Flying Fijian claims CYC Laser Crown 

Once again the weather gods dished up a Race Officer’s headache with the forecast 10-15 kts due for the scheduled 1230 start singularly failing to appear to the chagrin for the 30 Laser sailors who’d made the trip to Chichester Yacht Club’s Laser Open last Saturday – the final leg of this year’s Laser South Coast Grand Prix with racing for Standard, Radial and 4.7 Lasers. Prize for the furthest club represented, went to the Musket Cove Yacht Club which, as it turns out, is in Fiji.

After a delay of an hour and a half OOD Derek Jackman was able to get the fleets away on the first of a scheduled three races. In the Standard Fleet Lymington’s Nik Froud and “Fijian” Ritchie Bailey established a lead over the peloton early in the first beat and were left to trade punches for the next two and a half laps before Froud was able to extend away from Bailey with Fireball ace Richard Anderton taking third. Meanwhile in the Radials, the racing was a tighter affair with the fleet closing for a blanket finish after two laps Josh Bakker claiming first over Rob Beere and Tim Boon meanwhile fourth was declared a dead heat with the Race team unable to separate Liz Shepard and Sue Richie at the line. In the 4.7s David Perez-Perez from Arun demonstrated disturbing speed to claim first over Felpham’s Owen Aldous.

In the second race the breeze continued to build giving the fleet planing conditions on parts of the course. In the Standards on the fist leg Bailey and Froud succumbed to a challenge from Anderton who led round the top mark only to chuck it away while temporarily navigationally challenged on the second leg once leaving the door open for Bailey and Froud who finished in that order. As it turned out Anderton was scored OCS at the start allowing Nick Forster to claim third. Racing in the Radial fleet remained as tight as the first race with the entire fleet never separated by more than a minute. At the line Boon and Bakker had swopped places with Beere remaining consistent in second. In the 4.7s Perez-Perez once again dominated to the extent that he was ahead of the back marking Radials taking first to ensure his victory in the meeting. With the ebb tide well away OOD Jackman had concerns about depth at the bottom end of the course and decided to call the meeting after two races. The final results for the Standards requiring a two way tie break between Bailey and Froud with the former taking the spoils and a three way tie in the Radials between Baaker, Beere and Boon with the second race win in the second enough to seal it for CYC’s Boon.

L-R David Perez-Perez, Richard Bailey and Tim Boon

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SAGA louts (sorry that should read CYC elder statesmen) hard at work and Canute-like in their determination to hold back the tide 

A casual visitor to the club this lunch time would have spotted a scene rather like one in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang - you know the one beneath the Baron's Castle where the boffins "rise up from the ashes of disaster" except instead of the whole flying, floating car bit, a new signals ashore mast.

You'd have also seen the team in a race against time to get the bally thing up before the tabernacle was awash giving rise to the quote of the day from one who shall remain nameless (but you can find him dangling at the front end of a 505) as the water splashed over his shoes and under said 505 "what time exactly did you say HW is?... look there's water under the boat I'm counting this as an entry in the cruising book".

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Time to tee it up for Bill's beano  
The temperatures are falling and the nights are drawing in, that can only mean one thing time to dust off your drysuit or steamer and get ready for the Winter Series which this year celebrates 39th year since Bill Pickering came up with the idea of a Winter long open series. (I can think of two who sailed in that first series who'll be around this one!)

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Hawk and Harken to Sponsor Winter Series 

Hawk Marine and Harken need no introduction as manufacturers of some of the world’s best sailing equipment. That’s why it’s especially good news to announce that these two great companies have signed up to sponsor prizes for the Frozen Toe and Snowflake Series this winter.
Commenting on the announcement Harken UK MD Andy Ash-Vie said “We are all about sailing performance and that’s why it’s great for us to be involved in CYC’s winter series, which as the original winter long dinghy series has been around almost as long as I have!” Meanwhile Hawk Marine’s Adrian Brunton said “It’s a great series and I intend to be racing in as many Snowflake Sundays as possible”.

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Richard streaks ahead in Autumn series finale 
Leaden skies, unseasonably warm temperatures and the prospect of not much wind greeted the protagonists for the closing races of Chichester YC’s Autumn Series. Accordingly OOD Andrew Martin set a short multiple lap course that gave him the flexibility he needed to manage racing in the fluctuating easterly breeze. Surprisingly, given the downwind start from the club line, The Fast Modern fleet got away at the first time of asking. Gideon Ewers with Stephen Green at the front end of his RS400 quickly established an on the water lead over the rest of the fleet which remained for the duration. Any joy on the grey boat was short lived when some skilful work on the penultimate leg by Roger Clare in his Vareo and the handicap advantage of Pete & Suzy Harrison’s 2000 saw that lead erode to third on corrected time.

Meanwhile, in the Classic/Medium Richard Smale in his Streaker out flanked the titanic struggle that would determine supremacy in the senior part of the Green household to take line and Handicap honours.

After a short interval the fleet was back on the water for two back-to-back races to close out the series. In the first of these for the Modern/Fast fleet once again the Ewers & Green partnership led out of the blocks on the water but again saw that lead insufficient to save time over the Harrison’s and Roger Clare reversing their earlier positions while Paul and Bella Mapstone in their RS200 nabbed third on corrected time. In the Medium/Classic Richard Smale had to surrender line honours to Ian Payne’s Laser though he retained the handicap chocolates over Ian and Helen Green.

So to the final race of the series In the Fast/Modern, a spinnaker twist saw Ewers & Green get buried at the start and although once again taking line honours it was by not enough of a margin to be in the mix for the podium places which turned out to be a punch up between the Mapstone’s RS200 and Clare’s Vareo.
At the line the Mapstone’s six-second advantage turned into a 38 second deficit allowing Clare to score his second bullet of the day while the Harrison’s had to settle for third although they already had the series in the bag with a race to spare. The final race for the Classic Medium fleet saw Payne once again the man to beat on the water but while quick he couldn’t stop Smale scoring a hat trick of firsts on corrected time which cost him the series on a tie break from Nick & Biddy Colborne’s GP14.

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Wipeouts a plenty at Bart’s Bash 

The weather gods dished up sunshine and a stronger than expected northerly for the second weekend in Chichester YC’s Autumn Series on Sunday. Three races were scheduled, the second of which was to be the club’s participation in the Bart’s Bash world record attempt. In the opening race, OOD Andy Palmer-Felgate set a straightforward triangle course that he retained for the whole day. While the fleets had no problems with the initial windward leg, the gusty and shifting wind especially along the western shore played havoc and kept the rescue crews busy. In the Fast/Modern fleet the results proved to be a 2000 fest with the class taking the first five places. Meanwhile, the Classic/Medium fleet saw the Lasers top the pile with Richard Anderson, Ian Payne and Charlie Porter leading the way.

So to the main event, with 62 people sailing 46 boats ranging from Optimists to a foiler International Moth the start for the Bart’s Bash race was always set to be challenging and so it proved. Happily though, the fleet was able to get away clean at the first time of asking to sighs of relief all round. The conditions continued to keep competitors on their toes and/or on their centreboards as they negotiated the crowded course. The 2000s dominated the action as far as the club’s contribution to the record attempt goes (it will be interesting to see what happens when the full result is published!) with Jason & Sonia Kirk taking first, 50 seconds clear of Pete & Suzy Harrison with Charlie Porter’s Laser in third.

The final race of the day saw the fleets much depleted after the post Bart’s Bash Break. The Fast/Modern fleet once again proved to be a 2000 benefit with Pete & Suzy Harrison taking the honours with an emphatic 1st over Jonathan Watkin & Paula Oliff with the Winthers in Third. Meanwhile, the Laser monopoly at the top of the Classic/Medium fleet remained unbroken with Messers Anderson, Payne and Porter repeating the result of the first race. While in the slow fleet, Sophie Kirk relegated Alice Snook to second though the Oppie sailor retains a eight point advantage for the series overall.

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Charlotte shines at Cobnor 
A six strong contingent from CYC made their way around the harbour to Cobnor last weekend for the West Sussex Schools & Youth Sailing Association Championships joining 124 competitors representing a total of nine clubs and youth organisations. The weather gods dished up a mixed bag for the county's young guns with a light breeze that worked it's way around the compass rose on Saturday, while on Sunday a fresher test was presented with a force 4 to 5.Top performer from Chi was Charlotte Reading who secured a very impressive 3rd (and just missing 2nd by a single point) in the 43 strong Topper fleet.

Charlotte delivers a steely glare to the fleet enroute to 3rd at the WSSYSA Champs.

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Close racing in Autumn Series Openers 
Although a narrow water to air temperature spread meant that a sea breeze would be unlikely, the gradient wind delivered a pleasant SE force 3 to 4 breeze under mostly clear skies to greet the 20 boats that turned out for the opening weekend of the Autumn Series.

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