It’s not the frost that’s the problem for Chichester fleet

Close racing in the latest Frostbite gathering at Chichester YC  Picture by Andrew Horne
Close racing in the latest Frostbite gathering at Chichester YC Picture by Andrew Horne

Initially, weather conditions were grim for the start of the seventh race in the Dell Quay SC Frostbite series, with wind speeds of force six - gusting to seven at times.

Only the most competent and experienced sailors attempted this first race, with many retiring before the start.

Both races on the day were dominated by Bill Dawber and Malcolm Buchanan in their Solos and Mike Fitzgerald and Tim Dormer in a 2000 dinghy. Fitzgerald and Dormer were first across the line in race seven but the normally-dominant Dawber made a poor start. Dawber and Buchanan tacked inshore to stay out of the tide while Fitzgerald and Dormer chose to stay in the tide and paradoxically pulled ahead up the first beat.

During the first run Fitzgerald and Dormer headed up under the trees and got out of the wind while Dawber headed out into more wind and tide, allowing him to gain some ground.

During the second lap, Fitzgerald and Dormer stayed in the wind, further consolidating their lead. Dawber changed his rig settings on the final beat and almost caught up with the two leading boats, but only enough to secure third place with Fitzgerald and Dormer claiming first place and Buchanan coming second.

The wind dropped considerably during race eight, encouraging all boats to compete. Buchanan took the advantage at the start, pulling well ahead of the field and leaving Dawber in amongst the RS400s and 2000s.

On the run Dawber and Buchanan managed to find clearer wind, catching up with the faster boats which had overhauled them on the beat. On the second beat Dawber stayed on starboard tack, leaving Buchanan behind in less wind.

Dawber took first this time, pushing Fitzgerald and Dormer into third and leaving Buchanan second once again.

The Frostbite series is open to all, with races nine and ten taking place on Saturday, January 18, starting at 11.30am.