Grimwith reservoir covers 371 acres of open water almost 1000' above sea level with a sailing area measuring about a mile by half a mile. The north west corner is a conservation area for wildlife.
Since the arrival of the £3/4 million state of the art clubhouse, our membership has risen substantially, especially for families.
This has resulted in the clubs training section seeing a massive increase in activity with something going on almost every weekend. Annually, we train dozens of new junior and adult members in the RYA National Sailing Scheme and provided ‘Onboard’ taster sessions for scores of youngsters.
No surprise then that many fleets approach the club to hold events – with highlights including the RYA North Zone squads along with Grand Prix and Open events plus the Brass Monkey, a part of the GJW SailJuice Winter Series.
- Described by some visitors as the best in the country.
- Large Clubroom with amazing panoramic views across the Yorkshire Dales National Park.
- Spacious male and female changing rooms with showers, toilets and underfloor heating.
- Large garage for storing a minimum of three Safety Boats along with other associated equipment.
- Separate store building for buoys, windsurfing equipment and sails for Club boats (which are available for Members to rent for a nominal sum).
- Disabled toilets, baby changing facilities, changing and shower rooms.
- Wheelchair-friendly lift.
- Ground Source Heating system and Solar Thermal panels providing lashings of hot water for our wonderful showers at big events.
- Large dinghy park.
- Concrete launching ramps.
- Grimwith Galley - a thriving and well equipped galley - Open through the season at weekends from 10am and most Wednesday evenings.
For an inland venue, the wind at Grimwith is pretty steady. So if you’re in a 49er and its windy you’ll almost always be going for speed rather than taking the smaller shifts, but if you’re in a Topper, it will be worth working the shifts - even in a good breeze. As with most inland venues, being aware of what’s going on outside the boat is likely to win more places than having your head in the boat tweaking settings for pure speed.
The reservoir is quite deep, and there are no shallow patches away from the edge. It’s worth making sure you don’t miss the briefing though as any issues will be fully described then. At 1000’ high it can be a windy venue and so be prepared to rig accordingly – bring some spares – windsurfers bring your little rigs!
The prevailing westerly is almost straight down the lake – just slightly over the dam. Upwind, it pays to checks which tack gusts are lifting and plan for the first shift accordingly. There are often Garda-esque increases in wind and a lift at the edges, but beware of getting caught too close and especially to the dam if the wind is coming over it as there are lulls as well. Being in a position to take the shift is usually best, but when it’s windy, going for speed and hitting a lay line can work if the shifts are small, especially for fast skiffs etc. Offwind, there can be bands of added pressure - if so, find one and stay in it. Otherwise it’s a matter of playing shifts and working the gusts.
As the wind shifts round to the North-West, the first change from a westerly is the influence of the valley at that end of the lake. Gusts and added pressure are funnelled down the valley – spreading and increasingly lifting on starboard. As true North is approached that stops and it becomes more difficult to predict as lines of pressure appear off the northern shore and spread – lifting from either side. There will usually be a pattern, so best to check early or learn quickly! Downwind – it pays to take the best pressure as soon as you can – that’s especially helpful if it means gybing away from the shore.
Easterlies are usually very steady in direction, often with more pressure along one bank than the other. Playing small shifts is key, but if there’s any south in it, decent lifts on starboard may tempt the unwary into the clubhouse bank – looking for more gain but risking being left in a lull. While a starboard layline approach to the windwark mark may pay, be careful of the wind shadow caused by the old farmhouse – its some distance away, and not usually influential, but if the shadow is ‘on’ it will pay to avoid. Offwind it’s again a matter of finding the pressure and sailing low while in it, all the time watching for any new developing gusts – particularly along an edge. The northern shore will almost always be good while the southern may look good and tempt you in but then dump you.
The most difficult direction is a Southerly. It’s the least predictable – with comparatively big shifts and changes of pressure. There may be a pattern so as with the northerly, get out early and see if you can figure it out. In general, gusts are most likely to lift on starboard, so protecting that side may be key – just don’t bet on it too heavily. Offwind it’s vital to get into pressure early – look for it and try to be first into it - going high if need be.
So in summary, for an inland venue Grimwith has quite steady wind – especially from the west or east. In northerlies or Southerlies the wind is less steady, and its going to pay to prepare by checking out which side is lifting in gusts.
Above all it’s a great place to sail, and with often at least 5kts more wind than nearby lowland venues, you can almost always have a fun day on the water.