Action from Bosham and Dell Quay features in this week’s sailing digest – with an Olympic sailor helping make the former’s junior week a big success.
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Cowes Week, often a showcase for the best and most competitive sailors from around Europe, had to do without Sarah Ayton, last Friday.
That’s because the two-time gold medallist for Team GB at the Beijing and Athens Olympics was testing her racing skills against the junior optimist fleet at the Bosham Junior Week regatta.
Ayton and her son Thomas, aged six, coached and raced against the youngest competitors in the regatta, most aged eight to ten, just starting out on their sailing careers, to spur them on as they follow in the footsteps of role models like the Olympic hero.
A total 150 youngsters aged between eight and 18 participated in the annual regatta which was held over six days with up to nine starts every day.
Sailing in ten fleets in six different classes, the young sailors pitted their wits against each other in some challenging weather varying from force five to no wind, beautiful sunshine to torrential rain.
Among the Bosham cadets participating already making their mark is 13-year-old Cossie Lewis, who started her sailing in Optimist dinghies at Bosham and came seventh in the European Optimist championships in July and was the highest-placed GB girl.
Apart from the official racing, there was a full programme of fun races which were also hotly contested.
Winners included - Fathers in an Optimist race: Nigel Russel; Parent and child in a Feva race: Mark and Will Timberlake; Blindfold mothers rowing race: Rufus and Jane MacKenzie.
The new cadet committee were voted in with Charlie Knottenbelt chosen as the new cadet captain and Elise Kearsey the new vice-captain.
The packed social calendar included football, rounders, a black-tie dinner and disco, film night, under-13 games, hog roast, and a parents’ disco.
Junior Week racing winners: 420: Jack Holliday & George Hayes; Senior Mirror: Dominic Gogarty & Edward Hodgson; Junior Mirror: Maria Howeson & Tabitha Hill; Senior Optimist: William Timberlake; Junior Optimist: Isabel Medina; Junior Feva: Patrick Mayhew & Felix Kent;
Senior Feva: Cossie Lewis & Julia Mellers; Laser Radial: Sophia Harper; Junior Topper: Archie Gibbon; Senior Topper: Flora Windebank.
For the third race in the Dell Quay SC Late Trophy series, the wind was light and very variable. Race officer Chris West set a course around Crouchers, Bowling, Marina and Quay marks to make the best of conditions.
In the Solo-class race, Richard Ede made a good start but was soon overtaken by Malcolm Buchanan to leeward and John Purdy to windward. Purdy was first to Crouchers, followed by Buchanan.
The fleet spread over a wide area, trying to find where the wind pockets were hiding. Richard Bridgmont moved up to third, while Ede drifted back to last place.
A sea breeze was trying to come in but didn’t, resulting in a very variable wind direction. By this time Purdy had established a very long lead over the rest of the fleet.
When Marina was eventually reached, Buchanan was still second, with Ede now third, having found some wind, and Bridgmont fourth. There was much place changing throughout the fleet.
At the finish Purdy came in first with a huge lead of many minutes, Buchanan second and Ede close behind in third, leaving Bridgmont fourth. The rest of the boats straggled in over a long period, with one boat failing to finish. For all classes the second race was abandoned because of a lack of wind.
The 2000 class race was the first race of the series. First place was taken by Mike Fitzgerald and Tim Dormer with Anne and Jim Norfolk coming in second.
In the handicap class race, the fleet struggled to make headway in the light wind, forcing three boats to abandon the race.
Andrew Buchanan (Finn) came in first on handicap, with Peter King and Jamie Prescott (RS400) second and Mike Dicker/Dom White (Fireball) third.
Races five and six in the series start at 10.15am on Sunday, September 27.
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