Autumn can’t stop Chichester sailors ... Bognor club ramp it up

Work continues on the new ramp at Bognor YC
Work continues on the new ramp at Bognor YC

There’s news from Chichester Yacht Club and Bognor Yacht Club in our latest sailing digest.

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Leaden skies, unseasonably-warm temperatures and the prospect of not much wind greeted the protagonists for the closing races of Chichester YC’s Autumn Series.

Andrew Martin set a short multiple-lap course and surprisingly, given the downwind start from the club line, the fast/modern fleet got away at the first time of asking.

Gideon Ewers, with Stephen Green at the front end of his RS400, quickly established a lead which remained for the duration. Any joy on the grey boat was shortlived however when skilful work on the penultimate leg by Roger Clare in his Vareo and the handicap advantage of Pete and Suzy Harrison’s 2000 saw that lead erode to third on corrected time.

Meanwhile, in the classic/medium fleet, Richard Smale in his Streaker outflanked the Titanic struggle that would determine supremacy in the senior part of the Green household to take line and handicap honours.

The fleet was soon back on the water for two back-to-back races to end the series.

In the first for the modern/fast fleet, Ewers and Green again led out of the blocks on the water – but again found that lead insufficient to save time over the Harrisons and Roger Clare reversing their earlier positions while Paul and Bella Mapstone in their RS200 nabbed third on corrected time.

In the medium/classic fleet, Richard Smale had to surrender line honours to Ian Payne’s Laser, though he retained the handicap chocolates over Ian and Helen Green.

So to the final races of the series and in the fast/modern, a spinnaker twist saw Ewers and Green get buried at the start and although they again took line honours it was not enough for a podium place, which turned out to be a battle between the Mapstones’ RS200 and Clares’ Vareo.

At the line the Mapstones’ six-second advantage turned into a 38-second deficit, allowing Clare to score his second bullet of the day, while the Harrisons were third.

The final race for the classic/medium fleet saw Payne again the man to beat on the water – but while quick, he couldn’t stop Smale scoring a hat-trick of firsts on corrected time which cost him the series on a tie-break from Nick and Biddy Colborne’s GP14.

Autumn Series overall results: Fast/Modern – 1 Pete & Suzy Harrison (2000); 2 Paul & Bella Mapstone (RS200); 3 Gideon Ewers & Sam Olley/Stephen Green (RS400). Classic/Medium – 1 Nick & Biddy Colborne (GP14); 2 Ian Payne (Laser); 3 Mark Harper (Solo). Slow – 1 Alice Snook (Optimist); 2 Sophie Kirk (Topper); 3 Hannah Thompson (Topper).


The waiting is finally over for Bognor Regis Yacht Club after work began on the construction of a new 34m launching ramp to replace one now buried under tons of shingle.

It has been a struggle to launch and recover sailing craft and safety boats over the shingle as it has built up considerably over the past decade, but the ramp will make access to the sand and to the sea much easier and safer.

The club received a grant of £47,166.66 from Sport England and £2,833.34 from Bognor Town Council. Further donations from the club and members total £7,666.78. There is still a shortfall of £18,000 which will be covered by further fundraising and members’ loans.

Piling is now complete and the club wants to thank local people for putting up with disruption and noise. The work should be finished in about two weeks and a grand opening will follow.

Jet skis and powerboats other than the club’s safety craft will not be allowed to use the ramp.