For over 50 years Itchenor Sailing Club has hosted the annual Schools Sailing Championships. This year’s event proved to be as enjoyable and as competitive as ever with 58 sailors from 15 schools taking part. In the early years the Firefly was the dinghy of choice. Nowadays schools have the choice of entering either Fireflys or 420s.
Competitors experienced a range of conditions in Chichester Harbour with clear blue skis throughout. Thursday’s racing started in light variable airs with a more consistent breeze developing after midday. On Friday a stronger wind provided more challenging conditions for the fleet.
The format of the championships sees the fleets divided after the first day with the top boats competing for one trophy and the lower half another. In the Fireflies the top boats compete for the Gavin Anderson Tray and Sevenoaks dominated taking the top three places. Georgia Trapp and Camilla Pudney vied for top place with Lawrence Gibbons and Henry Forward throughout the series with the girls edging out the boys with six wins to four. Lucy Harris and Imogen Palmer scored consistently to take third place.
The Nick Prosser trophy for the lower fleet was won by the Tonbridge boat of Alex Frankling and Henry Carr.
With the same format in the 420s it was another close contest for top spot. The Bedales crew of Izzy and Ed Fitzgerald scored most first places but a couple of poor results and a disqualification caused them to slip to third place behind the more consistent Hugo Sloper and Charlie Hartley from Charterhouse, whose scoring was never out of the top three, and Tonbridge’s Edward Burrows and Patrick Liddicoat with another set of high scoring results.
The top 420 all girl crew of Hannah Goldsmith and Alexandre Pye came from King’s School, Canterbury and was awarded the Astral Cup.
The 420 lower fleet competed for the BSDRA trophy and the Tonbridge crew – Alex Buck and James Wicheloe - were the winners by one point from James Jenkins and Harry Saunders of Sherbourne with Downside’s William Omerod and Oliver thickness third.
Whilst the competitor’s main objective was the racing, useful training sessions led by Itchenor Club members sharpened the skills and the evening and lunchtime socialising was enjoyed by all.
|Pos||School||Helm & Crew|
|Sir Richard Fairley Challenge Trophy – 420|
|1||Charterhouse||Hugo Sloper & Charlie Hartley|
|2||Tonbridge||Edward Burrows & Patrick Liddicoat|
|3||Bedales||Izzy & Ed Fitzgerald|
|Astral Cup – 1st all girl crew 420|
|1||King’s Canterbury||Hannah Goldsmith & Alexandra Pye|
|BSDRA Trophy – 420 lower fleet|
|1||Tonbridge||Alex Buck & James Wicheloe|
|2||Sherbourne||James Jenkins & Harry Saunders|
|3||Downside||William Omerod & Oliver Thickness|
|Gavin Anderson Tray - Firefly|
|1||Sevenoaks||Georgia Trapp & Camilla Pudney|
|2||Sevenoaks||Lawrence Gibbons & Henry Forward|
|3||Sevenoaks||Lucy Harris & Imogen Palmer|
|Nick Prosser Trophy – Firefly lower fleet|
|1||Tonbridge||Alex Frankling & Henry Carr|
|2||Tonbridge||Tom Watkins & Oliver Bussell|
|3||Tonbridge||Edward Halsor & George Collins|