AS I write this month’s column, Chichester Harbour is filled with a cloud of sail as we hold our annual club keelboat regatta, otherwise known as Points Week, writes Mark Struckett, rear-commodore sailing at Itchenor Sailing Club.
This is one of the big social and racing events of the year for all three keelboat classes and sees sailors of all ages bring their polished and perfected racing machines to the start line for five fun-filled days of racing all around the harbour.
It is a great time for spectators to come along and watch the spectacular action out on the water.
It has been a busy month with great variety at Itchenor with the revision regatta, the Norman Moore and the 200s team racing.
We also hosted a first for Itchenor SC when the Bembridge keelboat fleets of Redwings and Bembridge One Designs (BODs) set out early to cross the main channel to join us for a weekend of racing.
Some of our crews swapped boats - unlike the three Itchenor keelboat classes, the Bembridge racers do not fly spinnakers so this was a new experience for their crews.
Our annual Revision Regatta for juniors comprised four races, over the Thursday and Friday of half-term. The start time of each day was later in the afternoon to allow our young members to benefit from a solid morning’s revision!
The event was a great success with perfect weather conditions and a turnout of 23 boats, including four national squad boats.
We have also just had the Norman Moore, the Swallow class’ main trophy. There was a good attendance with 23 entries but conditions made a few of the races a race officer’s nightmare with the wind swinging 30 degrees. Despite this it was still a great weekend of racing with some very tight sailing at the front of the fleet.
The dinghy classes have been equally as busy, with the RS200 Random Pairs team racing one notable example. This event, which generates highly-tactical racing as each boat tries to help its partner while holding back the competition, saw all entrants have around ten races in almost-ideal conditions.
We are also about to hold the Gallon, the biggest annual event for International 14s in the UK outside their national championships, always well-attended and much anticipated.
Another popular event is our annual DinghyFest, taking place on July 13 and 14. It promises to be a weekend of back-to-back racing and social events for International 14s, RS 800s, RS 200s and K6s.
For anyone interested in learning to sail at Itchenor we have a special family membership offer which includes sailing tuition and full use of the club. Call our office to find out more on 01243 512400.