A L-SHAPED course, stiff breeze and forecasted force five gusting to force seven winds greeted sailors of the fifth and sixth races of Chichester Yacht Club’s Snowflake series.
Race officer Andy Conway’s course started on the north of the marina channel and the south-westerly wind brought air temperatures of 11°C – although the sea remained very cold at five degrees.
In race five, the wind was a gusty force five and the fast fleet had 15 boats on the start line, which made for some great racing.
The Fireball of Sam Methan and Richard Anderton (Hayling Island SC) led throughout the race, finishing first on the water and on handicap, continuing to lead the series.
They were chased hard by the RS 400 of Chichester’s Nick and Roger Elliman, as well as the Merlin Rockets of Steve and Sarah Cockerill (Hillhead SC), and Alex Jackson and Will Carroll, of Shoreham SC.
All the boats had some exciting runs and reaches with their spinnakers.
The Cockerills eventually took second and the Shoreham sailors third.
In race six, the wind increased to force six and the tide turned, meaning the sea was much rougher.
Methan and Anderton, in their Fireball again, led throughout the race.
There was again close racing especially between the RS400s, RS200s and Merlin Rockets, with Itchenor’s George Yeoman and Sophie Ormsby, in their RS200, taking second from Jackson and Carroll in third.
In the medium fleet in race five, there were also 15 starters and Shoreham’s William Warren and Sophie Mackley in their National 12 led the race taking first on handicap.
Behind them there was a close battle between Chichester’s Charlie Porter and Jimmy Carter, in Lasers, with the latter finishing a few seconds ahead to take second with Porter third.
In race six, the conditions proved too much for some as the National 12 put on a good show but did not finish. The Lasers and Solos were left to some close racing in the conditions, with the first three places going to Solos.
Chichester’s Ian Barnett was first and Mark Harper third, between Ray Collins, of Locks SC.
At the end of the day, Warren and Mackley lead the series.
The slow fleet was reduced in number due to the breezy conditions as well as training elsewhere, and the tricky conditions led to a few capsizes and retirements.
The racing in the top of the fleet was similar in races five and six, and the Mirror of Joanna Kalderon and Imogen Belfield led throughout both races, winning both.
Hillhead’s Harry Kennedy, in his Laser 4.7, took second in both races and Chichester’s Jessica Carter, in her Topper, was third.
Alex Butler, in his RS Tera Pro, continues to lead the Snowflake series.