Hayling Island Sailing Club take more regatta honours

Ian Walker. Picture: Paul Wyeth
Ian Walker. Picture: Paul Wyeth
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Competitors and organisers battled difficult conditions at the annual Chichester Harbour Federation Week.

Race officers wisely abandoned all racing on Monday as the remnants of the Caribbean hurricane weather system swept along the south coast – and the schedule was also limited on Tuesday, before conditions abated allowing racing in the harbour.

In contrast, variable breeze during the final day of racing on Friday posed a different challenge for those trying to get racing going on the three courses.

‘It was a challenging week for everybody,’ said Robert Macdonald, chairman of the regatta committee.

‘After all the good weather beforehand we had to cope with all the disruption caused by Bertha coming through. It was frustrating and hard work for everyone concerned.’

He added: ‘Despite all, it was a successful week.

‘It’s not a national championship, it’s a family regatta week, one of the largest in the country and has been for many years.

‘It’s a dinghy version of Cowes Week in many ways – people race hard and enjoy the party after racing as well.

‘The kids sail, along with the mums and dads, it’s all about a good time on the water.’

Now in its 51st year, Chichester Harbour Federation Week involves numerous sailing clubs lining the harbour, including those from Bosham, Dell Quay, Emsworth, Hayling Island (HISC), Itchenor, Langstone, Mengeham, Thorney Island, West Wittering and Chichester itself.

HISC’s Dave Smithwhite was among several standout performances when he won the fast asymmetric class in his RS700.

Fellow club members Steve and Sarah Cockerill (Laser 4000) repeated the feat in the medium asymmetric fleet, and Emsworth SC’s Simon and Jack Townsend took three wins on the way to topping the RS400 fleet.

As befits one of the UK’s leading dinghy racing clubs, HISC members were winners in several other fleets, with Keith Walker and Rhys Pickett’s Fireball winning the fast handicap class.

Simon and Jackie Lytton took the Merlins, Paul Childs the Finn, along with Tom Morris and Emma Porteous (RS200).

There were also wins for Dominic Hall (Laser Radial), Harry Kennedy (Laser 4.7), Ross Harvey (Solo), Iain Bird (RS Feva XL) Freddy Wood (RS Terra Sport), and Finley Dickinson (Optimist).

Emsworth SC also lived up to their reputation, with Max Jones taking the Laser class, while Rutland’s Martin Wrigley and Marcus Tressler won the medium handicap class.

Macdonald was quick to praise the 100-plus volunteers from all the associated clubs who made the regatta possible.

Event sponsors Dynamite Recruitment presented the Dynamite Youth Trophy to winners Hayling Island Sailing Club, who also won the Interclub Trophy.