Try sailing for free at Bognor Yacht Club

Windsurfing is one of the popular pursuits at Bognor Regis YC
Windsurfing is one of the popular pursuits at Bognor Regis YC

Bognor Regis Yacht Club are holding open days today (May 12) and tomorrow and giving people the chance to try sailing for free.

The friendly family club hope many people who like the idea of sailing but have never tried it will visit them over the weekend and take to the water.

The club cater for windsurfers and sailors of catamarans, dinghies and kayaks.

BRYC started life as a sailing club in 1949. A clubhouse was built in 1950-51 when the club became very popular as a location for sailing Merlin Rockets.

During the early 1980s the then commodore introduced a modern fast catamaran which proved popular with club members.

To this day they are the most popular craft at the club.

The 80s also saw the introduction of windsurfing, quickly embraced by the club and, with the well-established catamaran fleet, membership rapidly grew. An extension was added to the building which provided a wet bar area for those coming in off the water.

The club are a recognised RYA training establishment and offer sailing courses in dinghies and catamarans to youngsters and adults together with powerboat and safety boat courses.

Informal coaching is available for windsurfing.

A Sport England grant has enabled the club to purchase two Topper Topaz catamarans to add to the training-boat fleet.

The clubhouse has a comfortable lounge, a licensed bar and a galley serving meals.

There is a boat park for catamarans, dinghies, windsurfers and kayaks, which are now becoming very popular. Racing takes place at weekends from mid-April until the middle of October. There is also an on-going speed challenge for the windsurfers.

Members also run a varied social calendar to cater for all tastes.

The club are based a few hundred metres west of Bognor Pier and can be contacted at training@bryc.co.uk.

FELPHAM

Bank Holiday Monday’s strong winds and rain did not stop a good turnout for the annual Coxswain’s Cannon Trophy race at Felpham SC.

The race officer was set a P-shaped course and three Blaze sailors set out to put their stamp on the race in conditions that suited them, led by Ross Fisher.

James Mapley in his Laser Radial showed his mastery of the waves by splitting the first two Blazes on handicap come the finish. Mark Aldous (Laser Radial) was the best of the rest leading Tony Lord’s Solo and Pat Cullen’s Laser home by four minutes or so.

Most sailors decided the conditions were too risky for a gybe, especially as the wind strengthened into the second race.

The second race saw most try to get away speedily at one end of the line – fortunately there were no collisions.

At the top of the first beat Mapley’s Laser just had the beating of Paul Hemsleys’ Blaze.

Fisher had to withdraw as his boom gave way under the strong wind.

Hemsleys on the water but not enough to claim victory from Mapley on corrected time. Lord sailed consistently to beat the rest, both on the water and on handicap.

Mapley’s first and second places won the day while Evie Marks completed her first high-wind competition in big seas. The race team provided safety cover and beach help in very difficult conditions.

Full results can be found at www.felphamsailing.co.uk

CHICHESTER

The final two days of the CYC First Breath series brought some exciting racing.

It was cold, wet and windy and only the enthusiasts were out.

The modern fleet was dominated by Pete and Suzy Harrison throughout the weekend with a clean sweep of firsts, which meant they won the series ahead of Jason and Sonia Kirk.

Ian Payne and Meryl Deane (RS200) were third but failed to qualify with sufficient races.

In the classic fleet the keen Laser sailors were joined by a sprinkling of other boats.

Racing on Saturday was notable for a number of capsizes including a spectacular one at the beginning of the first race by Jimmy Carter next to a fixed channel mark. Carter caught up with many of the fleet to finish fourth and went on to take a first in the next race.

The best results of the weekend were those of Ian Payne, back in his Laser, with two firsts and two thirds.

Luke South managed two seconds in his Laser, with Derek Jackman also taking a first in his Solo.

Series results: 1 Mark Harper (Finn),

2 Roger Millet (Solo), 3 Jimmy Carter (Laser), 4 Ben Thompson (Laser).

In the slow fleet, the Topper girls dominated.

In the first race there was close racing between Hannah Thompson, Charlotte Reading and Sophie Kirk with Thompson keeping ahead. Reading and Kirk fought it out to the line with Reading two seconds ahead.

Arthur Fry in an Optimist won on handicap.

In the second race the high winds led to Ben Thompson abandoning his Laser and taking over his sister’s Topper and dominating the race to finish first. On the Sunday Charlie Elliot and Charlie South both went out in Optimists, doing well in the tricky winds with Elliott first, South second and Reading 3rd in her Topper

Series results: 1 Hannah Thompson, 2 Charlotte Reading, 3 Sophie Kirk, 4 Jessica Carter (all Toppers).