Club offer wonderful chance to sail a Swallow

A Swallow in all its glory Picture by Mary Pudney
A Swallow in all its glory Picture by Mary Pudney

For many the chance to sail a classic boat is only a dream. Now the dream can come true as visiting sailors being are offered the opportunity to borrow a Swallow class racing keel boat for a day at Itchenor Sailing Club.

The Swallow was designed for the 1948 Olympics and has been raced successfully ever since. There are more than 30 Swallows based at Itchenor where racing is enjoyed each weekend of the season. Swallows have raced as a class at Cowes every year since their introduction.

The loan initiative is being sponsored by the national Swallow class in conjunction with the Itchenor class. They want to encourage new sailors to experience the thrill of sailing one of these classics in the beautiful surroundings of Chichester Harbour.

Itchenor Sailing Club has access to the water at all states of the tide.

‘Svala’, Swallow number 89, will be available throughout the year on a daily basis to reveal the Swallow racing experience. There is a tradition that Swallows are named after birds and the name ‘Svala’ means Swallow in Swedish.

A Swedish phrasebook is not required but a contribution of £50 a day towards the year’s running costs is requested.

Individuals or groups are welcome to contact Mike Wigmore at the club ( to arrange their day on the water. They will also be guests of the club so will also be able to sample the full range of on-shore facilities at the unique listed clubhouse.

See Itcehnor’s Setting Sail column – in the Observer this week (April 30)


A frisky westerly and bright sunshine greeted 18 boats that ventured out for the second weekend’s racing in Chichester Yacht Club’s First Breath series.

Another element for competitors was the height of the tide at just 4.1m meant that there are a number of new furrows carved on the Monkey.

In the fast fleet Nick and Roger Elliman in their RS400 set up a commanding lead on the water over the remainder of the fleet – challenged only in the early stages by Andy Conway in his RS100, though a couple of swims put paid to his challenge.

After a poor first beat, Matti Ponsford and Olivia Winther in their 29er burst out of the pack in a high-speed purple blur to take second on the water. However these heroics were not enough to save time on the 2000s with Pete and Suzy Harrison pushing the Ellimans and LYD into second and third on corrected time.

In the medium fleet, Ian Payne took line honours in his Laser but was relegated to second on corrected time behind Antony Osman’s Solo leaving Mark Harper to take third.

In the fast fleet, the Ellimans and LYD carried out a horizon job on the reminder of the fleet and this time the Ellimans’ eight-minute lead was enough to retain honours on corrected time over the Harrisons with Chris Hodge and Laurie Winther taking third.

In the mediums Andy Palmer-Felgate took line honours in his Laser with Ian Payne following, only to be relegated to second behind Osman on corrected time. Mark Harper demonstrated that consistency does count, claiming another third – good enough to retain the series lead.

Standings (after four races): Fast/Modern Fleet: 1 Pete & Suzy Harrison (2000); 2 Andy Conway (RS100); 3 Nick & Roger Elliman (RS400).

Classic/medium fleet: 1 Mark Harper (Solo); 2 Roger Millet (Solo); 3 Ian Payne (Laser).