A good-sized fleet, including several visiting sailors, gathered for the first two races of Dell Quay’s open Frostbite Series.
A total of 26 boats started the first race, making for a crowded start line across the full width of the harbour opposite the quay.
A cold northerly wind, which rapidly increased in strength with gusts over 20 knots, saw many capsizes keeping the patrol boats busy.
Bill Dawber in his Solo led round the first mark but was gradually overhauled on the water by the faster boats, including the RS 400 of Chris Rowsell and Sam Mogridge and the laser 2000 of Mike Fitzgerald and Tim Dormer.
However, after handicap corrections had been made to the results, Dawber came in first - followed by Fitgerald and Dormer in second place and Malcolm Buchanan (Solo) third.
In the second race the wind gradually decreased, leaving a slow drift to the finish line for the later boats under a beautiful golden sunset. Rowsell and Mogridge led on the water but Dawber was close behind, ahead of the theoretically faster RS 400 of Rob Corfield and Graham Andrews and the Buzz of Roger Francis and Tom Dobbs.
After handicaps had been applied, Dawber took first place, with Buchanan second and Rowsell and Mogridge third.
It was good to see young sailors and DQSC prize winners William Lynas (President’s Junior Trophy) and Phoebe Noble (Thomsett Cup and Fred Taylor Trophy) competing with the adults in the first two races of this winter series.
Also, venturing out for the first time in Solos, were new lady members of the Solo fleet Nikki Buchanan and Michelle Atkins.
The strong winds proved quite a challenge for Nikki who ended up with her mast stick in the harbour mud, requiring assistance from the patrol boat in order to get back in the race.
Races three and four in the series are scheduled for Saturday, December 14, starting at 9.30am and are open to all.
THIRTY boats convened for the middle weekend of the Chichester Yacht Club open Frozen Toe series, greeted by grey skies and a gentle northerly breeze.
Race officers Nick and Biddy Colbourne set a slightly longer course than usual.
In the six-boat fast fleet, Andy Palmer-Felgate and Rich Anderson (CYC, Fireball) showed the rest how a ‘horizon job’ should look, crossing the line seven minutes clear after a one-hour race.
Second on the water in the RS 400, but third on handicap, were Rob Corfield and Chris Campbell (Dell Quay SC). Third over the line were Olivia Winther and Hattie Culver (CYC) in their RS200, taking second on handicap.
The Laser Vago XD of Richard Bentley and Ian Anderson (Felpham) was fourth, but they retained their lead in the series.
The medium fleet of 14 was again dominated by the single-handers. Although the Laser of Jimmy Carter (CYC) was first on the water, the Solos of Guy Mayger (Lancing SC) took first on handicap, with Mark Harper (CYC) second.
Lucy Boreham sailing her Europe took third. Consistent performances give these three sailors the same positions in the series. In the CYC 2000s, Mike and Paula Olliff beat Helen and Mark Green.
With a smaller turnout this week, the ten boats in the slow fleet were shown the way by Emsworth SC’s J Taylor and J Halliday in their RS Feva XL, who were first over the line but second on handicap to series leader Howard Lane from Lancing in his Topper. Jessica Carter (CYC), back in her Topper, took third.
The CYC Optimists of Oliver Randall May and Alice Snook battled tide and light to finish fourth and fifth. Hannah Thompson sailed well to beat Charlotte Reading (both CYC) taking sixth and seventh in their Toppers.
Frozen Toe race six is on Sunday, December 15, with races seven and eight and prizegiving - with mince pies and mulled wine - on Sunday, December 22.
The CYC open Snowflake series starts on Sunday, January 5, running through to Sunday, March 2.