Sailors in line for Frostbite at Dell Quay - but there’s no ice in sight

Ben Chrystall of Dell Quay shows his prowess in the Frostbite races
Ben Chrystall of Dell Quay shows his prowess in the Frostbite races

With a decent breeze and no ice in sight, races seven and eight in the Dell Quay’s open Frostbite series drew an entry of 17 from as far afield as London and saw close racing in much of the handicap fleet.

With a decent breeze and no ice in sight, races seven and eight in the Dell Quay’s open Frostbite series drew an entry of 17 from as far afield as London and saw close racing in much of the handicap fleet.

As the westerly wind forced a course with a reaching first leg, judging the start was crucial. While most competitors were close to the line, each time just one boat made the perfect full-speed start.

In race one, Chris Turner and Greg Byrom’s Fireball maintained their lead round the three sausage-and-triangle laps.

Strongest challenges came not from the faster RS400s – content with having their own boat-for-boat battle – but from two single-handers, the Solo of Bill Dawber and the Laser of junior Ben Chrystall.

Dawber was second on the water for a while, but was overhauled by Chrystall and the RS400 of Peter King and Sam Denyer. On the line, the fastest Radial, Toby Hamer (Langstone SC), surged through to head Dawber by inches.

Those positions were irrelevant after handicap calculations, which put Dawber comfortably ahead of Chrystall, with Hamer third and two more Radial sailors, Stu Denyer and Ben Hoddy, nine seconds apart in fourth and fifth.

The gusty conditions continued in the shorter second race, when it was Hamer’s turn to judge the start impeccably.

Chrystall continued to sail impressively and by the finish had opened up a very substantial lead over all his rivals, including the asymmetrics.

He held it clearly on handicap, too, with Dawber taking second place and Hamer – who had been challenged hard by Hoddy – repeating his third. Hoddy was fourth, 20 seconds ahead of dad Warwick, crewed by John Denyer in the family Laser 2000.

With four races to go on January 22 and February 5, when all are welcome, Dawber has a comfortable but far from unassailable lead. Second are Malcolm Buchanan and Warwick Hoddy (RS400), with Ben Hoddy narrowly leading Hamer and the second fastest RS400, sailed by Bob Marshall, and Mike Savage.

CHICHESTER

The first Sunday of 2011 saw an early single race for Chichester YC’s Snowflake open series. Despite the timing and start time, more than 50 boats took to the water.

CYC members were joined by sailors from along the south coast and those who braved it were greeted by sunny day - almost warm and with little wind.

A total of 13 boats joined the fast fleet. The asymmetrics did not do well in the light breeze and ended up competing for lower places.

While the International 14 of Harvey Hillary & Dave Dobrijevic (Itchenor SC) was quickest on the water, they were closely followed by the Merlin Rocket of Will Rainey and Kelly Miller (Shoreham SC), who won on handicap.

Brian and David Earl in the Javelin - who won Chichester’s Frozen Toe series before Christmas - were pushed back into second and Steve and Sarah Cockerill in the Scorpion had to be content with third.

The medium fleet, as ever, was the largest with 28 boats, including ten Lasers. The fleet was led by the two Finns of John Tremlett and Ed Thorburn, with Derek Jackman (Solo) not far behind.

John Tremlett, reigning Finn national champion, got a good lead over Thorburn. The strong ebb tide caused problems at the windward mark as a number of fast and medium competitors misjudged the tide. As a result several boats rafted up on the mark.

In the Lasers, Nick Jones got away from the pack to take fourth while the Lasers of Jimmy Carter, Ian Payne and Julian Wilkins had a tight battle for the next three places. Positions changed frequently and they finished within a few seconds of each other.

First was Tremlett (Mengeham Rythe), second Thorburn (Newhaven & Seaford) and third Jackman (CYC).

In the slow fleet, conditions made it tricky to complete even a full lap of the triangle/sausage course. Some slow boats omanaged only the triangle.

Despite the conditions, 14 boats, most sailed by youngsters, started the race. Toby Schofield put in a very fast time in his Laser 4.7, beating the RS Feva of Paul and Jack Fisk on and off the water. Sisters Lucy and Julia Mellers were again ahead of the strong Optimist Fleet.

First was Schofield (Felpham SC), second Lucy Mellers (CYC), third the Fisks (Emsworth SC) and fourth Julia Mellers (CYC).