Laser sailors beam after some classic duels at Chichester

Action in the Radial Class at the Chichetser Yacht Club Laser open  Picture by Chris Hatton
Action in the Radial Class at the Chichetser Yacht Club Laser open Picture by Chris Hatton

The bark of the forecast was worse than its bite for Chichester Yacht Club’s Laser Open and although it was overcast and increasingly wet, the breeze of ten to 15 knots enabled race officer Derek Jackman to set a longish course to the north of Chichester Marina channel.

There were 32 competitors, including eight radials, and and with the smaller 4.7 sail. CYC were represented by nine entrants, the remainder travelling from 16 other clubs.

The wind was gusty and there were several capsizes during the three races. A number of experienced sailors fell victim to the notorious Laser death roll, capsizing to windward on the downwind legs.

In the 4.7 class, Alex Butler of Hayling Island SC won the first race with Joshua Baker (also HISC) second. These places were reversed for the second race.

The third race went to Liz Sherwood (HISC) followed by Rosie Berry (CYC). The overall prize went to Baker, with Butler second, Sherwood third and Berry fourth.

The Radial class was dominated by Ross Mackley of Stokes Bay who took first in race one followed by Geoff Sherwood (HISC), and won again in race two with Alexander Lee (Arun YC) runner-up.

Sherwood won the third, followed by Lee, relegating Mackley to third. Ben Thompson (CYC) showed his increasing skill with very respectable fifth, third and fourth places. The final order was Mackley, Sherwood, Lee and Thompson.

The competitive Standard-class fleet of 20 was led in the first race by Ian Morgan of Hill Head, with Andy Palmer-Felgate of CYC second, Richard Bailey (HISC) third and Martin Jones (Itchenor) fourth.

Morgan won again in race two, but Palmer-Felgate fell to 18th, leaving second to Bailey, with Neil Crossouard of Hill Head third and Luke South (CYC) fourth.

In race three, CYC took first and second through Palmer-Felgate and South, with Bailey third and Charles Porter (CYC) fourth. Morgan was eighth but still took the overall win ahead of Palmer-Felgate, Bailey and South.