Lasers make light work it at Chichester - Toppers have top time at Bosham

Chichester Yacht Club's Laser open / Picture by Chris Hatton
Chichester Yacht Club's Laser open / Picture by Chris Hatton

After gales on Friday and with high winds forecast for Sunday, Saturday brought a lull in conditions for the Chichester Yacht Club Laser Open.

Unfortunately it also brought a damp mist and minimal wind. Some keen Laser sailors made their way to CYC hoping for sailable conditions including a small contingent from the Isle of Wight.

The Topper open at Bosham

The Topper open at Bosham

This was also the final race of the Laser South Coast Grand Prix Series. After a postponement for about an hour with no wind, enough wind filled in from the south to run some racing, despite very light and fluky conditions.

Racing was run in two Fleets, Laser Standard and Laser Radial. Two races were completed.

In the Standard fleet both races were won by Charlie South (Emsworth/Stokes Bay SC) who, despite being just 15, beat many older experienced sailors. South won the Standard Fleet and the Chichester YC Laser Open Salver. Second was Duncan Lawson (WWSC) and third Charles Porter (CYC).

In the Radial Fleet, racing was dominated by the women. Race one was won by Sophie Kirk (CYC) and race two by Ellie Hutchings (CYC). This gave the win to Hutchings, with Kirk second and Sam Steward (Brading Haven SC) third.

South also won the South Coast Grand Prix, second was Simon Radford and third Richard Bradshaw.

After racing the sailors retired to CYC clubhouse enjoying an excellent regatta tea, arriving ashore shortly before the heavy rain.

BOSHAM

Topper sailors from around the south gathered at Bosham Sailing Club for the annual Topper Open.

Glorious sunshine and plentiful wind made for exciting and challenging conditions, producing some superb boat handling and racing by the 40 competitors.

The children and teenagers spent nearly four hours afloat, completing four races in Chichester Harbour. On display were high level competitive racing skills, as well as sheer grit, determination and perseverance.

Not many boats survived the day without a capsize, but invariably the sailor had the boat upright and under way within seconds, and with a smile on their face.

The day was rounded off with a competitors’ tea, followed by prizegiving. Some departed with silverware, but all agreed it had been a great event.

One parent said: “This is our favourite Topper fixture of the year. Apart from the stunning scenery, our children always remark how welcoming and encouraging the Bosham organisers are. They genuinely seem pleased to host us.”

Bosham SC welcome children and teenagers of all sailing abilities from complete novice to those already racing. They run courses for beginners all the way up to advanced racing. The main cadet fleets are Optimist, Toppers, Fevas, 420s and Lasers. Information about the club, including membership, can be found at www.boshamsailingclub.co.uk