Sailing: Solos out on their own at Chichester

Action from the Solos open meeting at Chichester YC  Picture by John Crawley

Action from the Solos open meeting at Chichester YC Picture by John Crawley

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Chichester Yacht Club were pleased to welcome Solo sailors to their open meeting.

Sailors travelled from as far as the Isle of Wigh, and Salcombe for the open, held the day before a similar event at Dell Quay. Strong winds were the order of the day, with wind of force five to six.

Race officer John Crawley set a course in Chichester Lake, with a committee boat start.

In race one, on the first beat most of the sailors took the west side out of the tide. CYC regulars Derek Jackman and Roger Millett decided to try an alternative route and managed to make up a few places by the windward mark.

The route to the mark on the west was congested and sailors had to avoid each other as well as play the gusts.

Big gusts caused the boats to be headed at windward mark, with frequent swings of direction some sailors had difficulty rounding the windward mark.

Steve Ede took a convincing lead early on in both races one and two. The testing conditions led to constant changes of places further down the fleet.

Ian Macgregor, James Ross and Simon Loma-Clarke divided the second and third places between them.

Race two was notable for two sailors being OCS - Paul Tasker realised and returned to the start, but CYC stalwart Mark Harper had not realised he was over the line and carried on, thus not finishing race two.

The conditions were enjoyed by most of the sailors with some great reaches and the run was reported to be not dead down wind so survivable.

Those sailors able to pick up the gusts were able to gain get significant advantage, and make up places.

The wind got up further after the end of race two, leading to a lot of capsizes in race three, keeping safety boats busy.

Sailors retired to the clubhouse to enjoy tea and plan their strategies for the next day.

Final results: 1 Steve Ede (Ardleigh SC); 2 Ian MacGregor (Salcombe YC); 3 James Ross (Hamble River SC); 4 Simon Loma-Clarke (Frensham Pond SC); 5 Will Loy (RYA); 6 Paul Tasker (TLSC & CYC).

DELL QUAY

Light winds, an incoming tide and some sunshine brought out more than 100 Dell Quay sailors, their families and friends to take part in Push the Boat Out day at Dell Quay.

It is an RYA initiative following on from an event last year that tied in with the 2012 Olympics.

Activities at Dell Quay included opportunities to take part in the evening race series, Women on the Water, social sailing and junior fun racing and games. It was topped off by a barbecue.

Twelve juniors took part, with Phoebe Noble assisting as dinghy instructor. Most juniors involved in Push the Boat Out Day are new to racing, and all had a great afternoon with fun races and games.

Special mention should go to Adam Hall, the youngest junior who led the way very professionally in ‘follow my leader’, and Lucy Allardice for excellent boat handling skills. Fleur Moranne managed to collect more than 40 balls at super speed - she is one to watch in future junior races.

The first race of the evening series was dominated on handicap by the single-handers, with solo sailors Bill Dawber and Richard Ede taking first and second and Roger Francis finishing third in his graduate.

However, the on-water racing was close at the front with Bill Dawber (Solo), Anne and Jim Norfolk (2000) and the RS 400 team of Rob Corfield and Peter Clarke providing competitive racing. The bigger spinnaker of the RS 400 gave Corfield and Clarke the advantage down-wind and they crossed the line first, despite coming tenth on handicap.

ITCHENOR

The Sunbeams held their a well-attended open day. Eleven guests joined the class for some memorable sailing and racing on a perfect day of wind and weather.

They crewed and helmed and enjoyed the welcome and hospitality of the class and club. Hopefully this will increase the numbers in this growing class for both crew and new owners.

Those who couldn’t make it are invited along to their regular races on Thursday evenings, Saturday afternoons and Sunday mornings. Call Ian on 07967 969112 to get on a boat - or see www.solentsunbeam.co.uk for more details.

Events coming up include the Itchenor Invitation Keelboat weekend on June 1 and 2.