Next to Ullswater I can't think of a better sailing venue. Bewl has it all; huge
water, unrestricted wind, fantastic clubhouse and all in beautifully landscaped surroundings.
It's good of BVSC to allow us to go down every year and use their facilities. I've
lost count of the number of years the SigneT's have been going there and recently
we have been encouraging AQSC members to go and sample 'big water' sailing.
This time, as with last year, there wasn't a regatta being held, it was just free
sailing but hey! There's nothing wrong with that. To ensure an early start on Monday
I took Over Easy home on Friday having first spent an hour in the trailer park fighting
through waist high nettles and getting my road trailer around or over a number of
In the event three SigneT's made it this year, Richard Cannon with ST368 (June),
myself with ST369 (Over Easy) and Keith Hatton with ST858 (The Saint). In addition
there was Liz Archer who came with Richard, Bryan Clements who came with Tony Hopkins
and brought a club Laser and Topper, Rodger Wheeler with a Bosun and Team Lunniss
with their Pacer. Additionally Jean & Mike Hendra came down for a sail as did Frank
Rainsborough and his two grand children Noah & Emilia, who I believe likes to be
called Millie. I also spoke to Keith & Gayle Poncia although they opted not to go
out in the boats.
The conditions at Bewl were pretty boisterous all day. The morning was 3 to 4 from
the SW but in the afternoon it was 4 occasionally gusting 5. The wind wasn't particularly
consistent and a capsize to windward was something to watch out for but despite the
wind and the spray being thrown up over the bows just about everybody went out at
sometime or other.
My abiding memory will be Bryan. He'd not had much luck in the Topper so I suggested
a sail in Over Easy. I did warn him however that he was bound to get wet. At first
he wasn't too keen but then changed his mind. We left the pontoon and went straight
up onto a screaming reach. The water spray over the bows was virtually continuous
and Bryan took the brunt of it. About two thirds the way across we tacked and returned.
On the reach back not quite as much water came over the bows but that that did was
far greater in volume and poor Bryan got absolutely soaked.
Back at the dock he was out of the boat like a drowned rat. I apologized profusely
but Bryan was very good about it at said that I had warned him it would be a wet
sail. It was at that point he said he hadn't brought a change of clothes and squelched
off up the pontoon to try and dry out enough for Tony to allow him into his car for
the homeward journey.
By 4'ish I think we had all had enough. Keith had managed three capsizes, Tony had
three and several others had come pretty close. Everybody was aching in places they
didn't even know they had places. A hot shower was never so welcome.
On the way back some of us made our usual stop at The Grasshopper at Westerham for
some falling down water and a carvery. This pub has a simply enormous car park so
cars towing boats is not a problem. The food, up to last year, was pretty average
too (that's 'very good' in Over Easy speak) however there had obviously been a change
of management and chef since then and the place had really gone downhill. Both the
service and the food left much to be desired.
Apart from that I do hope everybody enjoyed themselves and many thanks to Richard
for liaising with BVSC and arranging everything.