We hope our members are all well. Whilst those who are front line workers will no doubt be incredibly busy, others will have a glimpse into the life of a hibernating tortoise sitting in the cold and dark week after week. But like the tortoise we will wake up in spring and look around, however, we will have more to look forward to than lettuce leaves as the bar has received a much needed make-over. Thanks to Dave Jones and Steve Ward for clearing the mess and un-needed items and to Leanne and the Tilly's team for the fresh new look. Looking forward to a time when we can be leaning against the counter, sipping a cold one, and talking about the day on the water - hang on in there, it won't be long...
Bartley Sailing Club Blog
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Well done to Millie for winning the prize for 1st Girl on the West Midlands Topper Series. The series was much reduced due to Covid in 2020 with only 2 of the 4 planned events taking place, however, all things considered, it was great to be able to get 2 events sailed with 30 boats at each.
Millie is pictured with her Rooster neck scarf, Topper bottle, and medal that she received in the post.
As crazily apocalyptic as 2020 was, it wouldn't be fair to say that there weren't any upsides to the somewhat repetitive stay at home directives. Although we couldn't sail - and that really was a blow for all of us - Bartley continued on, with weekly VR races getting rather competitive (thanks Megs and Mills!) for those who could actually wake up on time! When the club was finally able to open up again, the exercise routes - although not races - were great fun too. It was also the year in which I finally moved up from a topper, and started learning the ways of being a laser sailor and received lots and lots of helpful advice from the gang; the most infamous being, 'Don't be sorry just be better' from the one and only Harrison, and of course, 'That sounds like a you problem' from our very frank Josh. I have to admit, I tend to follow Megan's advice the most!
Just as it seemed that races were going to be replaced by exercise courses forever, towards the end of September my first Youth UKLA training weekend hit Bartley with a bang ( and lots and lots and lots of wind!), in which lots of us youth were tested on our gust responses. The main highlight of the weekend obviously being the competition for most capsizes, with the winner (Josh) owning up to at least 14, yet I'd be willing to bet my second place that there were more!
Then, as November came, yet another lockdown arrived, and a cold Saturday night brought The Great Bartley Sailing Quiz, with Quizmaster Megs a.k.a "The MEG", bringing us five tough rounds to battle through. The teams captained by Sean and Freya (Sinking Feeling and Attack of the Clones) came first and second respectively. Kezza and I managed to scrape fifth place, slightly hindered by confusing the general recall flag with the IKEA one!
Then, sooner than we knew it, we were back on the water just in time for another Laser training weekend which was significantly less windy, and eventually resulted in us hard working sailors receiving a long tow back to shore, although Josh and Harrison did return with slightly elongated arms - their own faults for not rigging a painter! Then, over the holiday, we benefited from some chilling morning sails, a favourite of mine including a capsize and a loss of a centreboard (sorry about that OOD Simon) on Boxing Day no less, not to mention a slightly traumatic snowball fight with Tom and Freya on New Years Eve Eve and the repercussions for Tom and I when Freya remembered she could throw pretty well.
And then suddenly it was the New Year, and 2021 has arrived - off to a brilliant start wouldn't you say?! In short, 2020 was a challenging year for everyone, and my thoughts are with those who have lost a lot, but I am very grateful for my friends, the things I have been lucky enough to learn, and Bartley, and its members, for being an incredibly lovely environment, even throughout the worst year that ever was.
The winter VR series is 2 races in and it is all to play for. Richard Baker is still the man to watch, but he is not having it all his own way. Sam Knight made a guest appearance today and, along with Sean Ricketts, the 400 boys took the top 2 spots in the 49ers (well they do have spinnakers so us single handers don't understand the downwind angles!).
Currently Richard Baker leads the J-70, Sam Knight the 49ers, and Simon Hardiman the Lasers.
We have been having some fun in the AC75s too - my form is similar to INEOS UK - enough said!
Next races start at 11.00 on Sunday - see you there!
Back in the 1990s there was a strong Mirror fleet at Bartley with their own series on Friday evenings. John Millward was fleet captain with a regular turnout of over 10 boats or more. The fleet has dwindled as plastic boats have become more popular and 'build a boat' from kit form in your garage is, perhaps, too time consuming for many. The photo shows my father in the Mirror I learnt to sail in rounding mark 8. It is interesting to see the blocks of flats in the background that were demolished and replaced with 'low rise' new housing that benefitted the club with a more scenic outlook and less of a wind shadow at buoy 7.
Unfortunately, the government guidance for sports venues under the level 5 lockdown rules is outlined as follows:
"Outdoor sports venues, including tennis courts, golf courses and swimming pools, must close." (https://www.gov.uk/guidance/national-lockdown-stay-at-home)
Whilst we await the RYA clarification as to what the rules mean for boating in general, the above statement is pretty clear for our situation and we shall have to close the gates again from 6th January onwards.
Per previous lockdowns, we rely on the goodwill of our members to keep our club going, but if you do lose your income during the lockdown then please get in touch so we can discuss ways the club may be able to help you. ()
The Dutyman roster had already been deferred due to tier 4 so duties scheduled for the lockdown period will be moved to later in the year.
We encourage our members to follow the government rules to remain at home. Committee members will conduct legionella checks, collect mail, and run the powerboats to keep them in service periodically during the closure. This is the only on-site activity expected.
Andrew Simpson Centre Birmingham will be in touch with those entered on training events scheduled during the closure in due course.
We hope that this short spell of lockdown over Winter will lead to greater freedom during the Spring and subsequent months when the Sailing Club, SUP Club, Model Boaters and The Andrew Simpson Centre can welcome you all back on the water.
In the mean time I will schedule some VR-Inshore races as a substitute 'Winter Series' – please join if you can as it is more fun with a full 20 boats. (details on calendar tab on website).
Please also find some sailing related links below that may be of interest between watching films / cooking / doing DIY / clearing snow / walking around the block for the 20th time.
RYA resources – great short films on rules through to techniques – something for every ability here https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=royal+yachting+association
Americas cup preparation and races – who knew big boats could fly? https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=america%27s+cup
Keep track of the Vendee globe – Pip Hare is in 15th for the UK as the leaders pass Cape Horn and track past the Faulkland Islands on the way home https://www.vendeeglobe.org/en
RYA Midlands review of the year – A short update from the back end of last year from the RYA Midlands team http://rya.org/pN3T50CYiuU
I wish you and your families well during the lockdown and hope you are all fit and healthy and remain so. I will post a few photos from time to time to remind us all of the great Summer we had on the water in 2020.
We are planning on running a WOW (Women on the Water) Coaching Day at our club in April 2021 for all our female members. This coaching day will have something for all abilities, complete beginner through to experienced racer. Come along and have fun on the water, meet other female members, refresh your sailing or racing skills and build your confidence.
Patricia Ordsmith, RYA Coach, has offered her time to come and run the day.
Patricia would like to meet up with you all over an online call to discuss what you would like out of the day so she can plan the day and identify additional resources required to help deliver a day to meet your needs. Patricia has also arranged for a special guest, who is an experienced female Laser sailor and Racing Coach, to join the call.
Bartley SC WOW Kick-off meeting
Wed, Jan 20, 2021 7:30 PM - 8:30 PM (GMT)
Please join my meeting from your computer, tablet or smartphone.
You can also dial in using your phone.
United Kingdom: +44 20 3713 5011
Access Code: 928-553-341
New to GoToMeeting? Get the app now and be ready when your first meeting starts: https://global.gotomeeting.com/install/928553341
Following developments in government advice, the stance on boating recommended by the RYA, and the movement of the West Midlands to Tier 4, the committee have updated the conditions of opening of Bartley SC for recreational watersports on the following basis:
Aim: To enable those who wish to participate in exercise to do so through recreational watersports at a safe social distance within the government and RYA guidelines.
Summary: Recreational sailing will commence, there will be no racing provision or schedule. Those wishing to participate in sailing will also be expected to take a turn on rescue cover. Government guidelines on social distancing are expected to be adhered to at all times. The club member accepts the risks and accepts their responsibility to follow hygiene protocols and distancing rules for the safety of themselves, other water users, and the rights of the club and its directors.
Conditions of participation:
a.Any Bartley SC member who launches a craft must be confident in their ability to handle the prevailing conditions. This means (but is not limited to) that they should not expect to require any form of external rescue during their exercise time
a.The club gates will be open giving access to the car park.
b.The clubhouse will open for use of toilets and Galley takeaway service only.
c.There is no access to showers or changing facilities. Water users are expected to arrive / depart changed or to change in the carpark. The toilet facility is not to be used as a changing room.
d.It is the member's responsibility to ensure adequate hand washing / hygiene after they have touched surfaces that others may have come into contact with
e.Those attending must ensure that the club is secure during and after use. If there is any issue setting the alarm or locking up please use the 'BSC Sailing Info' WhatsApp group to request assistance.
a.There will be 1 rescue craft on the water (Orange Jaffa preferred) and one on standby for launch at all times that recreational sailing is taking place.
b.The orange Jaffas have been marked out for social distancing. When 2 people from a different household are in the rescue boat they must observe the social distancing and sit at opposite ends of the craft (if they are from the same household this doesn't apply)
c.Rescue crews are expected to remain ashore at social distance until such a time that they are needed.
d.The requirement for any craft to assist another that is in difficulty is emphasised i.e. a sailing boat can assist another that is in trouble
e.In a situation where the boat in difficulty is in such a position where there is threat to life (entrapment, heart attack etc.) then the rescue crew shall remove the person in difficulty from the water as priority and ensure suitable first aid / emergency services are called.
f.By attending the club for sailing on one or more occasions a member accepts that they will conduct rescue duty on the above basis. Those who do not attend are not expected to carry out a duty or come to the club.
g.Rescue duty will be organised by the participants using 'BSC Sailing Info' WhatsApp group and will not be administered by dutyman. Only those who wish to participate need conduct a rescue duty.
h.An OOD will be nominated by the participants for each sailing session. Their decision is final on all matters.
i.The rescue crew shall consist of an OOD and 1 other for the duration of the session. The OOD must remain consistent throughout the session. The 1 other may be rotated throughout the session.
a.The SUP club will follow their specific guidelines for access to, and safety on the water
b.All attendees are required to sign on at the OOD hut so their info can be stored for 21 days for track and trace.
c.There will be no race programme. Sessions are for exercise and wellbeing.
d.Members who wish to participate in recreational sailing will need access to the 'BSC Sailing Info' Whatsapp group, or buddy with someone who does who can relay communication. The Whatsapp group shall be used to confirm the OOD and rescue member prior to the session starting. The OOD shall determine whether to finish a session early or start late if Whatsapp communication indicates participant numbers are low or there is low uptake on the day.
e.Those wishing to participate need to send their name and mobile number to so they can be added to the Whatsapp group and the club can keep track of who is active should it be required for track and trace.
f.The OOD may chose to limit the number of people on the water during sessions in line with the prevailing conditions. Their decision is final.
g.The club will be open and sailing may take place between the following hours;
i.Wednesdays – 13.30pm to 16.30pm
ii.Saturdays – 10am to 3pm
iii.Sundays – 10am to 3pm
h.Organised activity for under 18s may still continue in line with government and RYA guidelines.
a.If you have symptoms or belong to a high-risk group, please stay at home
b.If you have had the virus, please stay away from the club for at least 2 weeks after the symptoms have gone
c.If you contract the virus and have sailed at the club in the week prior, please let the club directors know as a matter of urgency.
The situation will continue to be reviewed and adjusted as guidance changes. Club members accept and are bound by the conditions above by entering the club premises. Any club member not adhering to the conditions shall be reported to the committee as a matter of urgency.
We hope that all of our members enjoy their watersports at Bartley SC.
It Was a great Boxing Day race with a strong youth fleet on the water. The weather was a lovely force 3 to 5 keeping all the sailors on their toes (and a few dipping them in the water). The Christmas meal was certainly exercised off with a beat the length of the lake followed by some downwind blasting. At the finish gun it was Tom Williams from Megan Hardiman and Harrison Allen in laser / Radials. Nice to see 17 boats, 2 windsurfs and a number of SUP members enjoying the conditions. Thanks to Dan Earthquake for helping with rescue. Full results on the results page.
Now Christmas festivities are constrained to one day why not come for a sail on Wednesday afternoon? 13.30 gates open for a 14.30 Pursuit race start this week and next. Dark, Wintery, atmospheric, and most of all, not cancelled! What else could you possibly want to do?
Don't forget boxing day either - 11.30 Pursuit race to burn off the Christmas day excesses.
What a year!
As we approach the end of 2020 it is difficult to remember the normality we enjoyed at the start of it.
We kicked off 2020 with arm wrestling rather than sailing with Bosun Dan Earthquake organising the first Udezumou event of its kind in the UK. There were no security issues at the club on that day!
At the 3rd attempt of the season we managed to get a Bartley Bear sprint racing event on the water with strong or no wind hampering the previous two.
At the end of January the clubhouse was packed with friends and family for an informative talk on the reservoir by Severn Trent.
After a few months of discussions with various providers Andrew Simpson Foundation signed up as the training provider for Bartley on 10th Feb. In 2021 all of our training will be coordinated through the Andrew Simpson Centre (ASC) manager Benn Freeman.
February bought us storm after storm with the next Bartley Bear forcing the laser fleet to drop a sail size to handle the conditions, followed by storm Jorge a few weeks later with some epic photos of sailing on the day.
In March we welcomed Steve Watson back for another talk on the sailing rules and held the Winter end of series regatta and working party to add more gravel to the dinghy park. Thanks to all who helped.
On March 15th we held Topper class winter training run by the International Topper Class Association (ITCA) with participants travelling form Wales and the home counties.
And then… the most used words of the year appeared 'unprecedented' and 'Covid-19' and the club went into lockdown and we retreated to our homes. But that wasn't the end of it – the club quickly moved the reservoir to our computer screens with new friendships (and rivalries) developed on the virtual racecourse. We also enjoyed 'a photo a day' to remind us of happier times on the water.
The club used the time to get some jobs booked in; specifically, the gents changing room floor, the disabled toilet (which those of us who don't use it hadn't realised what a state it was in), and repairs to the pontoons which were both in an unsafe condition due to storm damage over the winter.
We also had to deal with a fly tipper…twice! Thankfully the culprit seems to have ceased littering our grounds.
As VE day celebrations came and went we were back on the water for 'recreational sailing' and buying food from Tilly's using a new contactless system! Risk assessments and one-way systems became the norm as we enjoyed seeing our friends again at a 2m distance and 6 at a time!
At this time some smaller craft joined us as the Bournville Radio Boaters could not sail on home waters and joined us to sail their smaller (but no less tactical) craft on the reservoir. It has been great to see them and a lot of fun to watch.
SUP also grew from strength to strength as more people visited the club during the months that exercise was constrained to outdoors only.
With no open meetings or holidays abroad, the club enjoyed bumper participation in all disciplines over the Summer with some fantastic days for sailing and windsurfing. The WhatsApp group became the way to communicate with a few 'specialist' groups also popping up (Youth, Windsurf, Novice improvers), and Facebook had all the photos of members enjoying the weather and sport to the full (thanks to all our photographers and to Jennifer for posting them). We had more enquiries and new members than ever during this time and it has been great to welcome so many new faces to the club over recent months.
In August Andrew Simpson Centre Birmingham finally came off furlough and onto the water with a weekend of foiling that was great fun for the participants. The UK Laser class association also got one of the few Nationals off the ground with Josh and Megan participating in Weymouth for Bartley.
In September we managed to hold the AGM (at last!), Barts Bash, a Merlin Open meeting, and UKLA and ASF Laser youth training. The Autumn series marked an end to recreational sailing and the start of organised racing again, and our friends from Trimpley SC joined us for an away day. Sadly, September also saw the passing of Derek Campbell, a former Commodore and club regular who will be sadly missed by all who knew him.
October continued the training theme with Toppers training once again at Bartley, and Optimists and Windsurfers also enjoying their performance coaching with ASC Birmingham. Maintenance activity continued with a fresh coat of paint for the flagpole. The Toppers enjoyed the windiest Open meeting in history and then we were back into lockdown.
November went back on-line with some pop-up VR Inshore races and a fun quiz before opening with a bang with UKLA and ASC Birmingham Laser youth training and the end of series regatta in December.
Who knows what 2021 will bring? We hope that we can start to open more extensively and that Andrew Simpson Centre Birmingham can really take off, we hope that the competition circuit can open up again, we hope the new racing rules of sailing don't cause us any headaches, we hope the clubhouse can open fully so our social scene can reinvigorate, we hope the vaccination programme enables all of the above as swiftly as possible, and most of all we hope that 2021 is a happy and healthy one for all our members.
Thanks to the army of helpers at the club who make all of the above happen, we really wouldn't have the vibrant club that we all enjoy without you.
Wishing you all a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
From the photo you may have thought we had held a Supernova Open meeting, in fact this was their pursuit race start on Saturday's End of Series Regatta which saw over 30 boats competing for the cup. For those new to the club there are 4 End of Series Regatta's to mark the close of each racing series during the year. They are a great opportunity to participate in a couple of races with prizes on the day, so if you haven't got the time to sail a full series these are a great way to participate in club racing.
The winner on the day was Jeremy Shinton in his Solo followed by Mike Gibson in the Supernova and Megan Hardiman in her Laser Radial.
The Autumn series winners are all posted on the results page - well done to all.
There were 'spot prizes' on the day - I understand Les won the best Elf impression but you will have to go to the Facebook site to see that picture.
Thanks to David Badger and crew for organising, Nigel Hudson for sorting the prizes, and Stu for all the photos on Facebook.
Just a quick reminder of what is happening at the club over the next few weeks...
End of Autumn Series Regatta Saturday 12th December - 2 Pursuit races, both to count for a Trophy and bottle. Race 1 at 11.30 race 2 at 14.00. Prizes (wine and chocs) for the regatta and the Autumn Series will be laid out on the outside tables for collection as soon as the results for the day are turned around.
On 13th December there will be our Bartley Santa SUP around the reservoir - a fun sight to see and participate in.
There is a Boxing day 'bottle race' at 11.30 on 26th December (75 minute Pursuit) and the club will be closed on Sunday 27th December.
Santa hats are actively encouraged over the festive period.
Saturday provided an ideal F3 for the 15 helms that arrived at Bartley for the UKLA / Andrew Simpson Centre youth training. The focus was on boat speed and 'changing gear' with good use of the sail controls and boat balance followed by start line practice. Sunday was a less hopeful prospect with wind forecast at 3mph dropping to 2mph it was a question as to whether there would be enough wind to sail, but after an on-shore briefing using a tennis ball to show how the centre of effort moves as different sail controls were applied the boats took to the water for roll tack and roll gybe practice (some were a bit over zealous from the photo!). The weekend proved that whatever the weather there are skills to be learnt. As the sailors returned home to warm up the 'ping' of new messages on whatsapp could no doubt be heard around the country as the coaches posted examples of good practice and areas to work on for all the participants.
These sessions really are great for our youth sailors to learn new skills and meet with other competitors from around the country. The next Bartley session is scheduled for 16th and 17th January. Entry is via the UKLA website.
The club welcomes all youth sailors participating in this weekend's training and hope you have a great experience on and off the water. You should have received info directly from UKLA / Andrew Simpson Foundation regarding the schedule for the 2 days - please contact them directly if you require any further info.
We expect it to be cold so wrap up warm. For visiting parents the Galley is open for takeaway service of hot and cold drinks and meals between 9.30 and 14.30 at very reasonable prices so please feel free to support the club in this way.
Well done to all participants this morning - there seemed to be a few server issues with VR Inshore today but most managed to finish the races.
Race 1 49er: Richard Baker, Sean Ricketts, Simon Hardiman
Race 2 Laser: Simon Hardiman, Sean Ricketts, Kerry Webb
Race 3 Barcolana : Richard Baker, Millie Hardiman, Simon Hardiman
Race 4 AC75: Sean Ricketts, Simon Hardiman, Cecily Webb
That's all the VR Inshore done for this lockdown. See you on the water for real next weekend.