Spring arrives in Chichester Harbour as Snowflake memories drift away

After the ice-breaking required before races five and six, the final event in this year’s Chichester Yacht Club Snowflake couldn’t have been more different on a very spring-like day.

With the temperature easily in double digits and a bright blue sky overhead, many of the competitors were undecided whether to put on winter gear or shorts.

Spectacular Snowflake action at Chi YC / Picture by Dan Hughes

Spectacular Snowflake action at Chi YC / Picture by Dan Hughes

Race officer Richard Anderton set an east/west trapezium course that had the boats beating up the marina channel toward the clubhouse.

The fast fleet had 24 competitors with the Merlin Rockets and RS400s out in force. In series race seven, Tim Saxton and Holly Scott won by four seconds after the handicap had been applied, with Steve and Sarah Cockerill not quite able to build enough of a lead for their RS400 to overcome the Merlin’s more favorable handicap.

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In race eight, the wind freshened slightly and allowed the Cockerills to win by two minutes from the Merlin of Alex Jackson and Will Caroll.

The medium fleet had 21 boats with the font of the fleet contested between Solos and Aero 7s.

In race seven HISC’s Alex Butler won in his Solo followed by Mark Riddington and Toby Schofield in Aeros. Martin Orton, sailing with Ian Brooks, managed a creditable fourth place sailing in a 35-year-old Lark.

In race eight the top three places were unchanged, but fourth went to Charlie South, who went on to win the overall youth prize for the Snowflake series.

In the slow fleet four boats had close racing with just a minute separating them after the times were corrected for handicap. The winner was Zac Smith in his Quba, followed by Sam Atherton in a Tera and Katie Merryfield-Day and Joshua James sailing in Toppers.

After the racing the competitors gathered in the sloop for the end of series prizegiving. Prizes for the leading boats were awarded by sponsor, Aqualiving of Chichester.

Series winners: Fast Fleet 1st Veteran Ross Fisher; Medium Fleet 1st Veteran Derek Jackman; Medium Fleet 1st Youth Charlie South; Medium Fleet 1st Lady Helm Helen Green; Fast Fleet 1st Lady Helm Jemma Horwood; Holt Trophy (awarded to the highest placed boat designed by Jack Holt) Alex Butler (Solo); Slow Fleet 3rd Thomas Machel; 2nd Sam Atherton; 1st Zac Smith; Medium Fleet 5th Charlie South; 4th Toby Schofield;

3rd Nigel Thomas; 2nd Mark Riddington; 1st Alex Butler; Fast Fleet 5th Callum Aldus; 4th Simon Townsend & Anna Fordham; 3rd Alex Jackson & Will Carrol; 2nd Alex Warren & Mary Henderson; 1st Steve & Sarah Cockerill.