Felpham and Itchenor issue invites to would-be sailors

The 2000 'experience' is being launched at Itchenor
The 2000 'experience' is being launched at Itchenor

Felpham Sailing Club are inviting families to come and try dinghy sailing on Saturday, May 5.

Whether you’re completely new to the sport or looking to get back on the water, the RYA Push the Boat Out campaign is the perfect opportunity to give it a go.
The nationwide event will see thousands of people taking part in the sailing or windsurfing activity, with open days and taster sessions taking place at sailing clubs and centres across the country.
Roger Belton, RYA training principal at Felpham, said: “We’re inviting the local community to come down to have a go at dinghy sailing, see what the Felpham Sailing Club has to offer and get involved. Who knows, you might just get hooked.” 
From 10am to 1pm, there will be an opportunity to have a go in a sailing dinghy with an experienced helm, and maybe a chance to have a ride on powerboat.

There will be a charge of £5 for the session. You will need to bring a swimsuit, wetsuit, towel, woolly hat, some beach shoes and a buoyancy aid (if you have one – if not the club can provide one). Changing and shower facilities are available along with snacks and hot drinks. Expect to get wet and probably a bit chilled – sailing off the beach in early May is usually cool. 
This event is aimed at local families, however all adults and children (from age nine upwards) are welcome. If you are less physically able, or limited in some way (for example with limited eyesight) the club may be able to take you out for a sail, call Roger Belton on 01243 587883.
For more information on RYA Push the Boat Out visit www.rya.org.uk/go/ptbo

ITCHENOR

Itchenor Sailing Club are hosting an open day on Sunday, May 6 to launch its new 2000 dinghy sailing experience.

The club will welcome people of all ages and abilities keen to discover more about Itchenor and their new fleet of 2000 dinghies.

The highlight will take place at midday when the club’s new 2000 dinghies will be officially launched and the boats’ names will be announced.

The names were selected with help from Chichester Observer sports editor Steve Bone in a public competition. Winners will receive a month’s free membership to the club and a neck gaiter from Rooster Sailing. Complimentary bubbly and nibbles will be available and there will be live music on the bandstand.

Open from 9.30am to 3pm, the free-entry event will provide visitors with the opportunity to get advice from the club’s RYA instructor about the training courses available at Itchenor for beginners, improvers and experienced sailors.

Members and class captains will also be available to answer questions and help those looking to take their first steps in sailing.

Guests can learn about the club’s on-shore facilities.

Club commodore Neil Hart said: “This is the first time we have offered an accessible sailing experience at Itchenor where boats can be hired for use. The open day in May will be the perfect opportunity to celebrate the launch of the programme, which has been designed to be about fun, flexible and sociable sailing.”

New members signing up to the 2000 experience on the day can take advantage of the club’s special introductory offer for the first year and free first use of one of the club’s 2000 dinghies.

DELL QUAY

A forecast for light winds and rain didn’t deter Dell Quay sailors from participating in their annual Easter mini regatta – a series of eight races spread over four days.

The Solo class was the largest fleet with six winter-hardened helms, followed by the RS400 and the Streaker class each with three boats. Richard Bridgmont put in an impressive performance, sailing for the first time in his new Solo, clearly enjoying the pace of the boat.

Friday’s session was a light-wind day with persistent rain and Roger Puttock, Mark Harper (both Solo class) and Bill Dawber/Chris Campell (RS400) each taking a first place. The very consistent Sue Manning in her Laser Radial was also sailing well, and was placed second in all three races.

Saturday was a rest day for the dinghy racers while the DQSC keelboats were lifted into the water after their winter hibernation.

Sunday, as far as weather was concerned, was the best day but for sailing it was a case of chasing the slightest wind zephyr. Puttock, Harper and Dawber/Campbell shared the points, with Manning and Bridgmont not far away. 

With the prospect of stronger winds for Monday, the scene was set for the final two races. The Finn of Andrew Buchanan had come into the mix with a well-deserved second place for the first race of the day, close on the heels of winner Puttock.

Third on handicap was Verrall, but his elation was shortlived after being relegated to fifth place with a scoring penalty. 

Bridgmont had a good sixth place in the first race but as the wind picked up for the second race, he found his Solo rather too fast, and it all came to a rather abrupt end at the gybe mark.

Final results: 1 Roger Puttock – Solo; 2 Mark Harper – Solo; 3 Bill Dawber and Chris Campbell – RS400; 1st junior – Ethan Sparkes – Optimist; 1st lady helm and fourth overall Sue Manning – Laser Radial.