Bosham sailors are Masters of the waves

Action in the Bosham Masters / Picture by Malcolm Butler
Action in the Bosham Masters / Picture by Malcolm Butler

Bosham Sailing Club’s annual Masters Regatta took place in some of the best sailing conditions seen this year with more than 80 competitors in 56 boats.

Seven classes competed across the three days with two long races set on the Friday, with Saturday bringing another two long races with long beats to the harbour entrance area for both the fast and medium fleets.

On Sunday, one long and one short race was run for each fleet finishing at Bosham Quay.

The racing was hotly-contested with some competitors taking the opportunity to try boats they had not sailed before and others capsizing.

Following the racing and tea, social events in the evenings included a film based on the Vendee Globe, a talk from the Kent, Surrey and Sussex Air Ambulance Service and a quiz to fire up a different competitive spirit to that seen afloat.

Bosham SC thanked the main sponsor, Stride & Son estate agents, and supporters from Force 4 Chandlery and Bosham Farm Shop.

The Swallow class enjoyed the hospitality and race management skills of the Royal London YC.

Winners of the seven classes: Fast Handicap: Nick Phillips, Richard Stirrup & Mike Whitmore-Jones, National 18; Medium Handicap: Alastair Johnstone & Andrew Walker, Devon Yawl; Slow Handicap: Howard MacKenzie-Wilson & John Doree, Kittiwake 14; Yachting World Dayboat: David & Fiona Macfarlane; Scow: Izzie Lee; Tideway: Peter Shaw; Finn: Rodney Cobb.

ITCHENOR

The Swallow class celebrated the mid-point in their three-year 70th anniversary commemorations – marking the year the first boats were built – at the National Swallow Championships at the Royal London YC in Cowes.

Next year will be the 70th anniversary of their Olympic debut and another reason for a wonderful gathering of the clan.

After Alex Thomson’s amusing and entertaining account of his recent Vendee Globe exploits, the fleet was dispatched to the Peel Bank area for the first of the three races on Saturday.

RO Peter Dickson was constrained by much racing activity in the Solent and also by the forecast of increasing winds, and elected to have more of a sprint format to ensure the three-race first day programme was completed.

Without last year’s champion boat Marengo sailing, first blood in the 12-knot breeze went to the ex-International 14 team in Swift (James Hartley), Solitude (Anthony Lunch) followed closely with Skua (Dave Maclean – another ex-14er) in third.

Gwaihir had an indifferent start and surrendered third by mistaking the finish ODM with the leeward mark.

The wind increased as forecast and was gusting to 25 knots by the end of the day’s final race, but this did not deter a resurgent and expertly crewed Gwaihir from redeeming themselves with bullets in both races with Migrant (Charles Fisher) and Buccaneer (Mike Bond) second respectively and Swift taking the third spot in both.

Sunday remained overcast but with lighter winds. This time the fleet were in the lee of the Bramble bank and Gwaihir continued where they had left off the day before with two ‘never-headed’ race wins.

Swift had challenged in the first race of the day but fell back in the second. Stealth (Adrian Fisk) inserted themselves in the top echelon in both races and Echo (Simon Slater) finally found their mojo with a second in the final race.

The Swallow class enjoyed the hospitality and race management skills of the Royal London YC.

Results: 1st Gwaihir (93) (Mark Struckett, Mike Wigmore and Charles Hyatt); 2nd Swift (7) (James Hartley, Jeremy Sibthorp and Rob Sutherland); 3rd Buccaneer (66) (Mike Bond, Marcus Irwin Brown and Mike Burnford).

DELL QUAY

A challenging and gusty wind greeted 16 entrants for the first two races of the DQSC general handicap Late Helm series. 

Andrew Buchanan sailing a Finn powered off from the start line and completed the first race with line and handicap honours, sailing a great race and finishing a clear five minutes ahead of the pack.

After an hour and three laps of hard racing, and after applying the handicap, only four seconds separated Buchanan and Roger Puttock (Solo). Only 12 seconds separated the first four finishers in what proved to be a very close race. 

Sue Manning had a terrific sail in her Laser 4.7, revelling in the screaming, planing, reaches and runs, to secure an excellent third place. Chris West (Laser) battled with a broken kicking strap in some close on the water racing, with the two leading Solos making it a tough race for him.

The second race took place in similar windy conditions with once again only 30 seconds separating the first four places. Andrew Buchanan again pulled ahead followed by West, who was now fully powered up having repaired his kicker and enjoying clear winds ahead of the chasing Solo’s.

The two Solos of Mark Harper and Roger Puttock were again locked in very close battle with only about two boat lengths ever separating the two. 

Harper continued to dominate the tough beats upwind but Puttock enjoyed the downwind legs to just overhaul Harper and win the race on handicap, with Harper second and West third.

Puttock currently leads the series, with Buchanan second and Harper third.

Races three and four in the series take place this Saturday from 3.30pm.

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