Setting Sail: Glad to be back on water and attracting new sailors

Merlins will be a regular sight at Itchenor SC
Merlins will be a regular sight at Itchenor SC

The weekend just gone marked the start of the formal racing season at Itchenor Sailing Club after what seemed a long and often stormy winter break.

The off-season has however been far from quiet. The RS200 fleet, now joined by the new Merlin Rocket class, have held three weekends of winter warmers where two days of full-on back to back quality racing accompany a good social event on the Saturday night.

These events draw in our keen younger sailors and are open to all owners creating a great atmosphere in the club.

Our event in March was recognised as part of the Silver Tiller, the national travellers series for this prestigious class, so that was a feather in the cap for the club in our first year with this class.

New projects mean club is on crest of wave
Deadline approaches for Round the Island entries
The rowing section has organised outings for one boat, and on some days two boats, throughout the winter and training continues apace. New for this year will be a fleet of club Optimists so juniors as young as eight, who perhaps don’t have sailing parents, can learn to sail from scratch. Watch this space for more details or contact the ISC club office.

Our facilities have otherwise been well used holding training weekends for visiting dinghy classes. The Cadet class visited us from their strongholds towards the east coast to enjoy well organised tidal sailing in a protected area.

Off the water the social programme attracts members to visit the club in the winter for general interest talks and events or just to be by the water. Robin Pascal’s recent talk on harbour migratory birds was an eye opener to us racing sailors who usually pass them by concentrating on our sailing.

The coming season bodes well for all of the established classes. Racing is organised every weekend along with the prospect of Points Week and our junior and schools events. We look forward to big fleets and warm sunshine.

* Mike Wigmore is rear commodore sailing, ISC - read his monthly column in the Observer and this website throughout the season