The 2013 Dell Quay regatta got off to a great start with the sunshine and fresh breeze encouraging 80 boats – 47 dinghies and 33 classic keelboats – on to the water.
Conditions were challenging, with a gusty north-easterly wind hitting force six at times. But after a good number of capsizes en route to the starting line, most competitors sailed very competently indeed, with some spectacular planing on the off-wind legs.
The Solo fleet had a close start, with Bill Dawber (DQSC) over the line and having to return.
Andy Gray (DQSC) led up the first beat but capsized with mainsheet problems and on the next round, Ken Baker (DQSC) had an incident with a powerboat which left him swimming. Dawber took the lead to win comfortably from Millett (Chichester YC) and Baker.
The 2000 sailors enjoyed the long downwind leg, flying their gennakers all the way. On the first lap Graham and Lucy Dalton (DQSC) drew out a long lead but fell back to third after sailing into a wind hole.
With some deft gennaker handling and hard upwind hiking, the Daltons regained the lead to finish first followed by club-mates Warwick Hoddy and John Denyer, with Chris Hodge and Louise Varley (CYC) third.
Despite the gusty conditions, 16 Topper sailors took to the water for the first event of the WSSYSA Topper Traveller area series. It proved a thrilling and fast-paced race on a course very busy with other classes, and the young competitors displayed excellent determination and perseverance. Felpham SC took rostrum honours, with Ed Gerwat, Josh Wilkinson and Owen Aldous first, second and third.
Exciting racing was also enjoyed by the Lasers with Ben Chrystall (DQSC) winning from Andy Palmer Felgate (CYC) and Paul Ward (Itchenor SC).
In the medium handicap, the Laser 4.7s led the field with DQSC members Beckie Manning first, Nikki Buchanan second and the Graduate of Roger Francis and Peter Campbell third.
In the fast handicap race, Graham Darwell (Broadwater SC) and Peter King (DQSC) recovered after capsizing their Albacore at the five-minute gun to make a good port tack start.
They stayed with the faster boats for the first lap and enjoyed close racing with the Finn of Edward Thorburn (Newhaven and Seaford SC), who they pushed into third place to finish second behind Simon and Jackie Lytton (Merlin Rocket, Hayling Island SC). After the regatta tea, DQSC president Mary Ross presented the prizes, including the Spirit of Dell Quay Trophy, given by the Crown & Anchor pub and awarded to a DQSC member who has displayed perseverance or ‘spirit’ competing in the regatta.
This year the trophy went to Chris Lynas and his nine-year-old son William. Chris and William capsized their Heron while sailing towards the start of the slow handicap race.
With much effort they bailed out the Heron and reached the start, finishing the race second behind the Mirror of Martin and Ed Jones (Hayling Island SC).
Keelboats results (all Itchenor SC):
National Swallow: 1 Chris Creak, Nick and Mike; 2 Richard Thompson, Charles Fisher and Carole Thompson; 3 Jeremy Sibthorp, Will and Sue Kalderon. Solent Sunbeam: 1 Roger Wickens and David Melville; 2 Mr Read, Messrs Ratcliffe and Albert; 3 Tony Hill, Sue Smith and Suzie Alexander. XOD: 1 Alastair Shaw, Andrew Shaw and Chris Damun; 2 R Jordan, J Lear and J Tremlett; 3 David Palmer, Messrs Plumstead and Weng.
The final race of the Lady Todd Series was held at Chichester YC. The sun shone, the water was not too cold - summer had arrived.
Race officer Richard Smale set a course in Chichester Basin and allowed a reasonably-long race.
In the fast/modern fleet, Andy and Richard Clare in the RS400, having got on the water early to check the start line, were well over at the start and had to return. This allowed the RS200s and the 2000s to get ahead.
The race was led early on by Ian Payne and Meryl Deane (RS200). They were soon passed by Tony Purse in his RS600, but they kept ahead of the pack for some time. The Clares in the RS400 finally caught up and zipped past, but the RS400 was not able to make enough time back on handicap.
In the latter stages, Chris Hodge and Louise Varley passed Payne and Deane as the RS200 seemed to find more lulls than wind.
Result: 1 Chris Hodge & Louise Varley, 2 Ian Payne & Meryl Deane, 3 Helen & Mark Green (2000). Series result: 1 Pete Harrison & Stephen Green (2000), 2 Andy & Richard Clare (RS400), 3 Ian Payne & Meryl Deane (RS200), 4 Helen & Mark Green (2000).
In the medium/classic fleet, a clutch of Solos were joined by an Europe and a Laser. The Solos kept ahead on handicap, with Laurence Murray setting the pace, chased by Ron Green, Ras Turner and Dave Hope.
While Ras Turner and Dave Hope had a very close race, Laurence Murray kept well ahead to finish first. Second was Green, third Turner.
Series result: 1 Roger Millett, 2 Ras Turner.
The small slow fleet comprised Toppers and a Topaz. While Tim Orton in the Topaz led on the water, Hannah Thompson did not allow him to get too far ahead of her Topper and she finished ahead on handicap. Third was Nick Attree (Topper).
Series result: 1 Hannah Thompson, 2 Tim Orton, 3 Nick Attree.