Scores of sailors take to water for Chichester’s Dinghy Week

Chichester Yacht Club’s Dinghy Week incorporated family and junior week and was a relaxed period of racing, casual sailing and a fun social scene.

Events included games, a balloon race, a beach party and African drumming, while a regatta fleet was organised for juniors new to sailing.

This was one of the club’s busiest dinghy weeks.

Entries were up by about 30 per cent, with more than 100 boats and about 150 sailors joining in. The majority were young people, but adults were involved too.

Chichester YC members made up most of the fleets but guests from other clubs were welcomed. In particular a large fleet of 29ers joined the racing which made for some spectacular racing – and capsizes.

New for 2011 and popular was coaching support with hints and tips available for youngsters who wished to improve their racing skills.

There were busy starts for race officers Steve and Annette Wilson to oversee.

In the fast fleet, fresh from the European championships, Vikki Payne and Stephi Orton, representing Chichester and Emsworth, set a fast pace in their 29er. Will Rainey (Burghfield) in a Solo gave them close competition, and on corrected time took the lead at the end of day one.

All the week’s first places went to Rainey or Payne and Orton and the final places showed Payne and Orton the winners. Luke South (Laser, CYC) was third, Jeni and Kate Tod (RS500) fourth, Jimmy Carter (Laser, CYC) fifth and Ian Lissamore (Solo, CYC) sixth.

In the slow fleet more than 35 boats took part.

CYC’s Emily Proud and Pippa Williams in a Feva took first place in race one and were winners in the final count-up. Steve & Olivia Kelsall (Mirror, CYC) were their closest challengers, ahead of Olivia Winther & Hatty Culver (RS Feva, CYC), Hamish Scott (Laser Pico, CYC), Ben and William Goodwin (Mirror, CYC), Jessica Carter (Topper, CYC).

In the Optimist fleet, Charlie Elliott put in a determined start and ended up overall winner. CYC trio Lucy Mellers, Julia Mellers and Izzy Porter were second, third and fourth.

On the final day the long- distance Brunt Challenge was held. It was a pursuit race and Payne and Stephi Orton in the 29er were too quick for everyone.

Jon Hill (Streaker, Bough Beech SC) was second and Pete and Suzy Harrison (Laser 2000, CYC) third.

The slow fleet saw juniors competing for the Barry Coomer Memorial Trophy.

Lucy Mellers put in an excellent time in her Optimist and was awarded first place on handicap. Lesley Kelsall and daughter Katherine (CYC) took second after a close race with Ben Godwin and son William (CYC), each pair in Mirrors. Fourth was Julia Mellers.