Sailing: Races short on distance but not on drama

Recent racing at Dell Quay
Recent racing at Dell Quay

The aim of Dell Quay SC’s short race handicap series is to encourage close and competitive racing – and that was exactly what happened in the final five-race session.

Out in front, four 2000s frequently swapped positions – but each race had a different winner and three different classes were represented among them.

In the day’s first race, only seven seconds separated the first three boats on correct time, with Anne and Jim Norfolk (2000) heading Jean and Liz Sagues (Lymington River Scow) with Warwick Hoddy and John Denyer (2000) third.

Next time around, Bruce Dupée (Mirror) was winner on corrected time, with just a second separating the Norfolks and Sagueses in the next two places.

The third race saw the Norfolks take their sixth win in the series, ahead of Hoddy/Denyer and new 2000 member Lee Sydenham crewed by his young son Max.

In race four, Peter King and Jamie Pescott benefited from the speed of their RS400, finishing before the wind dropped and the rest of the fleet wallowed for a while, giving the RS400 a three-minute advantage on corrected time from the Sydenhams and Roy and Beryl Dyton (2000).

The Sydenhams will clearly be a force to be reckoned with in the Dell Quay 2000 fleet, as they showed in winning the day’s final race, comfortably ahead of Hoddy/Denyer and the Norfolks.

The series victory went to the Norfolks, with a perfect score from their six best races. Second were the Sagueses, with the Dytons third.

Sunday’s racing in the late trophy series saw even more frustrating conditions, in a lighter and flukier mainly northerly wind. A good turnout of 2000s saw the Norfolks edging into the lead early on and claiming line honours, while behind Peter and Jane Matthews just headed the Sydenhams at the finish.

In the Solos, Bill Dawber overhauled initial leader Chris Ede to take his third win in the series, with Ken Baker third. The handicap fleet saw Simon and Linda Bell (RS200) swapping tacks at the front with the RS400 of Bob Marshall and Neil Bryant, losing out to the faster boat only on the final beat. But ahead of the RS200 on corrected time was the Sagueses’ Scow.

A second race was scheduled, but abandoned soon after the start as the failing wind made it near impossible for competitors to make way against the falling tide. And then, once it was too late, a south-westerly sea breeze swung in – frustrating for all.

The club is full of activity this week, with the club’s annual junior week.


A total of 60 young people are participating in Felpham Sailing Club’s annual youth regatta from August 6 to 9.

About half of the group will be engaged in sail training to Royal Yachting Association standards from start sailing through to advanced modules of seamanship and sailing with spinnakers.

The other group will be engaged in race training and in strong competition for the premier youth trophy, the Cadet Cup. This series of eight races will be raced with two races every afternoon over the four days of the regatta.

The racing group will be involved in intermediate and advanced race training each morning. Supporting this youth extravaganza there will be around 60 adult volunteer helpers providing the training, safety cover, food and beach support to enable the event to be successful.

The training places are all taken, but the regatta is an open race meeting so youngsters from other clubs are welcome to compete for the Cadet Cup in the afternoons. Enquiries to Roger Belton on 01243 587883.

This Saturday, the club are staging Fun on the Prom, an RNLI demo with a helicopter, sailing joyrides, the Topper Traveller, a West Sussex youth racing event, and a barbecue.