Event reports 2016

RS200 NATIONALS - Mount's Bay Sailing Club - 21st to 25th August

Nice 5th overall for George Yeoman and Sophie Ormsby in a 96 boat fleet. Catch the final report and the rankings here.

INTERNATION 420 coached Open December 2016

13 boats gathered for the final event of the Olimpic Sails 420 Grand Prix Series at Itchenor SC over the weekend of 10 / 11 Dec. The weather wasn't quite so festive with a grey, damp but mild day on the Saturday, and then sun and occasional fog on the Sunday - no thoughts of snow, reindeers or Santa Claus! The Olimpic Sails Grand Prix Series featured events at Draycote, two at Lymington and Cardiff and aims to provide an entry level series for those transitioning in from the junior classes in preparation for the National Qualifier events. Sponsorship from Olimpic Sails provided a new jib to the top individual performance in the series, helm or crew. At Itchenor Alex Smallwood & Ross Thompson laid down the gauntlet with four firsts out of the six races sailed on Saturday, and two more on Sunday. Eleanor Keers & Harriet Watkins, Alex Hughes & Doug Brierley and Adele Young & Dan Burns were all close on points from second to fourth, followed by an excellent performance from Julia Mellors & Ellen Main in fifth who had to count a DNS and sail with a hasty hull repair on the Sunday after a collision. The Sunday racing was spiced up by sharing the race course with the International 14s - thankfully none of the 420s ended up spiked by a 14 bowsprit. Great experience for anyone thinking of doing the Bloody Mary in January! The overall Olimpic Sails Grand Prix Series was awarded, in their absence, to Vita Heathcoat & Milly Boyle and the Olimpic Jib to Ross Thompson for the best individual performance across the series - great to see it going to a crew. A special thank you to Alistair Shaw for such dynamic race management and to Itchenor SC for a great weekend - and their usual fantastic hearty breakfast.

Photos - all by Zoë Bellfield:
420s preparing for race 7
Alex Smallwood & Ross Thompson receiving first prize
Ross Thompson receiving a brand new Olimpic jib for best individual performance from Linda Keers

Click here for results

Round The Island Race 2016

Posted 12th July 2016

Andy Shaw and his team on the diminutive Flying Boat, put in a stunning performance this year in the RTI, winning their class and coming 8th overall in IRC. Below Alistair Shaw tells us about the most enjoyable race he has had for years. 

“Despite a bit of a slow start (I forgot the radio so we had to go back), the air was lovely and clear for the first couple of miles. It was just our weather and our old sails did fine with the conditions. Two slabs in the main and the No. 2, 6 of us sitting on the rail and off we went!

By the time we reached the Spinnaker up at The Needles, we were well into our fleet and overtook hundreds on the downwind. We couldn’t hold the spin all the way to St Catherine’s, so took it down for the last mile, but then held it all the way to Bembridge. 
It was a fast race, we averaged 7 knots (not bad for a 26th boat!) along the south of the island and seldom dropped below 10kts! 

Andrew helmed brilliantly downwind with Tim Saxton on the sheet, in three jibes we only capsized twice and didn’t lose much time. Pipa and I did most of the running around, with Michael and Rihanna keeping us upright. Andrew’s complete refit of the running gear in the weeks leading up to race paid off as everything worked - a first for Flying Boat! We even managed tea and coffee after St Catherine’s!”

We have a new Champion! Carolyn Brigg, David and Ollie Sloper in Marengo triumphed in a breezy championship event in Bembridge this last weekend.

National Swallows National Championships 2016 at Bembridge (9th & 10th July)

Eighteen National Swallows, a near record number, raced over from Itchenor to Bembridge on Friday afternoon in readiness for their 2016 National Championships that were being run for them by Bembridge Sailing Club over the weekend.  First to cross the line by quite a margin after a long beat from West Pole was S7, Swift, with S94, Merlin, second and S93, Gwaihir, in third.

The forecast for Saturday was for a South Westerly F5 gusting F6 breeze and at Friday evening’s briefing it was agreed that a steady 25 knots or above would be the limit for racing.  After a delay to the original start time to allow crews to safely embark in the launches & RIBs from Colonel’s Hard, the first race got under way 11:30 in a 15 - 17 knot SW’erly breeze and quite unpleasant sea conditions.  Almost immediately after the start the wind backed by 45 degees, so the first beat was not as good as planned, however, the windward mark and its spreader were moved for the subsequent rounds, as was the leeward gate, which ensured testing beats.  At the front, S82 Marengo helmed by Carolyn Brigg & S86 Migrant helmed by Chris Fox were never far apart and there was only 7 seconds between them at the finish; S66, Buccaneer, helmed by Mike Bond was third and Simon Slater in S87, Echo, was fourth.

The second race started at 12:30 in challenging conditions with gusts of over 20 knots and an increasingly turbulent wave pattern.  Avocet and Migrant, were both initially OCS so had some catching up to do in the three round windward-leeward race.   Not long after rounding the leeward gate for the first time, Mike Wigmore in S93 Gwaihir had to retire when the clew of their mainsail pulled out and with the breeze increasing as the race progressed, three other boats decided that they had had enough and headed back to their moorings.  The downwind leg under spinnaker proved particularly challenging and although there was no further terminal damage, a number of boats broached as the gusts took charge.  Out in front, Carolyn Brigg in Marengo proved too strong for the rest and powered to her second win of the day with Harry Roome S3, Skua, second just over 40 seconds later.  Franck Petitgas in S61 Quetzal was third, just under 30 seconds ahead of James Hartley in S7, Swift.  With the breeze now averaging over 25 knots and the sea conditions becoming even more unpleasant, the Race Officers, lead by Jonathan Peel wisely decided to abandon further racing for the day and so sent the very wet fleet back to their overnight moorings at Under Tyne.

After an excellent Championship dinner at BSC, the crews all met again at Colonels Hard at 10:15 on Sunday morning ready for two and possibly three more races before boats either returned to Itchenor or headed to Cowes ready for Cowes Classic week.   The first race started at 11:20 and although it was drizzling, the slightly reduced breeze from the day before and the less turbulent sea conditions made for considerably more pleasant racing.  Having had a replacement sail delivered overnight, Mike Wigmore in S93, Gwaihir, proved to be the boat to beat which left the overnight leader Carolyn in Marengo needing to come in the top three if she was to win the Championships.  After some very close racing she secured third place behind Harry Roome in Skua and just ahead of Franck Petitgas in Quetzal.

The start of the second race was under the Z flag, following a General Recall; S7, Swift and S86 Migrant both over cooked it and had to not only return but also take a 20% place penalty.   Mike Wigmore in Gwaihir again lead the way for most of the race and left Carolyn in Marengo to battle it out with Harry in Skua for second and third, with Franck in Quetzal snapping at their heels.  With it clear that it was not going to be possible to have a third race and as it was essential that the Swallows returning to Itchenor  could cross Chichester Bar safely, the race was finished at the windward mark after two and a half rounds.

Congratulations to Carolyn and her crew of David and Ollie Sloper in Marengo who finished first overall fand therefore the winner of the Royal Corinthian YC Trophy; second was Mike Wigmore in Gwaihir who just pipped Harry Roome in Skua on a count back; Franck Petitgas in Quetzal was fourth.

An excellent Championships raced in some pretty challenging conditions; grateful thanks to the Race Management team, Mark Layers, Boatmen and other BSC Staff who made it so successful.
Web album (incl video clips): click here   

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Max Mirror Mission 2016

Posted 1st June 2016

Take 2 for Max Mirror Mission was on Saturday 28 May, our first attempt having been postponed from a rather chilly early May bank holiday. Luckily the day dawned warm and sunny with a gentle north easterly breeze and ebbing tide boding well for our raid to East Head and back. 25 Mirrors took part, with 50 kids aged between 7 - 12 years old ably abetted by some of the older kids from the club to assist those either a bit to young to sail on their own or a bit nervous. The format was to sail to East Head beach in 4 groups, taking the last of the ebb tide, with parental support afloat shouting words of encouragement and lobbying sugary encouragement into the boats as they sailed along. On arrival at the beach we kept a close eye on the boats as the tide had now turned and was coming in while the kids ate their packed lunch provided by the club and then played beach games like Capture the Flag, British Bulldogs and Football organised by the teenage helpers.

When it was time to go home, it was an upwind sail, made shorter by the incoming tide, back to Itchenor. The day finished off with supper for kids and adults at the club. A great day was had by all, new friendships made and some new enthusiasts in sailing Mirrors.

Looking forward to next year's event!

Antigua Sailing Week

Posted 28th April 2016

We've had this note from the Press Ofice at Antigua Sailing Week.

We are lucky enough to have Team Itchenor Sailing Club competing at Antigua Sailing Week. Yesterday Ian Walker and the team won the Nonsuch Bay RS Elite Challenge. He beat Stuart Childerley, our new ASW PRO and the local Antiguan team at the 4th Nonsuch Bay RS Elite Challenge on Presidente Lay Day. There’s two more days left of racing, starting again today and Tony Langley’s TP52, Gladiator has a rising Antiguan young sailor on board, Rhone Kirby. Ian took some time out to offer some advice and answer Rhone’s questions.

Winner of the Nonsuch Bay RS Elite Challenge 2016 - Itchenor Sailing Club (Ian Walker, Chris Fox and Richard Bullock) with Kathy Lammers (Chairman, ASW Regatta Organising Committee and Mark Whinney from Nonsuch Bay Resort © Ted Martin

The three-race final produced an epic battle between Ian Walker's Itchenor SC Team and Stuart Childerley's young Antiguan crew known as Original Drama for the race. Itchenor SC won the two opening encounters harried all the way by Childerley's team. In the last race, Original Drama finally got the better of Itchenor SC, but Ian Walker's men came second which was good enough to win the 2016 Nonsuch Bay RS Elite Challenge and an all-inclusive week's stay for two at the luxury Nonsuch Bay Resort. Team Zig Zag was third and Antigua Yacht Club finished fourth.

There are 15 members of Itchenor SC racing Swan 46, Milanto at Antigua Sailing Week and the team let out a huge roar as the victorious Nonsuch Bay RS Elite Challenge team joined them for lunch at Catherine's Café Plage. Ian Walker then used a coin in a game of chance to decide which of the team would use the fantastic prize!

"Basically our parents dumped a load of us in Chichester Harbour when we were still in nappies," laughed Walker. "It has been really special to catch up with old friends and to race with them at Antigua Sailing Week."

On behalf of all the teams taking part, Team Itchenor Sailing Club's Ian Walker thanked Nonsuch Bay's Mark Whinney for his hospitality and Antigua Sailing Week's Chairman of the Regatta Organising Committee, Kathy Lammers and her team for putting on a great event with superb race management.

"It was a fantastic event and I'd like to thank the sponsors and Antigua Sailing Week for making it all happen. It was superb race management and we hopefully will get to come back next year to defend our title!"
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RS200 Spring Championship

Posted 25th April 2016

Thirty boats enjoyed classic sailing conditions at the RS200 Spring Championships held at Itchenor Sailing Club last weekend. The venue looked beautiful as ever in the bright, but chilly, spring sunshine for one of the biggest events on the RS200 Calendar.

A loose slot gasket meant that one boat never made it to the start line, but for the rest of the teams, race officer Bruce Grant did a fantastic job getting eight very efficient races away in a shifty Northerly.

Think Chichester Harbour and you think tide. It looked as though the current might be the order of the day as two thirds of the fleet was swept over in race one, resulting in an inevitable general recall. With that formality out of the way, the black flag kept most sailors in check for the rest of the day, ensuring everyone got back to the club in time for tea.

The positioning of the course across two channels meant there were a variety of routes to take up the beat and a multitude of different theories about which was best. One race in particular showed that even the locals can be fooled, with almost all of the Itchenor members hitting the left on the first beat, only to find themselves a hundred yards behind the visitors by the windward mark. However, there were clearly some gains to be made by local knowledge, as George Yeoman and Sophie Ormsby won race two and Andy Shaw and Pippa Horne won race four. 

Tactically there was plenty more than the tide to think about. The breeze went steadily left for most of Saturday and oscillations (both regular and irregular) and gusts (both sudden and sustained) gave the harbour a reservoir feel. Will and Mary Henderson were the most consistent on day one with four top fives, but it was Matt Mee and Emma Norris who held the lead overnight with two firsts and a second.

Sunday was more or less identical to Saturday, with no particular side playing consistently and big gains (or losses) being made on every leg. A few people misjudging the tide and dragging buoys down the run with them, added extra drama to the mark roundings. Also local chandleries may need to stock up on gel coat for the rudders that lost their fights with anchor chains. Matt and Emma again took command on the results sheet, winning the event with a race to spare. Second to ninth were separated by just 14 points, which is testament to the high quality close racing that are the trademarks of Itchenor and RS200 sailing in general.

1st Burghfield SC/Red Wharf Bay (Matt Mee and Emma Norris)
2nd Itchenor SC (Will And Mary Henderson)
3rd Itchenor SC (George Yeoman and Sophie Ormsby)

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Izzy Davies and Gemma Keers win the RYA Youth National Championships.

Posted 9th April 2016

Many congratulations to Izzy and to Gemma on winning the International 420 class in the RYA Youth National Championships at Pwllhelli.

Link to results here.

Gemma Keers and Izzy Davies won the RYA national Youth Championships in their 420. Our Itchenor girls came up through the ranks of junior fortnight in mirrors, schools weeks in 420s and fevas and are now pursing their sailing achievement on the national and world stage. Not only were they the first all-girl boat they also beat all the boys in the youth championship. The youth championships is the blue ribbon event of the RYA youth programme. It is the final event of a 22 race series over a six week selection period to represent GBR in the summer. Gemma and Izzy added to their success at the youth championship by also winning the selector series making them the number 1 420 GBR boat currently. They will now go on to represent GBR at the World Championships in San Remo and then onto Lake Banetine for the junior European championships. Izzy's twin sister also did well at the youths and selectors and has also been selected to represent GBR in the summer in Italy.

The depth of quality of our Itchenor 420 fleet was also demonstrated by a superb performance from Eleanor Keers and Izzi Pugh who were also successful in qualifying to represent GBR in the 420s at the World Championships in the under 17 category.

Two other sailors from Itchenor Joanna Kalderon and Paddy Jefferies put up a great fight and narrowly missed selection by a couple of places in the boys/ open fleet.

Izzy Davies said "Gemma and I value so much those early racing days at Itchenor and junior fortnight. We are now looking forward to helping the next generation of Itchenor juniors develop and continue the great tradition the club has of producing great sailors. I couldn’t believe how many Itchenor members texted us to congratulate us...... Thank you all for your support

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RYA National Team Racing Championship
Birdham Bandits WIN Prince Philip Trophy

Posted 14th March 2016

Birdham Bandits, entered as an Itchenor SC team, swept the board to win this prestigious trophy without losing a race. The first day at Bough Beech SC produced only sunshine and a total absence of wind enabling competitors and officials to enjoy the rugby, but the second day produced perfect team racing conditions. After an 0830 first race start, 124 races were sailed with a shifty, gusty and cold northerly wind. In the seeded qualifying stage, the Bandits finished every race with a 1 and 2 position to move easily into the 8 team gold league. Here only the Oxford & Cambridge Sailing Society team got within one place of beating the Bandits. The Royal Thames Blue team lost only to the Bandits and these two then contested a 'first to two wins' final which the Bandits won conclusively.

Birdham Bandits (see photo)
George Yeoman, Sam Littlejohn and Tim Saxton; crewed by Sophie Ormsby, Toby Lewis and Poppy Maxwell, plus a few others as Tim's regular crew was unavaliable at the last minute.

Other teams with ISC representation were
Royal Thames Blue (Arthur Henderson and other ex-Cambridge team) who were runners-up to the Bandits
SSCM (Olly Sloper) 2nd in the silver league
Southampton Red (Mary Henderson) 4th in the silver league
Itchenor (Rob Struckett, Rob Gullan and Andy Shaw) 5th in the silver league
My apologies to anyone I have missed.

A further report is at www.teamracing.org and full results are at http://www.events.ksail.co.uk/2016/uktra/index.html

Itchenor members turned up in force at the Wessex Winter Warmer

Posted 18th February 2016

Itchenor members turned up in force at the Wessex Winter Warmer team racing event at Spinnaker on February 13th and 14th.
• The Itchenor Sailing Club team was made up of Andy Shaw and Pippa Horne, Rob Struckett and Rosie Sibthorp, and Simon Shaw and Ita Maude Wooller.
• “Birdham Bandits” were George Yeoman and Sophie Ormsby, Tim Saxton and Holly Scott, and Sam Littlejohn and Kate Devereux;
• Cathy Marsden was sailing for “Bristol Young Old Boys” (BYOB);
• Olly Sloper and Ed Fitzgerald were sailing for “Softly Softly Catchy Monkey” (SSCM);
• Izzy Fitzgerald was sailing for Exeter University;
• Mary Henderson had been called in to sail for Cambridge University.

Saturday saw the grey and windy conditions we have come to expect this winter, however with the shelter around the lake the racing was able to start on time with a round robin consisting of all the teams. At the end of the day each team had raced twelve races and this allowed the Race Committee to split the leagues into a gold and a silver league. Birdham Bandits finished the day on twelve wins, one win ahead of BYOB and Society on 11 with Itchenor in 4th on ten wins. SSCM just missed out on the Gold League but with the top of Silver playing 4th in Gold for a semi-final space it was still all to play for.

Sunday arrived with what Spinnaker is known for - a shifty eight knots and sunshine. The racing was much closer with no easy races due to the fleet split, however SSCM managed to bounce back from their near miss with Gold fleet to take the top spot in Silver, only losing one race, and earning a place in the repechage against 4th in Gold. In the Gold league Birdham Bandits and BYOB were joint top with 7 wins out of 8 with Birdham Bandits taking 1st on count back, booking them both places in the semis. Itchenor and Cambridge had less good days with Itchenor being caught out by the famous Spinnaker shifts on the last beat whilst looking good for an important win against Oxford & Cambridge Sailing Society (Society), which saw a Society boat lay the finish from mark four, and did not make the semis.

In the repechage SSCM faced Exeter and eventually went down 2-0 in a close set of races. This meant Birdham Bandits would race Exeter and BYOB would race Society. Both of them were settled 2-0 with Birdham Bandits and BYOB going through to the final.

The best of five final was run in a nice force three. Birdham Bandits were dominant on the starts taking the final 3-0 and having to hold off strong fight backs from BYOB. The shifty conditions allowed lots of opportunities for both teams to come back into races from what looked like losing positions with Birdham Bandits managing to close out the final beats taking every races 1,2,4 and win the Wessex Winter Warmer.

Southampton University took drone video footage of the final races, Birdham in the White boats and BYOB in the Red boats:

(Birdham Bandits: Tim Saxton, Holly Scott, Sophie Ormsby, Sam Littlejohn, George Yeoman and Kate Devereux).

With all of these team members looking to enter the UK Open Championships, the Wilson Trophy, it is encouraging to see the strong pool of team racing talent Itchenor currently has. With “Wessex Exempt” (Ben Ainsworth, Kate Gibbs, Jon Pinner, Tom Heywood and Alexa Pinner) taking a holiday for the weekend there could be another Wilson win for Itchenor members.

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