Setting Sail: Quiet winter at Itchenor? Not exactly...

Itchenor Sailing Club in all its glory
Itchenor Sailing Club in all its glory
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Itchenor Sailing Club is a busy place over the winter with dinghy racing continuing throughout, keelboats being lovingly polished, varnished and painted, club maintenance and winter activities going on - writes Chris Blevins, the club’s rear commodore sailing.

This year has been no exception with the RS200s running a well-attended open meeting programme and our winter talk programme providing an interesting insight into the varied activities and interests of our members.

Our sailors have gone further a field with the Mirrors at the South African worlds, claiming the junior world champion title, the International 14s going to Australia, and with 420 success at Rutland and Mirror success at Carsington.

The ISC jetty has been transformed to provide easier access and more dinghy space. Thanks go to the energetic endeavours of a band of volunteers, lured by the prospect of a spot of liquid refreshment, this was achieved over a few weekends before Christmas.

Boats are beginning to appear on the jetty and the moorings in readiness for the start of the season on March 28. There are enough Swallows, Sunbeams and XODs afloat now to ensure there will be competitive one design racing from the first race.

In preparation for the season, we held a successful Ready to Race weekend with more than 60 members attending a variety of talks on racing techniques, rules and race-official organisation, while others undertook support boat training to qualify for the season.

The ISC jetty has been transformed to provide easier access and more dinghy space.

Chris Blevins

Over the winter we have introduced some initiatives to encourage new members to join our club these include a new mid-week crew membership, social membership and an incentive for new full members. Full details are on our website.

Our sailing activities for 2015 include the full and legendary one design dinghy and keelboat racing programme, continuation of last year’s initiatives of ladies sailing on Wednesday mornings and formalised junior midweek training as well as an adventurous series of cruiser rallies.

The club are fortunate enough to be able to race at all states of the tide and so our ten dinghy and keelboat fleets can use up to three racecourses every Saturday and Sunday, as well as a lot of weekday events.

What’s more, all our popular sailing events will return this season, with highlights including Schools Week, Dinghy Fest, Keelboat Points Week, Junior Fortnight and the ISC Regatta. We will also be holding a club open day supported by Strutt & Parker on May 17.

If you would like to find out more about any of our events or are interested in becoming a member, please get in touch on 01243 512400 or visit www.itchenorsc.co.uk

Want to be a Talking Sport columnist? Email steve.bone@chiobserver.co.uk or call 01243 534128