Chichester Yacht Club’s regatta day was held on a lovely summer’s day, but sadly the northerly wind was fluky and light.
The Itchenor keel boats initially thought they would not manage to race up to Chichester Basin, but the wind filled in enough for them to make it to Chichester for the end of their race – and what a treat it was to see them.
Race officers Tony Mobbs and John and Pam Miles ran the racing from committee boat Cyclone. Sailing for dinghies was confined to the local area rather than a long harbour race because of the very light wind conditions.
A single race was held in each fleet, with those getting an early lead and picking the right course balancing wind and tide doing best on the water.
In the fast fleet Simon and Sarah Townsend in their RS400 (Emsworth SC) took first, keeping ahead of CYC’s Nick and Roger Elliman, also in a RS400.
In the 2000s, John and Pauline Cox got an early lead on the remaining 2000s and finished first. There was only a small medium fleet but Richard Smale in his Streaker proved to be pretty fast on the water against the Vareo.
The Solo fleet had the closest racing, but Roger Millett proved yet again his expertise in light winds to win.
It was a lovely day for sailing in Chichester Harbour, the warm sunshine compensating for the fluky winds.
Afterwards sailors retired to the Chichester YC clubhouse for one of the famous regatta teas. A prizegiving followed on the lawn.
Final results: Fast Fleet - 1 Simon & Sarah Townsend, RS400 Emsworth SC; 2 Nick & Roger Elliman, RS400, CYC; 3 Paul & Isabella Mapstone, RS200, CYC. 2000 - 1 John & Pauline Cox, CYC; 2 Jonathan & Anne Watkins, CYC; 3 Mike Linney & Giles Dixon, CYC. Medium Fleet: 1 Richard Smale, Streaker CYC; 2 Tim Spencer, RS Vareo, CYC; Solo - 1 Roger Millett, CYC; 2 Anthony Osman, CYC; 3 Derek Jackman, CYC. Keel Boat Fleets (all from Itchenor SC): Sunbeams - 1 Tim Hill & Jenny Yeates, 2 Roger Wickens & Tim Martell; Swallows – 1 Alaistair Impey & Mimie Currey, 2 Harry & Prue Roome & Caroline Martin; XODs – 1 Roger Yeoman & Mike Moss, 2 David Palmer, Michael Cook & Steve Lawrence.
Chichester YC held a women’s and junior event the day before the main regatta.
A small but select group of women participated on a warm day with light variable winds and at times no wind.
The racing was won by Helen Green and Anne Watkins (2000). Meryl Deane was second in her Streaker.
The junior fleet had a little more excitement. Three races were held and with some fierce competition among the six Toppers, only Katie Day finished all three races, taking an overall win with a first in every race. Henrietta McKenzie was second and Lily Speed third.
Itchenor Sailing Club anticipate record entries for their 64th National Schools Week Championships, which run from June 26 to July 1.
The annual event will see students from more than 40 schools from around the UK descend on the club for a week of racing around Chichester Harbour.
Since 1953 Itchenor have hosted the championships, formerlythe Public Schools Firefly Invitation Championships. The aim is to promote inter-schools sailing competition and encourage participation in the sport.
Previous winners have included double gold medallist and silver medallist Rodney Pattisson, double silver medallist and Itchenor member Ian Walker and international sailor Phil Crebbin.
This year will see the introduction of a practice race on Sunday, June 26, for the RS Feva category. Championship racing for the Feva class will take place on June 27 and 28 with the Fireflies and 420s taking over between June 29 and July 1.
The commodore of Itchenor SC, Charles Hyatt, said: “We are delighted with the turnout for this year’s event. It is one of our long-standing annual events, with many of our most successful sailors starting out in this competition.
“It is great to see the racing standard get higher each year, particularly since we introduced the extra day of training. We look forward to welcoming the students to our club and wish them all the best of luck for the tournament!”
Last year saw an impressive selection of junior and senior student sailors participate in the event which culminated with Hayling Island College being crowned the winner of the Feva competition while RGS Guildford took home the title for the Firefy championships. A key date in the sailing calendar, this year’s event is sponsored by MPI Brokers and JDX Consulting. It also marks the start of a five-year sponsorship agreement with the travel insurance specialist, MPI Brokers.
The new agreement sees MPI sponsoring the Schools Week Championships and the Mirror, Laser, Topper and International 420 classes in the club’s Junior Fortnight which this year is from July 26 to August 5.
MPI, with its sister company Mind The Gap Year, has sponsored the Firefly and International 420-class events at Itchenor’s Schools Week at the end of June for the past nine years.
Another returning sponsor, JDX Consulting, has been involved in Schools Week since 2013.
Registration to the Schools Week Championships is open and schools can enter at www.itchenorsc.co.uk. For enquiries, contact the club office on 01243 512400.
This year marks the 70th anniversary of the national Swallow class and to celebrate, Itchenor Sailing Club have planned an action-packed season of first-class one-design racing.
The Swallow is a keel boat that was designed by Tom Thornycroft as an improvement on Charles Nicholson’s Bembridge Redwing.
It was originally created for the 1948 Olympics, where Itchenor member Stewart Morris took home gold in the Swallow class.
Itchenor is home to the largest collection of Swallows with a 30-strong fleet, making the Swallow an important part of the club’s past and current sailing programme.
This year will see more than 100 class races including 15 major events contested in Chichester Harbour, and from Monday (June 20), Itchenor will hold their annual keelboat points week.
Points Week is a five-day series of harbour races with longer-than-usual courses, making the best use of Chichester Harbour at high tide. In addition to the Swallows, large fleets of XODs and Sunbeams will enjoy their own racing. The sailing club also host numerous socials every evening, meaning this event is not only about first-class sailing, but also a fantastic opportunity to get to know keelboat
sailors from other classes.
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