Broken boats and swimming the hall mark of Frozen Toe 5&6 
A brisk 15 knot breeze with tricky gusts to 25 greeted the 33 boats that hit the water to contest the fifth and sixth races in Chichester YC’s Frozen toe series. The conditions for the first race of the day called for a start line almost opposite the club with a first beat to the west south west towards Bosham Hoe.

In the fast fleet Arun’s Jack Holden and his crew in the their set out their stall early, challenging CYC’s Nick and Roger Elliman’s RS400 keeping in touch on the water to claim the honours by 2 minutes on corrected time, Meanwhile, Newhaven and Seaford’s Jonty Freeman and Neil Arnott sailed a conservative race in their Merlin Rocket to secure third. The start for the medium fleet was more frenetic with Fireball European Champion Richard Anderton demonstrated that he’s pretty handy in a Laser as well establishing a lead over the rest of the fleet right out of the blocks which he then extended during the three laps of the trapezoid course. Felpham’s Guy Mayger in his Solo was able to reduce this lead to just over two minutes on handicap to claim second over Emsworth’s Jonathan Bailey in his Laser.

A conveniently timed windshift to the North allowed Race Officer Gideon Ewers to alter the geometry of the course between races and slick buoy re-laying work by the Safety boat teams, who’d already had a busy morning in the rescue department, allowed the second race of the day to get away with a minimum of delay. Once again Holden and the Ellimans made the running in the Fast fleet with the latter having the edge until a capsize at the third mark during the second lap allowed the RS200 to establish a significant on the water lead. Although the Ellimans closed the distance breaking through at the final mark the handicap deficit was too great to overcome allowing Holden and crew to claim their second bullet of the day over the Freeman and Arnott with the Ellimans relegated to third.

In the Medium fleet, CYC’s Anderton again showed his class winning the start and extending his lead throughout the race although this time Lucy Boreham in her Europe made the running on handicap reducing Anderton’s lead 36 seconds on corrected time with Nick and Biddy Colbourne hamstrung by gear failure taking third.

Only one competitor ventured out from the Slow fleet but after a gallant effort in the increasing wind Oliver Randall-May wisely decided that the clubhouse was better option.

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Time to dust off those boogie shoes..... 

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A grim day out for Frozen Toe 3 & 4 
To conjure up a description of conditions for the third and forth races of Chichester YC’s Frozen Toe series only four words are required grim, grey, rainy and random. Surprisingly, this did little to dampen attendance with the fast and slow fleets boasting more entrants than the opening weekend while the medium fleet was only slightly down overall.

Race Officer Andy Palmer-Felgate opted for a trapezoid with outer loop course of all three fleets with the top mark on the western shore in the vicinity of Bowling. In the opening race for the fast fleet the RS400s of Nick & Roger Elliman, Gideon & Gilly Ewers and Lancing’s Simon & Jo Matthews made the early running, rapidly opening an unassailable gap over the rest of the fleet with the Ellimans and Matthews trading shots before the former emerged victorious.

In the second race away Nick & Biddy Colbourne assumed their accustomed position at the head of the medium fleet with the Solos Felpham’s Guy Mayger and Ian Lissamore taking the other two podium positions. While in the slow fleet Eliza South and Ed Jones piloted their Mirror to top spot over the Toppers of Oliver Randall-May and Izzy Loveridge. This turned out to be the only race of the day for the youngsters as they demonstrated wisdom beyond their years and legging it to the club house for hot chocolate and so forth rather than commit to another race in the rain.

So to the fourth race in the series which again saw the RS400s extend on the water but this time only the Matthews and Ellimans were able to same time over the rest of the fleet the latter once again taking top spot with the Merlin Rocket of Simon Ketter from Thames taking third place on handicap. There was drama on the water in the medium fleet for while once again the Colbournes slid comfortably into line and handicap honours astern Lissamore saw his second place turn into 6th after a penalty was imposed for a failure to keep clear promoting CYC’s Mark Harper into second and Mayger into third.

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Arthur Fries em in Vigo 

Chi Oppie maestro Arthur Fry closed out his European season with victory at the Semana del Atlantico Ciudad de Vigo earlier this month. The 39th Trofeo Martin Barreiro hosted by the Real Club Nautico de Vigo attracted over 180 Optimist sailors from all over Europe and Arthur having spent a week at the venue honing his local knowledge put them to the sword.

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Toes not so Frozen for winter openers 

Pic © Mark Green 2014

Clearly, the weather having blown old boots for the previous 72 hours, was exhausted come Remembrance Sunday for there was not a ripple on the water as the protagonists arrived for the first two races of Chichester YC’s Frozen Toe series. Actually this made for a magical two minutes silence as the competitors and race team paused for reflection and remembrance while taking in the beauty and tranquillity of the harbour. The lack of breeze forced Race Officer Nick Colbourne to order a postponement before setting a modified “M” course to challenge the fleet in the fickle conditions. The Slow Fleet making use of the time to draw dinosaurs on the briefing board while the adults wasted their time drinking coffee.

As usual, the Fast Fleet were first away with two CYC RS400s making the early running together with Newhaven & Seaford’s Jonty Freeman in his beautifully restored classic Merlin Rocket. Up the first beat the Ellimans played the shifts well to extend a significant lead and so it stayed until they went too far east on the penultimate downwind leg and fell into wind hole allowing the fleet to close up to create a tight tussle down final reach and drive for the line. While the Elliman’s took it on the water Freeman with crew Neil Arnott claimed the spoils on corrected time. In the medium fleet, Jason and Sonia Kirk in their 2000 fought it out for the on the water honours with CYC Laser open winner Ritchie Bailey from Emsworth with the corrected time margin a wafer thin two tenths of a second in favour of the Kirks. In the Slow fleet the Birdham Half Pint winner Izzy Loveridge continued her winning ways in her Topper with a 30second victory over Harriet Kirk.

In the second race the fast fleet contest was over by the end of the second leg with the Ellimans escaping the wind hole at the first mark to establish an unassailable lead over Freeman & Arnott and Gideon & Gilly Ewers’ RS400. In the Medium fleet the Solos and Lasers were able to parlay their ability to go deep on the downwind legs to negate the upwind speed of the Kirk’s 2000 with Ian Lissamore clearly pleased with his new toy taking the top spot in the first outing in his new boat over Bailey in second and the Kirks one further back. In the Slow Fleet the top spots were reversed compared with the first race with Harriet edging out a 19 second victory over Izzy with Eliza South and Ed taking third.

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Now this looks inviting.... 

This just in from Sdn Ldr Lord Flasheart (aka Mark Harper) from a little recce mission yesterday. Doesn't it look inviting? Makes you want to get down to the club on Sunday for the Frozen Toe openers doesn't it? Fear not though it's yuccky today and gucky tomorrow (these are proper metorological terms you know) the forecast for Sunday is looking not bad at all with a nice 3-4 SW and temps still comfortably in double figures so come on down!

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