Chichester Yacht Club’s Dinghy Week was a wonderful eclectic mix of racing for all ages, together with coaching for less experienced youth sailors and RYA learn-to-sail sessions for novice youth sailors.
Each day’s sailing was followed by games on the lawn aimed at children but joined in by all ages.
The 21 sailors in the start-to-race fun fleet had an exciting week with force four to five every day making it hard work, but the sheltered waters of Chichester Basin, as well as the ability to sail in in the very sheltered lee of the CYC clubhouse, made this manageable.
The winner of the Turbo Regatta was Anna Fenning, and the first Optimist with some fantastic starts was Thomas Dempsey.
The 17 youngsters doing the RYA learn to sail course did amazingly well in tricky conditions. They were well supported by their instructors, led by Liz Chowienczyk.
The two training groups were supported by ten young instructors & assistants, all of whom had learned to sail at Chichester YC and are now sailing instructors and assistants.
In the main racing fleet, 40-plus boats and about 60 sailors took part.
The fast/modern fleet staged eight competitive races.
Final results –Fast Modern Fleet - 1 Michael & Paula Olliff, 2000, CYC; 2 Nigel Skudder & Keith Hills, Hornet, CYC; 3 Nick & Roger Ellimnan, RS400, CYC; 4 Martin & Cindy Orton, 2000, CYC.
The medium/classic fleet featured 12-year-old Charlie South (Stokes Bay SC) in his Topper and he was pushed hard throughout by Connie Hill, a youth sailor in a Laser 4.7 (Bough Beech SC).
Final results – medium/classic fleet - 1 Charlie South, Topper, Stokes Bay; 2 Connie Hill, Laser 4.7, Bough Beech; 3 Ian Lissamore, Solo, CYC; 4 Alex Orton, Laser, CYC; 5 Jack Hill, Laser, Bough Beech.
In the slow fleet all the sailors were out for fun while racing. The week was won by Matthew Carr in his Topaz (CYC) who had first or second places throughout.
Final results – slow fleet - 1 Matthew Carr, Topaz Uno, CYC; 2 Meryl Deane & Jo Dipple, Miracle, CYC; 3 Andy & Ted Palmer-Felgate, Mirror, CYC; 4 Cat Albone & Eliza South, RS Feva, CYC.
Day five in the main fleet saw a pursuit race, with again some windy conditions. It was won by Ian and Tracy Ellerington in a Laser 3000.
Final results - Pursuit Race - 1 Ian & Tracy Ellerington, Laser 3000, CYC; 2 Mark & Helen Green, 2000, CYC; 3 Chris Hodge & Louise Varley, 2000, CYC; 4 Nick & Biddy Colbourne, GP14, CYC.
A prize-giving followed on the Chichester YC Lawn. Sailors were thrilled to have prizes presented by CYC member, Olympic double gold-medallist and world sailor of the year Sarah Ayton.
Thanks went to all the many people who helped, with special praise for dinghy rear-commodore Paula Olliff who organised and ran the week.
Dell Quay Sailing Club completed another very successful junior week.
There was some very competitive racing in the main series. The Fastnet group demonstrated an improving awareness of tactics and how to apply racing rules.
Tom Bettle (Laser Radial) was the dominant force in the main series, but was pushed all the way by Harry Pullinger (Topper), who put in very consistent performances to finish second. Nina Moranne (Topper) finished third.
Alongside the main series, the Fastnets improved their boat control, wind awareness and tactical decision making through a variety of fun on-the-water activities.
A pursuit race to Itchenor gave the sailors a chance to put into practice their tidal and meteorological knowledge and the whole fleet made it to Itchenor.
Tom Bettle prevailed in the pursuit ahead of Nina Moranne and Harry Smith, who were bearing down on him in the Laser 2000 as the finish approached.
The racing culminated in the Junior Week Regatta, which involved some 27 sailors from the Pirates, Shipmates, Skippers and Fastnets in a series of three handicap races.
Gentle breezes brought some artful light-wind sailing from Louise Dicker and Hazel Jones (RS Feva) to take the series ahead of Tom Bettle. Max Sydenham of the Pirates finished third.
It is pleasing to see how much talent and tenacity there is at the club and how positively the juniors at Dell Quay respond to feedback. It will be interesting to see them challenge some of the club’s more established racers for silverware in the future.
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