Event reports 2015

ISC WIN 2016 Carmela Cup

Posted 20th January 2016

On the 16/17th January an Itchenor team consisting of George Yeoman, Tim Saxton, Andy Shaw, Rob Struckett, Ed Dyer, Olly Sloper, Andy Pinkham and Nick Blevins arrived at a chilly Queen Mary Reservoir for the 2 boat team racing championships, The Carmela Cup.

The format was aiming for 2 round robins for the 7 teams which included multiple defending champions “Thames Exempt” who Itchenor sailor Ben Ainsworth was sailing with, World Match Racing Champions Ian William and Simon Shaw sailing together for “Serpentine”, Royal Thames, Royal Northern & Clyde, Royal Yacht Squadron and the Rome Match Racing team. However a lack of wind led to a delayed start on Saturday which allowed for only one round to be completed.

We started slowly but took advantage of racing the weaker teams from Royal Northern & Clyde and Royal Yacht Squadron which led to fairly uneventful races where it was obvious we needed a bit of practice with our manoeuvers. Against Royal Thames we were able to inflict payback for the NYYC Invitational in a very close match where we managed to claw back the Thames after the first beat to take control down the run and convert at the final top mark into a winning 1-2 combo. Against Rome our superior boat handling won us the race slowing the two Rome boats into an overlap which we could convert into a winning combo on the first lap.

Next up we had the 2 big matches, the first a grudge match, Serpentine vs Itchenor, Shaw vs Shaw. However, even with all this hype it turned out to be a non-event where we started poorly and Serpentine sailed off in a 1-2. Finally, the best race of the day against Thames Exempt, where after a controversial start we took control down the run and nearly converted at the top mark into a 1-2 only for Thames to come from behind to bring the match back in to the balance. Down the final run the pairs split and at the bottom we had a slim advantage and just as it looked as though we had the victory it was another Itchenor member, Ben Ainsworth, who spoiled the party dishing out a penalty and taking 3rd in the final seconds of the race.

Due to the poor forecast the RC took the decision to take the semi-finalists from the Round Robin and racing these on Sunday after a silver fleet round robin in the morning. This put us up against the Thames Exempt team again in a first to 2 wins semi final. Thames took the first race which had many lead changes but finished with a strong bottom mark which allowed them into a 1-2. The second race we took with another close race which was finished with a big last ditch dial down with our boat doing just enough to keep clear and then round up and cross the line. The final decider was no different with constant lead changes and eventually with the wind going light we held slightly more speed around the leeward mark and managed to sail through the Thames boat and tack across their bow to give Itchenor a place in the final.

The final was against Serpentine and 5 times match racing world champion, Ian Williams.I as well as the Shaw brothers matching up again., The first race began similarly to the round robin with Serpentine taking a commanding lead off the start. However, with the fading winds the gusts downwind allowed us to attack from behind and with the petit final in front of us going slowly the Serpentine team sailed into the back of a melee of boats and this allowed us to capitalise with Tim and team forcing Ian wide and allowing myself, Andy S, Ed and Andy P to sneak inside and eventually plant a penalty on the Serpentine boat while their team mate were unable to capitalise on the mess and help. Race 1 to Itchenor. The next race again our starting left something to be desired, but we were bailed out by a nice shift and great speed down the run. This allowed us to convert a 3-4 to a 2-3 by the final mark and the pair split with Tim et al controlling their pair whilst Ian & Simon took it upon themselves to mark us (I believe this is because Shaw Jnr had been ‘talking smack’ pre race). Eventually we managed to wriggle free and whilst crawling in a hard cover to the finish line Tim and the boys had done a better job on their side and we crept across the front of their pair to win 2-0 and take the Carmela Cup.

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Posted 20th December

This weekend we were pleased to host 26 420 sailors at Itchenor for the 420 coached winter Open meeting. Alastair Shaw was PRO and ran 11 races over two days for competitors that had travelled from as far as Cornwall, South Wales and Suffolk. Conditions were highly variable with gusts that were hitting 23knts at points. Racing started off opposite the Club on Saturday morning running through to the Bosham Channel and up to Rookwood on Sunday lunchtime. The fleet consisted of a broad range of sailors from those new to the fleet as well as 5 RYA Youth Squad boats. The fleet was coached by Steve Irish, the RYA 470 Podium Potential Squad coach and Tom Mapplebeck of Curra Dinghies. Itchenor were represented by Jo Kalderon and Paddy Jefferies.

Competitors and their families took full advantage of the Clubs facilities and filled the club house with many arriving on the Friday night, enjoying a curry on Saturday night and staying over until Sunday afternoon. It was a delight to see the Club being enjoyed by so many young talented visiting sailors.


Posted 11th December 2015

Douglas Pattison and his crew, Alastair Poulain, Daniel Ayton and Graham Colbourne crossed the finish line of the Atlantic Rally for Cruisers First in Class, having finished at 17:00 UTC on the 9th December. Arion, a Sigma 362, sailed a great circle line route from the Canaries. Rated 4th slowest boat, her elapsed time finish at 79th out of 194 competitors signals a fantastic result on corrected time.  Congratulations to them and to their support team.

IAN WALKER is awarded the Mends Cup 2015

Posted 15th November 2015

Ian Walker was presented the Mends Cup by Charles Hyatt. The cup is for the most notable sailing performance of the year by a member of the club. Ian skippered the winning boat in the Volvo Ocean Race.

Itchenor raises over £750 for Bart’s Bash

Posted 21st September 2015

Bart’s Bash was celebrated in style at Itchenor Sailing Club on Sunday 20th September. In sparkling Chichester Harbour conditions over 50 boats took part with competitors young and old in boats that represented the breadth of the racing classes at Itchenor Sailing Club; from classic keelboats, performance dinghies to Toppers and Mirrors.

A carnival atmosphere prevailed both on and off the water with many boats crewed by families. Andrew “Bart” Simpson’s friend and fellow Olympic medal winner, Ian Walker was on hand to share his memories of Bart and participated in the day’s racing in a RS200 with his daughter Emilia. Ian’s daughter Zoe also took part in a Topper demonstrating skills recently acquired in Itchenor’s Junior Fortnight.

The start of the keelboat race provided spectators with some amusement as a number of competitors in this mixed fleet of XODs, Sunbeams and Swallows tangled at the pin end of the line. A number of boats were over the line and veteran Sunbeam sailor Alan Stannah experienced being up close and personal with the outer distance mark itself. Mike Wigmore and Club Commodore Charles Hyatt in Gwaihir were quick to extricate themselves from the melee and disappear into the middle distance for the race win. Two XODs took the other podium places – Chris Darling and Alastair Shaw sailing Phoenix just ahead of Roger Yeoman and Peter Robson in Xcitation.

The senior dinghy fleet saw a one two for International 14s with the crews of Neale Jones and Nigel Ash seeing off the challenge of Tom Heywood and Rob Brent. Robin Richardson and Rowan Smithson flew the flag for the RS800s in third place. The next seven places were filled by RS200s.

Mirrors filled the places at the top of the junior dinghy competition as Archie Grant and Sienna Pudney finished less than a minute ahead of Maddie Hantrais and Emilia House who were well ahead of third placed Oscar and Lucy Clifford Bowles.

The event was a huge success and saw over £750 raised for the Bart’s Bash charity, the Andrew Simpson Sailing Foundation, the charity set up in 2013 to honour the life and legacy of Andrew ‘Bart’ Simpson MBE, Olympic Gold & Silver medallist and America’s Cup Sailor by using sailing to transform the lives of young people.


Posted 4th September 2015 at 13.07

The U18 Junior Sunbeam race and U30 Jack’s Jaunt were competed for on Bank Holiday Monday. Despite the best efforts of the miserable rain and the consequences of the Reading Festival, five young sailors arrived on time to compete.

The race was keenly fought in strong spring tides and brightening light and all had a great race. V12 Argosy, helmed by Harry Gilchrist and crewed by Dad, got away cleanly and was chased by Tom Weston on V14 Jabberwokky, also crewed by Dad. Amazingly Immi Yeats had never helmed a boat before and competed very keenly – obviously Jussie’s daughter!

The finishing order was:
1st Harry Gilchrist – winner of Jack’s Jaunt
2nd Tom Weston - winner of Junior Trophy
3rd James Dickinson
4th Ali Grant
5th Immi Yeats

Image: Tom Weston winner of the Junior Trophy

We were so pleased to see such interest and hope that they will all inherit Sunbeams to take the fleet into the next generation.

We expect to see lots of junior helms next year.

International 420 Nationals - report

Posted 30th August 2015 at 19.04

Seven boats with Itchenor sailors competed in the 46 boat fleet at the 420 nationals last week, which were held at Restronguet sailing club, near Falmouth.

14 races were held, at least one managed every day, with an average wind speed across the whole event of 14.5 knots, and maximum gust of 33 knots. All but one race was sailed out in Falmouth Bay, giving the sailors a chance to sail in the open sea, sometimes in quite a strong swell. The windiest race was a windward leeward in the Carrick Roads.

Jo Kalderon and Midge Watkins (Poole) were 2rd girl and 10th overall; Katie Davies and Grace Summers (Emsworth) 4th girl and 13th overall; Issy Davies and Gemma Keers 6th girl and 17th overall. Scarlett Shepherd (Looe) and Imogen Bellfield won our new silver fleet. Eleanor Keers sailed with a 470 sailor from Emsworth and coped well with the windy conditions. Paddy Jeffries and his new helm sadly lost a day of racing, and Felix Jeffries competed as the youngest boat in the fleet to finish 4th in silver fleet. The ex-Mirror sailors held their own against those from the other junior classes, but Lymington, followed closely by Warsash won the prize for best club, with Itchenor in third.

Itchenor sends 9 Mirrors to victory at Abersoch

Posted 25th August at 15.17

Written by Rob Bellfield with amendments by Mike Jefferies

What a great event! The idea to run the 2015 Mirror National Championships alongside Abersoch Mirror Week was judged to be a great success, with 86 Mirrors on the water, 43 in both fleets. Mirror Week is a great institution that has so often been the first event for many top sailors from the North West and seeing Mike and Katie Budd and Craig and Gabriella Burlton, with a host of National and World Championships between them, was a great example of what a great little boat the Mirror is for introducing children into sailing and racing.

Itchenor entered 9 Mirrors and came away with a clutch of trophies including; Eleanor Keers and Izzy Pugh, an impressive 3rd overall and 1st U16 boat, Archie Grant and Maddie Hantrais, winners of the silver fleet and Itchenor SC being awarded first club overall for the fourth consecutive year.

Racing got off to a slow start with lack of wind allowing families to enjoy the glorious beach and sunshine but by mid week the robustness of the Mirror was proven with all hulls and masts returning to the beach intact having survived 30 kt gusts on 'Windy Wednesday'!

After entering the final day with a slender lead, Dave and Imogen Wade (parent and child) managed to emerge as the National Champions after a very consistent final day. Unfortunately ISC’s Eleanor Keers’ crew, Izzy Pugh, was injured on the last day, so Eleanor was unable to match her earlier results. This allowed Angus and Florence Hemmings (parent and child) to nip in to take 2nd and Eleanor and Izzy were 3rd overall but still deliver a very impressive 1st U16 boat. While the leaders concentrated on consistence, this left others to take the race wins, with Nigel Thomas and Benjamin Bradley (Hill Head SC adult and child) and George Richards and Fraser Hemmings (RLym YC/Stokes Bay SC U16) winning races 9 and 10 and then Robert Richardson and Sandy Simpson (RWYC/Ullswater YC U16) finished with a flourish by winning races 11 and 12.

Lots of great performances were evident but a special mention is worthy for Brenden May of Mounts Bay SC. Sailing in his first championship with dad Denzil, not only did he compete in all races but also finished 14th overall - all achieved at the age of 4 years old!

A wonderful but demanding week. Good to see close competition between top parents and the National Junior Squad sailors. It was also a pleasure to have sailors from the Cadet and Tera fleets competing - showing the benefits of sailing a number of different classes to build up experience. The wooden boats competed on a level playing field with the high quality Winder-built foam sandwich boats - and a gaff-rigged boat also finished 29th.

Looking to the future the 2016 Nationals will be at Itchenor SC at the 27th August - 2nd September and 2017 sees the Mirror World Championships return to UK for the first time since 2009, at Restronguet SC from 25 July to 4 Aug.Put these dates into your diaries!

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Posted 18th August 2015 at 11.55

George Yeoman writes: We have returned from the RS200 national championships in Abersoch, North Wales; it was a great week with a bit of everything!

A small but perfectly formed Itchenor Sailing Club team took part - Tim Saxton and Holly Scott, Will and Mary Henderson, AJ Dawson and Rachel Spain, and myself and Sophie Ormsby.

Unfortunately when we arrived it was, as you would expect in Wales, raining.  However, by the time we had finished rigging the sun had come out again and that was almost the theme for the week, grey to start and getting better.

There was a good smattering of new sails and new hulls racing in the nationals and although you cannot tell too much from the results I can confidently say that there was no difference in boat speed between the old vs new, which was exactly what was wanted, so any worries can be put to rest.

We had a great mix of conditions including some huge champagne sailing days of 20 knots and big breezes and huge ski slope style waves, and a light and shifty day of snakes and ladders known as "Whacky Race Thursday".

Itchenor sailors put in strong showing but unfortunately we were unable to retain the team trophy as HISC arrived with a strong 10 boat team.  AJ and Rache had a great week improving all the way including being top bronze fleet on Wednesday and scoring a 19th on the final day to finish 48th overall.  Will and Mary managed to comeback from the wobbly wet Monday to claim a 6th on the final day to finish 25th.  Tim and Holly were super consistent all week and were unlucky on the final day to be caught out on more snakes than ladders and dropped to 8th, 3 points off a top 5 finish! Sophie and I managed to finish off the week strongly and continued to climb up the table to finish 2nd overall.

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Results and reports with a few videos can be found on YandY


Posted 15th August 2015 at 16.27

* Lass wins XOD class again.

* Hugo Sloper, Izzy FitzGerald and Emma Spruce sailing Marengo (Swallow) win Under 25 Trophy.

Swallow, Swift, racing hard.

Lisa McDannell (22) is racing her third Cowes Week, this time on Swift (Swallow). She says the Aberdeen Asset Management’s Under 25 Youth is a fantastic initiative for young teams like hers who would otherwise not even be able to consider taking part. “The free entry is the main driving factor for us and they give us great kit and help us out.

“Getting the opportunity to sail with your mates at an event as big and as prestigious as Cowes is a great opportunity and we are going to keep doing it for as long as we can.”

all Cowes Week images courtesy Rick Tomlinson

Junior Fortnight Round-up

Posted 10th August 2015 at 12.58

Lots of fun and competitive racing at Itchenor Sailing Club Junior Fortnight 2015

For over 50 years Itchenor Sailing Club’s Junior Fortnight has provided an opportunity for young people to test their skills in competitive one design dinghy racing. 2015 proved to be no exception with 230 competitors, ranging from eight to eighteen. High winds on the first Monday and Tuesday meant that sailing started on the Wednesday. The race committee set two races for each class group, hence most competitors had 4 races on Wednesday and Thursday; endurance was key. The running order for the Wednesday was reversed based upon the forecast for the wind strength to reduce over the day. This proved not to be the case and Mirrors 3 and 4 raced in 20 knots with big gusts. There were very few capsizes and lots of beaming smiles as the eight to twelve years olds came ashore, proud of their achievements. By Friday the race programme was back on track and the weather provided a fantastic day for sailing. At the end of week one everyone was happy and the top of each fleet were very close on points.

Week two started well but the high winds returned on Tuesday and only Mirrors 1 raced, twelve boats started in wind force six. Once again the Mirror proved that it is a robust racing machine that can handle high winds, the youngsters aged from twelve to fifteen demonstrated amazing seamanship skills and had stories to tell back at the club. The rest of week two provided fantastic sailing, made tricky by the very high and low tides, all of the competitors rose to the challenges.

Junior Fortnight is not just about the sailing, the social programme was packed full of events, everything from crabbing, model boat building, raft races, beach games and BBQ's. The parents were treated to a taste of Morocco when the clubhouse was transformed into a Marrakech souk, complete with belly dancers and servings of authentic tagine. The highlights of the social programme included a talk by Volvo Ocean Race winning skipper Ian Walker. Ian also coached the less experienced Mirror sailors and held technical sessions for the 420 fleet. Talent Night proved that the kids have more talents than just sailing with memorable performances including gymnastics, dance groups, break dancing, comedy sketches and solo singing.

On the racing front, the 420s had seventeen entries. In week one Tom Weston and Paddy Jefferies set out their stall with 5 firsts, closely chased by Henry Heath and James Dickenson, and HISC visitors Jack Lucas-Clements and Nick Walters. In week two the racing results got even closer with outstanding performances from the girl boats Aida (Emily Heath and Hannah Jones) and 54314 (Flora Windabank and Milly Moss). Aida had three firsts which included the four race Super Cup. On Wednesday evening the results for the overall fortnight had the Weston/Jefferies pair leading with Heath/Jones 2nd and Heath/Dickinson 3rd; only 2 points separating the sibling boats. The last day Henry and James managed a 3rd and 2nd enough to finish second overall with Emily and Hannah 3rd.

The fortnight ended with:
1st Tom Weston and Paddy Jefferies - Winners of the Bantum Cock which dates back to 1929.
2nd Henry Heath and James Dickenson
3rd Emily Heath and Hannah Jones, winners of week two - the Grenelly Cup.

With 33 entries the Toppers morning fleet was set for some exciting racing. By the end of week one Emily Turner had established a good lead. The next three Toppers sailed by Laura Partridge, Johnny Law and James Taylor were separated by just one point. Hannah Wilson and Maddy Root scored convincing first places, the later achieved with an old boat and a sail with a hole in it! For the final week Emily maintained her convincing lead whilst the battle continued for the podium places.

Final results:
1st Emily Turner - 16 points
2nd Laura Partridge - 17 points
3rd Oliver Wilson - 25 points

The afternoon Toppers had just 12 entries as many of the competitors switch to Mirrors 1, yet a high standard of racing was maintained. Emily Partridge and James Taylor shared first and second places all week, Emily finally winning overall.

Final results:
1st Emily Partridge - 13 points
2nd James Taylor - 19 points
3rd Georgie Drysdale - 37 points

The Mirror class enjoyed an entry of 91 and the fleet was split according to age.
In Mirrors 4 - Ed Timberlake with Jack Hartley and Alice Law with Hattie Kent were level at the end of week one.

Final results:
1st Ed Timberlake and Jack Hartley - 9 points
2nd Alice Law and Hattie Kent - 11 points
3rd Will Harris and Max Morgan – 21 points

Mirrors 3 - 20 entries
Of the twenty entries in Mirrors 3 Will Timberlake and Ed House won the first four races. The next four boats swapped positions during the fortnight with only a few points separating them.

Final results:
1st Will Timberlake and Ed House - 11 points
2nd Emilia Walker and Alice Turner - 27 points
3rd Sienna Pudney and Anoushka Hartley - 28 points

Mirrors 2 was the largest fleet with 32 boats, providing a fine spectacle from the shore. The top ten boats all fought hard for places. Exceptional performances from Bertie Fisher and sister Charlotte meant they won most of the races. The next five Mirrors had a battle for the other podium places.

Final results:
1st Bertie and Charlotte Fisher - 7 points
2nd Eleanor Keers and Alice Law - 14 points
3rd Pippi Heath and Ailbhe Barnes - 18 points

In Mirrors 1 Bertie Fisher again put in some amazing results, this time with Felix Kent. They were closely followed by Eleanor Keers with Izzy Pugh in week one and Rosie Kinsella in week two - an impressive performance as Rosie had never sailed before! Three others boats then fought to get third place with Sally Lorimer and Pippa Jones making sure their task was not easy.

Final results:
1st Bertie Fisher and Felix Kent - 20 points
2nd Johnny Law and Charlotte Fisher - 33 points
3rd Eleanor Keers and Izzy Pugh/Rosie Kinsella - 37 points

Prize giving was extra special this year with the prizes presented by Ian Walker and queues of competitors wanting to get their sailing kit signed. As everyone relaxes after another great fortnight many of the sailors are heading off to nationals championships – the Mirrors in Abersoch, Wales and the 420s in Restronguet, Cornwall.

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International 420 worlds

Posted 8th August

Three 420s crewed by Itchenor sailors headed out to Karatsu, Kyushu, Japan for over 2 weeks in mid July as part of the 10 boat GBR team taking part in the 420 worlds. What an amazing venue and cultural insight it was for the sailors.

They sailed in a beautiful bay, surrounded by a 16th century castle and a modern nuclear power station, were greeted by the friendliest locals practising their limited English wherever they went, and at the same time sailed in a challenging championship. The hot, light, fluky winds were difficult to fathom, and the local and Mediterranean teams came to the fore.

Our top GBR girls, Sarah Norbury (South Staffordshire SC) and Mairi Davies (Pwllheli SC), sailed brilliantly and finished 5th/60 in the ladies fleet and our top GBR boys, Max Clapp (Royal Southern YC) and Ross Banham (Bewl Valley SC) 13th/72 in the open fleet. The Itchenor girls were Izzy Davies and Gemma Keers (26th), Katie Davies and Grace Summers (45th) and Jo Kalderon and Midge Watkins (46th). In all, teams from 22 countries competed in 3 fleets (open, ladies and the new U17 fleet).

Household Division YC Regatta
Cowes on 1 August 2015

Posted 2nd August at 12.32

This year the Household Division regatta reverted to its normal date on the Saturday before Cowes Week. It is open to racing day boats from all Solent and adjacent Clubs and several Itchenor boats and sailors enjoyed a 2 hour race in sparkling conditions with a force 4 gusting 5 WSW wind. The Classic Week boats that went home on Friday missed a treat.

The race was run from the Royal London YC using their shore line to start and finish. I doubt whether any of the competitors will again race with the wonderful sight of a three-masted barque as the outer distance mark. With a 4 knot spring ebb tide pushing us up to the starting line it was a challenge to stay well clear of the bowsprit pointing straight at us and probably as long as our little boats.

After the metre boats, Dragons and Etchells, the XOD Class headed off towards Quinnell on the mainland shore. Unfortunately few if any of them had seen charging up the eastern Solent a huge cargo vessel which then turned north into Southampton Water right in front of the fleet. Those on the starboard side of the course lost out as they had furthest to go to sail behind the ship. X91, Astralita, established a clear lead on the long run back to South Ryde Middle against the ebb and won the Welsh Guards Trophy.

X91: Michael Martell, Fraser Graham and Tim Copsey.

The Swallows followed (sadly no Sunbeams). Quinnell was laid without a tack where S67 Solitude, in her enthusiasm to hoist her spinnaker, misjudged her exit from the mark and duly took her turn penalty for hitting it. S86 Migrant gratefully accepted this gift and the fleet set off on the 30 minute (maybe longer) run with intermittent surfing in the gusts. Towards the end of the run Solitude had closed the gap until Migrant caught a gust and in 30 seconds had opened up a hundred metre lead. With the benefit of a favourable shift on the next beat, the lead became 200 metres and that ensured the Third Guards Trophy went to Migrant.

S86: Richard and Carol Thompson and Nigel Glennie

Image shows Carol with Third Guards Trophy

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In a dominant display over a weekend of highly varied weather conditions, Gwaihir helmed by Mike Wigmore won the Swallow national championships hosted by Itchenor Sailing Club.

Saturday’s courses were set up in Brackesham Bay and the 20 boat fleet were sent away for race one in awkward conditions – a confused sea and wind that was swinging 30 degrees with little warning. Ka Nyenga (Mike Robinson) plugged away on port tack to make the most of the ebbing tide from Chichester Harbour and was rewarded with a comfortable lead at the windward mark that was extended on the run as the new breeze became established. Gwaihir sneaked into 2nd place ahead of rival Skua (Harry Roome).

For race two the low cloud had peeled away and the breeze had steadied and at the third attempt the fleet was away. Darter (Tony Glover) held a very narrow lead at the windward mark but was rolled by boats on both left and right on the first reach of the Olympic triangle course - which had in fact become a run. The next three-sailed reach was tight and spirited in the building breeze and which seemed to cause Spectre (Clive Bush) some issues as Gwaihir nudged past to claim the win with Carolyn Brigg’s Marengo third.

Race three was full on champagne sailing in a force 5/6 breeze with building seas and an flood tide which caught out several competitors when they misjudged their approach to the windward mark. This race was a battle of the titans as Skua sped away downwind on the windward/leeward course but was eventually reeled in by Gwaihir with Marengo again third. Considering Gwaihir’s uncharacteristically flawed approach to the first windward mark this was a classic victory.

Sunday’s weather was always forecasted to be different and indeed it was. The fleet nevertheless elected to race in Bracklesham Bay again but the race officer ventured out and sensibly decided that conditions were too rough and returned to Chichester Harbour to set a windward/leeward course. Gwaihir was over the start line and was trapped before returning against the strong ebb to re-start. Two other boats were judged OCS but neither returned and one –Skua – forfeited an exemplary display of heavy weather sailing to cross the finish line in silence. Race officer Mark Upton-Brown’s use of a windward spreader mark kept the fleet from heading back through approaching boats and also opened up two downwind race tracks which Marengo exploited to the full gaining six places on the first downwind leg. Gwaihir was now charging and finished second to secure the championships. Marengo was second and Simon Slater sailing Echo was rewarded for a series of consistent results with third place.

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1st Gwaihir (Mike Wigmore, Charles Hyatt and Harry Gilchrist)
2nd Marengo (Carolyn Brigg, David Sloper and Hugo Sloper)
3rd Echo (Simon Slater, Simon Miller and George Miller)

SCHOOLS WEEK - 22nd to 26th June 2015

Record numbers for Itchenor Sailing Club’s Schools Week Championships

A record 270 young sailors descended on Itchenor Sailing Club for the 63rd National Schools Sailing Championships last week.

On Monday, 162 thirteen and fourteen year old Feva sailors arrived at the club, for the JDX Consulting Schools Championships. They were greeted by what was described by the locals as a vintage Chichester Harbour summer’s day, with changeable weather forecasts, promising a challenge for Peter Taylor and his race management team.

Race one got underway in 12-15 knots of Westerly breeze and a strong flood tide to keep the keen RS Feva’s behind the line. In separate Gold and Silver fleets, racing proved to be extremely tight at the top and bottom of each fleet, with the lead constantly changing. After two laps of the long windward leeward course, the race was eventually won by Henry Chandler and Louis Johnson of Portsmouth Grammar School.

Following a predicted wind shift to the South West, the race area was moved to accommodate the exceptionally large fleet. In a freshening South Westerly breeze, race two got underway with Chandler and Johnson showing some superb tactical nous to control the fleet to secure another win.

As the storm clouds rolled in, the wind picked up. With around 20-25 knots from the South West providing some exhilarating downwind legs for the crews, Harry Jameson and Ben Todd of Hayling College began to assert their dominance, winning race three and beating the black flag in race four to record back to back wins.

Following the day’s racing, all crews returned exhausted to the club for a well-deserved BBQ put on by Itchenor Sailing Club.

Day 2 served up a further change of conditions for the junior sailors to contend with, including light winds and a strong flooding tide. Following a number of general recalls, race 5 got away into a north westerly wind, with Harry Jameson and Ben Todd taking the race win again, while witnessing great resilience from Piers Nicholls and Archie Grant; using their local knowledge to push them all the way to the finish.

Race six got away in similar conditions with a shifty wind, providing challenging snakes-and-ladders style conditions for the sailors. Henry Chandler and Louis Johnson played the shifts and tide extremely well to extend a healthy lead over their rivals, taking race 6 comfortably. Harry Jameson and Ben Todd wrapped up the event with a triumphant win and a solid first place, leaving Henry Chandler and Louis Johnson together with Louis Wright and Jamie Allen to battle it out for second place in the final race of the day.

The race management team did extremely well to get race seven away in a dying breeze following a number of general recalls. Harry Jameson and Ben Todd gave no respite to their opposition, taking a dominant win to complete the event with four wins and three 3rd place finishes, Harry Chandler and Louis Johnson took second from Louis Wright and Jamie Allen who had a tough final race finishing 10th.

In the Silver fleet, racing was equally intense with Hayling College again taking the overall win with Joshua Boniface and Jessica Tame squeezing ahead of Ryan Wilkinson and Rachel Pyke in the final race.

On Wednesday, Thursday and Friday the Feva fleet was replaced by Fireflies and 420s and over a hundred mostly fifteen and sixteen year olds.  After Wednesday’s practice day, the senior championships, sponsored by MPI Brokers and Mind The Gap Year Insurance, got under way and it was clear that the Firefly event would be closely contented between the RGS Guildford pair of Patrick Croghan and James Dickinson and Magdalen College School’s Owen Hallett and Primrose Baxter.  In the final reckoning the two crews were level on points after ten races and the title decided by the Guildford students’ three first places compared to Magdalen’s two.

The 420 competition was more clear cut with Ben Roe and Ben Childerley from Sherborne School counting seven first places and one second place, out of a total ten races held, to take the trophy in this class.

Charles Hyatt, Commodore at Itchenor Sailing Club commented, “The number of entries and the closeness of the competition in this year’s Schools Championship have demonstrated the depth and strength of sailing in schools.  We are delighted to play our part.”

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SENIOR EVENT 24th to 26th June

Link to video from the event

Firefly results - main series

Int 420 results - main series

420 miniseries results

Firefly mini series results

Link here for images - scroll to the bottom of the page on the MTGY site for a link to FLICKR


Please click here to read the report from this FEVA event

Gold Fleet results

Silver Fleet results

Melody takes the trophy for the Solent Sunbeams class at this year’s Points week

The Solent Sunbeam class fielded twenty boats from their growing fleet for Itchenor Sailing Club’s Points Week and enjoyed some stellar racing.  The perfect start and finish lines, and challenging long courses set by race officer Roger Wickens made for racing that was won both on tactics and boat speed.

Fluky winds in the mid week caused many place changes, which along with the challenge of solving the tidal streams in different parts of Chichester Harbour made for exciting racing.

Melody steered by John Ford with Julian Hawe started with two bullets and finished with two second places to win the series – a stunning result for the Sunbeam’s oldest member at 85 years young!  Fay sailed by Richard and Sarah Pearson with Jo Johnson also scored two firsts during the week, a second and a third meant that just one point separated them from Melody in the final results.

Points Week for the Sunbeams is going from strength to strength both in numbers and the closeness of the competition.


1st                  Melody              John Ford, Julian Hawe
2nd                  Fay                  Richard and Sarah Pearson, Jo Jackson
3rd                  Query               Tim Hill

XODs out in force at this year’s Points Week

Changing weather conditions combined with the various different courses over the week ensured that the 28 boat strong XOD fleet was fully challenged at this year’s competition.  Monday’s wind was primarily from the North so race officer Roger Wickens sent the boats initially up harbour before swinging them towards the harbour entrance. 

Falconet (Alan Perry, Ron Parker and Peter Lawrence) had the best of the early exchanges until Mike Martell’s Astralita, Roger Yeoman steering Xcitation and Foxglove in the hands of Alastair Ashford overhauled them. 

On Tuesday the wind had turned on its head and was light and from the South with a promise of a later sea breeze.  From the start Catherine’s team - Colin McKinnon, Neil Hart and Mark Palmer - established a clear lead that they were not to lose.  Again it was Xcitation that led the challengers with Falconet in third place.

Against the strong flood tide on Wednesday the choice of a course close to East Head or across the Stocker bank could have been decisive.   However, as it turned out, the winner came from the right hand side – Xcitation improving on her two second place finishes.  From the left came Relaxation (John Long) and Ted Roose’s Thora; both boats achieving their best results of the week, finishing in second and third.

It was Xcitation again at the front on Thursday in markedly different conditions when the Xs encountered a light breeze and a long beat up the Emsworth channel.  David Palmer sailing Princess Jalina had established an early lead but had to settle for second place with a visitor from Cowes, Michael O’Donnell in Lightwood finishing third. 

O’Donnell was also in the mix in the best conditions of the week on Friday.  Sparkling sun and southerlies were ideal for Astralita to hit the front again, followed closely by Lightwood.  Having already won the week’s main prize – the Benson Platter – Xcitation could relax but still came in third as skipper Roger handed the helm to his 22 year old son Jack.

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1st Xcitation Roger and Jack Yeoman
2nd Astralita Michael Martell
3rd Lightwood Michael O’Donnell
4th Foxglove Alastair Ashford, Rick Neall
5th Princess Jalina David Palmer
6th Catherine Colin McKinnon, Neil Hart

Swallows at Points Week 2015

This year’s Swallow class at Points Week at Itchenor Sailing Club was dominated by Skua (co-helmed by Harry Roome and Will Rainey).  Skua was challenged throughout the five days by several other Swallows but mainly by Svala (Will Henderson) who but for gear failure earlier in the week would have set the scene for an even more exciting final race showdown.

The 14 boat fleet enjoyed a variety of mainly light to moderate wind conditions and courses which ranged from those using the full extent of the harbour on the top of large Spring tides mixed with shorter ‘sprint’ courses which put added emphasis on starts, boat handling and boat knowledge.  This gave several boats a chance to shine; Gwaihir (Mark Struckett), Migrant (Charles Fisher and Richard Thompson) and Spectre (Clive Bush) amongst them.

Skua’s four race wins, two of them by deftly moving through the fleet, were the difference in this championship. Combined with their ability to extricate themselves without losing too many places when the fleet encountered a windless hole as in the sixth race which was won by Svala in grand style.

1st Skua (Harry and Prue Roome, Will Rainey)
2nd Svala (Will and Mary Henderson and Charlie Claisse)
3rd Gwaihir (Mark Struckett, Charles Hyatt and Nick Gardner)

RS200 Open Meeting, June 2015

Posted 8th June

One of the biggest open meetings on the RS200 calendar, Itchenor Sailing Club hosted their annual RS200 Open last weekend which saw just under 40 boats take part. With contrasting conditions over the weekend, the event tested everyone to the best of their ability.

Saturday greeted the sailors with 18-­‐25 knots and with the forecast for Sunday looking poor five races were held. The first race saw a battle of former champions, Matt Mee and Emma Norris and James Peters and Joanna Wright, with Matt and Emma eventually taking control down the run to the finish. The duo also took first place in Race 3 while George Yeoman and Sophie Ormsby enjoyed success to take their first bullet of the weekend in Race 2. Dicken McLean and Hannah Young bounced back from their previous premature start in Race 3 to take first and second place in the final two races of the day.
By the end of Saturday Matt and Emma 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 George and Sophie came in third.

Sunday's racing was postponed whilst the sea breeze filled in but once racing started, the day was owned by Matt and Emma 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. James and Joanna posted third whilst George and Sophie pipped Nick and Alice for 11th and 12th places. It was then their turn to struggle as George and Sophie managed to salvage a fourth in the penultimate race pulling themselves clear from their contenders.

So 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 underway James and Joanna, Nick and Alice, and George and Sophie all won the left hand side of the beat and after the top mark James and Joanna had managed to get away and were rewarded with second place overall. George and Sophie chased hard all race but had to settle for second and therefore third overall.

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Good turnout of Swallows at Itchenor Sailing Club

The Swallow class at Itchenor Sailing Club regards the competition for the Norman Moore trophy as one of the highlights of the year. This was demonstrated by the size of the fleet and the closeness of the racing – 20 boats turned out and in the end just 3 points separated the top four.

Patience was the watchword on Saturday morning as winds were very light and tides strong. The race finally got going once the race management team were happy following much repositioning of start line and windward mark to give a fair race. It was Kit Glover sailing Darter who mastered the shifty winds and recorded a win by a considerable distance. Whilst the winds were a little more predictable in the afternoon, they could not be regarded as steady. Glover again scored a first place – this time just “comfortably”.

The wind on Sunday was in a more predictable quarter, coming from the South West, but took a time to settle. Now it was the turn of Marengo skippered by Carolyn Brigg who had been lying in second place overnight ready to pounce. Carolyn went up a gear to notch back to back wins due to savvy tactics and skilful boat handling. Skua (Harry Roome) was equally consistent with two second places, not quite matching the skills they normally display on longer harbour races. With four of the five races to count Marengo had virtually secured the trophy but sometimes there can be a final twist. So to the final race which was a rather more exciting harbour tour with fast spinnaker reaches in which Swallows excel. A mid-race wind shift made the second half more processional by which time Gwaihir had hit the front and despite Skua’s harrying was not to be troubled. Marengo had an uncharacteristic mid-fleet result but remained safe at the top if only by the narrowest possible margin of a single point.

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1st Marengo (Carolyn Brigg, Sue Glover, David Sloper)
2nd Skua (Harry and Prue Roome, Helen Williams)
3rd Darter (Kit Glover, Alice Hues, Connor Myant)

Classic keel boats out in force at Itchenor Sailing Club

Posted 7th May

In distinctly unseasonal conditions over 50 classic keel boats from Itchenor Sailing Club demonstrated their resilience to cool temperatures, big winds and heavy rain to enjoy tough and exciting racing over the bank holiday weekend -­‐ the biggest fleets the club has seen so far this year.

From the outset last year’s form boats were out in front in the 19 strong Swallow fleet as they battled for the prestigious Royal Yacht Club de Belgique Trophy. Skua, helmed for the day by Will Rainey, dominated Saturday’s races with two wins. Gwaihir (Mike Wigmore) was somewhat unusually doing the chasing with Marengo (Carolyn Brigg) being the best of the rest. These three boats finished in the same order in both races Marengo elevating herself from oblivion in the second race with some deft tidal tactics to avoid the strong ebb tide.

The fleet enjoyed a fine Belgian-­‐themed meal at the Club on Saturday evening.

The overnight rain cleared in time for Sunday morning although there was still the possibility of strong winds which didn’t materialise until the afternoon. Bluff (Hugo Fisher) was forced to take a penalty for an infringement on the start line of race 3 and, starting last and somewhat in desperation, went on the ‘wrong’ side of the channel but in clear wind to emerge with a 100 metre lead at the first windward mark, never to be caught, although the two elite boats, Skua – helmed by Harry Roome this time -­‐ and Gwaihir were closing and also engaging in some entertaining match-­‐racing whilst doing so. Skua had managed to keep Gwaihir at bay until the final mark when Gwaihir seized an opportunity and managed to finish just inches ahead. However this was not enough to prevent Skua from winning the trophy with a race to spare.

So to the final race of the best three of four to count Trophy. The wind was up to Force 6 and the sun finally made a fleeting appearance. Once again Skua and Gwaihir were ahead at the first windward mark with Gwaihir maintaining a slender lead down the exciting run, throughout the next lap and all the way to the last mark. Skua’s gybe went awry and they broached so Gwaihir was able to lead to the finish. Marengo having yet again taken a different downwind route to the rest of the fleet was rewarded with yet another 3rd place – their fourth of the weekend.

The Belgian Plate was appropriately presented by Belgian-­‐born Martine Lunch whose husband Anthony had co-­‐helmed Solitude to a respectable mid-­‐fleet position.

The Swallow Class host a guest day on Sunday 10 May when all those who might like to share the Swallow experience as a helm or crew are most welcome.

The XOD fleet, also numbering 19 competed, for the Felix Bowl over the weekend. Roger Yeoman and Michael Moss showed great promise for the season ahead with five straight wins in their newly acquired Xcitation. It might well have been six in a row if gear failure had not prevented them competing in Saturday’s first race. The competition for second place was close with Falconet (Alan Perry, Ron Parker, Jim Dunn and Peter Lawrence) finishing on the same points as David Palmer’s Princess Jalina. Palmer was lying comfortably in 2nd place in Monday’s race which would have secured the overall number two slot – until he encountered the mud!

Not to be outdone the Sunbeams were out in force with 15 boats racing over the weekend. The courses for this fleet presented a number of navigational challenges with a falling tide on Saturday afternoon particularly. Roger Wickens emerged the winner on both Saturday and Monday followed by one of the new GRP boats -­‐ Molly (Richard Stephens and Tina Webster) on Saturday and Gayle Palmer’s veteran Little Lady on Monday.

To complement the large keel boat fleets, Itchenor’s dinghies emerged in numbers to enjoy the varied weather conditions. The RS800’s resurgence continued with eight boats out. Matthew and Adrian Woods won this fleet. The 420s competed on back to back racing on all three days with a number of new faces starting out as new pairings met up and new friendships were developed on and off the water. Junior members in Mirrors and Toppers could be seen revelling in the somewhat calmer and sunnier conditions on Monday.

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Posted 12th April 2015

Image courtesy Paul Wyeth/RYA.

Isabel Davies and Gemma Keers from Itchenor Sailing Club are the top girl team in the selector trials and have been selected to represent Great Britain at the International 420 world championships in Japan.  Also selected is Izzy’s twin sister Katie who, with her crew Grace Summers from Emsworth, achieved a podium finish in last week’s 420 youth national championships at Weymouth.

Izzy and Gemma were in a strong position for selection being the top girl boat at the 420 inland water championships held on Rutland Water in March.  A solid 6th place finish overall (4th girl boat) at Weymouth ensured their place in the team for Japan.

Katie and Grace moved into contention as they put down a series of consistent scores last week.  Winds in Weymouth Bay were fickle during the week meaning postponements and course changes were the norm on most days.  After two days, three races had been possible and the Davies/Summers team had a 12th, 4th and 7th out of 42 starters.  It was on Wednesday that they made their move on courses laid in Portland Harbour.  Following an 8th they led from the start in the 2nd race and were never headed.  Grace commented: “We had a good start in the middle and good boat speed.  We tacked on the shifts and managed to stay calm.  It was exciting to be at the front.”  At this point the girls moved to 2nd overall one point behind the leaders – Sarah Norbury and Mari Davies (no relation) from South Staff and Pwllheli respectively.

Thursday was frustrating as the sea breeze brought in the fog to blanket the race courses and no racing was possible.
It was therefore all down to Friday’s races with several boats in contention.  A disappointing 18th followed by a storming 1st for the Davies/Summers crew meant that the final race was the decider.  Jenny Smallwood (Datchet) and Danielle Thomas (Lymington) rounded the windward mark first followed by Katie and Grace.  Norbury and Davies looked as if they were out of the game until they put in a spectacular first reach to bring themselves back into the leading pack.  At the finish it was so close.  Norbury and Davies took first place overall one point ahead of the Smallwood/Thomas team.  Katie Davies and Grace Summers exceeded many expectations and were rewarded with the third podium place just two points off the top spot.

Izzy and Katie Davies and Gemma Keers can look back on the many hours spent training and practising manoeuvres from their early days in Mirrors at Itchenor’s Junior Fortnight through to national squads.  Their determination and dedication now has its reward with places in the national team for the world championships and also the European championships in Bulgaria during August.  Never has the old maxim that time on the water is well spent been more true.

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Posted 8th April 2015

Nice livetracker image from Race 3

This week over 370 sailors gathered at the Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy for the start of the 2015 RYA Youth National Championships. Racing started on Easter Monday, with all six RYA Youth classes; 420, Laser, Radial, RS:X, Spitfire and 29er, taking to the water to commence battle. Competitors from all corners of the UK will race over five days to be crowned RYA Youth National Champion, whilst also having the chance to be selected to represent Great Britain on an international stage at the forth coming Worlds and European events. The standard is high with many entries made up of past and present RYA Youth and Transition Squad sailors and even 470 Podium Potential sailors returning for the fun. Sailors will also be enjoying the opportunity to catch up with old friends, as this is the biggest multi-class youth event of the year with a big social planned for Friday night.

The 420 races were on the easterly side of Weymouth Bay with glorious sunshine for the spectators but little wind for the sailors and the Race Committee were only able to get three races away in the first two days. Day three and the wind started to build slightly with the forecast for the remainder of the week expected to build. The full range of conditions will be a good test for all the sailors. Those who can adapt quickly to the changeable conditions and put together a consistent series are likely to come out at the top of the leaderboard.

With 41 420’s entered, this event is the culmination of intense squad sailing and fitness training over the last six months. Itchenor are well represented with sailors in 5 boats;
GBR 54848 - Isabel Davies (ISC) and Gemma Keers (ISC) - Current RYA Youth Squad
GBR 54510 - Iago Davies (Pwllheli) and Paddy Jefferies (ISC) - Current RYA Welsh and Transition Squad
GBR 55244 - Katie Davies (ISC) and Grace Summers (Emsworth) - ex RYA Transition Squad
GBR 54852 - Jo Kalderon (ISC) and Midge Watkins (PYC) - ex RYA Transition Squad
GBR 54785 - Celia Hansell (ISC) and Ed Hansell (ISC)

In addition to the high end racing, the Academy were also offering 420 taster training for those looking to get to grips with a bigger boat and the joys of a harness. Itchenor’s Felix Jefferies and Oliver Wilson were putting the coaches through their paces along with four Optimist sailors.

Good luck to the competitors with both the event as well as the selectors for the Worlds and Europeans.

Joe Kalderon, Ed Hansel, Cecila Hansel, Isabel Davies, Paddy Jefferies, Katie Kavies and Gemma Keers . Good luck to our Itchenor sailors at the youth nationals 2015. 256 sailors, five classes of boat all at weymouth this week.

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Posted 23rd March 2015

This weekend Itchenor sent a team of George Yeoman, Sophie Ormsby, Andy Shaw, Pippa Horne, Rob Struckett and Rosie Sibthorp to the UK Team Racing Championships. 24 teams took part including the current World Champions from West Kirby and the current Wilson Trophy champions, Royal Forth Hoosiers, who another member Tim Saxton sails for.

Saturday was a very windy affair with winds of 15-20 knots. After the first round Itchenor were the top ranked team and went through to Gold League. They lost the first race to Royal Forth, but went unbeaten the rest of the day unbeaten to sit 2nd overnight.

On Sunday the wind was much lighter and Itchenor started strongly, beating West Kirby in the first of the day in a very tight race, then seeing off Royal Thames in the next. Unfortunately the wind died around lunch time and racing could not be resumed.

This meant Itchenor finished 2nd overall in the UK Team Racing Championships! Congratulations to Tim Saxton also for winning the championships with Royal Forth.