The Tyger Trophy - postponed in June because of bad weather - was finally held at Felpham Sailing Club.
It is run as a pursuit race, which means the slower boats start first and the faster ones are released in a sequence depending upon their handicap figure.
This means that, if all boats were sailed equally well, they should finish at the same time.
The weather was a decent force three with a light sea and sunshine, at least at the start.
Tony Lord in his Solo was first away with Peter Van Dyke in his Byte second. However he had problems with his rigging and had to retire after two laps.
Next away was Callum Aldous in his Laser Radial and so it continued through to Peter Jones in his speedy Halo, last away.
The second beat was the critical leg. Those who stayed out to sea benefitted far more than those who chose the more conservative line of tacking up nearer the centre of the course.
Lord was one of the unfortunate ones, losing out badly. Mark Philips in his Blaze did very well, holding off Jones for a large part of the race but Jones ending the eventual winner.
As the hour mark and finish approached, all the boats had established clear positions, apart from James Gerwat in his Laser, who was chasing down Lord.
At the top of the beat Lord rounded the mark holding the narrow lead of a couple of boat lengths. Off he went down the run with a following swell offering the occasional opportunity for a tug of the sail to promote a bit of surfing.
Gerwat attempted to blanket Lord’s wind and slowly, slowly catch him. The committee boat pulled alongside and counted down the last minute as the two boats closed and then ran alongside until, with only a second to go, Gerwat claimed fifth place by the thickness of his boat’s gelcoat.
It was an exciting end to a great day’s sailing.
Results: 1 Peter Jones (Halo), 2 Mark Philips (Blaze), 3 Paul Hemsley (Blaze).
The first two races of Chichester YC’s Birdham Barrel series took place on a warm and sunny day but with a light and tricky breeze. The pleasant weather brought an excellent turn out.
Race one was shortened to two laps because of the light breeze. The leading boats were becalmed at Lake mark, where there was almost no wind, which allowed the following boats to catch up.
The Laser 4000 of Will King and Richard Kershaw had a tight race at the front of the fleet with the RS 400 of Nick and Roger Elliman, with only a few seconds separating them on the finish line.
The handicap effect pushed them well down the fleet, while the classic boats took the top places.
First were Nick and Biddy Colbourne (GP14), second was Richard Smale (Streaker), third Ian Lissamore (Solo).
In race two there was more of the same fluky light wind. The wind veered to the east, making the beat one sided. The wind was even lighter at Lake, which resembled a mill pond, and the boats struggled to get round the course.
Race officer Jim Sullivan sensibly shortened the race to one lap.
Again it was close - again the Classic boats won on handicap.
First was Lissamore, ahead of Ron Green (Solo) and the Colbournes.
The slow fleet was quite small with such light winds they found the conditions very tricky. Hannah Thompson won race one and was joined by Charlotte Reading in race two, but Thompson again took first spot.