A brisk 15-knot breeze with tricky gusts to 25 greeted the 33 boats that hit the water to contest the fifth and sixth races in Chichester YC’s Frozen Toe series.
In the fast fleet, Arun’s Jack Holden and his crew in the their set out their stall early, challenging CYC’s Nick and Roger Elliman’s RS400 and keeping in touch on the water to claim the honours by two minutes on corrected time.
Newhaven and Seaford’s Jonty Freeman and Neil Arnott sailed a conservative race in their Merlin Rocket to secure third.
The start for the medium fleet was more frenetic with Fireball European champion Richard Anderton demonstrating he’s pretty handy in a Laser as well, establishing a lead over the rest of the fleet right out of the blocks which he then extended during the three laps of the trapezoid course.
Felpham’s Guy Mayger in his Solo was able to reduce this lead to just over two minutes on handicap to claim second over Emsworth’s Jonathan Bailey in his Laser.
A convenient windshift to the north allowed race officer Gideon Ewers to alter the geometry of the course between races and slick buoy re-laying work by the safety boat teams, who’d already had a busy morning in the rescue department, allowed the second race of the day to get away.
Once again Holden and the Ellimans made the running in the fast fleet with the latter having the edge until a capsize at the third mark during the second lap allowed the RS200 to establish a significant on-the-water lead.
Although the Ellimans closed the distance, breaking through at the final mark, the handicap deficit was too great – allowing Holden and crew to claim their second bullet of the day over Freeman and Arnott with the Ellimans relegated to third.
In the medium fleet, CYC’s Anderton again showed his class winning the start and extending his lead, although this time Lucy Boreham in her Europe made the running on handicap reducing Anderton’s lead to 36 seconds on corrected time with Nick and Biddy Colbourne hamstrung by gear failure taking third.
Only one competitor ventured out from the slow fleet but after a gallant effort in the increasing wind, Oliver Randall-May wisely decided that the clubhouse was better option.
Standings after six races: Fast fleet: 1 Nick & Roger Elliman (CYC); 2 Jonty Freeman & Neil Arnott (Newhaven & Seaford); 3 Gideon & Gilly Ewers (CYC). Medium: 1 Nick & Biddy Colbourne (CYC); 2 Ian Lissamore (CYC); 3 Guy Mayger (Felpham). Slow: 1 Izzy Loveridge (CYC); 2 Harriet Kirk (CYC); 3 Eliza South & Ed Jones (CYC).
With a heavy frost overnight and the air temperature initially close to zero, races three and four of the Dell Quay Sailing Club Frostbite Series lived up to its name.
An almost-total lack of wind before racing meant race officer Graham Dalton had to change the course just before the start to give contestants the best chance to find some breeze.
Fortunately the wind picked up for the start of race three and the sun came out to remove some of the bite from the frost.
The first beat was set towards Hook which gave racers the advantage of going along with the flooding tide. However, conditions were more difficult on the reach back down to Copperas West against the flooding tide and the light wind.
The light winds favoured the RS 400s, which were able to pick up more wind with their large spinnakers than the single-handers, giving Peter King and Jamie Pescott first place on handicap, followed by Bob Marshall and Neill Bryant in second.
Malcolm Buchanan came in third in his Solo followed by visiting sailors Nick and Biddy Colbourne from Chichester Yacht Club in their GP14.
For race four the wind picked up, providing a faster beat towards Hook despite the turning tide. On the reach back down harbour to Copperas West, the wind dropped and it was the boats which managed to avoid the wind holes that rounded the mark first.
The leading four Solos kept well together on the reach across to Crouchers and back to Hook but couldn’t quite hold back the visiting Colbourne crew, who took first place on handicap with Buchanan second and Carol Andrews (Solo) third.
Races five and six take place on Saturday, December 20 from 9.30am.