Solo sailors aren’t solo at Dell Quay

Bill Dawber trails Ady Gray in the Frostbite racing at Dell Quay  Picture by Liz Sagues
Bill Dawber trails Ady Gray in the Frostbite racing at Dell Quay Picture by Liz Sagues

As Dell Quay Sailing Club’s Frostbite series hits its mid-point, it is turning into a two-Solo race – and one of them is going to be very hard indeed to beat.

Races two and three saw victories again for Bill Dawber, who had won the first two races a fortnight earlier, though in rather more enjoyable conditions. This time, racing was round a short course close to the club as strengthening winds were predicted.

The first race was over quickly, with Dawber leading all the way round the two laps, narrowly heading the fastest of the two RS400 competing – sailed by Rob Corfield and Graham Andrews – across the line.

Fellow Solo sailor Andy Gray took second place on corrected time, followed by the Laser 2000 of Andy Morley and Paula Sands.

The anticipated gusts began to blow in for race two, where Andy Gray had the best of the start and headed Dawber for the first lap. But the wrong decision at the start of the next beat dropped him to second place both on the water and on handicap. Many competitors found the conditions challenging, with plenty of capsizes.

Chris Rowsell and Jason Mortimer (RS400) had looked set to lead the fleet home until they lost their jib sheets, eventually finishing fourth but dropping to fifth on corrected time.

Beckie Manning, completing her first race in a Laser, using the 4.7 rig, enjoyed the boisterous conditions and took third place, while Michelle Atkins, an even newer racer, persevered to finish without a ducking, her main distraction of the day the need to rescue her blown-away hat.

Dawber leads the series with minimum points, and Gray is in second place. Rowsell is their nearest challenger. Four races remain, so nothing is yet finally decided.

Competitors from other clubs are warmly welcomed to the open series, where there is no entry fee. Racing continues on Saturday, January 12, with a 10.15am start, and Saturday, January 26 (10am).


Portsmouth Sailing Club have been given special permission by the Queens Harbourmaster to run a Christmas morning race in Portsmouth Harbour.

And West Sussex sailors are invited to take part in the first annual Cold Turkey Race on Christmas Day.

Usually there are strict rules about small boats using the harbour entrance.

It will be a one-hour race starting and finishing at the Portsmouth Harbour entrance.

The event will be open to all rowing boats, dinghies, small keel boats, cruisers and any boat (without mechanical propulsion) that can float and complies with the safety conditions.

This will be a short race, starting at 10.30 am, with the entry fee a £1 minimum donation (per crew member) to the RNLI.

After the race sailors can socialise at the club, with mulled wine and mince pies before returning home for Christmas lunch.

Notice of the race, sailing instructions and entry forms are on the Portsmouth Sailing Club website -