There was a light wind and sun, rain and storms forecast as 21 boats joined the Solo open at Chichester Yacht Club.
Race officer Andrew Martin was challenged with setting a course with constantly-changing winds in strength and direction.
The storms kept away even if the rain did not.
Race one started with a light breeze filling in as the rain started. Andrew Boyce (Papercourt SC) got a commanding lead chased by Fraser Hayden (also Papercourt) and Rob Janering (DQSC).
Fraser, Patrick Fell (also Papercourt) and Boyce rounded the penultimate mark together. Hayden got ahead of Boyce at the last mark to win race one with Boyce second and Fell third.
The course was reset but the wind dropped again at the start of race two. Mark Fuller (Papercourt) got a good start but Boyce overtook him.
The win dropped and the fleet needed skill and patience to keep going. First was Boyce, second Hayden, third Nigel Thomas (Hill Head SC). In race three, a number retired but a light breeze finally crept in, giving those who stayed on the water a competitive race.
Winner was Hayden, with Fell second and Thomas third.
The overall winner and first master was Hayden. Boyce was second (and first grand master) and Fell was third.
The first CYC boat was that of Roger Millett and first Septimus Derek Jackman (CYC).
The Swallow class at Itchenor has been racing for the Norman Moore Trophy every year since 1953. In this time, the annual open meeting has developed in to the premier home event for the national Swallow class.
This year’s race had a slightly-diminished fleet of 17 boats in a solid 20-25 knots of breeze and sunshine for the first of five races.
Having recovered Jeremy Sibthorp by his feet following a pre-start crash gybe to avoid a Swallow contretemps ahead, Swift went on to open their score sheet with a win. Gwaihir lost a good initial lead but held off Echo to take second.
By the two races in the afternoon Charlie Hartley, son of skipper James Hartley, had been substituted for the somewhat bruised and wet Sibthorp and Swift was back to business, but by then Gwaihir had recovered their form and secured back-to-back wins.
In race two Christine Graves’s team Skua, helmed by Chris Creak, was second, followed by Swift then Tony Glover’s Darter. Race three saw the same first two with Bluff taking the last podium place ahead of Migrant.
The club was full in the evening as the current fleet and many past Swallow sailors gathered for a gala dinner to celebrate 70 years since the formation of the class in 1947 ahead of its inclusion in the 1948 Olympics.
Sunday brought a very different sort of sailing. PRO Phillip Pascall managed to find a zephyr of breeze to start race four but with its 40-degree shifts and vagaries of strength there were plenty of traps for the unwary.
The race was initially led by national Swallow class chairman Malcolm Green sailing Archon but Bluff eventually won with Echo taking third. Gwaihir were pleased there would now be a discard score allowed.
The afternoon brought torrential rain but still hardly any wind so the excellent race management team brought out the N flag and all were towed home for tea and prizegiving.
Results: 1 Gwaihir, Mike Wigmore, Mark Struckett and Charles Hyatt; 2 Swift, James Hartley, Rob Sutherland, Jeremy Sibthorp and Ian Tillett; 3 Bluff, Hugo Fisher, Nigel Masding and Richard House; 4 Echo, Simon Slater, George Miller, & James Cunnison; 5 Skua, Christine Graves, Chris Creak, David Maclean, Robin Nott and Nick Boyd.
Visiting guests can get involved with the Swallow class at Itchenor by borrowing its sponsored ready-to-race Swallow. The spare Swallow is available to use at Itchenor’s Points Week (June 12-16), the Swallow Championships weekend at Cowes (July 15-16) and Cowes Classics regatta (July 17-21). Contact email@example.com for more.
The final two races of the DQSC Early Helm series took place in a force-five wind, gusting at times to force six.
In the first race. first place on handicap went to Mark Harper (Solo) with Sue Manning (Laser 4.7) second.
Gordon Barclay (Solo), sailing with his usual solid consistency, took third place in both races, finding the blustery conditions to his liking. In the second race, the wind had moderated slightly and the tide had turned. A strong performance by Sue Manning gave her first place with a lead of 70 seconds on corrected time, pushing Harper into second.
Mark Harper wins the series and the Palmer Goblet trophy, with Sue Manning second and Gordon Barclay third.
For races four to six of the Bank Holiday Mini Series the wind was light and variable.
The racing was dominated by the Solo fleet with a serious challenge from Jean and Liz Sagues in their Lymington Scow.
Final results: Race 4 – 1 Simon Verrall (Solo), 2 David Maltby (Solo), 3 Richard Bridgmont (Solo); Race 5 – 1 Simon Verrall, 2 Gordon Barclay (Solo), 3 Jean and Liz Sagues; Race 6 – 1 Jean and Liz Sagues, 2 David Maltby, 3 Mike Shaw (Solo).
Gordon Barclay leads the series, with Simon Verrall second and Mike Shaw third.
The final two races of the mini series will take place on Monday, August 28 at 4.30pm.
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