Chichester public are keen to sample life on the ocean wave

The public responded in great numbers and with enthusiasm to '˜trying a boat' at an activity open day at Chichester Yacht Club.

Blue skies, a moderate breeze and excellent sea conditions gave those who attended the opportunity to try out a variety of boats and experience the wonderful location of the club.

Large ribs, a 33ft yacht and a selection of dinghies and canoes provided chances to try out a boat in the immediate harbour area.

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For those who just wished to be in among the action or maybe see a little more of the wonderful location in the harbour, the large committee boat Cyclone 2 provided tours.

Many visitors were having a first go at trying out different type of boats.

On the water at the same time were the club’s junior and youth sections in action for their Volvo club championship coaching and the club’s ‘women on water’, out for a racing event, all of which made for a very active afternoon.

Visitors also toured the club to see the facilities and something of the recently-completed clubhouse extension. And as the base is an RYA training centre, many youngsters and adults took the step of learning to sail by booking on to one of the club RYA beginners’ training courses.

Club secretary Martin Buckley said: “It was a super day. Visitors had a great time with the activity on the water – it was a real spectacle.

“Sailing is for everybody and if anyone could not attend, they are welcome to come down at any time to see the superb facilities available, or visit for more details.”

* Although it was sunny at Chichester Yacht Club, conditions for the latest Lady Todd races were made unpredictable by a wind of around force four to five but with much larger gusts.

With an early tide sailors were limited to two races. Race officer Ian Lissamore set an interesting triangle/sausage course, testing the wide range of boats on the water.

In the fast fleet the RS600, 505, RS400 and Blaze had some good racing, with Andy Conway in his Blaze taking first.

Handicap favoured Chris Hodge and Louise Varley in their Laser 2000, putting in some excellent sailing to finish first well ahead of the chasing fleet of 2000s in second.

Helen and Mark Green, also in a Laser 2000, made their way up the fleet to finish third.

In race four of the series, the second contest on the day, Roger and Andy Claire put in a good turn of speed in the RS400 but were again beaten on handicap.

First were Hodge and Varley, ahead of Al and Manu Jenkins (Xenon) and Rick Page and Ian Selwood (Laser 2000).

In the classic/medium fleet, Ian Payne was back in his Laser enjoying the gusty and tricky wind conditions to finish first on the water but second on handicap to Laurence Murrey (Solo).

Jimmy Carter (Laser) was third, just ahead of CYC newcomer Phil Ford, also in a Laser.

In race four Payne was first, Ford second and Roger Millett (Solo) third.

There was a small slow fleet.

In race three Ross Watkins set the pace in his Topper coming first, with Jessica Carter also in a Topper second. In race four Watkins won again.