Time to roll out the Barrel for Chichester and Dell Quay sailors

THIRTY boats from Chichester YC and Dell Quay SC took part in the first two races in the joint Birdham Barrel series.

They were organised and run by David and Yvette Thair from CYC with a committee boat start midway between the two clubs.

Eleven Laser 2000 dinghies were led round the first mark by Chris Hodge and Louise Varley from CYC before being overtaken downwind, first by Pete and Suzy Harrison, also from CYC, then by Anne and Jim Norfolk from DQ.

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The Harrisons went on to win with the Norfolks second, Hodge and Varley third and Rick Page and Ian Selwood (CYC) fourth.

In the second race the Harrisons took an early lead but the Norfolks were faster downwind and led up the final beat to the finish. Hodge and Varley again finished third with Peter and Jane Matthews (DQSC) fourth.

Bill Dawber and Gordon Barclay, both DQSC, led the seven-strong Solo fleet round the course with Dawber winning well in his new boat in both races.

Ian Lissamore (CYC) was third in the first race with Chris Ede (DQSC) third in the second.

All the entrants in the Laser races were from CYC. The first race was won by Rob Payne, then just one second separated John Crawley from Chris Spencer in a tight finish. The second race went to Crawley with Spencer second and Rosie Berry third.

The Handicap race had eight entrants ranging from the RS 400, sailed by Peter King and Rob Corfield from Dell Quay, to the slowest boat in the race, Chris Wood’s Streaker, also from Dell Quay. While the RS 400 was first across the line in both races, there was close racing between the Buzz (DQSC) sailed by Roger Francis and Ranjit Verghese and the Chichester boats, the GP14, sailed very fast by Nick and Biddy Colbourne and the RS 200s sailed by Meryl Deane and Ian Payne and Jennifer and Alistair Fletcher.

The Colbournes finished well ahead on handicap, but other positions were close with Wood just ahead of King and Corfield in both races with Deane and Payne fourth in both.

On Sunday, the Trophy races at Dell Quay were sailed in very strong winds with Thorney Island seeing gusts in excess of 30mph. In the first race, seven of 18 entrants did not finish, but of those who did, Mike Fitzgerald and Tim Dormer won the Laser 2000 class from Peter and Jane Matthews.

The Solo class was won by Gordon Barclay with Malcolm Buchanan second and Chris Ede third, while in the Handicap fleet, Ben Chrystall revelled in the conditions to win by a large margin from fellow Laser sailor Stu Denyer, with Becky Manning third in her Topper.

The second race attracted only four entrants as the wind strengthened further. Chrystall gained another first place just ahead of Fitzgerald and Dormer on corrected time, with Denyer third and Manning fourth.


Autumn seemed to have arrived early with a cool breeze for the last races of the summer series at Chichester Yacht Club.

In the fast fleet in race 13 of the series, Roger and Richard Clare in the RS400 put in a good time on the water but were beaten on handicap by Mark Harper (Finn), who put in a quick time to take first.

Peter and Suzy Harrison (Laser 2000) had a close race with Rob Payne and Chris Spencer, both in Lasers, with the Harrisons finally taking second and Payne third.

In race 14 the Clares got clean away with a quick time, this time taking first on and off the water.

David and Yvette Thair chased them hard in their RS500, managing third on handicap, with Harper taking second place.

Further down the fleet Steve and Lesley Kelsall in a Lark had a close race with Ian Payne and Meryl Deane in the RS200 and Andy Clare in the Vareo.

In race 15, Harper again had a good race in his Finn to take first.

The Harrisons put in an excellent time on the water, taking second, with Roger Millett and Peter Hughes having a close race in their Solos, Millett finishing just ahead.

Over this long series 56 boats took part at some point but only a few did enough races – nine – to complete the series.

Final results showed Millett first, Laurence Murray second and Hughes third.

In the slow fleet in race 13, Charlie Elliott completed his bid for domination with a first. Ben and William Godwin in the Mirror took second and Charlotte Reading was third in her Topper.

Race 14 gave the Godwins an opportunity to take first. Hannah Thompson and Reading, both in Toppers, kept ahead of the Feva on handicap to take second and third. In race 15 only Olivia Winther and Hatty Culver raced in their RS Feva, taking first.

A total of 22 competed across the series, but only one boat completed enough races to take series honours – Elliott, whose nine firsts made him a worthy winner.