Safety Reports & Meetings, Past Newsletters, Other Meetings, Miscellaneous, Photos

Following are details of reports summarised in Support Boat Roster, above.

Click here for John Mansel's Safety Report Nov 2016

Click here for the January 2017 Midweeker Newsletter

Click here for Gill Cameron's report January 2017

Click here for Safety Meeting Notes - 22.04.16

Two matters stand out in terms of sailors' concerns:  safety on the water and the "social" aspects affecting sailors, their families and friends. The meeting was called primarily to address the first of these, but devoted some time to more general concerns (see the notes) as well.

The sailing representatives felt the meeting was positive, as did Markerstudy themselves, and hope the notes convey greater clarity about what is happening. In fact, some developments emerged after the meeting which were perhaps not given the exposure they deserve.  Despite the very public misgivings aired in the press, Markerstudy are taking safety seriously.

Having said in their Rules and Regulations that people come before boats, they point out that they are able to deploy a Commando quickly from a number of sources (explained in the meeting notes - and described by MSL as "provision of a limited rescue service") to rescue the person(s) involved and that if necessary, a Dory can quickly be sent to recover the boat.  

Markerstudy are also undertaking to launch a Commando where the number of boats sailing dictates the need. This is understood to be 20, but they have launched for one. David Goddard, the Waterfront Supervisor, has offered to provide cover for the Midweekers on one occasion (not needed as it turned out) in addition to the Midweeker boat. David is a very experienced sailor and is proving to be a real asset, demonstrating concern and helpfulness.

After the meeting it emerged that in addition to the two members of staff scheduled to be trained to PB2, there are already 11 members of staff: rangers, waterfront staff and management who are qualified to PB2.

MSL have also secured the services of two individuals, Giles and Kyle (yes, yes), who are manning the boats. Kyle recently covered a full Saturday.

Provision of a RIB may not be possible in the short term, but Richard Goring's Coxswain Proposal is being given serious consideration by MSL and has attracted support from SB helms already.

Who said what about taking mobile phones on the water could be debated endlessly, or we could just state that MSLs (clarified) position is that doing so is simply a recommendation and leave it there. Mobiles could be a useful lifeline in last resort for lone sailors caught out by illness or freak conditions. Enough.

Finally, in the meeting,  Richard presented MSL with a copy of the RYA Safety Boat Manual. This is of interest because it is quite clear in the the manual that RYA is not prescriptive about either mobiles on the water, or the choice of safety boat for the type of sailing concerned. It clearly states that RIBs are preferred for sea/coastal/estuary use and Commandos are fine for inland sailing.

From the owners of Bewl Water

Extract from Bewl Water Communication  of 24.03.16

"Safety cover is provided by the Bewl water team, and a safety boat is always on standby and will be launched immediately when needed if one is not already patrolling on the water. Bewl do have a water Bailiff/Safety boat on the water from dawn until dusk monitoring safety and enforcing the fishing bye laws. A continual dynamic risk assessment, taking into account weather conditions, numbers and type of water user is carried out by the Waterfront supervisor or designate for all Sailing, Rowing, Canoeing and Fishing activity. 

We will continue to encourage the voluntary cover provided by competent and qualified volunteers, using Bewl water and BSA safety boats during recreational and race events creating a securer and safer environment for all. 

All persons under the age of 18 taking part in sailing (including board sailing), rowing and canoeing must be under the supervision of a competent adult. 

The RYA have endorsed the Bewl rules and regulations that accompany the membership application forms. That said, any questions you may have please email to"

Sailing Without Support Boat Cover

The Owner's Rules and Regulations require anyone sailing outside of support covered sessions to be a Competent Helm, qualified to RYA Level 2.

Production of the certificate can be waived if the sailor is assessed by the Waterfront Supervisor or other suitably qualified member of staff. At the Safety Meeting it was mentioned that Richard Goring had submitted to MSL (Lee) the "syllabus" formerly operated by BVSC. This is given below.


1.  Prepare and rig the boat according to the weather conditions - (kit in the boat and on person, reefing or not, inversion proofing)

2.  Depart and return to a specific point (your choice) on a lee shore in the correct and safe fashion (regardfor other water users)

3.  Depart and return to a specific point (your choice) on a windward shore.

4.  Sail the boat efficiently on all points of sail around a triangular course with regard to the "Rules of the Road"

5.  Pick up a MoB, come alongside an anchored boat or a mooring buoy in no more than 2 tries.

6.  Recover your inverted boat to normal capsize   (This need not be demonstrated if the vessel is a keel boat or is inversion proofed with adequate mast head buoyancy) and then bring back to upright.

It required an instructor or someone dinghy qualified to know what the correct procedures were and this was normally performed by a Senior Instructor who then put his name on the line to agree compliance.  This was often done by Chris Woodward or myself or the Training School Chief Instructor/Principal such was the importance of getting it right by the book and thus ensuring fairness and a consistant standard although an RYA certificate was not issued as no such one exists for this exact syllabus. 

Anyone with an RYA Level 2 will have been trained to most of these diciplines, although inversion recovery is now covered in the RYA Seamanship Module, the modern equivalent to the original Level 3.  It was included in the CH syllabus to demonstrate that the sailor would stand a chance of being self-sufficient in times when a proper safety boat was not in attendance.

26.02.16 - Andrew Daniells, Chief Operating Officer - Markerstudy Leisure states:

I have received the confirmation below from Aon regarding the use of MSL/Bewl safety boat and can confirm that the boat is listed.  

"As long as the safety boat is on the list of boats notified to Aon then the Public Liability section of the marine policy will respond."


The Sailors' Perspective

Any number of old hands can be found to tell stories of sailors with vast amounts of experience being caught out by freak conditions at Bewl, not to mention health issues. So, safety must be the prime concern of all sailors, regardless of their level of competence.  Given provision of safety boats by the Owner, (and BSA as necessary), volunteer sailors man the boats with helms qualified to (at least) RYA Power Boat Level 2.  The Midweeker and Flying Fifteen groups maintain lists of crews and have schedules in place for duties in the coming months.

Outside the periods covered by volunteers (during sessional times), sailing is covered by the Owners as stated above, but just to remind you:

Evidence of a minimum RYA level 2 qualification will be required and wind/weather conditions will apply.  Sailing will be ‘At Your Own Risk’ and the ability to self-rescue will be essential. 

For guidance and rules, see Bewl Water Terms & Conditions or contact the office - 01892 890000

Finally, bearing in mind the need to be self sufficient, it is in the sailor's own interest to ensure that their boat has sufficient buoyancy, is well maintained and is "inversion proofed" if possible.

For weekend sailing sessions, contact Rod McKenzie of the Flying Fifteens
If you'd like to sail with cover on a Wednesday, contact Gill Cameron of the Midweekers.

Past Midweeker Newsletters

2017 - July Newsletter

2017 - June Newsletter

2017 - January Newsletter

2016 - December Newsletter

2016 - November Newsletter       
Please note: John Kennedy's walk is on 21st Dec not 23rd. Post code is TN16 1DA not TN11DA

2016 - October Newsletter

Meeting & Other Reports

Meeting with Andrew Daniells  29.11.16

Discussion with Charlie Guy  18.10.16

Midweekers Meet Markerstudy  10.08.16

Safety Meeting with MSL  22.04.16

Midweekers and Fifteens meet Markerstudy   26.01.16

Association meets Markerstudy     22.01.16

Times of Tunbridge Wells   13.01.16

KentOnline   15.01.16

Midweekers Meet Markerstudy  20.11.15


Although Bewl Sailing Association has affiliated to the RYA, training cannot resume as it was under the former club. This function has to be handed off to other training organisations, for example, Bewl Water Outdoor Centre ( This means that we do not currently have the ability to offer certification to RYA standards. However, many sailors in the groups are qualified instructors and senior instructors who are happy to volunteer their experience to coach and train sailors up to levels that can be assessed by BWOC, who can then award certification. More details from Richard Goring.

Another route to training has recently been negotiated by the Association with Weir Wood Sailing Club who have trained 9 of our sailors to RYA Power Boat Level 2 - at a significantly discounted rate.  This is excellent news for weekend sailors. 

Resumption of Sailing at Bewl Water

Commando support boats are provided, insured for volunteer operation - see Archive above. Two new Rigiflex 15 (Commando type) boats were purchased by the previous owners and have now been commissioned. Support boats are manned by volunteers for group sailing sessions.

In the period after BVSC closure a Phoenix Group was set up, initially to provide an entity for continuing communication between different sailing groups. This was subsumed into the Bewl Sailing Association (BSA/the Association) requiring a £20 annual fee to support racing, youth sailing and open meetings through affiliation to the RYA. Formation of a legal entity via a limited liability company enabled provision of public liability cover for support boat helms and the framework for open meetings. BSA has at its disposal two commando support boats acquired privately. 

In the same period these web pages (Bewl Sailing Matters) were set up to offer a more general form of communication for sailors not belonging to racing, class or youth groups. The pages are complemented by mailing lists for the Midweekers who sail on Wednesdays.

Sailors are working with the owners to promote sailing at Bewl with particular emphasis on safety cover and issues concerning the social aspects of sailing.

Photo Archive

Sailing on Wednesday 17.08.16        Click here for photos from a benign day on the water.

25th Anniversary Celebrations        Click here for photos from a memorable day  (Dropbox)

PDFs if Dropbox doesn't work    Shot 1   Shot 2   Shot 3   Shot 4   Shot 5   Shot 6   Shot 7   Shot 8

Shot 9   Shot 10    Shot 11    Shot 12    Shot 13    Shot 14    Shot 15   Shot 16   Shot 17    Shot 18   Shot 19    Shot 20    Shot 21    Shot 22

Midweekers in the new meeting room.

13 of us appreciated the newly available room (aka the WAR room) provided by MSL, on a day where F5/F6 winds and the threat of rain prevented sailing for all but one catamaran and the Windsurfers who were obviously enjoying themselves. There goes the first month of Summer 2016

Created by Graham Wise of the Midweekers