Dell Quay sailors rewarded - now club is in award hunt... Sophie's getting a new boat

Dell Quay Sailing Club's laying-up supper and prizegiving evening was very well attended, with a superb Mediterranean meal prepared by Roy Dyton.

Saturday, 22nd December 2018, 8:30 am
Updated Thursday, 10th January 2019, 10:32 am
Sophie Cuthbert of Felpham SC

Prizegiving was divided into three slots between the courses. The first set of prizes were awarded by Rear Commodore Sailing Giles Hall.

Mark Harper picked up the largest number of trophies – the Frostbite Trophy, Palmer Goblet, Fred Taylor Trophy, Fortune Trophy, Sam Burke Trophy and Martell Challenge Trophy.

Roger Puttock also amassed several prizes with the Alarm Clock, Barclay Egg and Single Handed trophies. The Williams Trophy went to Bill and Charlotte Dawber. The Munnery Award for tenacity throughout the racing season went to Roy Dyton.

Dell Quay instructors in Picos

A number of Dell Quay Ducks were also awarded, most notably to Fred Hilgers for not only starting a race with a large tear in his mainsail but for finishing it as well.

The second slot was dedicated to the junior racers and awards were presented by Club President Bill Greening. The Commodore’s Cup for best performance in the Junior Series went to Lou Dicker.

Other awards were: Thomsett Cup – Florence Ingram, President’s Junior Cup – Max Sydenham, Junior Challenge Cup – Adam Hall.

Prizewinners for the Victoria Model Yacht series were: Spring Series – Linda Bell, Summer Series – Simon Bell, Evening Series – Tim Applewhite.Principal race officer Mark Harper presented the final set of prizes. Top lady racer Sue Manning picked up the greatest number of awards with the Victor Cook, Mary Ross, Jack Lewis and Farwell trophies.

Other awards went to: Fred Hilgers – Market Cross Salver, Simon Verrall – Carriage Clock and Hitch Trophy, Mark Gardner – Bransbury Williams Trophy, John Purdy – Horace Gordon Trophy and Andrew Buchanan – All the Rest Race.

* Dell Quay Sailing Club are now running their winter Frostbite series which is open to all – visitors welcome. For further details contact [email protected] or visit

Dell Quay has been selected as the southern finalist for the RYA and Yachts & Yachting Club of the Year Award.

The club has also been recognised by judges for a special award for innovative and forward thinking.

Having got to this stage on merit, the club now needs to win the popular vote to become Club of the Year.

Commodore Sue Nash is hoping local people will help them by voting and getting friends and family to vote. Go to if you want to back them.RYA and Yachts & Yachting have joined forces to recognise the outstanding achievement of sailing clubs across the UK through the Club of the Year awards.

This annual award recognises and promotes the hard work which goes into making sailing clubs successful.

Dell Quay SC, now 93 years old, is proud to be a club run by members for members who are all volunteers, including the instructors. Over the past few years they have implemented a strategy for change, diversifying their offer from racing, as well as engaging volunteers through their ‘Spreading the Load’ campaign’.

This has resulted in other members taking responsibility for various things like an environmental tsar and a new buildings and grounds maintenance team, adding to a sense of community.

With all the current focus on the environment and particularly plastics in sea water, DQSC are working with partners, especially the Chichester Harbour Conservancy Education Centre, on various initiatives.

Their efforts have paid off and the club has flourished with increasing membership, a supportive volunteer community and increased participation opportunities on the water. They have refocused sailing in company through Fun Fridays, dinghy cruises, Victoria Model Boat Racing, Women on the Water and Blokes on Boats along with the usual racing and Cruiser Rallies.

Addressing membership trends and wider participation challenges, the club have been innovative in their approach to overcoming these obstacles. With their close-knit community at the heart of all club activity, this has been reflected in their membership options.

Noting increasing pressure on working families, grandparents are increasingly playing a part in activities with their grandchildren while their parents work, and in effect have become a new ‘family unit’. The club have introduced a multi-generational family membership.


Sophie Cuthbert from Felpham is one of 12 promising sailors and windsurfers from across the UK who have been awarded exclusive use of their own boat or windsurfing board for the next two years thanks to the John Merricks Sailing Trust (JMST) and RYA OnBoard partnership.

Since its launch in 2013, the partnership has supported youngsters who display enthusiasm, drive, talent and commitment to the sport but may not ordinarily have had the opportunity or financial backing to achieve their goals. In total, 76 boats and boards have been donated with some remarkable success stories.

Each year, at least one young sailor is awarded exclusive use of their own single-handed junior pathway boat or board. After two years the boat will pass to their club for other junior sailors and windsurfers to continue to benefit from in the future.

Sophie (11), who started sailing at Felpham Sailing Club two years ago, has been awarded an RS Tera dinghy.

She said: “The thing I love the most about sailing is that it gives me a sense of independence. When I am helming, I get the feeling of freedom and tranquillity. Knowing that I am in control, and I am responsible for my own choices and actions make me feel independent.

“Most of all I enjoy experiencing and sharing these feelings with my friends from the sailing club. We have formed a very special friendship, and built a trust all through sailing, one that we all cherish.

“I love sailing in the RS Tera and enjoy every minute when I am sailing. I’m still new, but have the ambition to develop and become a good racer. In the next two years I would like to win races, represent my club and progress to the next level in racing. Sailing is the number one passion for me now and I want to develop it so I can be one of the best at my club.”

Sophie’s dad Andrew added: “Sophie has already shown promise, coming sixth out of 27 in her first race at the West Sussex Schools and Youth Sailing (WSSYSA) Regatta. She has since been drawn into the world of RS Tera racing, in a new level of sailing that we did not know that she wanted to be part of until now.

“The enjoyment she gets from sailing, and the tranquillity it gives her, has made her a new person. This has also had an impact away from sailing, and she has been more comfortable settling in at her new high school.

“She aspires to become a much more proficient sailor and to compete at local and national events. This is supported by Felpham Sailing Club’s training principal, Roger Belton, who along with the other mentors have offered to coach Sophie to help achieve her full potential.”

Belton said: “Sophie regularly attends Friday Youth Night sailing and has also participated in Sail Training courses & Felpham Youth Regatta. Her success at the WSSYSA Regatta was the catalyst for her entering the RYA Regional Championship and she really enjoyed the experience.

“Sophie has consistently been an enthusiastic participant and has shown the commitment to training and becoming a skilled dinghy Racer. On behalf of our club I am happy say that we will help her to look after the Tera and then take ownership after two years. I will also offer mentoring on looking after the Tera, and advice on the RYA Pathways to progress in racing.”

RYA OnBoard operations officer Hannah Cockle said: “OnBoard is all about making it easier and cheaper to get more young people aged 8-18 out on the water more regularly and that is exactly what the JMST partnership helps us to achieve.

“It is such a thrill telling the sailors and their families that their applications have been successful, because we know what a difference getting a boat or board will make to their lives. For many it will be the difference between continuing in the sport and not, so we cannot thank JMST enough for continuing to support this programme.”

To learn more about RYA OnBoard visit

Felpham Sailing Club is an RYA recognised training centre, an RYA OnBoard centre and a British Youth Sailing recognised club. Visit