Chipstead Sailing Club Overview
Chipstead Sailing Club is situated at Chipstead lake in Chipstead near Sevenoaks, Kent.
The Club offers class and handicap racing, sailing and powerboat training from beginners onwards, social events and a large and well appointed clubhouse overlooking the lake with a well stocked bar with draught beer and lager as well as a varied lunch menu at weekends.
Sailing - Club Racing and Classes
The Club has a very active racing programme with events during the 'Summer' (from the beginning of April to the end of October) on Saturday and Sunday mornings and afternoons. In mid Summer there is a Wednesday Evening Series and races on Sunday mornings in Winter.
The Club runs class fleet racing for 10 classes ranging from an Optimist for children to Scorpions for those who like high performance spinnaker boats. There is also a handicap fleet for boats not within one of the adopted classes with an overall length of less than 15ft and includes a wide range of boats - though because of the nature of the water, trapezes are not allowed in Club racing.
The Club also supports a large number of 'Open Meetings' for visitors to come and compete and the Club's members have achieved significant success at Open National, World and Olympic competitions.
Whilst the Club sailing is predominately 'racing' there are a number of members with boats who don't race and who just like to 'potter about in boats' or sail with their children and family. There are times when safety boat cover is provided on the lake for this purpose and members can also sail at weekends when racing is not actually taking place.
The Club is a recognised Royal Yachting Association Training Centre and RYA courses ranging from complete beginners to courses for those who want to improve their skills or racing competence are held throughout the season. Instruction can also be tailored to individual needs. A 'novices' series of races is held throughout the Summer for those new to racing.
Courses are also held for powerboat operation to help Club members support the Club's racing programme or for members who wish to obtain an RYA certificate to enable them to hire a boat whilst on holiday.
There is a very active Junior Club - 'The Chipmates Saturday Club' which operates during the Summer as well as race training for those who want to progress to racing. There is a Junior racing series run on Saturday mornings and other events for Juniors during the year.
In August the Club runs Chipmates - a 3 day Summer camp for children to either learn to sail or improve their sailing skills with typically 60 children attending. Chipmates is always oversubscribed amd the emphasis is on 'fun'.
There is an extensive social program, with some events organised by the Club but many organised by the various classes and ranging from the formal to the informal. Everyone is invited to join in and indeed help run the events. In Winter a series of talks are usually arranged.
There is food available at the Club on Saturday and Sunday lunch times (and on Wednesday evenings when racing is taking place in the Summer).
The Club's Operation
The Club is run entirely by its members and volunteers and does not employ any staff. Whilst this does keep the subscriptions down to very reasonable levels it does mean that the Club depends on its members to take on a wide range of tasks from helping to run the bar, to providing tea and coffee for members using the Club at weekends to maintaining the Club and the grounds and premises. This is in addition to having members actually run the racing and the associated patrol boat cover on the lake.
To enable the maintenance of the Club and grounds the Club suspends its racing program for the first 6 Sundays in January and February so that members can turn up to carry out a wide range of building, painting, gardening and other tasks.