Chichester and Dell Quay sailors out in force ... Itchenors crews celebrate Cowes and Mirror success

Action from Chichester Yacht Club's family week  Picture by Chris Hatton
Action from Chichester Yacht Club's family week Picture by Chris Hatton

Chichester Yacht Club held another successful Dinghy Week which saw some fantastic sailing and racing.

The five-day annual event is an open meeting and was well attended by all ages, from seven to 70. More than 60 boats joined in the racing during the week with Toppers the largest Fleet.

As in 2012, there was a Cadet Week for youngsters new to sailing, with 16 new sailors enjoying five days on an RYA beginner course. And there was a coached regatta fleet for young sailors learning basic sailing skills.

The main racing was run each day by Race Officer Derek Jackman.

In the fast fleet, the pattern for the week was set on day one by Guy and Tom Marks (Bough Beech SC) in a Wayfarer - they took a first and a second. They won the series with an impressive six first places. The Contender of Jon Hill (Bough Beech SC) took second just ahead of Jon Hutchings (Laser, Pagham YC) in third. Ian Farr (Laser, CYC) was sixth.

In the rest of the fast fleet there was some great racing among the asymmetrics with the 2000s and RS200s enjoying some very close races, with Helen & Mark Green (2000) finishing top of the contingent.

In the slow fleet the RS Feva of Luke Bailey and Jake Embleton (RHS) dominated - winning the series with eight first places.

They were chased by Oscar and Beatrix Wright, also in a Feva (HISC) and Pollyanna Wright (HISC) in an RS Tera, finishing second and third respectively.

Two pairs from CYC new to RS Fevas, Susanna Olliff and Lily Maxey and Charlotte and Tom Dawtry, also enjoyed their racing and got used to a new class of boat.

In the Topper Fleet, there was close and very serious racing. On day one, William Dodd (CYC) and Charlotte Reading (CYC) had a very close race with Dodd edging it. This set the pattern for the week and Dodd won five races. Other race winners were Hannah Thompson, Charlie Elliott and Charlie South.

Dodd won the section, with Reading second, Thompson third, Beth Albone fourth and Elliott fifth - all from CYC.

The Optimist fleet was, as always, very competitive. Raulf Berry (CYC) won races one and eight, but was beaten in every other race by his sister Blythe (CYC), who took first place in the series. Raulf was second overall.

Third was Katherine Farr (CYC), fourth Emma Hutching (Pagham YC), fifth Alice Snook (CYC). Carmen Dawtry took a creditable third in race six.

Day five involved a pursuit race for adults and a mini-regatta for juniors.

The pursuit race saw Peter and Suzy Harrison (2000, CYC) finish ahead on the water. The race was eventually awarded to Luke Bailey and Jake Embleton (RHS), who won the Brunt Challenge Trophy. The Harrisons were second and Guy and Tom Marks (Wayfarer) third.

The mini-regatta proved very popular with the young sailors, and there was some thrilling racing.

Three races were won by Hamish Scott in his Laser. Eliza South had a splendid second race, taking first in her Optimist, and Charlie Elliott and Harry Cowell in their first outing in an RS Feva won race four.

Scott finished the series well in the lead to win the Barry Coomer Memorial Trophy with Elliott and Cowell (CYC) second, Sophie Kirk (Topper, CYC) third, Charlie South (Topper, CYC) fourth and Charlotte Reading (Topper, CYC) fifth. First Optimist was Raulf Berry (CYC).

The final races were followed by prize-giving on the lawn and thanks go to all those who made the racing such a success.

ITCHENOR

The Itchenor Sailing Club fleet of X One Designs set off for Cowes Week with the intention of coming home with two prestigious trophies – the Captain’s Cup for the overall winning boat and the Phillipson Shield for the top club. They did not disappoint.

Competition for top spot was fierce with six different race winners in the seven races.

Only Lass, sailed by John Tremlett with a crew drawn from fellow owners Richard Jordan, Richard Bullock and Jeremy Lear, won two races – on the opening Saturday to put down a marker and critically on the last Saturday to seal the overall prize.

Other Itchenor race winners were Steve Lawrence, who won by more than five minutes on Monday in Catherine, and Michael Martell who steered his Astralita to victory on Thursday.

There were solid performances from a number of the other boats – to complement Lass’s first place and Astralita’s third overall, Alastair Shaw and Chris Froy’s Phoenix was fifth and Catherine sixth.

Itchenor therefore demonstrated it had the strength in depth to see off a strong challenge from their traditional adversaries from Lymington by a healthy margin.

Well-deserved celebrations took place when the crews returned home on Saturday evening to Itchenor, somewhat tired but content that their objectives of a fourth consecutive Captain’s Cup win and a hat-trick of Phillipson Shield victories had been achieved.

Itchenor Sailing Club juniors swept the board at the Mirror worlds 2013, which took place at Lough Derg, Ireland.

Katie Davies, sailing with Gemma Keers, was first junior and third overall and sister Izzy was second with Millie Moss in the front and fourth overall. Meanwhile Jo Kalderon and Immie Bellfield from Itchenor were seventh overall, just missing out on third in the juniors.

Out of an entry of 91, Clare Peterson was 18th and other Itchenor boats came in 27th, 44th, 49th, 71st and 75th.

Around 200 competitors and nearly 100 boats from seven nations, including entrants from Australia, South Africa, Canada, Philippines, Sweden, Ireland, and the UK took part in the event, which marked the 50th anniversary of the dinghy class.

The results are a fantastic endorsement of the Mirror fleet at Itchenor and all the hard work put into the club’s training and racing programme.

DELL QUAY

There were five days of glorious sailing for 57 youngsters during Dell Quay’s annual Junior Week - and a variety of weather and wind conditions to challenge the six to 16-year-olds.

The juniors were divided into sailing fleets by ability and age, and each group experienced a variety of sailing opportunities, including a day sail, racing, seamanship, treasure hunts and a regatta day.
Tom Bettle produced a fine performance in his Topper, winning more than half the races and coming first overall. Melissa Talbot was close behind in her Laser 4.7, winning two races and showing huge improvement in her racing tactics through the week.

Third was Tara Noble, who sailed a range of boats during the week but shone in a Feva with Rebecca Boles.

Results: Sea Monsters - 1 Hugo Braconid, 2 Polly Rodgers, 3 Angus Alcott; Pirates - 1 James Smith, 2 James Cole, 3 Juliet Binning; Shipmates - 1 Eliot Ball, 2 Louise Dicker, 3 Polly Maltby; Skippers - 1 Gregory Kies, 2 Laurie Lee, 3 Daniel Watson and William Lynus, Yacht Masters - 1 Oliver Howard, 2 Jacob Howard and Luke Romaine, 3 Hazel Lee and Marianne Gordon-Pullar; Fastnet - 1 Tom Bettle, 2 Melissa Talbot, 3 Tara Noble.

Tom Bettle, as the winner of the Fastnet, was awarded the Commodore’s Cup. The winning fleet this year was the Swan fleet, taking the silver plate for the year.

Aged seven to ten, the youngest beginners’ group (Pirates) sailed brilliantly. Despite strong winds and many of the juniors not having sailed before, they all progressed consistently throughout the week and by the end they were all confidently in control of their boats and begging to be allowed to deliberately capsize.

Children were rewarded for excellent behaviour, attitude and helpfulness as well as effort and ability on the water. Melissa Talbot was recognised for her outstanding attitude and helpfulness and was awarded the giant shark.

Each day a different group went on a day sail to Itchenor.

At the prize giving ceremony club commodore John Nash said it was one of the best Junior Weeks he could remember.

FED WEEK

The biggest Chichester Harbour spectacle of the year begins tomorrow (August 19), first day of racing in the 50th-anniversary Federation Regatta Week.

Long gone is the time when the fleet of entrants moved from club to club round the harbour each day. Now the five-day event is run from one spot, Hayling Island SC. But the competitors will race over an area stretching up the creeks towards Mengeham, Emsworth and Itchenor, with the broad stretch of water between HISC, East Head and Thorney Island the scene of intense activity.

Some 300-plus entries are anticipated, from tiny Optimists and Teras for the youngest sailors through extreme speed machines such as foiling International Moths and Olympic class 49er skiffs to more classic but still highly competitive racing craft among which Flying Fifteens and Solos will be well represented.

Entrants are divided into three groups according to speed, the smallest dinghies racing close to the club beach, the bigger and faster boats on courses covering a much larger area. While most sailors race for the whole week, those with limited time can join in for just three days and still have a chance of winning one of the coveted Federation plates.

The standard at the front of the fleets is high – this year’s entrants already include the runner-up in a 2013 dinghy national championship, and past Fed Weeks have seen Olympic medal-winning sailors competing – but the week is a happy, inclusive event, with several generations of the same family often taking part. Sailors from harbour clubs and those along the south coast form the bulk of entrants, but others come from all parts of the UK and even beyond.

While HISC is the base for the event, Fed Week is run by a huge team of volunteers from almost all the harbour sailing clubs, which also provide safety and race management boats. Safety is paramount, with a bird’s eye view of all that’s going on from the safety control point high on the HISC clubhouse.

Sailing is a difficult sport for spectators to understand, and Fed Week, with its vast variety of boats, is especially so. But the sheer spectacle of seeing so many boats on the water is a great experience. East Head is a good vantage point.

Entries will be taken at HISC on Saturday or Sunday afternoon and throughout the week.