All images courtesy Mary Pudney
Junior Fortnight 2015 roundup
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
1st Bertie and Charlotte Fisher - 7 points
2nd Eleanor Keers and Alice Law - 14 points
3rd Pippi Heath & 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.
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.
Junior Fortnight 2015 Trophy Winners
Check out our Photography page to see some great JF images. Link here