They’re such a lot of Optmists at Chichester

One of the young Optimist winners at Chichester YC
One of the young Optimist winners at Chichester YC

We have news from clubs at Chichester, Dell Quay and West Wittering in our latest weekly sailing round-up.

Get involved in the coverage by sending sailing reports, results and pictures to steve.bone@chiobserver.co.uk

CHICHESTER

A record number of Optimists attended the Chichester Yacht Club open, almost 80 competitors turning up.

With so many competitors, there was a regatta fleet for the less experienced and a main fleet for the more advanced.

Competitors and race officials had to wait patiently for fog to clear. Eventually the sun burned it off and the breeze filled in. The main fleet managed three races and the regatta fleet two.

The Optimists stole the show from the Picos by taking the first four places in race five, with Ethan Sparkes first, Ella Jones second and Hazel Jones third.

Main fleet winner was Henry Keegan of Parkstone SC, who came first in two of the races, followed by Sam Watson from Emsworth SC and Noah Evans, Emma Breese and Freddie Fitzsimmons, all from Royal Lymington.

The regatta fleet was won by Zac Shepherd from Bosham SC, followed by Max Slatter from CYC and William Webster from Parkstone.

There was a fantastic friendly atmosphere on display.

* CYC is holding an open day on May 26 – anyone interested in learning more about sailing is very welcome.

DELL QUAY

Conditions for races five and six of the Dell Quay Early Trophy series were bitterly cold.

Simon Verrall, on his debut outing as race officer, with the wind blowing straight down the Fishbourne channel, was able to set up a proper beat for the first leg of each race by using a number of inflatable marks.

The juniors joined the adult racers for the first time this year with a shortened version of the adult course. Despite the conditions seven youngsters turned up to race in Optimists and Picos. The Optimists stole the show from the Picos by taking the first four places in race five, with Ethan Sparkes first, Ella Jones second and Hazel Jones third.

The wind proved too much for the Picos who retired from race six, leaving Hazel Jones, Sparkes and Florence Ingram to take first, second and third. So skilful were the young Optimist sailors that at times they were overtaking the adults despite having significantly slower boats. Sparkes leads the series.

The Solo fleet put out some of its best racers with fierce competition between Roger Puttock and Mark Harper. John Purdy turned in a good performance to come in third for both races.

Puttock got the upper hand to take first place in both races, leaving Harper to pick up second in each race. On her first weekend outing in her new Solo, Nikki Buchanan was forced to retire from race six with rudder failure.

Series positions: 1 Roger Puttock, 2 Simon Verrall, 3 Mark Harper.

The Handicap fleet saw Sue Manning on characteristic form in her Laser 4.7, taking first place in both races. Andrew Buchanan was second in his Finn and Bob Marshall took third in his Streaker, also in both races.

Series positions: 1 Sue Manning, 2 Bill Dawber, 3 Andrew Buchanan.

WEST WITTERING

Push the Boat Out month is upon us and clubs up and down the country are openingtheir doors to the public for a day or more to have a go at sailing or windsurfing – including West Wittering Sailing Club on May 19.

If you’re on the lookout for a sociable new activity you can enjoy with your partner or family, pop along to West Wittering SC and have a go.

You can head to the club website to find contact information and details of the day’s itinerary or contact info@weston.org.uk direct to book your session.

The day is open to all the family and a taster session a boat is free. Volunteers at the club will be offering rides in club dinghies for children and, for adults, the opportunity to go afloat on one of WWSC’s support boats.

Organisers will provide all the equipment you need, just bring a change of clothes, sneakers and a towel. Sessions are a minimum of half an hour and can be longer, so ask the club for full details. There will be refreshments available.

Last year a whopping 31,000 people ‘pushed the boat out’ at 500-plus sailing and windsurfing taster sessions throughout the UK.

Find all the details for your nearest event at www.rya.org.uk/ptbo