Ex-hurricane Bertha brought challenging conditions for the 500 competitors in this year’s Fed Week.
The first day’s racing was lost, with winds too strong for safe sailing, and gusts to force seven caused many capsizes on the Tuesday. Not content with that, the weather bucked the forecast for Wednesday with vicious squalls causing more problems.
Despite plenty of wind again on Thursday and an annoying fickleness in Friday’s breeze, there was exhilarating racing and close competition before the coveted plates were presented.
The 324 boats entered ranged from Optimists and Tera sailed by the very youngest competitors through to Olympic single and double-hander classes such as the Finn and 49er, with some new designs on show as well. But the biggest fleets came in the types of dinghies which are particularly suited for Chichester Harbour, the RS200 and Solo.
By far the largest contingent of entrants came from Hayling Island SC, where the event was based. But there was good representation from other harbour clubs and other competitors came from as far afield as Scotland, the Isle of Man and Somerset. In all, 39 clubs were represented.
Emsworth SC did well, heading the Laser fleet, where Max Jones and Sam Tweedle were tied on points with one race to go. Jones excelled in light conditions as well as strong to take his third win of the week, leaving Tweedle a close second, and club-mates Peter Jenkins and Edward Parsons were fourth and fifth. ESC’s Simon and Jack Townsend also scored three wins to lead the RS400s, with the club taking third place as well, with Dominic and Finbar Preston.
Itchenor SC’s success in the 44-strong RS 200 fleet, where Arthur Henderson and Lisa McDanell were second, Matthew Shorrock and Mary Henderson fifth, Charlotte Fitzgerald and Rosie Sibthorp sixth and Harry and Prue Roome eighth, helped them take second place in the inter-club team challenge. Katie Davies and Grace Summers (420) also took a second in the medium handicap, as did John Tremlett in the Finns.
And Itchenor must have had a unique distinction in what is very much a family week – the club had three sets of twins competing, the Davieses, Fitzgeralds and Spreckleys.
Emsworth Slipper SC’s best results came in the fastest fleet, the fast asymmetrics, with Michael Tomson second and Andrew Gould fourth, both in Musto Skiffs. Alix and Barnaby Thorsby and Martin and Toby Price were fourth and fifth overall in the RS400s.
Chichester YC’s Solos fared less well than in previous years, though Anthony Osman took fifth place and Mark Harper sixth. Charlie South was the lone Topper until the final day, and carried away a plate for his perseverance. Another CYC youngster, Alice Snook, was fourth Optimist.
For Dell Quay SC members, the week started disastrously, with both Rob Corfield and Tom Dobbs (RS400) and John Purdy (Solo) suffering broken masts. The RS400 team rapidly found a replacement, and were delighted with a fourth place on Thursday.
Felpham SC’s Laser 4.7 sailors Edward Gerwat and Owen Aldous challenged their fleet leaders closely and took third and fourth places.
Innovations this year included generous sponsorship from Dynamite Recruitment and Pinnall and Bax – two of the latter’s spot prizes being won on the same day by father and son competitors. And enthusiastic teams competed in an inter-club event sailed in RS Ventures, accompanied by much cheering from spectators.
- LIZ SAGUES
AT THE start of Chichester Yacht Club’s Dinghy Week, there were thunderstorms around – but they didn’t quite make it to Chichester Harbour.
The event was more of a long weekend than a whole week and attracted 71 boats, plus 12 Graduates attending their national championship, also hosted by CYC.
Around 120 people got afloat to join in the fun, including 30 under-16s who seemed to be having more fun than anybody. As well as dinghies, there were kayaks and paddleboards out, a few swimmers and a lot of spectators.
The club ran an RYA children’s course for beginners and improvers, with 18 participants aged seven to 12, and a coached regatta fleet for nine more who already had basic sailing skills but were not ready to join the main race fleet.
Over the five days, all improved their skills, gained confidence and made new friends.
The racing was divided into fast (38 boats) and slow (five) handicap fleets, Toppers (20) and Optimists (seven), all of which did eight races over four days.
Back in their Lark after a long absence, Martin and Cindy Orton won the fast handicap from Sarah Cockerill in her Laser and Ian Lissamore (Solo).
The slow fleet was won by Andrew and Toby Martin in a Miracle, with Susannah Olliff and Beth Albone second in a Feva and Andrew and Jack Purvis third (Mirror).
The Topper fleet was dominated by Charlie South, with Sophie Kirk second and Oliver Randall-May third, and in the Optimists Raulf Berry was first, followed by Luca Hutchings and Blythe Berry.
The Graduates raced only for three days and the fleet enjoyed competitive racing in Chichester Lake. Tony Cooper won the series, with John Clementson second and Bob Murrell third.
Racing on day five was run as a pursuit race for adults, and a turbo tegatta for the younger one.
The winner of this race was Ian Lissamore, with Adrian Rowe second, both in Solos. Eight short races were sailed in the turbo regatta, including some silly challenges along the way, such as a capsize both ways or swim round the boat. Winner of this event was Charlie South.
As well as activity on the water, there were fun and games later in the day, with model boat building, table tennis, a trip to the beach, ice creams and the social highlight of the week, the Barn Dance, with all ages taking part.
- LOUISE VARLEY
Felpham SC have set up a development squad for their under-18s and a group of 20 sailors have been receiving extra coaching from the RYA.
The performance-squad sailors have been branching out farther afield and showing their extra coaching has been paying off.
Ed Gerwat and Owen Aldous spent the whole of Fed Week at Hayling Island YC, where they came a very impressive third and fourth place.
This was in big fleets with very windy conditions and a tricky course with very fast tides. They decided to sail in the Laser 4.7 class as the wind on the first three days was very strong. For sea sailors to go to the harbour and perform so well is excellent.
Jack Miller and Callum Bergman went to Arun Yacht Club to take part in their adult and cadet regatta. This was the first time the two boys had sailed together.
The first race saw the two boys bringing their Feva home in fifth place overall in a big fleet. They were beaten only by two laser full rigs and two RS 400s.
The second race was sailed in harder conditions with the wind picking up to 20kts and the boys found themselves really struggling to hold the boat upright.
Because of their excellent result in race one they won the cadet section to bring home more silverware to the club.