Bart’s Bash marked in style at Itchenor and Bosham

Bart’s Bash was celebrated in style at Itchenor Sailing Club. In sparkling Chichester Harbour conditions, more than 50 boats took part with competitors young and old in boats that represented the breadth of the racing classes at the club – from classic keelboats, and performance dinghies to Toppers and Mirrors.

Bosham sailors out in force for Bart's Bash / Picture by Chris Hatton
Bosham sailors out in force for Bart's Bash / Picture by Chris Hatton

A carnival atmosphere prevailed on and off the water with many boats crewed by families. Andrew ‘Bart’ Simpson’s friend and fellow Olympic medal winner, Ian Walker was on hand to share his memories of Bart and participated in the day’s racing in a RS200 with his daughter Emilia.

Ian’s daughter Zoe also took part in a Topper, demonstrating skills recently acquired in Itchenor’s junior fortnight.

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The start of the keelboat race provided spectators with some amusement as a number of competitors in this mixed fleet of XODs, Sunbeams and Swallows tangled at the pin end of the line. A number of boats were over the line and veteran Sunbeam sailor Alan Stannah experienced being up close and personal with the outer distance mark itself.

Mike Wigmore and club commodore Charles Hyatt in Gwaihir were quick to extricate themselves from the melee and disappear into the middle distance for the race win. Two XODs took the other podium places – Chris Darling and Alastair Shaw sailing Phoenix just ahead of Roger Yeoman and Peter Robson in Xcitation.

The senior dinghy fleet saw a one-two for International 14s with the Neale Jones and Nigel Ash seeing off the challenge of Tom Heywood and Rob Brent. Robin Richardson and Rowan Smithson flew the flag for the RS800s in third. The next seven places were filled by RS200s.

Mirrors filled the places at the top of the junior dinghy competition as Archie Grant and Sienna Pudney finished less than a minute ahead of Maddie Hantrais and Emilia House, who were well ahead of third-placed Oscar and Lucy Clifford Bowles.

The event was a huge success and saw more than £750 raised for the Bart’s Bash charity, the Andrew Simpson Sailing Foundation, set up in 2013 to honour the life and legacy of Andrew ‘Bart’ Simpson MBE, Olympic gold and silver medallist and America’s Cup sailor by using sailing to transform the lives of young people.

Bosham Sailing Club members once again turned out in force to support Bart’s Bash.

Race officer Mike Brooke, whose son was at school with Andrew Simpson, ran a Three Creeks Challenge with Bosham’s fast-handicap fleet racing up the Emsworth Channel, the medium fleet racing up the Thorney Channel and the slow division heading to Furzefield Creek.

Meanwhile, the Bosham Optimists took part in a team relay race off the Quay round two buoys that were used at Weymouth in the Olympics, and several cruisers came alongside the Quay. The club’s committee boat was used to take spectators out to watch the action.

More than 60 boats and 90 competitors – from octogenarians to a five-year-old – enjoyed perfect sailing conditions with 12-14 knots and unbroken sunshine. The event raised a total of £1,420 for the Andrew Simpson Sailing Foundation through donations and an auction run by Merrick Rayner.

Winners: Fast Handicap: Simon Hempsell in his Aero; Medium Handicap: David MacFarlane and Liz Adams in a YWDB; Slow Handicap: Penny Mossman in her Chichester Harbour Scow; Oppy Relay Race: Team Webby (James Curtis, Edward Timberlake and Popsie Shepherd).


SIXTEEN XODs competed in the annual Joan Shaw Memorial Trophy at Itchenor Sailing Club.

Conditions were perfect for the first two scheduled races and race officer Guy Partington set a testing course.

Owaissa, sailed by Ian and Julie Andrew with Daniel Ayton, started low on the line and reached the slacker tide earlier than second and third boats Merlin and Thora, who both started high and tussled to the weather mark.

With Owaissa in a clear lead, Barry Field’s Merlin rounded next but with spinnakers up Ted Roose’s Thora, helmed in his absence by David Priscott, kept close order. Thora edged ahead as the boats started their next round – a position she maintained to the end.

These three boats also dominated the second race with Owaissa again taking the gun but with Merlin exacting her revenge on Thora. Overnight it was Owaissa in the lead with Merlin and Thora tied for second place.

The breeze veered to the south-west for day two’s races and maintained its strength. The XODs revelled in the conditions.

Owaissa saved herself for the afternoon. This allowed multiple Captain’s Cup winner John Tremlett to steer Lass to first place. However, it was the battle for second place that attracted most attention.

Itchenor commodore Charles Hyatt was making a guest appearance on Merlin but Thora got the best of the early action. However, in a decisive find run, Merlin’s superior downwind speed saw them edge ahead. While Merlin’s place was only fourth it was one better than Thora’s and put her into the lead for trophy.

The afternoon’s racing was Itchenor keelboat racing at its best with many of the classic fleet in close company enjoying the choppy water thrown up by the wind over tide conditions.

The Andrews returned and with Partington, released from race officer duties, replacing Ayton on Owaissa set about achieving a high enough position to secure the trophy. Owaissa came in third behind Lass and Michael Martell’s Astralita – good enough to see off the challenge of Merlin and Thora.

Results: 1 Owaissa (Ian and Julie Andrew, Daniel Ayton/Guy Partington) 5pts; 2 Merlin (Barry Field, Susie Alexander, Charles Hyatt/Mike Marsdin) 9; 3 Thora (David Priscott, Ged Roope, Adrian West/Tony Schofield) 10.


Thorney Island Sailing Club have taken delivery of three new Feva dinghies thanks to a grant of £10,000 from Sport England, supported by the Royal Yachting Association.

They have been progressively expanding their facilities and programmes to help get more people into sailing.

“Since 2012 the club has actively engaged with the RYA Regional Development team to improve participation and promote sailing,” said the club’s David Goodman.

“Firstly we wrote a Club Development Plan and subsequently through the award of the Sport England Small Grant were able to buy an RS Vision dinghy and a Rigiflex Safety boat which both have been supporting an adult development programme.”

Following this success the club reviewed their plan and decided to focus on further expansion, this time in the junior section. A second successful bid was made to Sport England and the club have now taken delivery of the three new RS Fevas.

“The juniors are delighted to take on these boats and they have been extensively used since June,” said Goodman. “They have particularly enjoyed using the spinnakers around the harbour.”

“The new boats have allowed the club programme to be extended including running a Start Racing and Sailing with Spinnakers course for the first time.”

On the water, the club’s standard weekend session has benefited from the extra capacity – the average attendance for this event has increased since the new boats arrived. A total of 52 youngsters took part in the annual Junior Week at the club.

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