galley is closed.

Page 39

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Club Duties


o keep membership costs as low as possible we expect all members to give a few hours of their time to the Club each year. If you have just joined the Club, doing duties is an ideal way to get to know people. We have regular rostered duties that enable sailing and racing to take place in Club session times, but there are other ways that you can get involved, for example by helping to organise social events, including Family Week or SCAMPS (Sailing and Camping) or being part of

working parties that help to improve our Clubhouse and boat parks. On your membership application form you are asked to choose a type of duty, so a brief description of each type of duty is given below.

Officer of the Day

Training is offered when a member has sufficient experience to be recommended for this duty or volunteers for it himself.

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Club Duties



The Beachmaster works under the direction of the Officer of the Day (OOD). Your main function is to coordinate activity on the beach and slipways and prevent congestion round the Clubhouse. You will check that dinghies have a current craft sticker displayed on the transom and that windsurfers are displaying a number on their sail before they go out on the water,and also check that everyone going on the water is suitably attired and has adequate personal buoyancy. Assisting single-handed sailors with their trolleys as they go afloat and return makes the Beachmaster a popular person. This is a useful way to meet and build a rapport with other members. Finally, you should bring sailing gear (wetsuit or drysuit when required) just in case one of the Saftey Boat crews is unavailable, so that you can be switched to this duty in an emergency.

Race Officer

A Race Officer is responsible for the organisation and running of the races on a particular day. They are normally people who race regularly, or have raced regularly, so are familiar with the Racing Rules and prescriptions of the RYA and the Club. A Race Officer is assisted by a Deputy Race Officer and Assistant Race Officers.

A Race Officer is responsible for the organisation and running of the races on a particular day. They are normally people who race regularly, or have raced regularly, so are familiar with the Racing Rules and prescriptions of the RYA and the Club. Page 43

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Club Duties


Assistant Race Officer

Whether you are a racer or not, you can do this duty as part of the Race Management team. Under the direction of the Race Officer, Assistant Race Officers assist by raising and lowering flags and checking boats and timings as boats progress round the course. You may be required to work in the race box or from the committee boat which will be moored out on the water, so you will need to bring suitable clothing and your buoyancy aid. Free race management courses are held from time to time and the Club will welcome you if you wish to participate.

Safety Boat Helm

Two safety boats, each manned by a helm and a crew, are provided to render assistance to dinghy and board sailors in trouble during Club sailing sessions.

If you have an RYA Power Boat Level 2 certificate, ideally with Safety Boat Endorsement, you could be considered for this duty.

Safety Boat Crew

Assistance is most commonly provided if a dinghy capsizes and its crew is having difficulty righting the boat, in which case the saftey boat crew will help from within the safety boat. On rare occasions the safety boat crew will have to enter the water in order to assist. The safety boats also check that dinghies and windsurfing boards stay in the defined areas of sailing. Safety boat personnel must wear suitable buoyancy at all times when out on the water. A wetsuit or drysuit is strongly recommended between November 1 and April 30 and plenty of warm clothing at other times.

Page 45

Safety Information Personal Safety

Although the waters at Bewl are non-tidal and generally more protected than on the coast, the sudden wind changes and the temperature of the fresh water can present additional hazards to those unfamiliar with them. The two most common causes of death in boating are drowning and hypothermia. The conditions in which you are safe to sail at Bewl will depend on your experience and ability. Through experience and training you will: Be aware of weather and water conditions and the limitations these impose on your ability to cope. Build up your technical competence in boat and equipment handling. Recognise and avoid potentially dangerous situations. Bewl is an excellent location to build up that experience but it is for you to decide whether or not to sail and when to stop sailing, subject to your also complying with the safety rules, which are an extra safety constraint.

Water Temperature

Being more than 30 metres deep in places, the water temperature at Bewl is surprisingly cool especially in the spring and early summer. It will normally be much cooler on the water than at the Clubhouse particularly when you are out of its shelter from the wind and your clothes are wet. You should recognise that cold and tiredness make you much more likely to get into difficulties. It is important that you and your crew wear adequate clothing and personal buoyancy whilst sailing.

Buoyancy & Attire

In the event of capsize you will be dependent on the buoyancy of your boat to provide you with a temporary refuge, to help upright the boat and either to sail to the shore or to bail out. You must undertake a buoyancy test at least once a year. You must not rely on the availability of a Safety Boat to recover you from a capsize. All water users must wear a wetsuit or drysuit between 1 November and 30 April, unless it is unseasonably warm, and a buoyancy aid is compulsory at all times.

The Water

Being fresh water you are a little less buoyant at Bewl than on the sea, and it is more harmful if it enters your lungs. The water is pumped up from the Medway untreated. Naturally, algae grow in it. The Environment Agency provides a leaflet on “Blue-green Algae” and the Department of Health has stated: “There have been no reports of long term effects or deaths in humans (through algal scum), but in some cases illnesses were severe. Although algal scum is not always harmful, it is a sensible precaution to avoid contact with the scum and water close to it.” Similarly, Wealden District Council publishes a leaflet on Weil’s disease for all those involved in outdoor water sports. The symptoms do not appear until 3 -19 days after exposure. They start like “Flu” with a temperature and aches and pains in the limbs; other symptoms may include irritation of the eye, or jaundice. It is not spread from person to person. Southern Water knows of no case having been contracted from sailing at Bewl. However sensible precautions include: Cover all scratches, cuts, and sores or skin affected by

46 Page

eczema with waterproof plasters. Wash your hands or eat food from a wrapper. Always wash or shower after sailing. Avoid unnecessary capsizing and if you do capsize, try to avoid swallowing the water. If you feel unwell in the days following sailing see your doctor and tell him you have been sailing in fresh water. (An Elisa blood test provides quick results).

When to Sail

All sailing at any time is at the individual’s own risk (a) During session times members may sail when at least one Safety Boat is in attendance and sailing is authorised by the Officer of the Day; this is signified by the raising of the Red Ensign on the gaff of the flagpole on the Clubhouse. The flags shown in the diagram below are flown when sailing is restricted during session times.


The sailing risk is higher than normal


No sailing is permitted at all

(b) Outside Sailing Sessions only members on the Club’s Competent Helm Register may sail subject to the following restrictions:

2. they must comply with the Club’s requirements/ recommendations:• The individual must make their own decision to sail depending on the weather conditions on the day, their physical capability on the day, their competence level & the condition & suitability of their boat • they should sail with a buddy in another boat/ windsurfer • they must enter their details in the register held in the Club Office; all Competent Helms should obtain an access card so they can obtain entry to the Clubhouse when closed. • they must notify the Club of a contact and their telephone number; that contact should know of their plans. • they must sign off in the register once they have finished sailing they must notify their contact that they are “off the water” by the time they have previously agreed. If the telephone contact has not been notified that the sailor is “off the water” it is the responsibility of that contact to ascertain their whereabouts. • If they wish they can contact the Club duty manager and arrange to meet him/her at the Club. If a member persistently does not sign on or off the club register the Club reserves the right to remove that member from the Competent Helm Register (c) The restrictions in (b) above shall not apply to members participating in authorised Club events. (d) The Club Manager is the final arbiter of the acceptability of conditions for sailing at Bewl.

1. only sail between 09.00 and no later than 30 minutes before sunset;

Page 47

Safety Information Competent Helm Register

Members may be added to the Competent Helm Register if they are over 16 years of age and provide written evidence of the required level of competency to the Club Office. Such evidence may comprise a RYA Level 2 certificate or a valid test certificate resulting from a Club Competent Helm Test. For Windsurfers the requirement is RYA Level 2. Such tests, for which a small fee is charged, may be arranged through the Club Professional.

Boat Buoyancy

All boats must have full and efficient buoyancy. Each boat shall have its designed buoyancy maintained in satisfactory working order.

Personal Buoyancy

All dinghy sailors & boat users shall wear adequate personal buoyancy at all times afloat. The harness or nappy-type buoyancy aid is considered a minimum requirement for Competent Board Sailors in view of the availability of the sailboard as a float. Otherwise board sailors shall comply with the dinghy sailing requirement above.

Adequate Clothing

Appropriate clothing for the weather conditions must be worn whilst afloat. It is recommended that Dry suits or wet suits are worn at all times afloat between 1 November and 30 April. Even when the air temperature is warm the water is still cold



All craft sailed or kept at Bewl must be insured against third party liability for at least £2m, or such other limit of indemnity as the Club’s Main Committee may from time to time prescribe.

Restricted areas

Sailing is prohibited at any time: • • •

in the nature reserve; within 50 metres of the draw-off and overflow towers; and within 50 metres of the dam wall.

Sailing is prohibited in Hook Straight west of a line drawn between the points where Hook Lane meets the waters edge on either side of the reservoir between 1st April and 31st October. No craft shall approach within 50m of any dive vessel flying flag A (blue and white) indicating that it has divers down or any fishing boat. Members’ craft not engaged in racing shall keep clear of craft engaged in racing. The conflict and collision avoidance regulations shall be observed by all members at all times. Craft which are not intending to race must keep clear of the starting and finishing lines being used by racing craft and must not come ashore in front of the race box.

All dinghy sailors & boat users shall wear adequate personal buoyancy at all times afloat.

48 Page

Safety on the Shore

This includes the shore, the water whilst not in a boat, the pontoons, slipways and access roads • • • •

• • • • • •

no swimming is allowed except in the case of a capsize. no children or young people under 16 are allowed unaccompanied on the pontoons young children should not be allowed to play on the approach roads or the road behind the club house motor vehicles may be used to tow or carry boats or windsurfers to the shore but no person should ride in a boat that is being towed we strongly advise against towing a boat without a tow bar, if you must exercise extreme caution cars & other vehicles should observe a maximum speed limit of 15mph at all times no vehicle should be parked on any approach road, slipway, beach or road in front of the Club particular care should be taken on the approach roads and slipways when manoeuvring if the car park and the spaces on the road behind the Club are full members must park in their boat space the road behind the Clubhouse is restricted to staff, sailing Club members and sailing Club visitors

The BVSC Officer of the Day & Beachmaster have the authority for safety issues whilst on duty.

Overall Responsibility

The BVSC Officer of the Day & Beachmaster have the authority for safety issues whilst on duty. Their responsibilities cover safety both on the water and on all areas of land designated by the brown line in the following diagram. All water users come under the overall supervision of the BVSC Officer of the Day and Beachmaster. The ultimate authority for safety is the Club Manager when on duty or in his absence the Club Professional.

Page 49

How to Find Us


ewl Water is eight miles south east of Tunbridge Wells and one mile south of Lamberhurst. The entrance, which is well signposted, is off the A21 (on the left travelling northbound, on the right travelling south). Once you have gone through the main gate turn right and follow the signs to the Sailing Club, there is accessible parking behind the Clubhouse. For satellite navigation purposes our postcode is TN3 8JH.

Public Transport

The nearest station is Wadhurst, which is around six miles away or a 17-minute taxi ride away. Half-hourly direct train services run from here to London Charing Cross. Journey time is just over an hour.

50 Page

Contact Us

We look forward to welcoming you to Bewl Valley Sailing Club. If you have any questions or would like further information then please do not hesitate to contact us. Bewl Valley Sailing Club Bewl Water Lamberhurst Kent, TN3 8JH Office telephone: 01892 890930 E-mail: Website:

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Page 51

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Bewl Valley Sailing Club Official Club Brochure  
Bewl Valley Sailing Club Official Club Brochure  

A guide to the yacht club, sailing and facilities, and supporting local businesses.