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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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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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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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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Monday 28th October saw a very summer coached session for CYC topper section, 12 toppers booked in to what everyone thought was going to be a cold cold day being blown around the harbour. How wrong could we be ? With a fantastic sunny start the day just got better and better , nearly November yet driving the safety boat with just a T shirt on .
Under the watchful eye of Olivia all were divided into teams and spent the first 30 minutes around the whiteboard learning , listening and then presenting back important points around sailing.
Out on the water there were many exercises , training ideas and fun races including , new means to tack by running around then mast, new ways of sitting out " cruiser style" and general fun and games. Then on to the serious stuff of the fun races , where the competitive nature of all the sailors came in, laughs and fun could be heard across the harbour.
Some great capsizes , I not sure but I think Alex may of had one or two of them ?
All finished off with some chocolate cake and rocky road.
Big thanks to everyone Olivia for controlling them on the water, Laurie for help in pointing me in the right direction and all the mums and dads for their help.
Now who's up for some more in December ?
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Pre-start bookies favourites were the always quick Jason & Sonia Kirk as well as holders Pete & Suzy Harrison looking to continue their dominance of the Fast Fleet the smart money was also looking at Lucy Boreham in her Europe and the Solo of Mark Harper to lead the classics challenge.
In race one the form book proved accurate with the first race running to the script with the corrected times revealing that the Kirks occupied the top spot with the Coxes second and Mark Harper In third.
For shoreside spectators the rapid progress of Luke “look no capsizes” South’s Musto Skiff , Tony Purser’s RS600 and Matt Ponsford & Olivia Winther in their 29er provided the day’s spectacular viewing, the latter claiming they would have gone faster but a mouse ate their best mainsail.
Meanwhile in the slow fleet the racing for the Birdham Half pint saw Izzy Loveridge facing a challenge from Charlie and Eliza South who, tired of beating up adults sailing their father's Laser, returned to their Toppers. At the line Charlie had taken first with Izzy one back and Eliza in third.
In race two, the on the water precedence remained the same with Luke “ok maybe a couple of dips” South blasting round in 47 minutes followed a minute and half later by the Matt & Olivia in the 29er. Corrected times again showing that the Kirks had secured their second bullet this time with Lucy Boreham finishing second and the Harrisons in third. In the Half Pint fleet the Charlie and Eliza sored a family one-two with Izzy having to settle for third.
After the break, OOD Jackman set a sprint course with reaching angles that played to the strengths of the asymmetrics and in a purple blur the 29er scorched round the course in a crisp 19mins followed 90 seconds later by a less blurred RS400 with Gideon Ewers and Louise Varley aboard. Neither did enough to save time on handicap however and corrected time saw the Harrisons take the top spot Matt and Olivia in second and Ian Payne and Meryl Deane in their RS200 in third. Despite the late charge the by the Harrisons the Kirks two bullets earlier in the day had secured the Last Gasp by a two point margin.
In the final Half Pint race Izzy stuck it out to claim 1st and the trophy for the series.
In the overall results for the Birdham Barrel series the Harrisons took First in the fast Fleet as well as the overall Trophy over John and Pauline Cox with Alistair and Manu Jenkin’s Xenon in third while in the Classic/Medium fleet Lucy Boreham secured an emphatic win over Mark Harper in second and Ian Lissamore in third.
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