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Chichester Harbour Race Week 2017 - Day 4

by Robert Macdonald 24 Aug 2017 23:52 BST 21-25 August 2017

The sunshine and breeze played their part today. The wind arrived early and settled in at around 245-260 and 10-12 knots. The start for Series A was near Lowles buoy and Pilsey Sands, which made for a tactical battle for all fleets with a windward mark set near Stocker.

The tide held the fleets back off the start line but each fleet had a different view as to which was the favoured side of the beat. In reality both sides could work depending on how hard you pushed them. The racing continued to be very tight in the RS200 and RS400 fleets, but the closest battle was with the Int Moths, where the result was decided on the last tack, with Mike Lennon coming out ahead of Ricky Tagg. In the fast handicap fleet it was a good day for the Merlin Rockets whom lead their class home. A second win for Andy Gould in his Musto Skiff leaves a RS800 Chris Feibush and Anna Wells with a the target of a bullet tomorrow to snatch the event from him. In the Finns a new winner Jonathan Tweedle (Oxford SC) has prevented challengers Neil Robinson and Richard Sharpe from overtaking leader Matthew Walker, but there is only one point separating each of them.

We have a number of tied fleets, so let's hope we can get some racing in tomorrow and settle the battles on the water rather than count back.

For once, the forecast wind strength materialised and a steady 10-12 knots gave all fleets on Series B a good race today. There was even some sunshine to encourage the sailors to believe that this was, in fact, August. After some early oscillations the wind settled and a starboard hand course was set on 230. Another sequence of clean starts (bar the occasional individual over-enthusiasm) saw the fleets away on time. The strong flood running across the course gave the sailors a difficult time finding the best way up the beat but the leaders were familiar faces from the top of the results sheets. William Birchall (Parkstone YC) consolidated his lead in the Lasers with another win but Simon Radford (Bosham SC) is only one point behind.

Martin Brooks and Neil Wilson (Thorney Island SC) took another win in the Medium Handicap 2 Man and cannot now be beaten. All to sail for at the top of the singlehanded Medium Handicap tomorrow, with the RS Aero 5 of Sammy Isaacs-Johnson (Maidenhead SC), winner today, on equal points with the Aero 7 of Paul Wright-Anderson (Island Barn SC). Martyn Jones (Dell Quay SC) took another win in the Laser Radials while Georgia Robertson (Mengeham Rytrhe SC) looks to have wrapped up the Laser 4.7. It's very tight at the top of the large Solo fleet with Guy Mayger (Felpham SC), Richard Catchpole (Leigh and Lowton SC) and Nick Bonner (Hayling Island SC) within a point of each other. Phoebe Peters and Freddy Wood took another win in the hot Feva fleet, and look favourites to win the week at the moment.

On Series C another steady westerly wind gave close racing in both classes where 3 races were run. The dual continues in the Teras between Jakey Wood and Ollie Peters who each had wins today and similar close racing for 3rd place where Madeline Bilbrough and Libby Thompson are on equal points! The Optimist fleet is being hard fought where the top 5 are within a few boat lengths in each race, however Rosie Thompson and Benjamin Ripley are continuing to race closely with Rosie just ahead having two wins today against Ben's one win. All to play for tomorrow to decide the final placings!

The final days racing for the small Elite fleet has resulted with another win for No 67 Ossie on the first race, securing an overall win for Ossie Stewart, Tom and Mitch Stewart.

Tomorrow's forecast does not promise strong winds, but hopefully enough to enable the last day's racing to take place.

Results and more information at chichesterharbourraceweek.sailevent.net

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