Conditions test open fleet at Itchenor

One of the biggest open meetings on the RS200 calendar took place when Itchenor Sailing Club hosted their annual open for the class.

RS200 Open action at Itchenor
RS200 Open action at Itchenor

Nearly 40 boats took part in contrasting conditions that tested everyone’s ability.

Saturday brought an 18-25-knot wind and with the forecast for Sunday looking poor, five races were held. 

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The first race saw a battle of former champions, Matt Mee and Emma Norris and James Peters and Joanna Wright, with Mee and Norris eventually taking control down the run to the finish.

The duo also took first place in race three while George Yeoman and Sophie Ormsby enjoyed success to take their first bullet of the weekend in race two.

Dicken McLean and Hannah Young bounced back from their premature start in race three to take first and second in the final two races of the day.

By the end of Saturday, Mee and Norris led comfortably from Nick Charles and Alice Eyre, who were putting together a consistent string of results with only one race outside the top four, while Yeoman and Ormsby came in third. 

Sunday’s racing was delayed while the sea breeze filled in but once racing started, the day was owned by Mee and Norris, who posted consecutive and comfortable bullets to take the event with a race to spare.

The battle for second place was a lot closer with only two points between second and fourth position - it was all to play for. Peters and Wright posted third while Yeoman and Ormsby pipped Charles and Eyre for 11th and 12th places. It was then their turn to struggle as Yeoman and Ormsby salvaged a fourth in the penultimate race, pulling themselves clear of their contenders.

For the final race of the weekend, the stage was set and tensions ran high as the fleet were forced to restart under a black-flag disqualification.

However, once under way Peters and Wright did enough to be rewarded with second place overall. Yeoman and Ormsby chased hard but had to settle for third overall in the event.


Race officer Rob Corfield set a course around three racing marks (Copperas West, Crouchers and Quay) for the first five races of the Dell Quay Short Race series, the winner of which will receive the Carriage Clock Trophy.

The first races were held in winds gusting to 25 knots from the south west. The event attracted a varied fleet who sailed five races, each lasting about 20 minutes.

Chris West dominated in his Laser, winning three of the races and demonstrating some extreme sailing skills to take the series lead overall. 

The star of the racing was young William Lynas, who completed four of the races, sailing one lap as opposed to two for most of the rest of the fleet, with three third places in his Topper. Phoebe Noble in her Laser Radial managed two first places to take second position in the series.

David Ellis and Helen Penfold took two second places in their 2000 dinghy and despite only completing three races are in third place in the series.

The sailing was so testing that only West and Noble were still on the water for the last race.

The final five races of the series will take place on Saturday, August 29 (10.30am).

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