Bognor and Chichester push the boat out to welcome the Olympics

editorial image

This Saturday brings the RYA’s ‘Push the Boat Out’ day when sailors across the country are asked to take to the water to showcase sailing to the nation and show their support for our Olympic and Paralympic sailors before the London 2012 Games.

Among those rising to the challenge is Bognor Regis Yacht Club.

“We are encouraging as many people as possible to get out on the water in catamarans, dinghies, windsurf boards and kayaks for an afternoon’s sail or paddle along the cost,” said the club’s Brenda Elwin.

“The event is open to the public, and we will also be making donations to the RNLI.”

The club hope as many as 100 people will be taking part.

Bognor are just one of almost 100 clubs and thousands of boats across the country who have signed up to take part and will host a range of activities, including pursuit races, open days, taster sessions, mass flotillas, picnics, parties and fancy dress events.

You can find out what other Push the Boat Out events are taking place near you with the new Sail for Gold Events map.

Visit www.rya.org.uk.

CHICHESTER

VARIED weather conditions were again the order of the day to challenge the regular sailors at Chichester Yacht Club in races three, four and five of the club’s summer series.

After a downpour, the weather fortunately cleared, with occasional showers and varying winds light up to a pleasant force four.

Race three started in light winds and the fast fleet was dominated by a good turnout from the Solo sailors.

Mark Harper led from early on and kept well ahead of the Solos of Peter Hughes and Ron Green, with Harper taking first, Hughes second and Green third.

Although Harper continued to dominate from the front in races four and five, he had much closer competition as the wind picked up.

In race four he was hotly pursued by Derek Jackman and Raz Turner, also in Solos. Again Harper kept ahead with Jackman second and Turner third.

In race five it was Ian Lissamore’s turn to try to wear down Harper, but again he kept just ahead, keeping Lissamore back to second, with Turner again third.

The slow fleet were all Toppers.

In race three Charlotte Reading put in a very good time in her Topper and continued her excellent run to take first - several minutes ahead of Nick Attree in second, who was well ahead of brother Zack.

In race four Reading was again well ahead. Matt Olliff had a very close race with Attree, who was second, just ahead of Olliff.

And in race five Olliff got into his stride to challenge Reading for first. She again kept ahead, taking yet another first, two seconds ahead of Olliff in second, with Attree third.

The next series races take place this weekend.

On Saturday Chichester Yacht Club, like Bognor, will be participating in the RYA Push the Boat Out Day, trying to get as many boats as possible out on the water in a fun day in support of the Olympic sailing team.

FELPHAM

Another busy weekend at Felpham SC marked the start of the Fisher’s Flipper and Rainbow Trophy series.

RYA race training specialist Andy Kerr returned to the club to give the benefit of his extensive knowledge, concentrating on downwind sailing. The training was aimed primarily at sailing boats with big asymmetric spinnakers, but all 12 course participants benefitted.

Sunday started with plenty of welcome sunshine and a force two-three breeze tempting 20 boats on to the water. The first two races of the Fisher’s Flipper and Rainbow Trophy series were raced.

Everyone seemed timid when it came to getting up to the starting line and Peter Jones stole a march on the rest as he surged forward and into clear wind as the gun went.

Jones maintained his lead on the water to the end but was hotly pursued by Mark Philips and Guy Mayger. Philips was in his element with the medium-strength wind and flat seas suiting his style and was close enough to Jones to beat him on handicap. But neither of them could hold off Mayger on corrected time as he took overall first place.

Ross Fisher was not quite back into his fastest groove finishing fourth a further ten seconds back.

For the second race the start was more aggressive, but the fleet still got clean away.

Jones had to fight harder for clear wind, but was able to take greater advantage, pulling out a lead that kept him in first spot even after the handicap calculations. Mayger was the loser in the new wind direction dropping down to fifth overall.

Series results and the event calendar can be found at www.felphamsailing.co.uk

Fresh from success in the Round the Island Race, Brian Haugh has repeated the feat at the Panerai British Classic Regatta.

The Chichester sailor triumphed against nearly 50 competitors of varying sizes for a 60-mile race which sets sail from Cowes and follows the original route of the Americas Cup.

They enjoyed a broad reaching start to the east in bright sunshine with a decent northerly breeze to take them on their way. With boats ranging in size from 7m to 27m, the smaller boats had a very different race experience to those at the front of the fleet.

The tidal gates worked in their favour as did an increase in wind in the later stages. Although the big boats got the line glory it was the smaller boats who dominated the overall results with Brian Haugh’s Cherete, a 1958 East Anglian Restricted Class, claiming overall victory on corrected time.

His decision to restore the boat and prep it for racing conditions over the past couple of years has turned out to be an extremely shrewd move.

Speaking on his latest achievement, he could barely contain his excitement.

He said: “That’s brilliant. It has been hard work, really hard work. I think it was on the south side that we really made up time. We were tacking right in close to the shore. After passing Shanklin we managed to lay The Needles in one tack.

“Then it was a rock and roll ride all the way back home, we got the spinnaker twisted a couple of times as we worked to keep out of the tide. We came second in class in the JP Morgan Round The Island Race a week earlier so it’s clearly our year.”