Once again the weather gods dished up a race officer’s headache with the forecast wind failing to appear for the 30 sailors who’d made the trip to Chichester Yacht Club’s Laser Open.
It was the final leg of this year’s Laser South Coast Grand Prix with racing for Standard, Radial and 4.7 Lasers. Prize for the furthest club represented, went to the Musket Cove Yacht Club which is in Fiji.
Eventually race chief Derek Jackman got the fleets away on the first of a scheduled three races.
In the standard fleet Lymington’s Nik Froud and Ritchie Bailey from the Fiji club established a lead early in the first beat and were left to trade punches for the next two and a half laps before Froud pulled away from Bailey with Fireball ace Richard Anderton taking third.
In the Radials, the racing was tighter and Josh Bakker claimed first over Rob Beere and Tim Boon. In the 4.7s David Perez-Perez from Arun demonstrated amazing speed to claim first over Felpham’s Owen Aldous.
On to race two and in the Standards, Bailey and Froud succumbed to a challenge from Anderton, who led round the top mark only to chuck it away, leaving the door open for Bailey and Froud, who finished in that order.
Anderton was scored OCS at the start, allowing Nick Forster to claim third.
Racing in the Radial fleet remained tight with the entire fleet never separated by more than a minute. At the line Boon and Bakker had swopped places with Beere remaining second.
In the 4.7s, Perez-Perez once again dominated to the extent he was ahead of the back-marking Radials, taking first to ensure his victory.
Jackman had concerns about depth at the bottom end of the course and decided to call the meeting after two races. The final results for the Standards required a tie-break between Bailey and Froud, with the former taking the spoils, and a three-way tie in the Radials between Baaker, Beere and Boon with the second race win in the second enough to seal it for CYC’s Boon.
Results: Laser Standard: 1st Richard Bailey (Musket Cove YC); 2nd Joe Froud (Lymington Town SC); 3rd Nick Forster (UMSC); Laser Radial: 1st Tim Boon (Chichester YC); 2nd Josh Bakker (Hayling Island SC); 3rd Rob Beere (Frensham Pond SC); Laser 4.7: 1st David Perez-Perez (Arun YC); 2nd Owen Aldous (Felpham SC).
A good turnout from both the Solo and Handicap fleets made for competitive racing in the final two races of the Dell Quay Late Trophy series.
Conditions were dry for most of the racing, but the expected rain showers arrived during the second race.
Race officer Frank Wilson set a course with a short beat up the Fishbourne channel to the Hook racing mark, followed by a long reach/run down to the Marina mark. The Solo fleet had a good start in the first race and kept well together, with much jostling for position at the Marina and Bowling marks.
The congestion at Bowling mark on the first lap left Andrew Horne unable to avoid a collision with Mike Shaw andhe was obliged to take a 720-degree penalty turn which left him trailing well behind. Consistent sailing by Solo veteran Gordon Barclay earned him first place, with Malcolm Buchanan second and Chris Wylam third.
The fleet kept together again in the second race with the first three places unchanged from race one. Solo Late Trophy overall series winner is Bill Dawber, with Gordon Barclay second and Malcolm Buchanan third.
In the handicap fleet, racing was less consistent with performances varying significantly between the two races. Phoebe Noble (Laser Radial) won the first race and took third place in race two.
Jean and Liz Sagues (Lymington Scow) came second in race one, with Sue Manning (Laser 4.7) third. Andrew Buchanan (Finn) took first place in race two with Helen Dignum (Streaker) second.
Handicap fleet series winners are the Sagues’, with Phoebe Noble second and Tom Bettle (Topper) third.
Dell Quay start their winter Frostbite handicap series on November 22. This is open to all visiting sailors and clubs. For details, visit www.dellquaysc.co.uk
The Swallow fleet at Itchenor are hosting a special open day this Sunday for guests to experience small keelboat racing at its best.
Swallows are a 26ft one-design racing keelboat sailed by three people. They feature large spinnakers which make them ‘plane’ downwind; an experience quite different from most other racing keelboats in Chichester Harbour.
Mike Wigmore, the new Swallow class captain at Itchenor, said: “The aim of this Sunday’s open event is to introduce new recruits and we are particularly looking to welcome people who are already competent sailors and are on the point of taking their first step out of dinghies and into keelboats.
“This is an informal day that will give people an opportunity to meet the Swallow class, see what it’s all about and be amazed at how much fun it can be.”
Swallows are kept on moorings in the Itchenor reach and race in the harbour at weekends. Recognisable by the S on their sail, a fleet of up to 30 boats at Itchenor enjoy fast, dynamic and very close racing from April to October. The Swallows also race in open water during Cowes Week and in their annual national championships.
“We are keen to attract new sailors from other clubs and classes into our fleet,” explained Mike.
“Opportunities are available to race Swallows with us next season and to enjoy the friendly and sociable après sail atmosphere. We also have boats to charter for a season, boats for sale and existing syndicates to sail with. There really is an opportunity for anyone to get involved in sailing with our friendly fleet.”
If you are interested in sailing with the Swallows this Sunday or at an open event next season, contact Christine Graves in advance on 01243 574087 or 07884 185302 or email firstname.lastname@example.org