Rocket Royalty for Snowflake Opener 
Merlin Rocket Royalty in the form of a brace of Warrens and the 2015 Sailor of the Year Nick Craig joined the Fast Handicap Fleet for the opening day of the 39th edition of Chichester Yacht Club’s Snowflake Series on Jaunary the 4th. Remarkably, at least three (and possibly four) of the protagonists at this year’s event took part in the inaugural event back in 1976. In the first race of the day the Merlins dominated with the Frensham pair Nick Craig and Alan Roberts taking the spoils over Shoreham’s Sophie Mackley & James Warrren with William Warren and Mark Oakley in third.

Meanwhile, in the Medium fleet Hayling’s James & Anne Gardiner having swopped their RS400 for a Graduate while Anne recovers from shoulder surgery claimed the top spot over CYC’s Lucy Boreham in her Europe with the home club’s Charlie Porter in third. In the slow fleet it was the clash of the Mirrors with Sally Lorimer and Pippa Jones from Warsash taking the honours of over Itchenor’s Archie & Will Grant with CYC’s Isabel Porter in third.

A shifting and faltering wind together with technical difficulties forced Race Officer Nick Colborne to delay the start of the second race. But once away the Fast fleet was dominated by Craig & Roberts although this time the Merlin stranglehold was broken with Hayling’s David and Fiona Sayce taking second in their Fireball with Mackley and Warren displaced to third.

In the Medium fleet second race it paid to be sailing a Solo the top spot was a duel between two of the 1976 originals Nick Peters from Hayling and CYC’s Mark Harper with the former taking the laurels while Felpham’s Guy Mayger came in third. In the Slow fleet, the cold weather and delay took its toll on the fleet and it ended up a Mirror match race the Grants victorious over Lorimer and Jones.

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2015 DutyMan Roster now live 
The 2015 DutyMan Roster is now available. Those of you who have already taken the opportunity to sign up for your duties on the hard copy sheet that was in the sloop have had those requests incorporated all you need do is confirm your availability.

Those you haven't had the chance to sign up - you can now! The best way to make sure you get the the duty you want on a day that suits your schedule is to sign up before 9 March (after that the remaining duties will be "allocated"). - don't forget you are expected to complete at minimum of two duties in the summer season (this year late March to October) and one during the winter (unless you are racing in which case two is the norm).

Remember if you are allocated a duty you will be unable to fulfil then there is the facility to request a swap.

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Frisky Frolics for Final Frozen Toe  
34 boats turned out on winter solstice day for the final races of Chichester YC’s Frozen Toe series. The brisk WSW breeze which built from 12 to 25 knots during the day allowed Race Officer Derek Jackman o set a multi legged course which dished up a variety angle for the racing.
In the first race of the day the Fast fleet were given a master class in how to race a Fireball by the European Number 1 Richard Alderton who teamed up with Andy Palmer-Felgate. The pairing who hadn’t sailed together since last winter showed the rest of the fleet a clean pair of heels out of the blocks and continued to extend the margin throughout the three lap duration of the race coming home a minute and half clear of Nick and Roger Elliman’s RS400 and Adrian Brunton’s Devoti D-zero who moved into third on corrected time.

20 boats came to the line in the Medium fleet with the Jason & Sonia Kirk’s 2000 dominating while Emsworth’s Richie Bailey in his Laser and Chichester’s Lucy Boreham in her Europe traded punches fro the silver and bronze spots with the margin reduced to 30 seconds on corrected time.

Meanwhile in the Slow fleet, Itchenor’s Archie & Will Grant in their Mirror demonstrated that they have inherited go fast genes from their father former I14 ace Bruce taking first over CYC’s Sophie Kirk and Isabel Porter in their Toppers with series leader Izzy Loveridge one further back.

In the final race the Fast Fleet were again schooled in going fast by Anderton and Palmer-Felgate though this time Finn sailor Brunton revealed that he is rapidly getting to the grips with the D-zero moving up into second on corrected time over Jonty Freeman and Neil Arnott’s Merlin Rocket with the series leading Ellimans relegated from the top three for the first time.

The now ebbing tide created “issues” for the Medium fleet with a phalanx of premature starters forced a general recall and the imposition of the black flag rule. Sadly two boats fell foul of the rule when the fleet came to the line for the second time of asking. Once underway a familiar pecking order emerged with the Kirks establishing a commanding lead of the fleet enough to save time on handicap over series leaders Nick & Biddy Colbourne in second while Boreham once again claimed third spot.

The impact of the increasing wind depleted the slow fleet with just three boats coming to the line for the final race. Once again the Grant brothers enjoyed a good tussle with Kirk and Porter’s Toppers until gear failure forced Kirk out of the race allowing the Mirror to claim its second bullet of the day over Porter.

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CYC Radio Controlled Lasers in Action 
Even the CYC Laser Radio control fleet had some close racing on Saturday (20th Dec). The penultimate racing of 2014 for the RC Frozen Toe series took place with 4 races. A good 15 knot breeze and a short chop created interesting conditions for the 10 plus competitors. Next meeting 27th Dec at 14:30hrs. HW 15:21

Photograph courtesy of Andrew Martin

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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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