Setting Sail: We’re enjoying magical days at Itchenor

The team at Itchenor SC / Picture by Kate Shemilt
The team at Itchenor SC / Picture by Kate Shemilt

Over the past month we experienced a wide variety of weather conditions including a number of magical days in the beautiful surroundings of Chichester Harbour – bright sun, a few fluffy clouds and sparkling waters, writes Chris Blevins, rear commodore sailing at Itchenor Sailing Club.

May Day weekend saw more than 50 of our classic keel boats competing over three days. Evening racing continues to be popular with the XODs joined by the Swallows on Wednesdays. Sunbeams have now started their midweek series on Thursday evenings.

You can watch these evening races aboard Chichester Harbour Conservancy’s solar boat – tonight for Sunbeams and June 10 for the XODs and Swallows. Solar boat cruises should be booked on 01243 513275.

We are proud of our young team racing squad who entered the Wilson Cup competition at West Kirby. They reached the last eight of the 32 entrants only to be beaten in the quarter-final by the eventual winners from the host club. This was valuable preparation for the UK team racing championships later in the year.

Looking ahead over the next month, our diary is packed with exciting events at the club. Over this weekend’s bank holiday all of our ten keel boat and dinghy classes have races programmed including one of the Swallow’s premier events for the Norman Moore Trophy and out of harbour navigation races for the XODs and Sunbeams.

We welcome visiting competitors to open meetings for RS200s on June 6-7 and Mirrors on June 20-21. Some 60 of our keel boats will be racing during Itchenor Points Week starting June 18. Midday high tides will ensure the fleets can enjoy the full scope of the harbour.

We are proud of our young team racing squad who entered the Wilson Cup competition at West Kirby. They reached the last eight of the 32 entrants only to be beaten in the quarter-final by the eventual winners from the host club.

Since 1953 Itchenor Sailing Club have hosted the National Schools Championships. Schools from across the United Kingdom and abroad – last year’s winner were from Florida – come to compete and make new friends. Teams will assemble this year from June 22.

We opened our doors to visitors on Sunday as part of the RYAs Push the Boat Out programme. Scores of potential new members came to check us out and experience life on and off the water at Itchenor.

The previous Sunday, the Swallows held an invitation event and entertained 16 guests in members’ boats for two races. While these were dedicated events for visitors, every weekend and midweek evening is open day at Itchenor.

Do you want to be a Talking Sport columnist for the Chichester Observer and this website? Email steve.bone@chiobserver.co.uk

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