Chichester crews aren’t up the creek without a paddle

The dayboat fleet made for a stunning sight off Bosham
The dayboat fleet made for a stunning sight off Bosham

THE Halfway-Up-The-Creek long-distance race staged by Chichester Yacht Club involved a day visiting some of the lesser-known marks, including a sail up to Fishbourne and to Bosham.

Windy conditions brought out the keen long-distance sailors and some of the regulars were joined by some of the less-experienced club members.

Although Chris Hodge and Louise Varley were first back, experience won out with Derek Jackman first in his Solo on corrected time, followed closely by Ian Lissamore in second and Roger Millett third, also in Solos.

The Lady Todd races at Chichester brought more tricky conditions, with variable and gusty winds, with a few capsizes.

Racing was split into three fleets, modern/fast, classic/medium and slows. While this fleet arrangement allows closer competition it also can lead to wide gaps between the fleets.

The fast fleet were dominated by Jason and Sonia Kirk (RS400), giving one of their regular excellent sailing demonstrations with firsts in all three races.

Alistair and Manu Jenkin (Xenon) moved up the fleet on handicap with three second places and Nick and Roger Elliman (RS400) with three thirds and a close third. The remaining boats managed only two races each.

The classic fleet was led throughout by Charlie Porter in his Laser with three wins, with pressure at times from John Crawley, also in a Laser.

There was close racing just behind him between the Solos of Roger Millett and Laurence Murray with Murray keeping ahead of Millett in the first two races.

The slow fleet comprised Toppers. Charlotte Reading took first in race one with Jessica Carter following with wins in races two and three.

Sophie Kirk put in some good times and managed two seconds. At the end of the racing Carter was first, Reading and Kirk third.

When the Lady Todd series continued, there was sunshine and an enthusiastic crowd of sailors.

In the modern/fast fleet, Nick and Roger Elliman got well away in their RS400, leading throughout to finish first on the water and on handicap in both races.

Behind them there was close racing in the Laser 2000 fleet, although tricky conditions and capsizes led to a few retirements.

In race four, Chris and Jessie Hodge managed a good second with Rick Page and Ian Selwood third. Page and Selwood had a much closer race with the Hodges in race five, finishing just ahead in second.

In the classic/medium fleet race four was notable for the confusion of three competitors who started on the Fast start. All three were declared over and results were not valid.

This left the Solos of Roger Millett and Laurence Murray to close racing with the National 12 of John and Pauline Cox with Millett finishing first and Murray second.

In race five Derek Jackman took first from Millett. The Coxes were third in their National 12.

In the slow fleet Charlie Elliott had two good races in his Optimist, taking first in both. The remainder of the fleet comprised Toppers, with Charlotte Reading in reliable form keeping well ahead in both races with two seconds, ahead of Matt Olliff, third in both races.

n The Mission to Seafarers pursuit race saw Sophie Kirk set out first in her Topper but she retired part-way though.

The Solos of Peter Hughes and Derek Jackman had an enjoyable time. The fastest boat – the recently-acquired Laser 4000 of Will King and Richard Kershaw – caught up and overtook everyone for an impressive first place in their first outing in the boat.

BOSHAM

The Yachting World Dayboat Open saw 19 boats take to the water in 15 to 19 knots of wind.

There were three races in the series, with two to count, and, the visitors put up a good show.

The wind increased during the event and the dayboats seemed to relish the stronger conditions.

The two short races kept the fleet together while the longer race gave the frontrunners the opportunity to power on ahead.

The father and daughter team of Colin and Chrissie Blewett from Poole YC were a winning combination, closely followed by Peter Hewitt and Chris Lockett, also from Poole.

Third place was also taken by visitors – James Davies and Chris Somner of Gravesend SC, who’d got up at 6am to travel and take part.

Fourth was taken by the first Bosham boat home, helmed by David Edmund-Jones and crewed by Greg Grant, while fifth went to Wendy Davies and crew Roy Davies from Poole.

The visitors were impressed with the organisation of the event and enjoyed racing in the lovely harbour setting. The Yachting World Dayboat Association are looking forward to returning to Bosham in the near future.

DELL QUAY

Steve Ede completed a highly-successful weekend on Chichester Harbour when he emerged as clear winner of Dell Quay SC’s Solo open, winning two of the races and finishing second in the third.

It was a happy homecoming for Ede, from Ardleigh SC near Colchester in Essex. He learned to sail at Dell Quay and his father Richard is captain of the club’s flourishing Solo fleet.

“I’ve come back only twice in the past 25 years – and I’ve won each time,” he told fellow competitors and event organisers as he received his prizes.

A chilly and gusty wind challenged the 15 competitors from eight different clubs, providing good planing on the reaches and causing a handful of capsizes.

One victim was Will Loy (RYA), who was on equal points with Ede as race three began. But a bad start and then the ducking put paid to his chances and he abandoned the race.

A third visitor took third place – James Ross (Hamble River SC), who sailed consistently to record a fourth, third and second place. But Dell Quay’s Bill Dawber almost pipped him to second place in the final race, a position which – added to third in race one – would have moved Dawber into the third overall on tie-break.

There were prizes for entrants further down the fleet: Roger Millett (Chichester YC) was leading veteran and Ray Collins (Locks SC) took the grand master award.

Overall results: 1 Steve Ede (Ardleigh SC) 2pts; 2 Will Loy (RYA) 3; 3 James Ross (HRSC) 5; 4 Bill Dawber (DQSC) 8.

The weekend began with 11 boats competing in a series of five short handicap races, in which Anne and Jim Norfolk (Laser 2000) narrowly beat Chris Wood (Streaker) by three wins against Wood’s one first place and two seconds.

A real variety of boats sailed, with the fastest an RS500 and a Fireball and the slowest a Mirror – whose helm, Bruce Dupée, sailed to third place in the final race.