Keelboat Itchenor Weekend (3rd & 4th June)

Although only three Redwings and five One-Designs sign3June17 - bods mid channel ed up for the annual trip to Itchenor SC, those that did go had a great weekend.  Despite the briefing for Saturday’s passage race being at 08:00, all the crews appeared to listen carefully, particularly to the tips on how to find the only buoy they had to round, the “Winner”, on the way to the finish at West Pole at the entrance to Chichester Harbour.  The five One-Designs started first and although it initially looked as if they were heading to Langstone Harbour, they soon corrected with No 8 helmed by Jos Coad crewed by Maya Kemp rather over correcting and heading to St Helens Channel mark having obviously misunderstood a key part of the briefing!  At Winner, No 10 helmed by Hugh Doherty with Helen Mathieson as crew was a few boat lengths ahead of No 1 helmed by Rob Mathieson with Peter Summerhayes crewing; No 7 helmed by Charles Abel Smith with Russ Fowler and No 2 helmed by Martin Bonham with Charles Harcourt-Smith were not far behind.   On the run to the finish at West Pole it looked as if the order might change a bit, but this was not to be.   Having started only five minutes after the One-Designs, it was no great surprise that the three Redwings had caught up by the time everyone reached the Winner.  Colin Samuelson in Toucan with Becky & Peter Harvey were first round, with Joe Robertson with Annie & Bel in Red Gauntlet II a minute or so later and Robin Ebsworth with Johanna de Kort and Ed & Helen Butler a bit further behind.  There were no place changes on the way to West Pole.

3June17 - pm race(1)

After a fairly slow run down to Itchenor Sailing Club and lunch, both fleets, with a crew from Itchenor to help navigate the winding harbour channels had exciting races in the F4 gusting 5 SW’erly breeze.  As in previous years, a number of the BSC visitors (including Hugh & Ali Tidbury who had sailed over to Itchenor in their yacht, Sea Fever) crewed in either a Swallow, Sunbeam or XOD which is always an interesting experience; racing in Chichester is certainly not for the feint hearted, particularly in lively conditions!  In the Redwing race, Colin Samuelson in Toucan lead almost from the start (and so retained the in-harbour trophy presented to the Redwings by ISC a few years ago) and although Joe Robertson in Red Gauntlet II was rapidly catching him on the penultimate run, Joe’s hope of a victory was dashed when he ran aground and although he did manage to eventually push himself off, he decided to head back to Itchenor.  In the One-Design race, Peter Summerhayes in No 1 won (and in doing so also retained the One-Design in-harbour race trophy presented by ISC).  Hugh Doherty in No 10 came second having run aground despite having the Captain of Itchenor’s XODs as his guide!  No 7 was third.  Jos Coad, sailing single handed in No 8 retired after he realised that his lack of local knowledge and the increasing wind made it unsafe to continue.  No 2 remained alongside the pontoon with both Martin Bonham & Charles Harcourt-Smith getting rides in Itchenor boats.

4June17 - 24


An Itchenor tea, a short rest, drinks and a delicious dinner finished the day off.  The forecast for Sunday suggested less wind than Saturday afternoon and so after a briefing by the ISC Race Officer, five XODs who were going to race to Bembridge for lunch, the three Redwings and five One-Designs were started at five minute intervals just beyond the moorings on a course that kept them in the main channel.  The relatively smooth water in the harbour gave way to some very bumpy wind over tide conditions over Chichester Bar (with the Club Committee boat, Sea Breeze, which was acting as an escort and had all the baggage, shipping a number of waves over her bow) and the F5 SW’erly meant that the trip back was a dead beat.  Two XODs turned back but the rest persevered with the three XODs wisely deciding to bin the original course they had been set and just race straight to Under Tyne.  After a long and at times challenging two and a half hour race, X50 helmed by Roger Yeoman was the first across the finish line just over two minutes ahead of X186 helmed by Alastair Shaw.  Colin Samuelson in Toucan, and thus the winning Redwing, was next two minutes later.  X101 helmed by Ted Rosse was next two minutes ahead of Joe Robertson in Red Gauntlet II with Robin Ebsworth in Quintessence not far behind.  There was then a long gap to the first One-Design, No 10 helmed by Hugh Doherty; Rob Mathieson helming No 1 was second some six minutes later and Jos Coad in No 8 was third a minute later.  Slightly worryingly, to the Race Officers on Sea Breeze anyway, was that before all five One-Designs could be identified as they closed on Under Tyne, the Bembridge Lifeboat was launched to “a blue hulled” boat that had been dismasted; however, all was well (for the One-Designs anyway) when Solent Coastguard broadcast the yachts position which was well to the south east!  A fun weekend with challenging but some pretty amazing racing.  A big thank you to the organisers and supporters.

4June17 - xod pg

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