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Bewl Sailing Association Ltd


Herons at Bewl - 12th May 2018

Herons at Bewl - 12th May 2018
Click to enlarge

15 May 2018

This was the first time that Bewl Sailing Association hosted an Open Meeting for Heron dinghies.

See the article and photos in Yachts and Yachting at or Read More below.

The single home boat was therefore delighted that visitors had travelled from Hull, Essex and Chipstead to sail on their great expanse of water.

Alas the wind was light and fluky. Race Officer Colin Nutt set a large trapezoidal course with the windward mark to the west to provide a good beat. However, the rain came in as the start gun sounded, and this caused the wind to back and produce a fetch.

There was a distinct lack of wind at the first mark, but Matt Pickett managed to pull ahead, closely followed by Dave Butler and crew. James Russ was in third position, and newcomer Jo Mayes crept up from the back to overtake Sean Chapman at mark 2. At the beginning of the second lap, a sound signal and compass bearing at the committee boat denoted a change of course to give a beat to the first mark, but there were no further changes of position.

The wind was slightly better for the start of the second race, and Matt Pickett and Dave Butler were soon in front again. Jo Mayes and crew were becoming more confident in their new boat and getting the knack of the spinnaker. This enabled them to pass James Russ and take third place on the downwind leg. Sean Chapman was clearly having a problem as the wind dropped, so he decided to retire from the race. Matt Pickett was first over the line in this two-lap race.

During the lunch break, it transpired that Sean Chapman’s buoyancy tanks had taken in water, so these were drained and a speedy repair was effected.

As the wind decreased on this cold drizzly day, the afternoon race was postponed until there was just enough wind. With significant shifts before the start, it was difficult to work out which was the windward mark. Matt Pickett again showed us the way on the long beat, followed by Dave Butler. There was virtually no wind for the downwind legs, and two drooping spinnakers allowed the trailing boats to catch up a bit. In the final leg of this slow one-lap race, Sean Chapman caught up with Jo Mayes and managed to drift past for a nail-biting photo finish.

Matt Pickett was sailing single-handed and, even with the handicap applied, managed to win all three races. Prizes were awarded to all competitors by the Bewl Commodore, Mark Munday.

In the evening, visitors joined forces with Chipstead Heron sailors for a convivial meal at The Bricklayers Arms in Chipstead.

Overall results




Sail No.



Matt Pickett



Up River Yacht Club


Dave Butler

Emily Clixby


Welton Sailing Club


Jo Mayes

Amanda Conrad


Bewl Sailing Club


James Russ

Suzy Wooff


Chipstead Sailing Club


Sean Chapman

Duncan Coombe


Chipstead Sailing Club


Images courtesy of Richard Janulewicz