Sailor Robbie bags second spot in Tera world championships

Robbie McDonald in action at the RS Tera worlds / Picture by Peter Newton
Robbie McDonald in action at the RS Tera worlds / Picture by Peter Newton

Robbie McDonald took part in the RS Tera world sailing championships which were held in the harbour of the beautiful small fishing town of Santona in Northern Spain.

The 13-year-old from Chichester, who normally sails at Hayling Island Sailing Club, has been selected for the RS Tera national sailing squad for the past two years.

The Santona harbour provided very difficult sailing conditions, often with light shifty winds varying with more consistent sea breezes. To make the racing more challenging, the competitors had to contend with a strong tide.

The intention was to have three races a day for five days. This meant the sailors were often on the water for six hours-plus each day. After nine races the competition could not have been any closer. McDonald was lying second by just one point.

On the fourth day the wind was very light and they managed to complete only two races but did not come off the water until 8.30pm.

Going into the last day, McDonald was four points behind, but still with everything to sail for. It was another shifty day and he was not able to make up the difference. But after 13 races he was extremely pleased to come away with second place overall.

CHICHESTER

Thirty-eight Optimists, a near record number, attended the Optimist open at Chichester Yacht Club.

Entries were split into two fleets of roughly equal numbers with 18 sailors in the main fleet and 19 in the regatta fleet, where coaching was available for less experienced sailors.

Both courses were in the beautiful Chichester Lake.

The regatta fleet got off to a good first start, but there were a few capsizes – with boats being righted competently by the enthusiastic youngsters.

In three races for the regatta fleet, Samuel Griffiths, Oliver Baddeley and Ella Lightbody battled for the first three places. Griffiths showed particularly good boat handling skills at the leeward mark.

Results, Regatta fleet 1 Samuel Griffiths, 2 Oliver Baddeley, 3 Ella Lightbody (all Royal Lymington YC), 4 Thomas Dempsey (CYC).

In the main fleet there was very close racing at the front of the fleet with national squad sailors James Foster, Henry Chandler and Oliver Evans trading places in the strong breeze.

International competition came from Belgium and Luca Hutchings. Going into the final race any of the top three could win.

Results, Main fleet – 1 Henry Chandler (Emsworth SC), 2 James Foster (Poole YC), 3 Oliver Evans (Guarnard SC), 4 Luca Hutchings (Royal Belgium SC).

Overall it was a shifty, gusty and tidal event that gave everyone some good and fun racing.

CLIVE BUSH

DELL QUAY

The final race in the Dell Quay evening series took place in ideal conditions.

Race officer John Purdy set up an unusual but effective course.

The race started with the tide beginning to ebb and several boats mis-timed their approach resulting in them being over the line as the signal was given. After a general recall the race was restarted.

First to round the windward mark was Mike Shaw (Solo), followed by the Solos of David Maltby and Andrew Horne. The fleet continued on the second beat towards Copperas East with Shaw and Maltby increasing their lead over the other boats.

The remaining fleet fought hard for positions with the Lasers gradually outpacing the remaining Solos on this first and longest leg of the course.

Further jostling for position around the shorter sausage section resulted in the Lasers increasing their lead over the Solos.

Among the Solos, Horne and Richard Bridgmont overtook each other alternatively as wind and tidal conditions varied, with Horne finally losing out to Bridgmont.

With a comfortable lead, Shaw was first to cross the line to win the race, followed on the water and in second place on handicap by Maltby. Bruce Dupee picked up third place on handicap in his slower Topaz Uno.

Overall series winner and recipient of the Victor Cook Trophy is Maltby with David Swift (Solo) second and Bridgmont third.

FELPHAM

Felpham Sailing Club celebrated its premier annual youth sailing week with 47 youngsters enjoying sailing and racing in near-perfect summer conditions.

With light-wind mornings and no rain all week, there was plenty of opportunity to learn more about sailing and have fun.

Training formed a core part of the four-day event with 28 youngsters aged eight to 17 taking part in RYA-accredited sail training from ‘Start Sailing’ through to more advanced courses such as spinnaker training and ‘Start Racing’. More than 50 certificates were awarded.

The Cadet Cup saw intense rivalry make for exciting racing. The 19 youngsters in the racing group spent the mornings taking part in race coaching with video feedback of their efforts, and the afternoons were spent racing when the wind was not too strong.

In close racing in the gold fleet, Josh Wilkinson, sailing his Laser Radial, took first place followed by Sophie Bentley sailing her Laser 4.7, while in the silver fleet, Lucy Gerwat took first place in her Topper.

Prizegiving brought a full clubhouse with excited children and proud parents applauding as Commodore Pat Cullen and club president Mike Harris presented certificates and awards.

Cadet captains Molly Ayling and Will Palmer presented flowers to Leeza Aldis, Rachel Holmes and Gina Riley for organising the kitchen team.

Felpham called upon a huge level of volunteer support with more than 60 parents, members and friends working hard.

Thanks go to Ryan Breach for the overall management of the event, supported by Callum Aldous.

By way of a thank-you to helpers, the evening concluded with a volunteers’ supper.

ROGER BELTON

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