Toppers' top effort at Bosham ... Cadets turn out in force at Felpham ... Jaguar honour for Orton

Bosham Sailing Club's thriving Topper fleet hosted their annual Topper Fest.

On the Saturday, Topper GB’s Jane Birch-Tomlinson and her southern zone group held an open training session. This was superbly marshalled by Rory Caird and his crack team of YHA-qualified coaches.

Some 36 kids participated and they were split into three groups, depending on experience, and benefitted from a blend of classroom-based theory sessions, drills and short races.

Sign up to our daily SussexWorld Today newsletter

Conditions were initially very sunny but the wind built and squalls came through, allowing the trainees to practice their skills under more taxing conditions.

It was gratifying to see that, well after the anticipated finish time for the event, the kids were still engaging Caird and his team in a fascinating debrief session in the club’s multimedia suite, with a lively and humorous debate about race line tactics.

Sunday’s weather started brightly and followed a similar pattern to the previous day.

Michael Camps, principal race officer, soon got the committee boat into place, the racing marks down and the first race under way.

Participants from the national squad and other experienced sailors quickly made for the Itchenor side of the creek and tacked quickly towards the windward mark out of the tide in the shallow water.

The younger and less experienced sailors took a while to implement their training from the previous day.

As the wind built the rescue boats had their work cut out.

Three out of the four scheduled races were completed, but the final race was rightly cancelled when the fleet was hit by rather heavy weather.

Mathew Stephens (Burghfield SC) proved most consistent sailor and won the event with a first and a couple of seconds. Adam Stone (Burghfield) came second, Christopher Cowan (Porchester SC) third, James Cook (RYA) fourth, William Birch-Thomlinson (Hayling Island SC) fifth and Rhiannon Flack (Spinnaker SC) sixth.

Highest-placed Bosham SC helm was Sophia Harper, who came eighth.

A great weekend was had by all and this reflects well on this charming club, eager participants and the army of willing volunteers needed to run the event.

For more details of adult and cadet sailing and racing at Bosham Sailing Club, please contact [email protected]


Felpham Sailing Club’s cadets have launched their new season. Bad weather meant the outlook was bleak but the wind had abated and the sun was shining as a terrific number of 49 youngsters enjoyed fantastic sailing for this first evening on the water.

The cadet captain expected only the usual committed cadets but the grapevine must have been working overtime as there were more than 12 new families with various young people and lots of enthusiasm.

A representative from the RYA visited the cadets to promote the OnBoard sail training scheme and help with launching. He was impressed with the numbers. Great fun was had on the water with care being taken to remind the youngsters of the low sea temperature at this time of the year and to avoid deliberate capsizing – which they all find fun when the water is warmer.

The older and more experienced cadets helped look after the new cadets both on and off the water.

After sailing was over, and the Safety Boats all tidied away the canteen provided steaming hot home made beef stew for a horde of hungry mouths.

Cadet sailing continues every Friday to the end of August – details at


As the Olympics come to London this summer, the Jaguar Academy of Sport is delighted to announce its rising stars for 2012 - and Chichester sailor Stephanie Orton is one of them.

Orton met Jessica Ennis and other sporting greats, including academy patron Dame Kelly Holmes and ambassadors Rio Ferdinand and Jamie Baulch, who supported her throughout sessions on media training and anti-doping awareness.

The ‘class of 2012’ were invited to the Bursary Awards, held at the English Institute of Sport in Sheffield.

Local girl and academy ambassador Ennis, who trains at EIS Sheffield, presented 50 2012 rising stars with their bursaries. She also attended their first mentoring and education workshop.

The academy, now in its third year, has now awarded 135 bursaries and by the end of this year will have invested £500,000 to the future of British sport.

This support has made a tangible difference to the rising stars’ development pathway with a high proportion of athletes moving on to elite funding, and pushing for success and honours at the highest level in international sport.

Ennis said: “It was fantastic to meet the 2012 Rising Stars and provide them with their bursaries. During such a high profile sporting year it’s great to see a brand like Jaguar supporting future talent and I look forward to following their progress and helping to inspire them on their sporting journey.”

Some 27 visiting Lasers joined nine Chichester YC boats to enjoy the first event in the Laser south coast grand prix. Three fleets were run – standard, radial and 4.7 rigs.

The first race got under way in light winds and against the tide. In the standard rigs Steve MacQueen Itchenor won the race. Richard Horn (Hill Head), Jimmy Carter (Chichester) and Simon Radford (Bosham) tied for second. 

The standard rig second race got under way at the second attempt. Charles Porter (Chichester) spotted a wind bend and led throughout. Billy Miness (Stokes Bay) finished second with Richard Horn third.

The skies darkened and the temperature dropped as the wind picked up to a force four. Porter and Roger O’Gorman (Royal Cork) led the fleet around. 

On the last beat O’Gorman sailed Porter away from the finishing line. Porter’s attempts at tacking and getting to the line led to a capsize, leaving O’Gorman with a first. Ian Morgan recovered from a poor start to take second. MacQueen finished 3rd.

MacQueen won the CYC Laser Salver, with Morgan second on countback and Horn a close third.

In the Radial fleet Andrew Chapman (Netley) won the first and third races to take victory. Matthew Hall, Nik Froud and Kerry Morgan all tied with six points. Hall took second on the tie breaker, with Froud third and Morgan fourth.

Both 4.7s travelled the short distance from Pagham Sailing Club and Alexander Lee won two races to win from Hannah Gibbs.

For full results see

The Laser grand prix moves on to Hill Head Sailing Club this Sunday. For more information email [email protected]