Chew Valley Solo Open

One Day Event, 3 Races, 2 to count.

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Western Series Results


Solo Open Meeting at Chew Valley Lake Sailing Club on Saturday May 21st With a forecast of wind gusting up to 30 knots and heavy rain for most of the day, we were anticipating a relatively poor turnout however word of the great Solo racing currently taking place at Chew must have got out - and we were delighted to welcome Solo sailors from a total of 7 different clubs from throughout the Western region.

Chew Valley Lake is perfectly aligned for a southerly and Claire Jefferis our Race Officer made full use of the magnificent open space to give us a classic mix of triangles and sausages. She got us away first time every time and each of her lines were impressively balanced. An excellent result in itself. The fleet split at the start of the first race with a pack led by our local hero, Tim Johnson going left, and the remainder headed by fellow Chew sailors Alex Corby and Nigel Appleton to the right. Tim just squeezed Nigel at the first mark and proceeded to demonstrate a beautifully fluent downhill technique to build what became an unassailable lead. Alex and Nigel stayed ahead of the rest of the fleet to finish 2nd and 3rd respectively.

After a well-earned break for lunch the second race started with a very slight starboard bias to the line. Tim Johnson defended his space well to claim the Committee Boat end with each of Alex Corby, John Steels and Guy Lonsdale in hot pursuit. The shifts favoured the right hand side initially but the advantage was to swing to the left and then back again before the leading boats arrived at the first mark, and it was Tim who led the fleet round. However, although he went on to win both the race and the event, the big excitement was still to come.... As Rob Mitchell our Commodore described it, the winds for our third race were 50% exhilarating and 50% terrifying. The wind was now blowing at full strength and some of the gusts were awesome. This was racing for the brave.

Tim Johnson again spied advantage at the Committee boat end, however this time it was Nigel Appleton who romped into the lead followed by Guy Lonsdale and Graham Cranford Smith. By the time we reached the first windward mark Nigel had built quite a lead and I would have put money on him winning with ease. However, he was hit by a singularly pugnacious shift three quarters of the way down the first run and was knocked into a capsize. Suddenly the race was wide open with not only Guy and Graham but also each of Rob Mitchell, Ken Comrie, Tim Wade, Alex Corby, Vernon Perkins and myself in contention. But then came Armageddon: a true brute of a gust hit the jibe mark and capsized four of the leading boats allowing Nigel Appleton to regain his lead - and very deservedly, win the third race. Guy and Graham took 2nd and 3rd. Overall, it was local Chew boats who won what was a truly amazing day with Tim Johnson our victor and Nigel Appleton beating Alex Corby into 2nd place on count back. Guy Lonsdale from South Cerney was 4th and Graham Cranford Smith from Salcombe was 5th.

Congratulations to all and a huge thanks to all those who made it so special. Full results can be found at

Report by: Alex Timms Solo Fleet Captain / Chew Valley Lake Sailing Club

Photo Caption: Tim Johnson in his trademark black Solo 4961 followed by Alex Corby in Solo 4234 and Nigel Appleton Photo by: Primrose Salt


(If I could get them on)




Chew Valley Lake Sailing Club
Chew Magna
BS40 8XN
Alex Timms
Solo Fleet Captain
01225 867090
Club Telephone:

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