It has been a month that’s seen some great achievements for Itchenor Sailing Club - and some fantastic sailing events, including our 61st annual Schools Week, which was a huge success despite difficult wind and tide conditions, writes Mark Struckett, the club’s rear commodore sailing.
We hosted 100 boats at the event, representing 40 prominent British schools and one from the United States. Sailing for the first time in Firefly dinghies, visiting American duo Nathanial Johansson and Natalya Doris came within one point of winning the Richard Fairey Trophy, finally losing out to Sam Jenkins and Owen Hallett from Magdalene, adding a thrilling climax to the week.
For the International 420s, Parkstone Grammar’s Rosie and Midge Watkins impressed, winning the Gavin Anderson Plate by a five-point margin and collecting the Astral Trophy for the first all-girl crew. The Junior event in RS Fevas was won by Elliott and Emma Wells from St John’s College.
ponsored by Mind The Gap Year (MTGY), the event showcased some impressive skills and the cream of future British sailing.
Congratulations are also due to Douglas Pattison and Mark Tait on winning the Prince of Wales Cup at the International 14 POW Week at Restronguet SC. This winning crew also took first place at Tthe International 14 Gallon, held at Itchenor last month.
This year PRO Anne Taylor took the fleet into Bracklesham Bay and set three rounds followed by a tour of the harbour. Light winds meant the full distance could not be set but a great race was had. About 20 top racers entered and Pattison and Tait led the fleet across the finish after a magic tussle with Ben Macgrain and James Hughes, and Glen Truswell and Chris Blackburn.
Other recent ISC successes have included the Eurosaf 2K Keelboat Team Racing Championships at the Batavia Sailing Centre in Lelystad, Holland. Our skippers George Yeoman and Andy Shaw walked away with silver after the Royal Thames Yacht Club team, skippered by Andy Cornah and Claire Lasko, finished the three-day championships with only a single loss to take the Arthur Little Trophy. Taking third was ITA Yacht Club Costa Smeralda, skippered by Jacopo Pasini and Antonio Sodo Migliori.
Back in Itchenor we hosted our second DinghyFest in glorious conditions last weekend. A total of 40 entries took part in the two days of back-to-back racing, followed by a fantastic party at the clubhouse.
The largest fleet were the RS 200s, who enjoyed particularly good racing with six boats winning at least one race. Ben Saxton and Izzy Hamilton eventually won by a good margin although the battle continued to the last race for the next few places, with second finally secured by Ben’s brother Tim, crewed by Lucy Goff.
The battle to win the Int 14s also stayed close, with Ed Clay and David Knight securing the win over Kimball Morrison and E Dyer in the last race.
Our keelboats are now heading to Cowes for Classic Week and Cowes Week, and the club’s focus is shifting to our juniors as exams finish and schools start to break up.
Two weeks of Mirror training started this week, and it’s the 420s next week, building up expertise in anticipation of junior fortnight - a jam-packed two weeks of racing and social event for eight to 18-year-olds. The fast-paced competitive racing twinned with a busy social programme make this the junior sailing and social event of the year.
Do you want to be one of our Talking Sport columnists? We’re looking for people who play sport or simply watch it, or run clubs locally, to write occasional pieces for the Observer and this website? Email firstname.lastname@example.org if you’re interested.