Sailors race for glory at Itchenor, Chichester, Felpham and Dell Quay

Close racing in the Optimist open at Chichester Yacht Club
Close racing in the Optimist open at Chichester Yacht Club

The Solent Sunbeam Class enjoyed the 31st running of the Chisholm Weekend at Itchenor Sailing Club.

The weekend is always one of the best-attended events in the Solent Sunbeam class and this year was no different, despite a cold stiff NW breeze, with 16 boats competing.

The Chisholm weekend comprises four races on Chichester Harbour, competing for the Chisholm Weekend Trophy in honour of Sir Henry Chisholm.

He was instrumental not only in growing the class at Itchenor in the 1960s and 1970s but also in restoring many boats and thus arguably rescuing the fleet from oblivion.

The weather got the better of the fleet on the Saturday. The class aimed to race two races, but only four completed the first race and with the wind gusting to 30 knots, the second race was abandoned.

On the Sunday, 14 boats started the 1st race in light airs with two short beats up to Star then down to East Head. Ollie Gilchrist in Sky led the way to the first mark, but when the fleet split on the run back down, the fleet that chose the east side of the run had the advantage of more wind.

This enabled Roger Wickens in Danny to move up to lead the fleet by the time she reached the leeward mark, followed closely by Alan Stannah in Spray and Mike Weston in Jabberwocky. After a second lap these positions remained unchanged.

In the second race, Roger Wickens in Danny led at the first mark, followed closely by Mike Weston in Jabberwocky and Richard Pearson in Penny. Penny unfortunately hit the mark and had to do a penalty turn.

Tim Hill in Query moved into second place and third place was closely fought with Jabberwocky pipping Nick Leach in Polly for third place.

Overall, Roger Wickens in Danny won the Henry Chisholm trophy having sailed a consistent series with three firsts.

Overall results: 1 V26 Danny - Roger Wickens, Tim Martell, Jacky Wickens; 2 V25 Query – Tim Hill, Jacqui Evans, Jenny Yeates; 3 V66 Molly – Richard Stephens, Tina Webster, Henry Dembinski.

New Dell Quay event is a winner

Eighteen competitors in main fleet braved the strong and gusty wind at Chichester Yacht Club for the Rooster Optimist Southern Traveller Series open.

Race Officer Derek Jackman set a trapezoid course for the main open fleet, which gave the opportunity for some exciting downwind sailing but was hard work up the beats for all the sailors.

Sam Watson from Emsworth Slipper SC showed his mastery of the conditions by winning all three races but his brother Luke chased him hard, finishing second. Hazel Jones of Hayling Island SC and Edith Ingram of Dell Quay SC also sailed well with Ingram just taking second in the last race to take third overall with Jones fourth on discard.

Lower down the fleet Florence Ingram, also DQSC, and Lucy Owen of Chichester YC showed a steady improvement in spite of the windy conditions, finishing 12th and 14th overall. Ethan Hill was first CYC boat in seventh place with Effie Grant ninth.

For the less experienced sailors, the Rooster Regatta Fleet series event provided opportunities for the 30 competitors to develop their racing skills.

The wind strength was a real challenge for them with winds up to 25 knots but they coped with the conditions with great courage and tenacity.

In the first race, Tom Saunders from Warsash SC led the first lap but clubmate Tom Peace recovered from seventh after a poor start to take the lead in the second lap.

There was quite a battle for the lead during the third lap between Ella Cumming also from Warsash, Peace and Finnlea Leigh-Anderson from Christchurch SC. Peace won, Cumming was second and Leigh-Anderson third.

In the second race Joe Armstrong Roland of Royal Southern YC started well and maintained superior boat speed on all legs of the course to build a substantial lead through the first two laps.

However, a period of strong wind put him in difficulties on the third beat and Peace came through to win again. Barney Bromilow from Parkstone YC was second, after his fourth in the first race, followed by Saunders at the finish.

Overall, Peace won with Bromilow second and Saunders third. The tie on points between Saunders and Leigh-Anderson was settled by the results in the last race.

Jake Teece of CYC sailed consistently well to finish fourth.


With Felpham Sailing Club star Guy Mayger away in Holland sailing his Solo to second overall in the Solo Spring Cup, two club trophies were up for grabs.

The day started with the Golden Jubilee Cup – two races back to back - and there were 26 boats up for the challenge.

The RS600 of Tim Cutsforth sprinted away with the Lark of Martin and Connor Gillam not far behind, along with a few Blazes. Richard Bentley (Aero 7) split the Blazes but couldn’t make any ground on the Lark.

Chris Bull (Laser) was always threatening and had a fantastic final beat.

The first cadet was Alfie Lester (Laser Radial) who put in a storming performance to finish sixth in the first race.

When the second race got under way, the Lark was towards the front but behind the RS600 and the Blaze of Richard Ganley.

Not far behind these three was the Supernova (James Gerwat).

At the windward mark the Supernova was ahead of the Blaze and on the transom of the Lark, the RS 600 was a long way ahead but not enough, once the handicaps were applied.

New addition to 96-year-old fleet
The Lark managed to pull away from the Supernova to win the race by five seconds on corrected time; two bullets and a trophy to the Lark.

First cadet was Josh James (Topper) followed by Alfie Lester (Laser Radial)

Golden Jubilee Cup results: 1 Martin & Connor Gillam; 2 Richard Bentley; 3 James Gerwat. 1st Cadet: Alfie Lester; 1st Lady: Paula Bentley.

In the afternoon, seven boats took part in the Wannop & Falconer pursuit race.

Josh James (Topper) kept the faster boats at bay for two laps but slowly they overhauled him.

The Supernova (James Gerwat) was first past the Topper and set off with the two Aero 7s (Richard Bentley and Jack Miller) on his tail.

With ten minutes to go, the wind dropped again and the Supernova pulled away – on to the final beat with a one-minute advantage over the chasing Aero 7 (Bentley).

The Aero 7 mastered the shifts but the Supernova managed to stay ahead.

Wannop & Falconer Results: 1 James Gerwat; 2 Richard Bentley; 3 Richard Ganley; 1st Cadet: Josh James.


A cold but useful ten-knot wind from the north west greeted regular Dell Quay Sailing Club sailors for their third Evening series race of the season.

Carol Andrews with her brand new Winder Solo is enjoying her racing and was well in the mix again, finishing as third Solo and fourth on handicap.

New member Tim Boon, in his Laser Radial, finished only 18 seconds on corrected time behind winner Mark Harper in another new Solo.

Father and son Greg and Lawrence Kies, getting to grips with their newly acquired RS400, will be the RS400 team to watch in the future. Dave Maltby (Solo), after an indifferent start by his standards, made up ground and finished third on handicap.

Meanwhile DQSC Solo sailor Simon Verrall was flying the flag for DQSC at the Hayling Island SC Solo Open meeting at the weekend and came back with a large bottle of gin as a prize.