Locks Reopen!

The scheduled works on the locks have now been completed. The next race will be an up tide race to the Severn Bridges and back in competition for the Easter Cup. The race will take place on Easter Monday.

For all the race details see the Racing WhatsApp channel. It is expected that all other races will now follow the racing program published on the site racing page.

RNLI Safety at Sea Evening

Club members recently attended the RNLI lifeboat station in Portishead to hear about the latest innovations in sea safety and survival equipment, tour the boathouse and receive an all-important lifejacket check.

Kicking off the event, Bernd Langheim, Water Safety Officer for the RNLI gave a short briefing on the work of Portishead RNLI, the area it covers and the types of callouts the team attend.

This was followed by a presentation from Dave Herbert, Deputy Duty Harbour Master at Royal Portbury Dock who shared some insight about the growth of the port as a gateway to the UK and the ships that regularly visit – many of which we see when we’re racing in King Road. Members noted that anyone stood on the bridge of a car carrier can only see 200m beyond the bow of the ship – creating a massive blind spot where small craft will not be seen.

After the presentations, members had a tour of the boathouse and learnt about the equipment carried aboard RNLI Portishead’s Atlantic 85, My Lady Anne. This was followed by an opportunity to have personal lifejackets checked. Of the 20 checked, 15 failed due to various faults – the RNLI message being to make sure you service your lifejacket before heading out for the new season!

The RNLI are happy to run further sessions for club members so if you’d like to be added to the waitlist for the next event, please contact us. In the meantime, thanks to the RNLI Portishead volunteers for hosting us!

Annual General Meeting

The club’s annual general meeting, which all members are encourage to attend, will this year take place at Portishead Bowling Club on Wednesday 13th March at 20h00.

 AGENDA

  1. Apologies for Absence
  2. Approval of 2023 AGM minutes
  3. Matters arising from 2023 AGM
  4. Honorary Treasurers report and adoption of Annual Audited Accounts for year ending 31st December 2023
  5. Commodore’s report
  6. Election of Officers and Committee
  7. Appointment of Auditors
  8. Adoption of changes to the constitution
  9. Any other business

AGM will be formally closed

Following the AGM after a short break a period of half hour will be set aside for a general discussion of matters raised from the floor.

Notices and Reminders.

This notice of AGM together with additional information has been emailed to all members. if you didn’t receive it, please email the Club Secretary.

Copies of the minutes of the 2023 AGM and the ‘Audited Accounts’ will circulated electronically one week prior to the meeting to members. 

Nominations for the posts of Club Officers and for positions on the general committee are to be signed at least seven days before the AGM i.e. by 6th March. Nomination forms are available from the Club Secretary by emailing or at a Wednesday night meeting. 

Members are reminded that membership renewal is due on the 1st of January each year and that only fully paid-up members will be entitled to vote at the AGM.

RNLI Sea Safety Evening

The RNLI have been in touch to offer members an evening focussed on lifejackets and the latest developments in safety at sea. Designed to be an informal event pitched at both novice and experienced sailors, we would encourage members to attend. Equally, if you’d like the RNLI to give your lifejacket a once over, bring it along!

The event will also feature a short presentation from the Deputy Duty Harbour Master from Royal Portbury Dock who will talk about the dangers associated with sailing in a busy shipping lane.

After the event, members are invited to retire to the nearby Royal Inn for drinks.

The event will take place on 14th March at 19h00 at the RNLI boathouse.

To reserve your spot, please register via the following link. Note that the event space has a capacity of 25 people so don’t delay, reserve your spot today!

Please contact Tim at PCC or Bernd at the RNLI if you have any questions.

Annual Awards Night

The club wrapped up an extensive sailing season across both cruising and racing fleets at the annual awards night. With Vice Commodore Nick Duppa-Miller as host, it provided a lively, fun-filled review of the year’s racing and cruising activities.

2023 honours were awarded as follows:

Easter CupHullabaloo (Steve, Pete, Tim & Julia)
Regatta RaceCtrl-J (Andy Williams)
Gluhwein RaceCtrl-J (Andy Williams)
King of the RoadsCtrl-J (Andy Williams)
Cockburn CupCtrl-J (Andy Williams)
Autumn SeriesScrumpy-J (Tim, Ian & Nick)
Bristol Channel Cruising CupColin Brooks & Julie Sunderland (Lady Gwyneth)
Longest Cruise from PortisheadRod & Margaret Deacon (Teaselah)
Longest Single Handed CruiseGeoff McBroom (Fly)
Best LogJo Sutton (Molia)
Most Promising NewcomerPaul Sharpe (Khazuki)
Outstanding Services to the Club ShieldTim Pearson & Mark Sutton

Thanks to everyone for coming and congratulations to all the winners, some of which are pictured below! Here’s to another great year of racing and cruising in 2024. If you’d like to join in the fun, drop us a line or come and see us at our weekly club nights at The Old Mill pub from 20h00 on Wednesdays.

Autumn & Gluhwein Cup

As everyone gears up for the start of a new year, the club has released a press release to local and yachting media announcing the results of the final racing series of 2023 together with the results of the annual Gluhwein Cup which traditionally concludes the club’s racing program for the year.

The Autumn Cup featured five races between September and December.   With individual races being won by Hullabaloo (J/92s), Scrumpy J (J/105), Ctrl-J (J/109) and Hero (One Tonner), it was a close fought series until Scrumpy J, skippered by Nick Duppa-Miller scored another win and took the series.  With a range of weather conditions from light airs at the start of the series to heavier seas towards the end, the Autumn Cup always provides for some tricky sailing conditions and this year was no different.  Crews found themselves using full sail wardrobes to gain the advantage – and in some cases, this happened during one race!

For the final race of the year, called the Gluhwein Cup given its proximity to the festive season, boats headed out for a final race in King Road.  With tight racing on the water with only two minutes between the first three boats, it was Ctrl-J (J/109), skippered by Andy Williams who won on corrected time with Scrumpy J, the J/105 and Hero, a One Tonner closely following in second and third places respectively.

After the race, some of the crews headed to the annual club Christmas lunch to refuel and warm-up after the morning’s race and dissect all of the on-water action.

If you’ve always hankered to be part of a racing yacht crew or want to get back into sailing then the team at PCC would love to hear from you!  The fleet races in a number of club series across the year in the waters of the Bristol Channel – including some evenings during the summer.   The 2024 racing calendar has now been published – contact Vice-Commodore, Nick Duppa-Miller to find out more and get involved – you don’t need a boat to join in the fun!

Festive Fun at the Club

As the festive season rapidly approaches, the club hosted one of its traditional evenings at the clubhouse. Many club members enjoyed an lively evening listening to the Pill Owls who were bedecked in their Dickensian garb of top hats, fancy weskits and flowing cloaks! While munching on a mince pie and enjoying a glass of mulled wine, members were also treated to a performance from the mudlarks.

On Sunday 17th December, members, including those that had just competed in the annual Gluhwein Cup, enjoyed a full Christmas lunch at the club thanks to the hard work of Val Bundell and her crew. Washed down with drinks from the club bar, everyone enjoyed a traditional Christmas lunch and took the opportunity to discuss their planned sailing adventures for 2024.

If you’re considering joining the club, there’s no time like the present! Check out our membership page or contact our membership secretary, Dave Martin to learn more.

Club Christmas Lunch

It’s time to start peeling the spuds, prepping the sprouts and getting those turkeys in the oven! Per club tradition, Val Bundell and her crew will be taking to the club kitchen to prepare the annual feast, hosted in the clubhouse. This year lunch will be served at 13h00 on Sunday 17th December and will comprise a main course, desert and cheese.

Demand for tables at this event is always high so get your booking in to Val as soon as possible. Our well stocked bar will be open too, ensuring you’ll be able to enjoy a beer, glass of wine or soft drink with your festive fare.

As our last social event for 2023, this is an event not to miss! Alternatively, if you’re considering joining the club, there’s no time like the present! Check out our membership page or contact our membership secretary, Dave Martin to learn more.

2023 Cruising Adventures

As the season draws to a close, several members have reflected on their 2023 cruising adventures. Many members have left Portishead on a good spring tide to propel them quickly towards Cardiff or Swansea or get them well on their way to Padstow if they’re going ’round the end’.

This year the club has seen members sail to Ireland, France and Jersey as well as tackle adventures starting in other locations.

To read all about who’s been up to what, head across to the cruising page and click on the stories you’ll find at the bottom of the page.

If any other members want to share their stories, just get in touch! Alternatively, if you’d like to join the club, there’s no time like the present! Meet the members at a social event, swap boat maintenance tips over the winter or join a racing crew who race the year round. Check out our membership page or contact our membership secretary, Dave Martin.

Inverness to Amsterdam

By Pam & Steve Mortimore

Some might say that joining a tall ship in Inverness bound for Amsterdam via Aberdeen, Holy Island and Whitby on the North Sea coast of the UK in October is a brave or even foolhardy move. In our defence, October in previous years has provided some glorious weather that befits such an adventure and this was the positive message that was deployed to convince my lovely wife that it would be more interesting than the usual charter holidays in Greece and Croatia.

We joined the Flying Dutchman, a Tall Ship built in 1903 and restored and renovated during the winter of 2003/2004, at Laggan Locks on the Caledonian Canal as she had been severely delayed by storm Babet and was not going to arrive in Inverness on schedule. Two buses with a stop in Fort Augustus took us half way across Scotland to picturesque Laggan Locks and after a short wait she hove into view and we boarded.

After a cruise along the Caledonian Canal and through Lock Ness in glorious autumn weather we arrived at Inverness. The ship had a chef on board and the food was excellent far better than our lunch in Fort Augustus which was ‘traditional’ Scottish fare of deep fried black pudding and chips!

Sailing out along the Moray Firth in fine weather gave us the opportunity to get to know our fellow shipmates and enjoy the view. While storm Babet was abating, we knew that the sea state when we got out into the North Sea could be, as one of Hullabaloo’s crew would say, “spicy”. The grade of spice however, remained to be seen.

We rounded Peterhead and the conditions deteriorated. The land disappeared into all round grey murkiness and the wave height continued to build. After 36 hours of heavy-weather sailing, Captain Aires decided to head for Berwick-on-Tweed and take shelter from the next front that was due to pass through.

Entering Berwick with a large following sea, strong easterly wind and a stone pier dead ahead, was going to require some serious seamanship to get us safely into port. As a wave picked up the ship and our speed built, Captain Aires spun the large ship’s wheel (14 turns lock to lock) hard to port and gunned the engine. As we fell down the wave, the prop and rudder kicked in and we swung round. With the stone pier close to the starboard side and breaking shallows to port we shot into the river. A coaster waiting for the tide was not so brave and spent a very uncomfortable 3 days at anchor outside until conditions improved.

Unfortunately, due to the weather, our voyage ended in Berwick where the Flying Dutchman spent a further ten days waiting for the right weather window to cross the North Sea. In the meantime we took a train to Edinburgh and an EasyJet flight to Amsterdam. Not the end to the voyage we expected and we have still not fulfilled a long held aspiration to sail into central Amsterdam along the canal behind the Central Station. Here, while waiting for numerous trains many years ago, a promise was made to one day sail into the centre of the city, something that still remains on the to do list!

Journey’s End: The Flying Dutchman Moored in Berwick Harbour