Five days of sun and good wind made 2013 Federation Week a memorable celebration of 50 years of the biggest annual regatta on Chichester Harbour.
The 16-class event, which this year saw more than 375 dinghies and keelboats competing, is one of the largest in the UK and is very special in its blend of serious racing and encouragement to less experienced sailors,
While the largest proportion of competitors came from within the harbour, in all 45 sailing clubs were represented, across southern England, up into the midlands, the Isle of Man and even as far as Holland.
While Hayling Island SC provided the excellent facilities for the event, volunteers from most of the clubs which form the Chichester Harbour Federation ran the racing and provided safety cover.
Competitors from the Observer patch scored some notable successes. Dell Quay SC’s Ben Chrystall dominated the 18-strong Laser fleet, winning four of the five races, with Ian Payne of Chichester YC fourth overall.
Payne’s clubmate Ian Barnett was only a fraction of a second away from winning in the Solo fleet, which with 42 boats was joint biggest with the RS200s. But a tiny start-line error in race four, meaning he crossed the line prematurely, cost him what would have been an unbeatable three first places. As he could sail on only three of the five days, he had no spare races to improve his best-three-of-five score.
Two other CYC Solo sailors, Mark Harper and Derek Jackman, each had a second place, and finished sixth and 12th overall respectively, but Dell Quay’s four competitors in the class failed to make the top twenty.
John Tremlett from Itchenor SC, led his 24 Finn rivals home in three races for another perfect score, and in the 18-strong medium handicap fleet the Wayfarer of Trevor Newley and Giles Bowman, Emsworth SC, had similar success. Bosham SC’s Max Jones was runner-up in the Lasers, winning the only race Chrystall failed to head.
In the RS200s, Itchenor’s Henry and Prue Roome and Arthur and Mary Henderson took sixth and seventh places overall, the Roomes winning race three and the Hendersons second in race one.
In the junior fleets, which sailed nine much shorter races, Felpham SC’s Josh Wilkinson challenged strongly in the Toppers, but had to be content with second place despite winning the final three races. Raulf Berry from CYC was eleventh of the 31 RS Tera Sports.
With far fewer competitors than such clubs as team winners Hayling Island SC, the eastern harbour clubs were towards the bottom of the team league. Emsworth Slipper SC, however, took third place, beating Itchenor SC on tie-break. And Chrystall’s win help Dell Quay SC to head Bosham SC and Chichester YC.
Dell Quay members manning three safety boats and helping in race organisation all week equalled the number of competitors from the club – one example of much volunteer involvement from all the federation clubs.
More top-ten positions: Arun YC: Steve Leach sixth Laser.
Bosham SC: Simon Radford tenth Laser.
Dell Quay SC: Chris Turner and Jono Loe (Fireball) ninth Fast Handicap.
Emsworth SC: Pippa White and Claire Bowman (Firefly) seventh Medium Handicap; Sam Tweedle eighth Laser Radial; Ben Townsend and B. White eighth RS Feva; Ben Davis tenth Finn.
Emsworth Slipper SC: Adam Cockerill and Mike Thompson (RS800) second Fast Asymmetric; Andrew and Vicky Gould (ISO) and Mike Lillywhite and Emma Petherbridge (ISO) fourth and sixth Medium Asymetric. Paul and Caroline Fisk seventh RS 200; Peter Jenkins and David Valentine eighth and ninth Laser.
Felpham SC: Owen Aldous fourth Topper; Edward Gerwat seventh Laser 4.7; James Mapley tenth Laser Radial.
Itchenor SC: Will Rainey ninth Solo; Will and Mary Henderson ninth RS200; David Leach (crew unknown) tenth RS200.
Thorney Island SC: Rich and Tom Kennedy (RS800) third Fast Asymmetric; Tim Weeden (RS100), fifth Medium Asymmetric.
Despite the heavy rain first thing and a poor forecast, a staggering 126 boats entered Bosham Sailing Club’s annual regatta. With a force three to four north westerly wind, setting a windward start had its challenges - but 15 races were successfully set.
The faster boats were set courses across the harbour towards Hayling Island and the slower fleets in Itchenor reach. The keel boats were finished at Deep End and the rest of the fleets finished at the Quay at Bosham.
The Optimists had a mini race series in the pool north of Bosham SC, with Cossie Lewis winning all three races.
The racing was followed by tea and prizegiving.
Bosham SC thanked estate agents Strutt & Parker for sponsoring the regatta again this year and to the team of around 50 volunteers who ensured that the day ran smoothly..
Next year the regatta is on Saturday, June 28.
Winners: Swallow (Cover Trophy): Cockerzootig – Paul Ward, Andy Penman, Ginny Fox (ISC); Solent Sunbeam (Bosham Brooch): Danny – Roger Wickens and crew (ISC); XOD (Ogilvie Trophy): Relaxation – John Lowe, Tina Scott, Marjorie Greig (ISC); Classic Dayboat Fast (Copley Clark Trophy): Pandora – Brian Hoolahan, Paul Heber, Simon Hempsell (BSC); Classic Dayboat Medium: Scaup – Mark and Shirley Stanton (BSC); Classic Dayboat Slow (Gem Trophy): Nimrod – Chris Welland (BSC); Chichester Scow (Cobnor Plate): Forabell – Martin Windebank (BSC); Mirrow (Churches Challenge): Deamson – Richard and Zara Bullock; Topper (Martell Trophy): Lucy Anson (BSC); Laser Radial: Robin Gabbitas (BSC); Laser (Blue Gem Trophy): Keven Osborne; Medium Handicap (Anchor Trophy): No Excuse - Freddie and John Smithers (BSC); Finn (Witch Cup): Barbarella – John Tremlett (ISC); Fast Handicap (Canute Challenge): Pickled Pink – Andy Fitzgerald and Richard Dobson (ISC); Optimist (Polo Trophy): Cossie Lewis (BSC).
A fleet of DQSC cruisers set off on their ‘Round the Wight’ rally, the aim of which was to circumnavigate the island over three days.
First port of call was Bembridge, where the sailors stayed overnight before setting off the next day for Yarmouth via The Needles.
Favourable weather conditions meant the notorious Needles channel crossing proved uneventful, enabling all boats to arrive in Yarmouth in good time.
The Royal Solent Yacht Club hosted the visiting Dell Quay sailors and their crews in their clubhouse.
The following morning, some cruisers set off on a trip to Dartmouth, while the remainder of the fleet made the return passage back to Dell Quay.
Races four, five and six of the bank holiday mini series got under way in brisk and variable wind conditions which made the upwind sections hard going and resulted in several capsizes.
Race officer Graham Dalton set a figure-of-eight course.
Some disruption was caused by the gradual sinking of a classic Merlin Rocket which was crossing the course but managed to get back to the shore before completely filling with water.
Notable successes were enjoyed by Bill Munnery and Richard Ede, both in Solos, and Andrew Buchanan in his Laser.