Chichester sailors find a sea of tranquility

ON Remembrance Sunday, there was not a ripple on the water as the protagonists arrived for the first two races of Chichester YC’s Frozen Toe series.

Frozen Toe action at Chichester YC   Picture by Mark Green
Frozen Toe action at Chichester YC Picture by Mark Green

This made for a magical two minutes’ silence as the competitors and race team paused for reflection and remembrance while taking in the beauty and tranquillity of the harbour.

The lack of breeze forced race officer Nick Colbourne to order a postponement before setting a modified course to challenge the fleet in the fickle conditions.

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As usual, the fast fleet were first away with two CYC RS400s making the early running together with Newhaven and Seaford’s Jonty Freeman in his beautifully-restored classic Merlin Rocket.

By the top mark the Ellimans had a significant lead and so it stayed until they went too far east on the penultimate downwind leg and fell into wind hole allowing the fleet to close up setting up a tight tussle down the final reach and drive for the line.

While the Ellimans took it on the water, Freeman with crew Neil Arnott claimed the spoils on corrected time.

In the medium fleet, Jason and Sonia Kirk in their 2000 fought it out for the on-the-water honours with CYC Laser open winner Ritchie Bailey from Emsworth with the corrected time margin a wafer-thin two-tenths of a second in favour of the Kirks.

In the slow fleet, Birdham Half Pint winner Izzy Loveridge continued her winning ways in her Topper with a 30-second victory over Harriet Kirk.

In the second race, the fast fleet’s contest was over by the end of the second leg with the Ellimans escaping the wind hole at the first mark to establish an unassailable lead over Freeman and Arnott and Gideon and Gilly Ewers’ RS400.

In the medium fleet’s second race, the Solos and Lasers were able to parlay their ability to go deep on the downwind legs to negate the upwind speed of the Kirks’ 2000, with Ian Lissamore clearly pleased with his new toy.

He took top spot on corrected time in the first outing in his new boat over Bailey in second and the Kirks one further back.

In the slow fleet, the top spots were compared with the first race with Harriet edging out a 19-second victory over Izzy with Eliza South and Ed taking third.

Standings (after two races): Fast Handicap - 1 Nick & Roger Elliman CYC; 2 Jonty Freeman & Neil Arnott, Newhaven & Seaford; 3 Gideon & Gilly Ewers CYC. Medium Handicap: 1 Jason & Sonia Kirk, CYC; 2 Ritchie Bailey, Emsworth; 3 Ian Lissamore, CYC. Slow handicap: 1 Harriet Kirk, CYC; 2 Izzy Loveridge, CYC; 3 Eliza South & Ed, CYC.