Sussex sailing: Dinghy week and youth regatta are hailed a success

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Chichester Yacht Club held a successful Dinghy Week.

Five days of relaxed racing were combined with fun and games on and off the water.

Dinghy Week incorporates family and junior week and competition is fierce.

Racing was organised into a four-day series with a long-distance race on the final day.

CYC were also able to run a regatta fleet – a coached fleet for those who could sail but wanted race training – plus a beginners’ Optimist course.

Visitors from other clubs helped make the sailing an enjoyable spectacle. Over the week more than 90 boats, and 120-plus sailors, took part.

The fast fleet was the biggest with competitors ranging in age from 13 to 80.

Steve Cockerill (Laser Radial) set the tone with a convincing win in race one. Sarah Cockerill wasn’t far behind, while Jason and Sonia Kirk in their RS400 were ahead on the water but took third on handicap.

In race two the Kirks beat Steve Cockerill on and off the water. Other race wins went to Ian and Rosie Farr in a Laser 2000 and Mark Harper in his Solo.

Results: 1 Steve Cockerill (Laser Radial - Hill Head SC), 2 Sarah Cockerill (Laser Radial – Hill Head SC), 3 Mark Harper (Solo – CYC), 4 Jason & Sonia Kirk (RS400 – CYC), 5 Andrew & Cassie Martin (Miracle - CYC).

Prizes were awarded for young people in this fleet.

Under-16s: 1 Harry Kennedy, (Laser 4.7, Hill Head SC, ninth overall), 2 Hamish Scott (Laser 4.7, CYC). 16-18s: 1 Alexander Lee (Laser 4.7 – Pagham YC), 2 Ben Thompson (Laser Radial - CYC), 3 Harriet Culver (Laser Radial, CYC).

In the slow fleet, racing was dominated by the Mirrors of Steve and Lesley Kelsall, with their children Olivia and Katherine crewing.

Results: 1 Steve Kelsall & crew, 2 Lesley Kelsall & crew, 3 Hector & Issy Monroe (RS Feva).

In the Topper fleet William Dodd was in top form to notch five wins.

Jessica Carter was close behind.

Results: 1 William Dodd, 2 Jessica Carter, 3 Sophie Kirk, 4 Charlotte Reading,

5 Hannah Thompson (all CYC).

The Optimist fleet was small because of a clash with another event. Charlie Elliott raced Alfie Batchelor in the early part of the series, but Batchelor could not sail the whole week.

Elliott went out in all conditions and completed all eight races to win the class.

He was awarded the Beck Pye Memorial Trophy as the youngest qualifying helm.

On the final day a pursuit race was held for the adults over a long course. The slowest boats set off first, the faster boats later according to handicap. Winner of the Brunt Trophy was Steve Cockerill in his Laser Radial.

Second were Ian and Rosie Farr (Laser 2000), third Jason and Sonia Kirk (RS 400).

In the under-16 fleet, a long-distance race was held.

Winner of the Barry Coomer Memorial Trophy was Jessica Carter (Topper).

Second was Hamish Scott (Laser Radial), third Charlotte Reading (Topper), and fourth Hannah Thompson (Topper).

Also held during the week were many fun events. A pool trophy was won by Tom Cowan, while the table tennis trophies were won by William Dodd (over 11) and Kipp Batchelor (under 11).

Thanks go to the helpers who made the week a success.


‘Inspire a generation’ is one of the mottos of the Olympic and Paralympics – and Felpham SC’s youth regatta showed how well some youngsters are responding.

Over four days of learning, sailing, racing and fun managed by Roger Belton, principal of the Felpham SC RYA Training Centre, 61 young people learned to sail from scratch or increased their skills considerably. More than 50 adults contributed helped out.

The 16 most experienced youngsters were placed under the care of RYA coach Andy Kerr and went through a rigorous training programme. Afternoons were devoted to races for the famous Cadet Cup. Every participant made progress by at least one level – 83 certificates were awarded.

The RYA inspected the club and were suitably impressed.

In the Cadet Cup, Ryan Breach and Jack Cullen sailed their RS200 into first in race one but could manage only third in race two as Toby Schofield earned honours.

Fog beat the fleet on day two but on day three, Breach and Cullen posted two firsts to lead by a point from Schofield, who continued to post steady top-four finishes.

James Mapley snatched the final win to lurk one point behind in third.

Tom Anderson and Aldert White had improved and were still in touch with the leaders. The leading ladies, Abi Bently and Jess Breach, were steady but were not able to match the leaders for speed.

The final day saw a strong south-easterly wind with decent-sized waves for the final three races.

Breach and Cullen were determined to defend their lead but it was not to be and they registered a sixth and a fifth. Mapley showed his mastery of the winds posting three straight wins to put the cup out of sight. Schofield was a close second overall. Callum Aldous managed a second and two thirds.