A combination of work commitments, skiing trips, sickness and a windy-weather forecast meant there was a marked drop in starters for the final two races in the Dell Quay Frostbite series.
Any of four Solo-class sailors could potentially win the series and the leader Bill Dawber could not afford to miss the final races.
A figure-of-eight course was set by race officer Bob Marshall. Staying close to the far shore to keep out of the tide, Simon Verrall made the best start and led almost to the first mark until crossing tacks with Dawber meant he was forced back into second.
On the run back to Dell Quay, Verrall was gaining on Dawber but was unable to make up the difference before starting the second beat when Dawber was able to establish a commanding lead to the finish.
With an almost-exclusive Solo fleet Andy Morley in a Pico made the most of the strong wind to finish third on corrected time.
With the series now sewn up, thanks to six straight wins and one second, Dawber didn’t need to sail the final race, which allowed Verrall to take first place in race 12.
The two Solos of Fred Hilgers and Richard Bridgmont were running level down to the final leeward mark with Morley staying level in his Pico.
While Bridgmont had the inside place approaching the mark he headed up to avoid an inadvertent gybe and allowed Hilgers to take the lead but immediately capsized at the mark. This allowed Bridgmont to slip inside and take third, with Morley second.
Prizes were presented by club rear-commodore Giles Hall with Dawber first, Verral second, Hilgers third and Bridgmont fourth.
Itchenor Sailing Club is preparing to kick off a busy season of sailing with renowned regattas, top tournaments and family fixtures among the line-up.
Highlights of the season include the Mirror Open (May 13-14), Points Week (June 12-16) and the RS200 Open Day (July 8-9) for competitive racing among the classic keelboat and dinghy fleets.
The annual Oxford v Cambridge varsity match will take place at Itchenor this summer in its centenary race. Competing for the Yule-Oldham Challenge Cup, this prestigious event is one of the highlights of the Oxbridge calendar that will see Itchenor play host for the sixth time since its inception in 1912.
Heralding the start of the summer holidays, the club’s Junior Fortnight is scheduled for July 31 to August 13. Packed with sailing and social events, the event supported by jbA Architecture offers two weeks of fun, learning and competitive sailing for young sailors aged eight to 18.
The Schools Week Championships is another regular junior event at the club that sees students come from across the UK to compete.
The competition sponsored by MPI Brokers and JDX Consulting, starts with the RS Feva XL event on the June 25 and 29 aimed at competitors in school Years 7 to 10.
The second part of the week is occupied by older students in Fireflies and 420s who enjoy a day of training on the Wednesday followed by two days of racing.
The season will conclude with a bang as the club hosts its annual celebrations for Bart’s Bash on September 17.
Itchenor participates in the National event every year to raise money for Andrew Simpson Sailing Foundation, the charity set up in 2013 to honour the life and legacy of Andrew ‘Bart’ Simpson, Olympic gold and silver medallist.
For those interested in getting involved in sailing at Itchenor, the club will once again be holding an open day on Sunday, May 7 for potential new members to come along and experience class racing with the opportunity to go afloat in a wide range of boats throughout the day.
To find out more visit www.itchenorsc.co.uk or call 01243 512400.
There was a fantastic turnout for the penultimate day of Snowflake series racing at Chichester Yacht Club.
Forty-four boats took to the water for a great spectacle, and making for some exciting racing. Race officer Richard Anderton, assisted by the local Laser-class volunteers, were magnificently marshaled by Tim Boon.
The fast fleet got off first time with a light to moderate south-westerly breeze and a trapezoid course.
David and Fiona Sayce from Hayling Island SC showed the rest of the fast fleet the way home by winning the both races. Henderson and Henderson got into the money with consistent sailing with third and second places.
Philip Meakins and Nick Willis powered to second place in race one in their Osprey and George Yeoman and Sophie Ormsby screamed down the reaches at close quarters in their RS200.
For the second race the wind increased, gusting up to 30 knots, resulting in a few capsizes.
In the medium fleet the masterful boat-handing of Steve and Sarah Cockrill allowed them to dominate from the front chalking up another double first.
Coping well with a starting flag rearrangement and a general recall plus multi-fleet starting-line congestion, they remained unfazed by it all. The wind strength and direction was great for mini races planning downwind.
In the slow fleet Nina and Connie Radford won both races, showing consistent form in their RS Feva.
Overall the day produced the best racing of the series so far. The series finale is on March 12 followed by prizegiving.
Results - Fast Fleet Race 7: 1 David and Fional Sayce, Fireball 15112 HISC; 2 Philip Meakins and Nick Willis, Osprey 1347, Warsash SC/HISC; 3 Will and Rob Henderson, Merlin Rocket 3726, Salcombe YC. Fast Fleet Race 8: 1 David and Fional Sayce, Fireball 15112 HISC; 2 Will and Rob Henderson, Merlin Rocket 3726, Salcombe YC; 3 George Yeoman and Sophie Ormsby RS200 1643, ISC. Medium Fleet Race 7: 1 Steve and Sarah Cockerill, Laser 2000 2035, SBSC; 2 Matt Reid, Laser 204005, Spinnaker SC: 3 Craig Williamson, Laser 210914, HISC. 4 Guy Mauger, Solo 5691, Felpham SC. Medium Fleet Race 8: 1 Steve and Sarah Cockerill, Laser 2000 2035, SBSC; 2 Matt Reid, Laser 204005, Spinnaker SC; 3 Craig Williamson, Laser 210914, HISC; 4 Michael and Paula Olliff, Laser 2000 21731, Chichester YC. Slow Fleet Race 7: 1 Nina and Connie Radford, RS Feva 394, Langstone SC; 2 Alice Serna and Alex Cray, RS Quba 151, FSC/CYC. Slow Fleet Race 7. 1 Nina and Connie Radford, RS Feva 394, Langstone SC. 2. Georgie Cousens and Maddie Warwick RS Feva 13731, Emsworth SC.
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