Sailing: Staring down the Barrel at Chichester

There's plenty of sailing action in our latest round-up, with Chichester, Itchenor and Dell Quay all featuring.


The second day of the Birdham Barrel series attracted a fast fleet of 21 boats.

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The first race saw close racing between the handicap fleet and good reaches enjoyed especially by the slower asymmetrics, while the RS500 and 29er found the reaches a bit tight.

The first race (race four of the series) was won by Derek Jackman in his Solo, second was the Laser 2000 of Peter and Suzy Harrison and third was Laurence Murray, also in a Solo.

Race two had 20 boats and this time the faster asymmetrics '“ the RS500s of David and Yvette Thair and Lydia and Camilla Mapstone and the 29er of Abbie Page and Toby Hodge '“ struggled with the tight reaches.

Their powers of recovery and amazing turns of speed when upright demonstrated how fast these boats can go in the right conditions.

The race was won by Peter and Suzy Harrison in their Laser 2000. Second were Will King and Richard Kershaw in a Merlin Rocket and third was Andrew Martin (Laser Vortex). David Culver completed two races in his Moth, gaining a 12th in series race four.

The series is led by Peter and Suzy Harrison in a Laser 2000. Second are Will King and Richard Kershaw in a Merlin Rocket, third Mark Harper in a Finn.

Thirty-five Optimist sailors arrived at Chichester YC to find a light and shifty north-easterly breeze set to make life difficult for them.

But the open and regatta fleets completed three races, though more than half the open fleet failed to finish the third.

In the regatta fleet, Nick Robins from Hayling Island SC took first with two wins, followed by Isobel Porter from the home club with two seconds. Then came two sailors from Emsworth, Edward Richardson, who won the last race, and Nathan Allen.

Fifth was the youngest sailor in the event, William Heathcote from Royal Lymington.

Two youngsters from CYC took prizes for their perseverance in

competing at the tail of the fleet.

In the open fleet, Tim Riley from Warsash won the first and third races and was second in the middle one to take overall first prize.

At the prizegiving, he delivered an accomplished winner's speech,

something he will doubtless need to repeat often in the future.

Second was Lauren Miles from Emsworth, who had a win and a third. Third was Geoffrey Sherwood (HISC), fourth Anna Prescott (Lymington Town), fifth Emilia Boyle (Royal Lymington), sixth Catriona Ellis (Emsworth), seventh Hattie Rogers and eighth Vita Heathcote (Royal Lymington).

This was the swansong of CYC's Optimist class captain and organiser for the open events for the past three years.


The Swallow national championships were sailed in Bracklesham Bay just outside Chichester Harbour.

The five-race programme, hosted by Itchenor Sailing Club, was completed in a blustery and shifty north-easterly force four to five breeze.

The event was dominated by Gwaihir (Mike Wigmore/Mark Struckett) and Marengo (Carolyn Brigg). In the opener, Skua (Harry Roome) led from a black-flag start around the Olympic triangle course, with Marengo and Gwaihir following.

The next windward/leeward race went to Gwaihir, with Echo (Chris Body) quickly back into his Swallow stride in second and Marengo making up for a poor start to finish third.

In the third and final race of day one, Marengo made no mistakes and comfortably won the Olympic triangle race from Skua with Gwaihir third. The overnight leader was Marengo with Gwaihir a point behind.

Gwaihir gave notice of her intentions by winning the fourth race '“ but only after electing to take the starboard leeward gate mark to gain the advantage from Spectre (Guy Knight) who had led from a well-taken pin-end start.

Marengo gained steadily from another poor start to take third.

In the final race, after another black flag start, Spectre took early control and stayed there with Echo taking second.

Gwaihir was indulging in some pre-start and first beat match racing to sail Marengo down the fleet.

Job done, Gwaihir advanced to fourth while Marengo gained three places on the final beat to finish just a place behind.

It was a good championship with the event going to the wire with Gwaihir established as the frontrunner '“ but it was all very close, as it so often is in the very competitive Swallow fleet.


Sailors at Dell Quay enjoyed Indian summer conditions but a light and fickle northerly wind, reversed by the sea breeze, and a strong tide made conditions challenging at times.

Saturday's handicap race was won by the Solos of father and son Richard and Chris Ede, with Chris West (Laser) third.

In the shorter Copperas race for the less experienced, Simon Clarke and Clare Lang sailed their Miracle into a good lead with Laura West (Laser Radial) second.

After a delay while the breeze filled in from the south, a short course was sailed and the race was won by Chris West, with Chris Ede second and Anne and Jim Norfolk (Laser 2000) third. The second Copperas race was won by Laura West from husband Bob in his Solo.

On Sunday, the Laser 2000s were led round in the first race by Anne and Jim Norfolk, followed by Andrew Spiers and Ron Sanders, with Jean and Liz Sagues third.

In the second race, the wind had died and in a beat against the tide, Spiers and Sanders found a little wind to sail away, leaving the Norfolks and Sagues second and third.

In the Solo and Laser class, there was a very close first race between the two Edes and Roger Puttock, before Puttock finally came through on the last leg of the course to win, with Chris Ede second and Richard third.

In the second race, Puttock got away from the fleet, leaving Chris Ede second and Chris West (Laser) third. Puttock's two first places means he has won the Crown and Anchor series.

In the first handicap race after sailing for nearly an hour, it was a dead heat on corrected time between Malcolm and Jean Buchanan (RS400) and Julie and Andrew Rooker (Wayfarer), with Simon and Linda Bell (RS200) third.

In the second, no boat was able to reach the windward mark against the tide and retired.

The club hosted an open meeting for the Leader class. Mike and Val Sherwen from Deben in Suffolk won three races to take first overall. Chris and Jane Warmby (Milton Keynes) were second.

* Three local duos competed in the Laser 2000 inland championships at Ullswater.

Dell Quay's Bill and Charlotte Dawber missed first place by one point, while John and Pauline Cox (CYC) were fifth and Graham and Lucy Dalton (Dell Quay) were 15th.