Itchenor regatta is a sure sign summer is here

The skies were blue for Itchenor's regatta / Picture by Chris Hatton
The skies were blue for Itchenor's regatta / Picture by Chris Hatton

Itchenor Sailing Club held their annual regatta in bright sunshine, but with a light and variable southerly breeze.

Thirteen different classes, ranging from keelboats to fast and slower dinghies and junior dinghy classes were started from two separate start boats to race around the harbour.

This year the fleets were joined by Redwing keelboats from Bembridge Sailing Club on the Isle of White, and the dayboat classes from Bosham Sailing Club. In addition, at the same time the Club’s International 14 performance dinghy class hosted their Centenary Cup where the combined age of the crew of two had to total 100 years or more.

Representatives from all over the World were present for the race and evening celebrations. The variable winds kept the race management teams on their toes changing courses to meet the changes in wind direction. In turn the crews had to be adaptable to the fickle conditions.

In all 91 boats took part in the racing, while 20 volunteer members of the Club provided the support teams needed to run the event. The Sunbeams were the single largest fleet with 15 boats competing.

At the head of the fleet was Becky Wickens with father and son, Ollie and Harry Gilchrist. Becky’s parents, Jacky and Roger, were second with Tim Hill as guest crew. It was a family affair too in other fleets. The Bullocks were well represented with George second in the Mirrors with Henry Jones, big sister Alice crewed Monty Heath in the second placed 420 and mum and dad, Millie and Richard were third in the XODs. Lucy Fox won the Mirrors with father Chris.

The Regatta finished with tea and prize giving on the lawn at Itchenor Sailing Club, well attended by all the competitors from the various different clubs.