Setting Sail: Itchenor sailors are busy home and away

Chris Blevins and some of the Itchenor SC team / Picture by Kate Shemilt
Chris Blevins and some of the Itchenor SC team / Picture by Kate Shemilt

Home and away, the past few weeks have been some of the busiest we have experienced at Itchenor Sailing Club, writes Chris Blevins, rear-commdore sailing at Itchenor Sailing Club.

Traditionally our keel boat fleets make the annual pilgrimage to Cowes and the club is taken over by our junior sailors. In many respects nothing has changed.

However, there are now two Cowes events – the burgeoning Cowes Classics Week now matches Cowes Week in popularity with a similar number of XODs competing in each regatta, while the Sunbeams have made a clear preference for the Classics event.

The news from Cowes Week is that Itchenor sailors have been successful against allcomers in this prestigious event.

Hugo Sloper, sailing a Swallow has won the under-25 trophy and the XOD Lass (Richard Bullock, Richard Jordan, Jeremy Lear and John Tremlett) has secured the Captain’s Cup for the third year in succession.

Our sailors have been much farther afield than Cowes.

Sophie Ainsworth has just started her campaign at the Olympic test event in Rio de Janeiro.

Chris Blevins

George Yeoman and Sophie Ormsby achieved a very creditable second place in the RS200 national championships in Abersoch. Isobel and Katie Davies and Gemma Keers and Joanna Kalderon have been competing in the International 420 world championships in Japan followed by the European event in Bulgaria.

As I write, Sophie Ainsworth has just started her campaign at the Olympic test event in Rio de Janeiro.

Itchenor’s annual Junior Fortnight for eight to 18-year-olds proved as popular as ever on and off the water. Some 230 young people benefitted from a comprehensive race programme of mornings and afternoons as well as coaching sessions and eagerly anticipated social events. It is a joy to see the progress these young sailors make over the fortnight through applying their skills in a competitive environment. Many of our Mirror and 420 crews are off to national championships where they hope for great things – the Mirrors go to Abersoch and the 420s to Restronguet.

It is now back to normal, if anything can be termed normal at Itchenor, and we are looking forward to our regatta this Sautrday when we welcome sailors from other harbour clubs to join us to compete for the many trophies and prizes on offer.

Read Chris Blevins’ Setting Sail column monthly throughout the sailing season in the Chichester Observer and on this website.

Want to be one of our Talking Sport columnists? Email steve.bone@chiobserver.co.uk

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