Strong and gusty wind conditions brought some exciting racing conditions for Dell Quay Sailing Club’s Early Helm and Early Trophy race series.
Saturday saw a wet start to the racing with only three boats attempting the first two races of the Early Helm handicap series. Rob Corfield and Peter King in their RS 400 won both races with Sue Nash and Helen Penfold in an Enterprise and the Atkins mother and daughter team in a Pico second in the respective races.
Sunday promised better weather conditions for races three and four of the Early Trophy series. With fresh winds there was close and exciting racing.
In the first race, the Laser 2000 fleet were first to go with only two seconds dividing the leading boats of Anne and Jim Norfolk and Mike Fitzgerald and Tim Dormer during the first lap. The Norfolks held on to the lead, taking first place.
The Solos got away cleanly with Bill Dawber and Malcolm Buchanan leading the fleet. They finished in that order with Bill Munnery taking third.
The start of the handicap fleet was more eventful with the RS 400 of Peter King and Roger Francis finding itself well upwind of the start line when the rest of the fleet got away.
King and Francis were able to recover and cross the finish line first but fine sailing by Sue Manning in her Topper gave her first place on handicap. Simon Briggs in a Laser was second and the Fireball of Chris Turner and Jamie Prescott came third.
The wind held for the start of the second race, then dropped away. In the Laser 2000 and Solo fleets, the finishing positions were the same as the first race.
Briggs did not start the second handicap race, allowing the Wayfarer of Martin and Sarah Greenhalgh to take third place, with Manning first and Turner/Prescott second.
Chichester Yacht Club’s latest First Breath race - the sixth in the series - was run in marginally-better temperatures which led to an increased turnout in the fast and modern fleet.
Sailors were predominantly in asymmetrics with Ian Payne the exception in a Contender.
Andy Conway, having got to grips with his RS 100 over the series, was first, with Nick and Roger Elliman second in their RS
400 with series leaders Helen and Mark Green in a 2000 third.
In the classic/medium fleet, a single Solo was joined by four Lasers.
Charlie Porter (Laser) started with the modern fleet so was over the line by five minutes. This left Hattie Culver in a Laser Radial having a close race with Dave Hope in the Solo with Dave just ahead on the line taking first with Hattie second.
There were no slow fleet boats.