Felpham Sailing Club has been recognised as a finalist for the prestigious 2019 RYA and Yachts & Yachting Club of the Year award.
Voting is now open for the annual award, supported by Gallagher, which recognises the outstanding achievement of sailing clubs across the UK, promoting the hard work and dedication that goes into running a successful club.
Felpham SC is one of 11 finalists from across the UK selected by the RYA awards panel.
The club is an excellent sea sailing venue with a sandy beach. It is a small, family-oriented dinghy sailing club with a strong racing pedigree.
It also caters for windsurfers, has very active training centre, a busy social programme and a commitment to contributing to village life. The club were founded in 1958 and the current clubhouse officially opened in 1973. In 2018 the club ran more than 180 dinghy races and 860 student days of training.
In recent years the club has been extensively refurbished and this year a new balcony has been added to the front of the clubhouse. In addition, the club has a fleet of 20 dinghies used for training both young sailors and adults. This year 8 new RS Tera sailing dinghies have been added to the training fleet.
Commodore David Rowe said: “I’m extremely proud that Felpham Sailing Club has been selected as a finalist in the RYA Club of the Year Awards.
“We all know how great our little club is – and how we manage to do what we do through voluntary help is nothing short of amazing.
“It’s down to everyone who helps pick up glasses, pull boats up the beach, fixes a leaking tap, buys fuel for the safety boats, pumps up the marks, goes out racing, supports our social events, bakes cakes… the list is endless.
“Now we’d like to ask our local community to help us a little bit. All the finalist clubs have now been put through to a public vote so this is where we need you to give us a little extra push towards the finish line and vote for Felpham.
“Please visit http://awards.yachtsandyachting.co.uk/felpham-sailing-club/ and vote for your local club!”
RYA programmes manager Michelle Gent said: “We’re delighted to announce the 2019 finalists of the RYA and Yachts & Yachting Club of the Year Award supported by Gallagher.
“It’s a privilege to be able to reward clubs and their volunteers for all their hard work and it has been truly inspirational to hear about all the exciting initiatives taking place in our clubs.
“I’m looking forward to meeting all of the finalists at the RYA Dinghy Show and would encourage the public to get voting.”
Georgie Corlett-Pitt, editor of Yachts & Yachting added: “We’re very pleased to have, once again, received such a high calibre of entries. The nominations allow us an insight into some exceptional initiatives underpinning the grassroots of our sport and we look forward to recognising and rewarding the overall winners.
“It’s certainly a tough competition, but now it’s over to the public to decide.”
Awards will be presented and the overall winner announced at the RYA Dinghy Show on Saturday, March 2.
To find out more about the finalists and to cast your vote, visit the online voting page. For more information about Club of the Year visit www.rya.org.uk/go/cluboftheyear. Voting closes on Monday, January 28.
Felpham SC is an RYA British Youth Sailing Recognised Club, an RYA Training Centre and an RYA OnBoard Club. To find out more visit felphamsailingclub.co.uk
The final day of this year’s Frozen Toe series was forecast to have strong winds reducing through the day. In the end, the morning’s wind was lighter than feared but enough for an exciting sail.
Race officer Martin Orton, assisted by members of the CYC Solo and Laser Fleets, laid a trapezium course with the committee boat close to the marina.
In series race five, the fast fleet were quickly up the beat and launching spinnakers on the reach. There were a number of early capsizes as the helms struggled with the gusts.
The RS400 sailed by Steve and Sarah Cockerill was especially quick on the downwind legs, and with some spectacular gybes, they built a lead over the chasing Merlins.
On the last lap, they suffered a catastrophic failure, when their mast broke in two just above the spreaders. Impressively, they managed to control the boat and sail it back into the beach with a safety boat flanking them.
The race was won by Tim Saxton and Holly Scott from Itchenor SC.
In race six, the fleet was further reduced and only four boats finished, with another Merlin from Itchenor taking the prize sailed by Neale Jones and Isabel Fitzgerald.
Dell Quay’s Martin Jones took second in the final race.
In the medium fleet there was some impressive sailing and more than a few capsizes, including on one downwind run a gust caused a Devoti D-Zero to pitch-poll (the sailing equivalent of a forward summersault).
At the end Felpham’s Liam Vass had taken both races in his Aero7. In the first race Ian and Sarah Yardley took second in their 2000.
The slow fleet was reduced to two boats, who battled their way around a slightly smaller triangle course. Felpham’s Alfie Lester took both races, followed by CYC’s Ollie Randall-May.
After the races were completed, and the sailors had recovered with mulled wine and mince pies, CYC rear-commodore Alastair Jenkin conducted the prizegiving.
In the slow fleet, first place went to Alfie Lester, followed by Ollie Randall-May and in third place Charlie Gran.
In the medium fleet, in which 27 competitors had taken part in the series, the winners were Iain and Sarah Yardley, followed by Liam Vass. Third was Toby Schofield. The highest-placed CYC sailor was Ian Payne in fourth place.
In the fast fleet, the Cockerills took the series despite breakages on the final day, followed by Jack Holden and Tom Harrison in thier Merlin. Third were Neale Jones and Isabel Fitzgerald.
The Yardleys from Silver Wings SC were overall Frozen Toe champions and CYC Award winners for 2018.