Avon Sailing Club
The club is situated in the beautiful Gloucestershire countryside about 3 miles south of the historic town of Tewkesbury, with it’s delightful Norman Abbey (the site of a crucial battle in the War of the Roses) and is located on the west side of the river Severn by the village of Chaceley.
The club has a healthy fleet of both cruising and racing members, The club is available to members at all times although no racing or social activities are organized during January and February as the access road is often flooded.
All type of boats are sailed at the club, some are more suitable Cruising craft up to 18ft in length can be moored at the club for sailing the river than others, boats over 18ft (6M) become difficult to sail on narrow stretches of the river.
Among the more popular boat’s owned by members are Solo, Enterprise, National 12, Toppers, Lasers, GP14, Mirror, Merlin Rockets, Day Boats and small cruisers
A Merlin Rocket is a very wide boat for its length (It has been compared to a saucer), measuring at about 7″ wide and 14″ long. This is approximate, as one of the joys of the boat is that it is a “development class”. This means that within certain guidelines, hull shape and material are experimented with to achieve better performance.
The Enterprise, as well as being raced, is used for training and cruising purposes as it can be easily sailed at two levels – beginners and top class racers.
The Enterprises compete effectively at Avon SC in the club pursuit races and often win the events, showing that the old hull shape design is still very competitive. The club boats have competed in the Southport 24 hour in previous years.
The Laser is a one crew boat and a “one design” class,. It is a very competitive racing boat and is effective at Avon due to its easy tacking and manoeuvrability. Although not a beginner’s boat, the Laser is fairly easy to sail, mainly because it is easy to right after a capsize, and takes in no water during this process, however, when sailing one of these, expect to get wet!
The club’s Solo fleet has been one of the bigger fleets in resent years and is sailed by members from in there teens to there 80s. The Solo is a one man boat built from wood, GRP or Composite. They are less forgiving to beginners than lasers due to their fully battened mainsail and difficulties after a capsize, although they are harder to capsize than a laser.
The GP14 was once extremely strong at Avon, and it still remains a good boat to learn in. The GP14 is very similar to an Enterprise in many ways, except it is heavier and has a spinnaker to use downwind. It is, in strong winds, a very difficult boat to keep flat but is very stable, making it ideal for teaching level 2 or level 3 in the RYA training scheme.