Early start has alarm bells ringing for Chichester sailors

Frozen Toe action at Chichester YC / Picture by Isabella Mapstone
Frozen Toe action at Chichester YC / Picture by Isabella Mapstone

With many of the Chichester Yacht Club competitors still recovering from the previous night’s annual prizegiving dinner, the early tide forced the competitors to set unwelcome alarm clocks so they could arrive in time for the 8.30am briefing.

Race officer Nick Colbourne explained that the three fleets would be sailing a trapezium course with the committee boat beside Birdham Marina and a beat to the north towards Copperas.

Frozen Toe action at Chichester YC / Picture by Isabella Mapstone

Frozen Toe action at Chichester YC / Picture by Isabella Mapstone

After the high winds and torrential rain of previous days, Sunday brought a beautiful bright morning with wind in the 12-18-knot range, perfect for the start of the winter series.

In the fast fleet 16 boats competed, with Steve and Sarah Cockerill starting the 2019 series with a clean sweep of two wins. In race one they were followed by a two-boat tie between a Merlin sailed by Tim Saxton and Holly Scott and an RS400 sailed by Jack Holden and Mark Oakley, with both boats sharing the points.

In race two, Tim and Holly managed to hold the gap between them and the RS400 so that they could claim second place after the handicap was applied.

The Medium fleet was well attended with 17 boats from Felpham, CYC, Itchenor, Dell Quay and Silver Wing SC.

Frozen Toe action at Chichester YC / Picture by Isabella Mapstone

Frozen Toe action at Chichester YC / Picture by Isabella Mapstone

In race one, there was a tie for first place between the 2000 of Iain and Sarah Yardley and the Supernova sailed by James Gerwat. The Supernova was fastest around the course, but its superior handicap resulted in the slightly slower 2000 having the same corrected time.

In race two the Yardleys built a win by over a minute from the Aero 7 sailed by Richard Bentley.

It was very encouraging to see a healthy slow fleet racing, with nine boats enjoying the bright conditions.

In race one, Thomas Machell won sailing his Topper, followed by a pair of Mirrors. Effie Grant, helming with mum Sarah, managed to hold off Bas Bush helming with dad Clive.

In race two Chester Banton in his Topper won with Zak Smith second and Thomas Machell third.

The next Frozen Toe races at Chichester YC are this Sunday, November 17, and all dinghies are welcome to join in this open event. Registration will be in the sloop from 10.45am, with the first start at 12.45pm.