Sailing: Toppers top the bill at Chichester

Topper action at Chichester Yacht Club
Topper action at Chichester Yacht Club

Conditions were set near-perfect for the Chichester Yacht Club Topper open, which attracted 33 boats.

The weather did not quite deliver what was promised but it was a good sailing day.

Three races were held, and between the second and thirds, a force-four blew up capsizing a few boats, but then the wind dropped at the end of the race three.

A trapezoidal course was set and both full-rig 5.3 and smaller 4.2-rig Toppers took part.

Some quite new members of Chichester YC and other clubs joined in and were able to improve their skills. This included one 4.2 sailor who was able to keep up with some the bigger-rigged Toppers.

In the first two races, with the tide coming in against the sailors, the leaders did best going up the right side of the beat. There was serious and hard-fought competition at the front of the fleet with race one won by Hugo Burrows, (WOSC), with Morgan Archer (Blue Circle SC) second.

One of the most rewarding aspects of the event is watching the young competitors’ confidence and sailing skills improve throughout the two weeks.

Itchenor SC commodore Charles Hyatt

In race two, first place went to Sophie Kirk with Burrows second. Race three was won by Ischbel Zuurmond (MRSC) with Charlie South (Stokes Bay) second.

Final results: 1 Hugo Burrows, West Oxfordshire SC; 2 Ischbel Zuurmond, Mengeham Rythe SC; 3 Sophie Kirk, Stokes Bay SC; 4th Charlie South, Stokes Bay SC.

DEREK JACKMAN

ITCHENOR

Itchenor Sailing Club’s popular family sailing event, Junior Fortnight, returns on Monday, July 25.

Heralding the start of the summer holidays, Junior Fortnight provides young sailors aged eight to 18 with the opportunity to test out their skills in dinghy racing.

Last year’s event saw 230 competitors of all abilities; take to the waters in Mirror, Laser, Topper and International 420 classes.

The annual sailing competition has been a popular fixture on Itchenor’s calendar for more than 50 years and this year will be no exception as the club get set to welcome families from across the south.

An integral part of the fortnight, which will run until Friday, August 5, the social programme is packed full of activities for children from pool parties, garden games, raft races to crabbing competitions and quiz nights.

Parents are also given the opportunity to sail in fun races such as the mothers’ topper event and the parents’ single-handed races.

“One of the most rewarding aspects of the event is watching the young competitors’ confidence and sailing skills improve throughout the two weeks. For some it is an introduction to the world of dinghy racing, but it is unlikely to be their last, as unsurprisingly, many will return year after year for this great event,” said club commodore Charles Hyatt.

All Junior Fortnight competitors must be members of either Itchenor SC, a federated Chichester Harbour club, an RYA-affiliated club or crewing for a member of such a club.

Classes that can take part include Mirror, Laser, Topper and International 420.

As part of a five-year sponsorship agreement with MPI Brokers, the travel insurance specialists are sponsoring Junior Fortnight as well as the annual Schools Week event.

For more information on participating in Junior Fortnight visit www.itchenorsc.co.uk or contact the club office on 01243 512400.

ROUND THE ISLAND

A Chichester businessman was part of a crew who won best in class in the 40ft Arabella on their first attempt at the annual Round the Island race.

The team of four came fourth in their group and 15th overall in an event in which they were up against 1,700 other boats and 16,000 sailors.

The team comprised Jon Miles from Sevenoaks, Terry Hewett from Lynsted, Paul Graham from Maidstone and Peter Lansdale of Lansdale Marine, based in Chichester Marina.

The team competed in winds of up to 50 knots that saw a new course record set.

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