With a high pressure in charge over the South of England, it was always going to be a day for chasing the light wind zephyrs.
Sunday dawned over Chichester YC with sub zero temperatures. However a light 5-6 knot breeze came in from the west at 10.30am and then died at 11.30am. Meanwhile ice breaking was called for to get the committee boat released from the 30mm thick ice covering the Marina.
After a short postponement, Roger Millet and the CYC committee boat race team set a course for a steady 5 knot breeze from the North West. With a slight port end bias the fast fleet of 11 starters got cleanly away first time with Steve and Sarah Cockerill in their Scorpion playing the wind shifts to reach the windward mark , followed by the Finn of Mark Harper from CYC. The rest of the fast fleet made up of RS400’s, a Merlin, Fireball, RS200, Kestrel and a RS600. The Scorpion meanwhile sailed off into the drying breeze, to win on handicap from the Finn in second place. Third were Catherine Davies and Roger Belton from Felpham SC in their RS200.
Race 2 was held in a dying breeze, but with the tide now on the ebb. At the start it was a choice of the flavoured port end against the tide or the committee boat end in slacker water. Steve and Sarah flavoured the starboard end out of the tide, and the Fireball, at the port end, getting a lee bow to follow the Scorpion around the first windward mark. The rest of the fast fleet fighting it out in the now variable zephyrs of wind and the strengthing ebb tide. First on corrected time again was the Scorpion, second was the Fireball of Ruth Rhodes & Neil Arnott(Newhaven & Seaford SC) and third was Mark in the Finn.
In the medium fleet (22 starters) rather like moths to a flame, with the prospect of very light airs, the Solo Class came out in strength. Peter Mitchell gave the fleet a master class in Solo sailing and led the fleet home, well ahead of the chasing Laser and Solo pack. On corrected time, Peter Mitchell (RYA) was over 2 minutes ahead of the next Solo of Ian Brooks who made a welcome return to the CYC Winter Series with his new boat. Third was Chris Powles from Hayling Island SC in another Solo. The first Laser was Jimmy Carter from the home club in sixth place.
In the second medium fleet race of the day, six competitors either decided that the wind was giving up completely or the rugby match on the TV might be more entertaining. The Laser class had its revenge this time, with first place on corrected time going to Charles Porter from CYC, closely followed by Ian Lissamore in his Solo from CYC. Third was the Solo again of the consistent Chris Powles.
The Slow fleet again had an impressive turnout of 19 boats despite the cold, of mainly younger competitors, and had very close racing. Race 1 was led by the Comet of Bob Dodds from Crawley Mariners YC, but it was the Mirror of Grace Yeoman and Izzy Barker from Itchenor SC that won by over 1 min on corrected time from the RS Feva of Lauren Miles and Esther Fenton-Jones of Emsworth SC. Third was the Comet.
In race 2, The CYC top Optimists took control, in fact the first five places were taken by the Optimist class. First was Charlie Elliot, second was Julia Mellors, and third was Ethan Miles from Emsworth SC. In the Slow fleet the overall leader after 4 races is the Mirror of Grace Yeoman and Izzy Barker, and then only 6 points between second and sixth positions.