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Tideway Challenge (National Championships) at Bosham Sailing Club

by Chris Hichings 13 Jul 2018 18:29 BST 7 July 2018
Jolyon Pope and Andrew Coomlees being presented with the Challenge Trophy (fastest crewed boat) by Arthur Davey, Chairman of the TOA, at the National Championships © Chris Hitchings

Last Saturday (7th July), Bosham Sailing Club (BSC) hosted the 2018 Tideway Challenge. Organised by the Tideway Owners' Association (TOA), this is the official national championships for the Tideway dinghy class and it is hosted by different sailing clubs around the country each year, alongside an organised weekend of sailing.

BSC last hosted the event in 2013, which happened to be 50th anniversary of the founding of the TOA; and 2018 was its turn again. Our visitors were duly based at the Cobnor Activities Centre, from which a few had already ventured out in exploration, some as far as Bembridge, not bad on a 12ft dinghy.

While there is a strong group of Tideway helms who travel the country, local boats are inevitably strongly represented on every Challenge start-line and, with BSC's active Tideway fleet, this was the case on Saturday. 22 boats started the race, of which 14 were from BSC and 8 were visitors, the latter from as far as Kettering, Milford Haven and Weston Super Mare.

Race officer David Macfarlane set a long harbour-marks course designed to keep us out for two hours or more. His briefing paid particular attention to ensuring that visitors knew where the marks were and which way they were supposed to round them. We then set off for the committee boat start on a beautiful warm sunny day and, with the sea breeze kicking in on time, we sailed off marginally after the published time in a good 10-12kn south-westerly.

The course involved a gruelling beat up to Thorney buoy and then a run up to Star (half way up the Thorney Channel). We then beat back down the channel and turned right to try to find John Davis, which proved a fair distance across shallows and against what was by then the flood tide. Having made it, we then had to find our way through the mass of anchored boats to East Head buoy, which some presumed (wrongly) was at East Head.

The rest of the course was a run, with marks cunningly chosen so that each one required a jibe; before we rounded the corner and reached the Cobnor finish line. First over the line was BSC's Richard Wilde (TW487) and BSC sailors also came second (Michael Young, TW63) and third (Peter Shaw, TW220). First visitor was Hugh Ambery at 6th (TW554). Richard Wilde duly won the Rose Bowl.

The actual Challenge Trophy, however, is for a crewed boat and, with the first nine all being single-handed, the winner was visitor Jolyon Pope, with Andrew Coomlees, in TW54.

A group of BSC members had laid on an excellent tea at Cobnor and there was the tempting offer to watch the football at BSC's club house. After that, all gathered (60 people in all) for the prize-giving at 7pm, followed by an excellent fleet supper laid on by BSC's catering staff. Over a stunning sunset viewed from BSC's terrace, we said our goodbyes.

Overall Results:

PosSail NoHelmCrewClubR1
1st487WILDE Richard BSC1
2nd63YOUNG Michael BSC2
3rd220SHAW Peter BSC3
4th356BAILEY Stephen BSC4
5th343McKENZIE Locky BSC5
6th554AMBERY Hugh Blakeney SC6
7th457CHASE Martyn BSC7
8th297WILLIAMS David BSC8
10th410HITCHINGS Chris BSC10
12th521GALTREY John BSC12
13th557LEE Richard Rutland SC13
14th414HYDE Ian BSC14
15th249STIRRUP MandyRADFORD CatharineBSC15
16th477ARMOUR Charlie BSC16
17th383BARNETT Peter TOA17
18th252TATE RobTATE JulietTOA18
19th507BURSTON DickieBURSTON RosieBSC19
20th488VINCENT ChristopherVINCENT LesleyTOA/Langstone20

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