After weeks of high winds, a beautiful blue sky and very light wind greeted 60-plus boats and more than 100 competitors as they assembled for the annual regatta at Chichester Yacht Club.
The sea breeze soon filled to give excellent conditions for the race.
The fast fleet welcomed four Merlin Rockets from Hayling Island SC.
In the 29ers, Martin Orton and Will Harris battled all the way round with Alex Orton and Abbie Page. Alex managed to finish ahead of her father.
Overall winners were Rocket sailors Geoff Carveth and Graham Williamson, who just beat Judith Massey and Jackie Lytton into second place, with the 29ers finishing third and fourth.
In the medium handicap, Richard Smales in his Streaker went very fast up the first beat. Tacking inshore to avoid the strong tide was essential early on. The fleet crept out of the tide with centre boards brushing the mud to Itchenor.
The wind freshened with a good beat down the harbour. John and Pauline Cox (Laser 2000) used their knowledge of the Thorney area to reach the windward mark first but struggled to find the next buoy and lost the lead to Nick and Biddy Colbourne (GP14), closely followed by Lesley and Steve Kelsall in a Lark.
After a long run back to Birdham, the Coxes finished first, closely followed by Kelsalls and Colbournes.
Final results on handicap gave first to the Colbournes, with Richard Smales second and the Coxes third.
In the solo fleet, Derek Jackman, showing off his new boat led from the front from Ron Green and Peter Hughes.
The Laser Fleet were a little reduced with some members attending the masters nationals, but the five present had good racing with Charlie Porter (CYC) taking first from Kim Bowerman, with John Smithers (Bosham SC) third.
Bowerman must win the prize for coming from the most distant club – the Victoria Nyanza Sailing Club, Kampala.
In the slow fleet, Mattie Ponsford and Hattie Culver teamed up in an RS Feva and led the slow fleet round the smaller course.
Ben Thompson in his Topper took second place. Jessie Hodge (Topper) also did well to come in third.
It was a pleasure to be joined by the Sunbeams, Swallows & XODs from Itchenor. The conditions gave them good opportunities for close sailing. In the strong XOD fleet the super-hot team of Steve Lawrence, and Peter and Paddy Smart were victors.
The day was completed by the usual Chichester regatta tea, much enjoyed by all competitors.
Results: Fast fleet: 1 Geoff Carveth & Graham Williamson (Merlin Rocket, HISC); 2 Judith Massey & Jackie Lytton (Merlin Rocket, HISC); 3 Alex Orton & Abbie Page (29er, CYC); 4 Martin Orton & Will Harris (29er, CYC). Medium: 1 Nick & Biddy Colbourne (GP14, CYC); 2 John & Pauline Cox (Laser 2000, CYC); 3 Richard Smale (Streaker, CYC); 4 Lesley & Steve Kelsall (Lark, CYC). Laser: 1 Charlie Porter (CYC); 2 Kim Bowerman (VNSC); 3 John Smithers (BSC). Solo: 1 Derek Jackman (CYC); 2 Ron Green (CYC); 3 Peter Hughes (CYC). Slow: 1 Ben Thompson (Topper, CYC); 2 Mattie Ponsford, Hattie Culver (RS Feva, CYC); 3 Jessie Hodge (Topper, CYC). Sunbeam: 1 Richard & Sarah Pearson (Will Wood); 2 Toby Spreckley, John & Petra Tawner; 3 Peter Nicholson, Mike Hollie, Ian Stobie. Swallows: 1 Harry & Prue Resume; 2 M Green & A Bridgewater; 3 Tony Glover, Linda & Richard Jackson. XOD: 1 Steve Lawrence, Peter & Paddy Smart; 2 John Tremlett, Sally Heatie, Richard Smythe; 3 John Long, Tina Scott, Guy Partington.