Sailors struggle to get to start line in Chichester races - let alone finishing line

The first two races of the joint Dell Quay SC/Chichester YC series took place with virtually no wind, and it was a struggle to get to the start line.

Three different fleets featured 28 boats from the two clubs.

In the fast/modern fleet, the top end were predominantly CYC boats.

In race one, conditions proved tricky with very variable light wind. CYC RS200 sailors unusually outnumbered Laser 2000 sailors, with three RS200s having very close racing, swapping positions in the early part of the race.

Peter and Suzy Harrison recorded a good time in the conditions to take first in their Laser 2000. Second were Jennie and Alistair Fletcher in their RS200 and third were Meryl Deane and Ian Payne in an RS200, all from CYC.

In the second race the wind picked up and the CYC RS200s again started well. But this time the RS400 of Jonathan and Kate Morley (CYC) got away from the fleet to take first.

Second were Anne and Jim Norfolk (Laser 2000, DQSC) and third again went to Deane and Payne.

In the medium/classic fleet, the first race was also a struggle in the light wind. At one point a number of sailors were moving backwards for a time as the wind dropped and the tide took over.

There was eventually enough wind to finish race one and the Classic fleet was dominated by Mark Harper (Solo, CYC) with first in both races.

The next two places were also the same in both races – second went to Richard Ede (Solo, DQSC) with Derek Jackman (Solo, CYC) third.

In the slow fleet, Bruce Dupree (DQSC) took two firsts after judging the conditions well and was ahead by a substantial margin in race one.

Hector and Izzy Monroe (RS Feva, CYC) were second in both races with Stephen Green (Byte, CYC) third in race two.

The series continues this Saturday.

Chichester Yacht Club’s Optimist open and the last leg of the Southern Travellers series brought a great turnout. There were 50-plus Oppies on the water at one point.

Most impressive was the range of ages from seven to 15 the camaraderie through the fleets.

Racing was tight and hard-fought with competitors enjoying the challenging 10-12 knot shifting breeze.

Henry Chandler, last year’s winner of the regatta fleet, now graduated to the main fleet, put in a fine display to finish mid-fleet in 20th.

The CYC competitors were headed by Lucy Mellers, with Arthur Fry in a very respectable ninth place as top home boat.

Sophie Hempsell from Bosham, last year’s main fleet winner, headed the Chichester Harbour fleet home in seventh.

With Millie Boyle (RLYC) putting in an impressively-consistent series with two firsts to count, she pushed fellow club member Jenny Cropley into second with only Zac Riley from Weir Wood breaking RLYC’s strangle hold on the top positions.

With the light winds the Regatta fleet faced challenges – the 12-strong fleet again dominated by RLYC with Henry Heathcote showing excellent boat-handling skills, impressive starts and boat speed.

He came home a worthy winner closely followed by Kiean Young and Hector Bennett, all three of whom won a race.

Local pair Raulf Berry and Sam Thompson both showed talent in their first year of racing.

Off the water, the CYC team staged an excellent tea and prize-giving.

Results: Open fleet - 1 Millie Boyle (RLYC), 2 Jenny Cropley (RLYC), 3 Zac Riley (Weir Wood), 4 Robbie King (RLYC), 5 Pippa Cropley (RLYC), 6 Vita Heathcote (RLYC).

Regatta fleet - 1 Henry Heathcote (RLYC), 2 Kieran Young (Spinnaker SC), 3 Hector Bennett (RLYC), 4 Sam Thompson (Emsworth SC), 5 Raulf Berry (CYC/ESC).


Stephanie Orton has taken part in the 29er European Championships in Sopot, Poland.

It was a six-day event where they finished 19th out of 101 comp-etitors.

Orton (pictured), from Chichester, was the third youth female overall. She also took part in the world championships in Germany, winning ladies’ youth silver.


The final races in the Felpham SC summer series involved four series run simultaneously for boats of differing handicaps.

The morning two races contributed to the main Fisher’s Flipper and the Rainbow Trophy for the slower classes. After lunch there was one more race for the Sidmouth Shield, again with the Bruce MacLaren Trophy for slower classes.

Results: Fishers Flipper - 1 Ross Fisher (Blaze) 13pts; 2 James Mapley (Laser Radial) 17; 3 Chris Bull (Laser Radial) 19. Rainbow Trophy - 1 Ed Gerwat 31, 2 Mark Aldous 52, 3 Paula Bentley/Paula Bramley 56. Sidmouth Shield: 1 Jonathan Saunders (Blaze) 19, 2 Pat Cullen (Laser) 25, 3 James Gerwat (Laser) 25. Bruce MacLaren Trophy: 1 Scott Pearce 35, 2 Ed Gerwat 36, 3 Callum Aldous/Jess Breach 37.