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 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.

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.

Marina Locks Open

As boats start to come out of the water for the winter, the marina have been busy completing their lock maintenance program. This is now completed and the locks are once again operational. The marina have also advised that a further maintenance period will be scheduled in February 2024.

With the locks now fully operational, Autumn 6, scheduled for the 19th November will be run for any boats who’d like to compete. Interested boats should check the PCC Racing WhatsApp group for details regarding lock times and forecast weather.

For those club members looking to come out for the winter, the Parish Wharf is filling up so if you’re planning to come out for maintenance etc. over the winter, please book your dates as soon as possible!

2023 Holms Race

This year’s Holms Race made for a spectacular sight as 40 boats from across the Bristol Channel took part in PCC’s annual flagship race. With the first leg being a downwind spinnaker run, some boats got caught out on timing as they made ground faster than usual meaning an arrival at Flat Holm before slack water.

Early arrivals at the Holms were greeted with wind and tide carrying them further down channel as they sought to round Steep Holm. Thanks to confused seas, this created some challenging moments for crews during the spinnaker drop.

The beat back heralded classic Bristol Channel conditions of wind over tide which created a lumpy sea. The calmer conditions that awaited after the finish line at Portishead Point provided some welcome respite as boats waited to lock back into Portishead Marina.

Congratulations to Barefoot from Cardiff Bay Yacht Club which took first overall.

With a second, fourth and ninth place, the Top Club trophy, the magnificent rose bowl, was won by Portishead Cruising Club. Full results can be found on the race page.

A huge thanks to everyone involved with making this years race a success. From our sponsors Advance Marine and Boatfolk to the entire PCC organising team. We look forward to seeing everyone again next year!

Lance Hemming Memorial

As Storm Antoni rolled out of town, club members set off up the river via sail, paddle, scull and any other means for a river cruise up the Avon in memory of former Commodore Lance Hemmings. After sailing up to the suspension bridge and back, the fleet went ashore to Pump Square for drinks and dancing to toast Lance’s memory.

2023 Fastnet Race

Billed as one of the the world’s toughest yacht races, the 50th edition of the Rolex Fastnet Race stood up to its reputation. With forecast strong winds, competitors were tested before they’d got out of the Solent! Matt Bundell and crew aboard Assassin took on the conditions and after seeing 44 knots of apparent and 38 knots of true alongside 5m high waves, took the sensible option of seeking shelter in Portland at midnight on Saturday. By Sunday morning over 25% of the fleet had retired (a number that increased during the day), one boat had sunk in the Needles channel and several others suffered rigging failures or injuries.

On shore, the PCC members watching the fleet as it made its way through Hurst Narrows were treated to a spectacle of the leading trimaran (at that point Banque Populaire), the IMOCA fleet and then the various IRC classes, all battling to tame the conditions described by professional sailors as ‘brutal’.

If you missed the start, catch-up with the video below – and while in Portland, the local ITV news crew turned up giving Assassin and PCC crew member Ian Bloxham their five minutes of fame!

Planetsail reports on all the action from the start with a mix of on-water footage and interviews with the Pros. (YouTube)