Sailing: Solo success - then clubs draw a crowd

Youngsters enjoy the action at Felpham SC's Push the Boat Out day  Picture by Tony Lord
Youngsters enjoy the action at Felpham SC's Push the Boat Out day Picture by Tony Lord
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The Chichester Yacht Club Solo open, supported by Hawk Marine Products, was a great success, with 27 boats taking part, including several from Dell Quay SC and one from as far away as Salcombe. 

In quite light and variable breezes, race officer Martin Orton and his team kept the show moving with slick race management, achieving four back-to-back races.

Steve Cockerill (HSC) won the first race, followed by Pete Mitchell of HISC, with these places reversed in race two.

Mark Harper of CYC won the third race, with Steve Ede of Ardleigh SC, who was last year’s winner, in second, leaving the title hanging in the balance between these four contenders. The last race was won by Ede, followed by Mitchell, Cockerill and Harper.

The overall results gave Mitchell the trophy, with Cockerill second, Ede third and Harper fourth.

Chichester YC hosted an open activity day in combination with the RYA’s Push the Boat Out event and Tea by the Sea in support of Sail4Cancer.

In sparkling weather, the club offered a range of activities to around 50 visitors – dinghy sailing, rides in a rib powerboat, viewing of yachts and motorboats, watching radio-controlled model boats and the Solo open.

Canoeing opportunities were provided through Chichester Canoe Club.

Information desks were set up inside the restaurant, covering yachts, motors, dinghies and radio-controlled Lasers, and there was a quiz and details of training courses.

Outside, the Tea by the Sea stand did a good trade.

CYC is open to new members and visitors are welcome to look round at any time.

It was one of a number of local clubs to throw its doors open under the Push The Boat Out scheme.

Sussex sailors really did Push The Boat Out in style as around 30 sailing clubs and watersports centres across Kent and Sussex welcomed thousands of people on to the water to ‘have a go’ as part of the RYA’s national festival of sailing and windsurfing.

People across the area took advantage of incredible weather to enjoy the many free and discounted taster opportunities.

Attracting juniors was the aim of the day at Arun Youth Aqua Centre, where 36 youngsters took to the water, the youngest being just eight.

Felpham SC, shortlisted for RYA club of the year in 2013, celebrated their new disabled changing rooms being opened for the first time, with three disabled visitors joining in the fun alongside more than 40 other visitors.

If you missed out on RYA Push the Boat Out weekend, clubs and centres across the south east will be running plenty more RYA Start Sailing and Go Sailing courses and activities throughout the summer.

To find out how you can get involved, visit


A new ladies-only class has been introduced by Itchenor Sailing Club for members and non-members to improve their sailing skills and make use of the club facilities.

The club have teamed up with local RYA qualified instructors to provide a training programme - called Swift - to suit a varied range of abilities.

A beginners’ group will take attendees through the basics of sailing, progressing at their own pace, while the intermediate group aims to improve skills and develop the confidence needed to sail around Chichester Harbour.

Both sessions will be tailored to meet the needs of the group and instructors will provide constant feedback and goals to help attendees develop their skills.

George Rice, sailing manager at Itchenor Sailing Club, said: “This is an excellent opportunity for debutante sailing enthusiasts to build sailing confidence and abilities and to enjoy the beauty of Chichester Harbour. The aim is to provide a safe and fun training environment tailored to ladies wishing to improve their skills and for novice sailors to try something new.”

The sessions run from 9.30am to 12.30pm on Wednesdays during school term time up to the summer break, starting again in September through to October half-term.

The cost for members is £25 per person for each session and non-members can join the club on a trial basis at the cost of £50.

To sign up or to find out more about Swift, contact George Rice on 01243 512400 or email