Aero races bubble up nicely at Felpham Sailing Club - plus Itchenor Setting Sail column

Beautiful sunshine and a light south-easterly breeze met 19 Aero and 21 Tera sailors at Felpham Sailing Club.

Three races were planned for the day, starting at midday.

Close racing at Felpham Sailing Club / Picture by Chris Hatton

Close racing at Felpham Sailing Club / Picture by Chris Hatton

Peter Barton had brought down the new six rig for a few Aero sailors to try. He had a nervous wait as everyone around him started launching, he had loaned his boat to a local lad to try before racing, eventually retrieving it in time for a postponed first race.

The postponement was short and the Aeros got a clean start with Greg Bartlett leading the way round a trapezoid course. Barton and Nigel Davies were not far behind in their 9s. But Chris Hatton was keeping the pressure on all the way round the course in his seven. After handicap had been applied Bartlett was first, Hatton second and Barton third.

The wind increased for the start of the second race, but this time Bartlett had impeded another boat and so had to do his turns. This left Barton to lead the field around the course followed by Bartlett and Davies in the 9s.

Again Hatton was snapping at their heels all the way round with Barton finishing just four seconds ahead on handicap. There was some very close racing in the middle of the pack.

The final race got under way and Barton led but this time Hatton was not far behind. Local lad Toby Schofield managed a brilliant third, having been sailing for only five months, with Sammy Isaccs-Johnson the best of the new 6s just six seconds behind after handicap had been applied.

Results: 1 Chris Hatton; 2 Peter Barton; 3 Greg Bartlett.

Thanks went to race officer Ross Fisher and his assistant James Gerwat for a laying a good course.

The Aeros’ start was the Tera five-minute warning signal and all boats got away cleanly for all three races.

The first race saw a battle between Oliver Phillips (Pro), Finlay Southon (Sport), Tom Twist (Pro) and Paula Bentley (Pro). Phillips led with Bentley, Southon and Twist battling well. It finished with Phillips first, from Southon and Twist.

The wind had swung round more easterly for the second race and the race officer and support boats adjusted the course. There was slightly more wind for this race and Bentley led from the start with Phillips second and Henry Patten (Pro) third.

The third race ended with Phillips, Bentley and Patten as the one, two three.

When an open comes to your club, it is only right that youngsters are encouraged to participate and every Felpham RS Tera available for hire was booked for this event. Congratulations to them for getting out on the water and giving it a go.

Results - Tera Pro - 1 Oliver Phillips – RLYC; 2 Paula Bentley – Felpham SC; 3 Henry Patten – RLYC. Tera Sport - 1 Finlay Southon – Bough Beech SC; 2 Harry West - RLYC; 3 Ruben Pagosia – Langstone SC.

ITCHENOR

Setting Sail - by Mike Wigmore

There comes a time when you begin to think you have ticked all the boxes. A sailing club that is in a delightful place, has well supported racing for a large range of classes, and is a nice spot to meet your friends and socialise ... but then you begin to think what you could do better.

That is where the team at Itchenor Sailing Club were at the beginning of last year. At that time the thought was to make our club more accessible by reviewing subscription rates and to introduce a better pathway into the various sailboat racing and other on-water activities like Rowing that we support.

The club’s 2000-class dinghies created that pathway and they continue to be used well, but this year we have taken one step further by creating a bespoke programme for sailing starters from as young as eight to start in single-handed boats.

New sailing manager Ryan Breach is making this programme his own and armed with the club’s new fleet of training Optimist dinghies is making the ‘start to sail’ programme a big hit with courses selling out early. New dates are being added so please contact the club office if you would like your family to get involved.

June is the start of the regatta season. The Itchenor SC regatta is this Saturday, June 8, with racing for dinghy and junior classes with the single-handed classes making a big splash this year.

Guest classes from adjoining harbour clubs feature as usual and there will be tea and cakes and prizegiving afterwards. You can find the times at www.itchenorsc.co.uk – come and join us.

June also brings the annual dayboat racing festival that is Points Week. Great ‘top-of-the-tide’ racing every day with a social programme to match.

If you would like to get involved in dayboat racing in a Swallow, Solent Sunbeam or XOD then perhaps one Wednesday or Thursday evening this month is the time to do it.