Young sailors impress in annual Sussex regatta

Slow fleet action from thr WSSYSA regatta at Dell Quay
Slow fleet action from thr WSSYSA regatta at Dell Quay

The annual West Sussex Schools and Youth Sailing Association regatta saw 158 competitors aged from eight to 18 battling strong winds.

Held at Dell Quay Sailing Club it had a total entry of 129 dinghies repesenting nine different sailing clubs and was split across two courses into four fleets.

The standout performers among local sailors on Saturday were Thomas Dempsey and Effie Grant of Chichester Yacht Club finishing first and second respectively in the Optimist fleet, with Dell Quay’s Ella Jones coming third.

Double Olympic medallist and Chichester Yacht Club (CYC) member Sarah Ayrton was at the regatta and used her experience to provide priceless coaching and advice to the children competiting.

Following a briefing on the Saturday, all the sailors were on the water within 30 minutes.

All performed very well in opening three races despite challenging conditions, with the majority of the dinghies completing the course in the upper end of the wind scales.

On returning ashore, the sailors were well catered for by the DQSC gallery team and had the opportunity to purchase branded clothing from Krowmark who were onsite for the event.

On Sunday, as forecast, conditions had worsened with the winds deemed too strong for the sailors to compete and the decision was made not to launch.

The standout performers among local sailors on Saturday were Thomas Dempsey and Effie Grant of Chichester Yacht Club finishing first and second respectively in the Optimist fleet, with Dell Quay’s Ella Jones coming third.

Lizzie Kies (DQSC) was first Pico and Max Sydenham (DQSC) first RS Tera.

At the end of prizegiving came the WSSYSA regatta team prize with the best five results from each club counting towards the team rankings.

Chichester Yacht Club finished third, hosts Dell Quay an impressive second and Felpham Sailing Club wrapped up the overall win.

Special thanks went to Chichester Habour Conservancy for allowing the use of Dell Quay’s education centre for the children, all the volunteers who helped run the event, DQSC race officers Mark Harper and Graham Dalton, safety crews and Starlight Coaching for first-aid cover.

Final class results: Fast Fleet: 1 Alex Mayger (Laser Radial, Felpham Sailing Club), 2 Johnny Brown (Laser Radial, Arun Yacht Club), 3 Jack Miller (RS Aero 5, Felpham Sailing Club). Slow Fleet: 1 Jamie Dadswell and Megan Renson (RS Feva XL, Arun Youth Aqua Centre), 2 Erin Aldie-Hobbs (Laser 4.7, Felpham Sailing Club), 3 Miles Vidler and Maria Townsend (RS Feva XL, Crawley Mariners Yacht Club). Topper: 1 Samuel Brackley (Felpham Sailing Club), 2 Alfie Lester (Felpham Sailing Club), 3 Tom Twist (Felpham Sailing Club). Optimist: 1 Thomas Dempsey (Chichester Yacht Club), 2 Effie Grant (Chichester Yacht Club), 3 Ella Jones (Dell Quay Sailing Club).