Chichester sailors shine among Snowflake visitors

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A LITTLE more than half the 71 entries in races three and four of Chichester’s Snowflake Series were visitors from other clubs.

Six Merlins who had been sailing at Hayling Island before Christmas joined in and the welcome additions to the competition justified the dinghy committee’s decision to divide the winter racing at CYC into two separate series.

There were 21 boats in the fast fleet and they got away cleanly after a five-minute postponement to allow the lee mark to be relaid away from a shallow patch.

The Merlins quickly showed the way but did not have it all their own way. David and Fiona Sayce won with Luke South second in his RS300.

The Cockerills were fourth in their Scorpion and Andy Fitzgerald and Jane Gilbert sixth in their RS200.

In race four, the first four places went to Merlins, led by William Warren and Sophie Mackley, with Tim Fells and Fran Gifford second, David and Fiona Sayce third and David Hayes and Richie Bell fourth, while Jason Buchanan, leading overall at present, was fifth in his RS300.

The medium fleet had an entry of 33 and were also over-keen, and there had to be a general recall in the first race.

Although John Tremlett from Mengeham Rythe won both races in his Finn, the home club’s sailors did rather better in this fleet, with four places in the first eight.

Mark Harper, who has not been sailing a Finn for long, was pleased to take second to Tremlett, a champion in the class.

Nick and Biddy Colbourne maintained their consistency in their GP14 as the only two-person boat among all the single handers at the front, with two thirds. Around them, apart from the leader, there was quite a lot of movement in places in race four.

The slow fleet mustered 17 and unlike their seniors, they lost no entries in race four.

Racing was close and competitive as there were different winners, with the Fisk brothers winning the first in their Feva, and the Bens, Stirrup and Duggal, winning the second in their Mirror.

There was a good number of Optimists, of whom Lucy Mellors did best with a second and a fourth, while Charlie Elliott is beginning to assert his skills and managed a sixth in race four.