Coniston 'Softies' Rally, November 2nd & 3rd, 2019
This is the first of two general announcements I intend to post about this meeting, which is the last one in the NW regional programme for 2019 — the so-called 'Softies Rally' at Coniston.
First, you need to let me know by email a week before the time at the latest (Friday 25th October) if you intend to be there and whether you wish to attend the meal in the Yewdale Inn, Coniston, on Saturday 2nd. A much earlier contact would be appreciated.
The room at The Yewdale has a capacity of 32, maximum. About 30 attended last March; three new members have contacted me already to confirm their attendance. The attenders list for dinner will be compiled on a first-come basis, and I will close the list at 32. Enough said, I hope.
If you attend, I will assume that your boat carries at least adequate third party insurance as required by all sailing clubs including Coniston, with whom we liaise closely during these rallies.
I sound heavy-handed, but there is no requirement as to where you sail or when you sail, with or without company, over the weekend; however, attenders usually meet for a coffee and a chat as from 10:00 in the Bluebird Café at Coniston Boating Centre on Saturday morning to discuss plans and renew old acquaintance.
The first clarification is that the Saturday night meal at the Yewdale is now fully booked, with attendance up to the maximum of 32 for the room. Full attendance of the rally itself will probably reach 40, judging by emails received recently.
Apropos of sailing rather than eating and drinking, you have two options at Coniston for parking and launching. The Boating Centre, LA21 8AN (right by the Bluebird Café) prides itself on being a National Park Authority not-for-profit organisation, which uses all moneys collected to benefit the organisation. This does not mean the same as 'cheap'. Launching charges start with canoes, windsurfers and non powered inflatables: £2 per day. Dinghies up to 12ft: £5. Up to 16ft: £10. Tractor assisted launching: £15 plus launching fee. Cars must be returned to the car park.
The other option is Coniston Sailing Club. Costs are 5.00 per person per day plus 5.00 per boat per day, which includes parking. If David Bone provides a block payment and account, the Club will usually grant a 10% discount, as it reduces paperwork all round; otherwise individuals must complete temporary membership forms. David Bone and John Sharpe have dual membership of the CSC and the DCA, though John will not be attending all weekend this year because of family commitments.
David will be at the Club on Friday afternoon to assist; and all day, on both Saturday and Sunday, for sailing and assisting. He intends to be on hand as from 13:00 on Friday to help where needed and he will have his Land Rover with forward tow hook to run boats down the launching roadway, which can help to avoid congestion at the launching apron. It is important not to lag around this area or leave cars on it.
The water level has now receded to a more usual, usable level and the launching jetty is above water.
There is no ‘speed week’ this year, so accommodation in Coniston may be more readily available than in recent years.
Beaching on the foreshore within the Club curtilage is fine anywhere (between a stone wall to the south of the clubhouse and a small beck to the north). Dinghies can be slept in while on shore.
Boats left on the pontoon overnight should be attended by a person on board.
The west side of the small jetty is normally designated for the tenders of cruisers using the pontoon.
It is all right to use the south side of the launching jetty for overnighting without a person on board. (North side to be kept clear.)
Tents and camper vans are not allowed within the dinghy park.
Cars can enter the dinghy park roadway to assist launching but cannot be parked. The Club car park is available for attendees.
In November most cruisers will have been hauled out and stowed in the car park. (The last organised retrieval was on the 27th October.)
This means the pontoon will be little used by club members, giving us room and a little relaxation of use. (One manned boat could take responsibility for an unmanned boat overnight.)
The car park will be full of stored boats, restricting space, but a fair number of dinghies will have been removed, so there should be room in the dinghy park to accommodate DCA members' boats overnight if they want to haul out in the evening, or drop them off the night before use. There is no lock on the entrance barrier to the CSC dinghy park.