All images courtesy Mary Pudney
We all enjoyed another successful Junior Fortnight this year, with over 210 competitors sailing in Mirrors, Toppers and International 420s.
We saw some particularly good sized fleets of Toppers in the morning with a record 48 entries, and 420 entries were up to 20.
Many of the younger children had sailed Mirrors or Toppers in the training weeks which preceded the Fortnight, and this really helped them to be race ready. Younger sailors in Mirrors 3 and 4 were briefed before going afloat and the back of the fleet received on the water coaching from our expert team of coaches.
Junior Fortnight was rather a windy one this year. Week one started sunny and breezy. This was challenging for the smaller children who were new to racing, but they bravely righted their capsized boats, carried on sailing and kept smiling.
Monday night saw the First Night Bop and BBQ for all competitors and families. This is always a popular event to kick off the fortnight.
The legendary Tom and Jerry Raft Race on the club pool was as popular as ever with the yellow group.
With a forecast of strong and increasing winds on Wednesday, the sailing team took the decision to cancel sailing for Mirrors 3 and 4, and send the older children out early. It was exciting sailing for all the fleets, and all were back in for lunch before it really started blowing.
Thursday 3rd did turn out to be the hoolie which was predicted, and racing was cancelled early in the morning for all. A wise decision, given racing in Cowes was cancelled that day too. Parties still went ahead despite the wind – pool parties, and inflatable obstacle courses kept everyone happily entertained.
On Friday calmer, more summery weather returned, and we were able to play catch up on the racing with back to back racing for all the fleets. It was the parents’ turn to party on the Friday night. ‘Casual Summer Chic’ was the theme for a lovely sit down dinner and rosé fuelled dancing.
The Transit Party for the oldest group of competitors was held on the middle Saturday at the club. Fun was had with the Flower Power theme, karaoke, and disco.
Week 2 started with champagne sailing conditions for all. The Total Wipeout Machine was back by popular demand to entertain all the competitors.
The 420s had their Supercup event on Tuesday. This mini series consisted of five short races. Their average score was fed into the overall series results.
Tuesday was a bumper party day for the competitors and younger siblings, with a party for everyone. Nearly one hundred took the ferry from Itchenor to Bosham for socials given by kind Bosham hosts.
Despite the rain on Wednesday, everything went ahead as usual. Pink group garden games was quickly turned into a wonderful indoor craft session and Team Boat Building (using the contents of your recycling bin) was as popular as ever with some amazing creations being lovingly designed and built in the Members’ Room and then tested on the club pool.
There was some tension on the water on the last Thursday which marked the final day of the JF series. We were lucky with near perfect sailing conditions, and that the weather was kind for Talent Night that evening, wonderfully run by Clare Jefferies and compered by Henry Heath and Ed Hansell. All were thoroughly entertained by the musical and dancing talent and wit from all ages.
The Fun Regatta Day on the last Friday offers ‘something for everyone’. The kids all enjoyed the Pursuit Race. Fun, and ever so slightly competitive, races follow with Parent and Child, Mum’s Topper and Single Handed Parents Mirror Race. Races were run from Betivuka on the Club start line, which made for tricky sailing in strong tides amongst moored boats but great fun for the spectators.
Prizegiving was well attended and we were delighted to have so many additional prizes to give away this year – in the form of merchandise from Musto, Crewsaver and North Sails.
The Last Night Curry and Bop was a fantastic finalé to a great fortnight.
We hope that everyone will be back for Junior Fortnight next year. Here are the dates for your 2018 diary - Monday July 30th to Friday August 10th.