A brisk but steady force-four north-easterly provided racers with good conditions for the first of the Dell Quay Breakfast Breeze series. This is a short race series aimed at early risers who like to begin their day on the water.
Race officer Graham Dalton set a short triangular course with a long first beat to the Fishbourne mark.
Approaching the Fishbourne mark, Andrew Horne (Solo) experienced the only capsize of the race as he tried to avoid a collision with several members of the fleet heading back towards Dell Quay.
Peter King and Jamie Prescott in an RS400 led all the way round on the water but weren’t able to achieve a podium position on handicap.
A strong turnout from the Solos presented a challenge to the father and son team of Lee and Max Sydenham in their faster 2000 dinghy.
Not to be outdone, the Sydenhams kept the pressure on the Solos to take first place with a corrected lead of 54 seconds, leaving Roger Puttock (Solo) to settle for second.
Inspired by his shiny new Solo, David Maltby fought a close battle with Mike Shaw (Solo) to take third place, leaving John Purdy (Solo) fifth behind Shaw.
Race two of the five-race series will take place on Sunday, April 17, at 9.30am.
Storm Katie severely curtailed Dell Quay’s Easter programme. Only Good Friday provided conditions in which racing could take place, but even then the wind died before the racing could be fully completed.
A series of seven races in the mini-series was planned but only two races took place. Race officer Peter Blow set up three racing marks to provide triangular and sausage sections in a course incorporating a committee boat start. A total of 15 boats took part with a good mix of single and double-handers.
At the start of the first race two RS400s led the way to the windward mark, followed by the Solos of Roger Puttock and David Maltby. By the end of the race all three RS400s were ahead, with Peter King holding off the challenge from Gideon Ellis and Rob Corfield. These were followed over the line by the Solos of Puttock and Maltby, with the Graduate of Roger Francis in close pursuit.
After applying handicaps first place was taken by Puttock with Maltby second, King third and Ellis fourth. A commendable fifth place went to the Miracle sailed by Simon and Linda Bell.
Race two saw a fabulous start by the Wanderer of Keith and Michaela Heppenstall, who led around the first mark followed by Roger Puttock in his Solo.
The wind began to drop and after a great deal of place changing, the race officer decided to count only the first lap. This was necessary to give everyone a finishing position as in the second lap boats were beginning to drift backwards with the ebbing tide!
First and second places went again to Puttock and Maltby respectively with an excellent third place for Francis, leaving the Heppenstalls fourth.
Itchenor Sailing Club are getting geared up for an exciting 2016 sailing season which will see them play host to plenty of competitive racing among their classic keelboat and dinghy fleets as well as national events including the Mirror championships.
Their excellent reputation for high-quality racing has meant that this year they have the honour of hosting the RS200 spring championships on April 22 and 23. For one of the biggest open meetings on the RS200 calendar, the club expects to see up to 40 boats over the weekend.
Points Week returns on June 20 – the annual club racing week will attract around 50 XODs, Sunbeams and Swallows for daily races taking advantage of the whole of Chichester Harbour. Points Week will also form part of this year’s 70th anniversary celebrations of the National Swallow.
For younger members, Itchenor’s junior fortnight offers two weeks of fun, learning and competitive sailing to children aged eight to 18. The event caters for all abilities, with pre-race briefings and on-water training to help develop the skills and confidence of young sailors.
The hugely-popular event is organised by parents and has become just as well known for its social events as it has for its sailing.
Schools Week is another regular fixture at the club with participants coming from around the world to attend and represent their schools. The week, sponsored by MPI Brokers and with the support of JDX Consulting, starts with the RS Feva XL event on June 27 and 28 aimed at competitors in school Years 7 to 10.
The second part of the week is occupied by older students in Fireflies and 420s who enjoy a day of training on the Wednesday followed by two days of racing for a number of trophies.
Another highlight of 2016 will be the Mirror Class National Championships and it is expected around 60 boats will descend on Itchenor for this much-anticipated annual event from August 22 to 25.
For those interested in getting involved in sailing at Itchenor, the club will hold an open day on Sunday, May 22, for potential new members to experience class racing with the opportunity to go afloat in a wide range of boats.
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