Firefly and Int 420 event report 2017

Itchenor Sailing Club Schools Championships – Firefly Regatta Day 1

Thursday dawned grey, overcast and damp in Chichester Harbour. Hardly ideal sailing conditions since the wind was light too. However, the 48-strong fleet of Fireflys got away for their first race only a few minutes late caused by the fickle breeze. First to show at the windward mark were Cossie and Izzy Lewis from Sevenoaks School but just behind were Ben Childerley and Ollie Croft from Sherborne College. At the second windward mark, which was the finish, it was Childerley and Croft who took line honours ahead of Harry Barker and Ivan Pylee (Burford School) with Winchester College’s Miles Jones and Tiger Tellwright in third place. Jones and Tellwright moved up to second place in the second race behind Dom Lewis and Oscar Wright from Tonbridge School with the Portsmouth Grammar School pairing of Charles Elliott and Joseph Bradley making up the top three.

The third race course took the fleet down-harbour towards East Head. Childerley and Croft led the fleet to the first windward mark – a lead they extended through the race. The battle for second place was very close with Jones and Tellwright just ahead of the James Allen’s Girls School crew of Julia Mellors and Eveline Suer.

A picnic lunch was enjoyed on the beach at East Head before the fourth race on a course set by race officer Alastair Shaw in the Stocker Lake area south of Thorney Island. With the wind variable in strength and deviating through 45 degrees, Childerley and Croft played cat and mouse with Jones and Tellwright up a conservative track up the centre of the course. However, those who went way left risked the stronger tide that flourished as the pressure built from the South. The windward mark saw the leaders Julian Fung and Elliott Marshall (Rugby School) ahead of Elliott and Bradley with Tonbridge School’s Rory Fulton and Harry Tilling not far behind. At the leeward mark the wind was very light and the subsequent beat tested the leaders. Fulton and Tilling made the best of the conditions to take first place with Elliott and Bradley second and Fung and Marshall a well deserved third place, their best of the day.

In races five and six Childerley and Croft re-established their winning ways to end the day on top of the leaderboard. Jones and Tellwright scored seventh and second to ensure they have a healthy gap ahead of the chasing pack.

Itchenor Sailing Club Schools Championships – Firefly Regatta Day 2

Ben Childerley and Ollie Croft win the final race in Itchenor Sailing Club's Schools Championships. Image David Priscott

The ebb tide was strong enough to get the 48 Fireflies to the start area in very still but sunny conditions. A weak breeze set in but it was fitful. Finally a breeze set in from the West and a race got under way. It soon became apparent that the wind was shifting back and forth through 90 degrees. First to the windward mark was the Tonbridge Firefly crewed by Dom Lewis and Oscar Wright. Then it was Harry Barker and Isaac Pylee in the Burford School boat ominously followed by regatta leaders Ben Childerley and Ollie Croft from Sherborne. Childerley and Croft soon established a lead downwind. The wind shifts were such that boats were close reaching on both upwind and downwind legs. None of this faxed the Sherborne pair as they showed their mastery of the tricky conditions to take the gun. Charles Elliott and Joseph Bradley from Portsmouth Grammar School took second place and Barker and Pylee third.

Trophy Winners

Sir Richard Fairey Trophy for the winning school
Sherborne School - Ben Childerley and Ollie Croft

Gavin Anderson Trophy for the school placed second overall
Winchester College – Miles Jones and Tiger Tellwright

Astral Cup for the first boat with an all female crew
James Allen’s Girls School – Julai Mellors and Eveline Suer

Nick Prosser Trophey for the winner of the Silver Fleet
Sevenoaks School – Matt Caiger and Alexander Foglu

Mini-series Trophy (Joint Winners)
Sevenoaks School - Dom Lewis and Oscar Wright
Burford School – Harry Barker and Isaac Pylee