Schools week is about sailing - and so much more

Schools Week action thrilled all at Itchenor / Picture by Jessica Marsh
Schools Week action thrilled all at Itchenor / Picture by Jessica Marsh
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The bare statistics of 314 competitors from 54 schools competing at Itchenor Sailing Club last week does not nearly tell the story of close and competitive sailing, fun on the water and new friends made.

It began with the Feva regatta in which more than 100 boats entered. The Feva is ideal for children aged 13 and below. It is easily handled yet offers excitement.

The Jameson brothers, Henry and Rupert, representing Hayling College, took the winning gun in the first two races and second place in the third.

Last year’s winners Louis Johnson and Henry Chandler from Portsmouth Grammar School were second across the line in the first two races but were disqualified in the second for a starting infringement. They finished 11th.

Ditcham Park School pair Fin Dickinson and Tom Gorringe took the honours in the third race. Caught out by the tricky wind and tidal conditions of Chichester Harbour, the Norwich School crew of William Pank and Finlay Campbell were only 73rd in the first race. But in the second and third races they were second and a fourth.

In the first race of day two, Sevenoaks School’s Will Caiger and Tom Baulkwill were first, with Portsmouth Grammar boats second and third sailed by Freddy Wood with Ollie Jameson and Robbie McDonald and Emma Wells.

The week ended with awards presented and friendships made... and promises to return next year.

In the final two races, the Norwich team of Pank and Campbell won both and the title.

But it was a close run thing... Henry and Rupert Jameson ohad only to score third or better to take the honours. They were fourth in the final race and had to settle for second overall. Dickinson and Gorringe of Ditcham Park were third in the final reckonings.

The Fevas gave way to the Firefly and International 420 regattas on Thursday and Friday for the 14 and overs.

On Thursday six Firefly races were completed. The team to beat were from Sherborne School, Ben Childerley and Ollie Croft. They took first place in four of Thursday’s races.

Winchester College’s Miles Jones and Tiger Tellwright did their best with two seconds, a third and a fourth but were second at the day’s end.

Charles Elliott and Joseph Bradley from Portsmouth Grammar showed consistency in tricky conditions to lie third.

On Friday one race was run before the wind died to end hopes of further racing. Childerley and Croft won the race with Elliott and Bradley second but the result did not alter the overnight positions.

The International 420 fleet were treated to short-course racing. A mini-series of races for random pairings of boats was cancelled on practice day so ran the next morning.

At the end of 11 races, the clear winners were Toby Bennett and Charlie Spragg from Radley College. The official 420 regatta was held on Thursday afternoon and Friday morning, which saw Bennett and Spragg pushed into second overall by Emily Turner and Trinity Kershaw from St Catherine’s School, who won five of the seven races.

The week ended with awards presented and friendships and promises to return next year.

Long-term supporters of Itchenor Sailing Club, JDX Consulting and MPI Brokers, sponsored this year’s event.

CHICHESTER

The CYC regatta had the benefit of a fresh 15-20 knot wind and race officer Peter Harrison sent the fast and medium fleets down the harbour on one course while the slow fleet had three races in the lake area.

The slow fleet were boosted by travelling toppers from the WSSYSA travellers. The CYC Topper racers had an excellent afternoon, with Oliver Randall-May winning two races and Thomas Lawson winning one and coming second in the other two races.

The fast and medium fleets were in a hunt for SW Pilsey, a small racing mark close to Hayling Island.

The wind and waves at the harbour entrance made for exciting reaching on the return leg. The fast fleet was won by Nick and Roger Elliman in their RS400, who finished three minutes ahead of Tony Purser in his RS600.

In the medium fleet, CYC’s Mike and Paula Olliff had a close race with DQSC’s Graham and Lucy Dalton, with the Dell Quay pair winning in the end.

Race results are available at cyc.co.uk

It was great to see the Itchenor keelboats make their traditional journey up the harbour to compete in CYC’s regatta. The Sunbeam class was won by Roger Foster Wickens, Tim Martell and Jacky Wickens.

The Swallow class was won by Carolyn Brigg, Christine Graves and Rufus Turner and the XODs were won by Peter Lawrence, John Tremlett and Tasha Lawrence.

ROUND THE ISLAND

The yacht Cherete again had a great result in the Round the Island race, one of the largest yacht races in the world.

Competing against 650 boats, Cherete achieved second place overall, first in class and first in division.

She was crewed by owner and skipper Brian Haugh, who is from the Chichester area, brother-in-law Roger Sparrow and son Morgan Sparrow and fellow yachtsman Julian Hawe.

Conditions were ideal, with one port tack all the way from the start line to The Needles, then a spinnaker run to St Catherine’s Point and some mud-hopping from Bembridge to Wooton Creek, tacking all the way to the finish.

They completed the course in nine hours and 21 minutes – not bad for an Alan Buchanan East Anglian Mk1 1957 classic wooden yacht.

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