The lure of the closing weekend of the Chichester Yacht Club’s summer programme, the chance to tangle for the Last Gasp Trophy and the conclusion of the Birdham Barrel series convinced 38 sailors in 27 boats to venture out on to the water.
Pre-start favourites were the speedy Jason and Sonia Kirk as well as holders Pete and Suzy Harrison looking to continue their dominance of the fast fleet, while Lucy Boreham in her Europe and the Solo of Mark Harper were also in contention.
In race one the formbook proved accurate, with corrected times revealing that the Kirks occupied top spot with the Coxes second and Mark Harper third.
The rapid progress of Luke South’s Musto Skiff, Tony Purser’s RS600 and Matt Ponsford and Olivia Winther in their 29er provided the day’s spectacular viewing.
Meanwhile in the slow fleet, the racing for the Birdham half pint trophy saw Izzy Loveridge facing a challenge from Charlie and Eliza South who were back in their Toppers. At the line Charlie had taken first with Loveridge one back and Eliza in third.
In race two, the on-the-water precedence remained the same with South blasting round in 47 minutes followed a minute and half later by the Ponsford and Winther in the 29er.
Corrected times again showed the Kirks had secured their second bullet, this time with Boreham finishing second and the Harrisons third. In the half pint fleet, Charlie and Eliza sored a family one-two with Izzy having to settle for third.
After the break, a sprint course was set with reaching angles that played to the strengths of the asymmetrics and the 29er scorched round the course in a crisp 19 minutes followed over the line 90 seconds later by a RS400 with Gideon Ewers and Louise Varley aboard.
Corrected time saw the Harrisons take top spot, Ponsford and Winther second and Ian Payne and Meryl Deane in their RS200 third.
The Kirks’ two bullets earlier in the day had secured the Last Gasp Trophy by a two point margin.
In the final Half Pint race, Loveridge stuck it out to claim first and the trophy.
In the overall results for the Birdham Barrel, the Harrisons took first in the fast fleet as well as the overall trophy over John and Pauline Cox, with Alistair and Manu Jenkin’s Xenon third – while in the classic/medium fleet, Lucy Boreham secured an emphatic win over Mark Harper in second.
Last Gasp Trophy: 1 Jason & Sonia Kirk (2000); 2 Pete & Suzy Harrison (2000); 3 Lucy Boreham (Europe). Birdham Barrel Series: Modern/fast fleet 1 Pete & Suzy Harrison (2000); 2 John & Pauline Cox (2000); 3 Alistair & Manu Jenkin (Xenon). Classic/medium fleet: 1 Lucy Boreham (Europe); 2 Mark Harper (Solo); 3 Ian Lissamore (Solo). Birdham Half Pint Series: 1 Izzy Loveridge (Topper); 2 Charlie South (Topper); 3 Eliza South (Topper).
Ideal conditions greeted competitors for the Noyce and Ward end-of-season races at Dell Quay.
The first race was for the Noyce Trophy, which is for sailors who have won at least one race during the season. Gordon Barclay (Solo) made a good start off the line and kept a small lead to the windward mark, ahead of the faster 2000 boats, by tacking close up to the Copperas shore and avoiding the incoming tide. This was followed by some exciting downwind planing.
By the end of the first lap, the 2000s of Anne and Jim Norfolk and Graham and Lucy Dalton, using their asymmetric spinnakers to good effect, had crept ahead of Barclay. It was very close with the Solos of Bill Dawber and Malcolm Buchanan hot on their heels. Dawber raced around the next lap establishing a comfortable lead over the Solos and remaining close to the leading 2000s.
The Daltons overtook the Norfolks on this lap following the faster route out of the tide and up the beat. The last lap saw few changes of position and after handicap calculations were applied, the Solos of Dawber and Barclay took first and second places respectively with the Daltons third in their 2000.
The race for the Ward Trophy provided an opportunity for sailors who hadn’t succeeded in winning a race during the season.
In the solo fleet, Fred Hilgers established the lead soon after crossing the start line and held on to it, until eventually winning the race. Mike Shaw overtook Nikki Buchanan and Mike Dicker to take second place among the Solos but was unable to hold off Buchanan who took third.
The two RS 400s were first to cross the line but Jim Hailstone in his Laser Radial took second place on handicap, just eight seconds behind Hilgers.
Dell Quay SC welcome all to their open winter Frostbite handicap series starting on November 22. For further details visit www.dellquaysc.co.uk or email firstname.lastname@example.org