Plain sailing at club despite low water levels

Sailing enthusiasts still caused a splash despite water levels at their traditional venue being low.

CHASE SAIL EB 26

Sailing enthusiasts still caused a splash despite water levels at their traditional venue being low.

The 55-year-old Boxing Day tradition of a festive sail and walk was kept alive by the Chase Sailing Club at Chasewater.

The club members this year walked around the popular tourist attraction, while just two sailors braved the shallow waters to give a token effort to the tradition.

Sailors from the club were unable to properly take their boats out onto the water this year due to the low water following repair work being done on the dam at the site.

Club spokesman Roger Round said: “Last year was the first year we were unable to sail, but this year we had two lads out on their boats, while everyone else walked around the perimeter of the reservoir.

“There is this year just enough water to get a couple of boats on there. Usually we do have a Boxing Day race but we haven’t now been able to do that for two years. But it is still nice to be able to do it and meet the members while having a well-earned walk around it after Christmas. Hopefully next year the club should be able to start sailing again, we would like it to be March,” he added.

The reservoir, which was built in 1799, has been having walls repaired for the first time in 200 years.

The work, costing £3 million was commissioned after a report prepared by Lichfield District Council warned that urgent action was needed.