Setting Sail: Itchenor action shows no signs of stopping

Chris Blevins and the team at Itchenor SC / Picture by Kate Shemilt

Chris Blevins and the team at Itchenor SC / Picture by Kate Shemilt

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As we move into October at Itchenor Sailing Club one could be forgiven in thinking we are at the end of the season’s activities. Not a bit of it, writes Chris Blevins, rear-commodore sailing at Itchenor Sailing Club.

Two weeks ago we enjoyed a super Bart’s Bash event with more than 50 boats taking part. Barry Sampson, with his team of young Itchenor sailors, has just returned from competing in the prestigious New York Yacht Club Rolex invitational series at Newport Rhode Island.

Over the past couple of weekends, we have seen more than 70 junior members taking part in RYA training sessions and our classic keelboats out in force with the Swallows competing for the Bob Massey Trophy.

Chris Blevins

They put in a highly-creditable performance finishing in the top half of a highly-competitive fleet drawn from clubs around the world – they even won the last race by a significant margin.

Over the past couple of weekends, we have seen more than 70 junior members taking part in RYA training sessions and our classic keelboats out in force with the Swallows competing for the Bob Massey Trophy, which was won with three straight wins by Harry and Prue Roome.

We entertained a team from the Royal Burnham Yacht Club for a team racing challenge in XODs. This annual event is always keenly fought on the water and accompanied by a social programme enjoyed by competitors and supporters alike. For the record, Itchenor regained the inter-club trophy.

The October racing programme is always keenly attended by our sailors, none more so than the XODs, for whom the Autumn Trophy is always one of the season’s highlights.

As the evenings draw in, we have to curtail our midweek evening sailing. The evening races and suppers have proved increasingly popular over the year.

However, rather like the Windmill, we never close. Itchenor Sailing Club is a 12-month-a-year club with racing for our dinghy fleets during the winter.

The RS200s will be holding their winter warmer series through to March and all our dinghies will be out for the November Firecracker event. We are blessed with a super clubhouse and catering staff, so during the coming weeks our members will be taking full advantage with a varied and interesting social programme, including Ian Walker recounting his win in the Volvo Ocean race and a chance to follow in the footsteps of Ernest Shackleton.

by Chris Blevins, Rear-commodore sailing

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