Sharpie spectacle at Bosham ... Felpham crews go sailing on dry land

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Thirty historic racing dinghies are due to converge on Bosham Sailing Club for the International 12sqM Sharpie national championships from tomorrow (June 22).

The last time such a gathering of these boats visited the harbour in such numbers was 1947, while it is 56 years since these machines were used in the Olympic Games at Melbourne.

Music for the evening entertainment will continue the vintage vibe with Dawn’s Vintage Do on Friday and The Jazz Smugglers on Saturday. The music will cover the whole period from the year the Sharpie was designed, in 1931, through their heyday of the 1940s through to the 1960s.

Most of the boats will have been built in the 1930s and 1940s in Germany, Holland and Britain.

Sparkes Yard at Hayling and Burnes Yard at Bosham turned out a number of these boats, and two of the Sparkes’ boats will be racing this time just as fast as the first day they were launched in the late 1940s.

Bosham sailor CNE Currey and his son Charles Currey (pictured) scooped the national championships consistently between 1947 and 1949 in their Sharpie named Chuckles which went on to take bronze medal at the Melbourne Olympics helmed by Jasper Blackall.

The Curreys are pictured holding the Connaught and Spring Cups awarded to the national champions.

These trophies will be contested again this year.

The event this year is a great opportunity to take further the re-establishment of south-coast Sharpie racing and the club at Bosham would welcome interest from sailors who want to try their hand at these classic racing boats.

DELL QUAY

The first major long series of Dell Quay SC’s 2012 season ended with some of the biggest fleets in the three classes – Laser 2000, Solo and handicap – on the water in a gusty but controllable breeze, in contrast to the previous day’s gale-force wind.

Bill Dawber had already secured the Solo Early Trophy prize with a near-perfect score, but the consistent sailing of John Purdy took him second overall as he completed the series with two second places.

Malcolm Buchanan, who won both the last day’s races, didn’t have enough results to lift him above third overall.

Close racing in the larger Laser 2000 fleet saw Mike Fitzgerald and Tim Dormer take the overall honours as they finished with a first and a third place, while Anne and Jim Norfolk scored two seconds, leaving them runners-up overall.

Graham and Lucy Dalton, winners of the final race of the series, had to settle for fourth place behind Tom Dobbs.

Handicap winner was Chris Turner (Fireball), crewed through most of the series by Jamie Prescott, who clinched the trophy with a first and fourth in the final races, ahead of Malcolm and Sarah Greenhalgh (Wayfarer), who finished with a pair of second places.

Roger Francis and Ranjit Verghese were third overall, ahead of junior Becky Manning who, rather than compete in the final races of the series joined in the junior race training.

All the club’s dinghy racers are hoping for good breezes and sunshine at the club’s annual regatta this Sunday, with class and handicap racing and the welcome sight of Itchenor SC’s keelboats finishing at the Dell Quay line.

Entries are welcome on the day, start times from 2.30pm – see www.dqsc.co.uk for details.

FELPHAM

Worries over the water quality following the recent floods meant Friday’s cadets’ evening was shore-based and Sunday’s racing was turned into a race training session.

On Saturday Felpham welcomed the Play Association Hammersmith and Fulham (PAHF), a voluntary group working to improve play opportunities for youngsters.

A coachload of 25 eight to 18-year-olds arrived with carers and parents and were undeterred by sailing being impossible.

Felpham members laid on a number of activities (as pictured below). Several boats were rigged on the greensward in the shelter of the clubhouse allowing the youngsters to experience sailing on dry land. Some were able to clamber over the safety boats and all were given the chance to learn some knots.

The event was rounded off with a challenge match on the putting green followed by a seaside barbecue.

The visitors thanked Guy Mayger, the main organiser, and the club for laying on a terrific day out.

CHICHESTER

In a summer series, Chichester sailors expect to be basking in 22C or more and sailing in sparkling sea breezes. But their most recent venture out on to the water was in a cold east/north-east breeze of 12 knots, cloud and eventually rain.

Conditions didn’t deter the 20 competitors for the three scheduled club races. A total of 15 boats made up the fast fleet with seven Solos sailing. 

Jack Holt designed the Solo more than 55 years ago, but it remains an active class with about 100 new boats built each year. The strict design results in close racing, and this was well demonstrated.

In race one, a short simple course in the Chichester Lake area highlighted that when the breeze is in the north-east, the trees have a major influence on the race.

Ian Payne in his Laser led the fleet around the tight course with Mark Harper in a Solo in hot pursuit.

Payne took first with Harper second and John Crawley third, also in a Laser. 

The rest of the Solo class had exceptionally close racing with Ian Lissamore leading, followed by Derek Jackman, Roger Millet and Peter Hughes with just over a minute separating them. 

Lissamore and Jackman crossed the line together to take joint fourth. Races two and three brought a good windward leg from the racing mark of Birdham to Copperas point, followed by the downwind legs back to the finish line at CYC.

Harper took first in race two, with Richard Smale in his Streaker second and Lissamore third.

The rain set in for race three, won by Harper ahead of Smale and then Crawley. In the slow fleet, the Toppers of Hannah Thompson, Charlotte Reading and Matt Olliff had close racing, finishing in that order. But Charlie Elliott in an Optimist won the first two races on corrected time.

The Topaz of Tim Orton made an appearance for race three, finishing first with Elliott second.