Open is a first at Dell Quay - juniors sail into view at Itchenor

Dell Quay Sailing Club hosted their first Optimist open, with visitors from Chichester YC and Bosham SC joining the six Dell Quay boats to make a total of 15 competitors aged from eight to 13.

Sunday, 29th July 2018, 10:00 am
The Optimist open at Dell Quay

After a quick briefing ashore with race officer Mark Harper, the fleet launched in bright sunshine with winds starting lighter and building through the afternoon, challenging the sailors more as the event progressed.

Four good races were completed and some very consistent sailing across the afternoon saw Zac Shepherd of Bosham take the overall victory, with two race wins from Thomas Dempsey of Chichester, who won the last race to clinch second overall.

Third overall and first girl was Isabelle Aston of Bosham with Ethan Sparkes taking the prize for first Dell Quay boat in sixh overall.

The sailors had a great afternoon racing and returned ashore to enjoy food from the DQSC galley and the prizegiving, supported by Rooster Sailing Ltd.

Thanks went to all the volunteers who helped run the event and the visiting sailors for joining in. Dell Quay look forward to repeating the event next year.

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Itchenor Sailing Club’s popular Junior Fortnight will celebrate its 50th anniversary when it kicks off tomorrow (July 30).

Supported by Handelsbanken, this popular event provides young sailors aged eight to 18 with the opportunity to test their skills in dinghy racing.

Junior Fortnight heralds the start of the summer holidays for many, with 200-plus sailors taking part in Mirror, Topper, Feva XL, Laser Radial and International 420 classes.

It has been a popular fixture on Itchenor’s calendar and this year will be no exception with families from across the south east flocking to the club. The 50th anniversary celebrations this year will reflect the spirit of the event, including the extensive social programme.

The event plays host to garden games, parties, team boat-building and a talent night among other activities, all designed to bolster confidence and foster enthusiasm and a sense of community in young sailors.

In addition, parents have the chance to get involved by volunteering to support the races and competing in races such as the Mothers’ Topper event and the Parents’ Single Handed races.

“We’re very proud to be celebrating 50 years of our successful youth sailing programme here at Itchenor,” said Neil Hart, commodore of Itchenor Sailing Club.

“We’re so keen to encourage the next generation of sailors because of the many benefits it can bring including being great exercise and helping to develop teamwork and leadership skills. We’re proud Junior Fortnight has become a highlight in the calendar for many, and we’re confident that it will continue to run for many years to come.”

The event is being supported by Handelsbanken. Jonathan Hughes, local branch manager, commented: “Handelsbanken Chichester is delighted to be the principal sponsor of this year’s Junior Fortnight, especially as 2018 represents the 50th anniversary of the event. We wish all of the competitors success for the Fortnight and the future, and look forward to following their progress.”

All Junior Fortnight competitors must be members of ISC, a federated Chichester Harbour club, an RYA affiliated club, or crewing for a member of such a club. Classes which may take part are Mirror, Topper, Feva XL, International 420 and Laser Radial.


Happy holidays. The schools are breaking up and the weather is still holding, so it’s into another phase of the busy summer programme at Itchenor Sailing Club, writes Mike Wigmore, the club’s rear commodore sailing.

Now well into its second week is the Mirror Training and this week the Mirrors are joined by a group of slightly older children being coaching in the RS FevaXL.

Up to 50 children each week aged seven to 12 take part in a fun learn-to-sail programme supervised by senior RYA instructors and delivered by our qualified young instructors – a learner-to-expert ratio that is second to none.

The combination of quality instruction and fun sailing make these events highly sought after and often sold out by the spring. Right after that many of the junior sailors go on to take part in Junior Fortnight.

Meanwhile many of those with Swallows, Sunbeams and XODs to campaign are off to Cowes to pit our wits against a wider group of competitors on a bigger playing field than the one we usually play on.

Cowes Classics Week is under way with more than 30 Itchenor boats making the trip. Classics Week is an intensive jamboree of racing with the organised social events coming thick and fast after racing. By the weekend we will be happy but exhausted.

Last year an Itchenor boat, the Swallow Gwaihir, was the overall winner so there will be lots of pressure to follow up with more successes. Many then leave their boats at Cowes and return a week later to compete in Cowes Week.

Taking their sailboat racing into another dimension altogether will be the Itchenor International 14 sailors. Their highly tuned boats were recently loaded into containers and in a few weeks’ time they will be competing at the 2018 World Championships at Richmond Yacht Club on San Francisco Bay.

You too can of course be part of all this. The club-owned 2000 dinghies are available to hire from Wednesday to Sunday or if you have a little more experience and would like to try keelboat racing as a crew, do have a look at our website or contact the office.