Setting Sail: Sailors enjoying action from Itchenor to Cowes

This week's sailing round-up includes the latest Setting Sail column from Itchenor Sailing Club and a detailed look at the club's Junior Fortnight.

Thursday, 3rd August 2017, 1:00 pm
Updated Thursday, 7th June 2018, 6:23 pm
Junior Fortnight action at Itchenor / Picture by Mary Pudney
Junior Fortnight action at Itchenor / Picture by Mary Pudney

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As I write, Cowes Week is under way and so is Itchenor Junior Fortnight supported by jbA, says Chris Blevins, rear-commodore sailing, Itchenor Sailing Club.

Cowes Week follows on from Classics Week which, although somewhat curtailed as the final two days were lost to strong winds, saw success for several Itchenor boats.

Gwaihir, sailed by Mike Wigmore, Mark Struckett and Charles Hyatt, won the Classic Dayboat class and Betty, helmed by Martin Jones, took the Sunbeam class honours with Roger Wicken’s Danny just a point behind.

Danny made a good start in the first two days of Cowes Week but Gwaihir had yet to make her mark a couple of days in. The Itchenor XODs had disappointing results in the 40-plus fleet at Classics Week but made a good start in the even larger fleet at Cowes Week, taking the top spot in races one and two.

Our junior sailors have been very busy recently with well attended training weeks leading up to Junior Fortnight which started on Monday.

More than 200 eight to 18-year-olds are taking part in the popular event, learning new skills, making new friends and enjoying some great competitive racing. See more below on Junior Fortnight.

An excellent turnout of 45 RS200s competed in perfect conditions last month in our open meeting. However, the International 14s were not so lucky and had to endure more inclement weather for the Gallon Trophy series, with most of the dozen-strong fleet failing to finish the only race that was started.

Itchenor Sailing Club has also recently introduced recreational rowing in a classic Solent Galley which is a fixed-seat coxed four. We are offering a special introductory membership for those interested in this activity. What better way to soak up the beautiful surroundings of Chichester Harbour!

Chris Blevins

Rear-commodore sailing, Itchenor Sailing Club

* Itchenor Sailing Club’s popular family sailing event, Junior Fortnight, is under way.

Supported by jbArchitecture, it began on Monday and continues until Friday, August 11.

Heralding the start of the summer holidays, this ever-popular event provides young sailors aged eight to 18 with the opportunity to test their skills in dingy racing. Last year saw 229 sailors taking part from Mirror, Topper and International 420 classes.

The annual sailing competition has been a popular fixture on Itchenor SC’s calendar for more than 50 years and this year is no exception with families from across the south-east flocking to the club.

In addition to the excellent opportunities the event provides for all ages of youth sailing, the fortnight also offers an extensive social programme packed full of activities. Children can take part in garden games, parties, team boat building and a talent night among other activities.

Although young sailors are the main focus for the event, parents are certainly not forgotten and will be given the chance to compete in races such as the mothers’ topper event and the parents’ single-handed races.

“This fantastic event is a high point of the youth sailing programme here at Itchenor,” said Charles Hyatt, commodore of Itchenor Sailing Club.

“We place great emphasis at the club on the importance of encouraging the next generation of sailors and we are proud that over the years this event has evolved into the season highlight that it is today.”

All Junior Fortnight competitors must be members of Itchenor Sailing Club, a federated Chichester Harbour Club, a RYA-affiliated club, or crewing for a member of such a club. Classes that can take part include Mirror, Topper and International 420.

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