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Bembridge Sailing Club Itchenor Weekend 2019

by Mike Samuelson 24 Jun 2019 09:40 BST 22-23 June 2019

Despite a pretty depressing forecast earlier in the week, five Redwings and a few other members who made it by car or boat had an excellent weekend based at Itchenor SC.

The Redwings started off on Saturday morning from Under Tyne in bright sunshine in a very pleasant F3 Easterly. Although originally they were going to go straight from Under Tyne to West Pole at the entrance of Chichester Harbour (missing out the 'Winner' this year in view of the wind direction) it was agreed that they would have a short beat to Tara to make it a bit more interesting. Although Jonathan Nainby-Luxmoore (with his wife Sarah crewing) in Snowgoose just over cooked it so had to return back, he was not too disadvantaged.

Start of the Passage Race:

Mike & Katherine Toogood in Tara just nosed ahead of Joe Robertson & Martin Bonham in Red Gauntlet II as they rounded Tara and set off on the long reach to West Pole. It was certainly not a procession with boats well spread left and right of the direct track as they tried to work out the best tide and best wind pressure. In the event Mike managed to hold off Joe and crossed the line set up by an Itchenor SC RIB, 25 seconds ahead. John Raymond with Fi Smith in Harlequin was third 30 seconds later.

The sail through Chichester Harbour to Itchenor was a delight and everyone arrived in time for lunch. The afternoon in-harbour race was a bit different from previous years because it formed part of the ISC Regatta that had been blown out the previous weekend. This meant that crew swaps with ISC sailors were not possible and only one boat had an ISC member/guide onboard. After an interesting start with Tara (crewed by Mark Downer & Mike Samuelson) getting ahead after a port tack start at the pin, there was some close (and fun) racing until the two lead boats (Tara and Harlequin) missed a course change and both were well on their way to Pivot before eventually hearing the Committee Boat sounding her hooter; although sadly too late for them, Joe with Colin Samuelson crewing had smiles all over their faces as tghey did pick up the course change and so found themselves well in the lead for the rest of the race; John in Harlequin with Jo Downer and Fi crewing finished second and Tara had to be content with coming third. By the time everyone was back having tea, Hugh Doherty in his recently purchased Hallberg Rassy yacht arrived with Peter Summerhayes and Rob & Helen Mathieson who had opted to cruise over rather than race a couple of One-Designs.

After a very pleasant evening & breakfast, the crews met up again at just after 8:30 for the return passage race to Under Tyne. With the ISC Committee on the port end of the line and two 'one' minute whistles it was perhaps not too surprising that there was a bit of friendly jostling on the line. Although sadly for the Toogood's in Tara they were called OCS, in fact they were not too disadvantaged and were soon back with the rest on the short beat before heading down the channel to the harbour entrance.

With four XODs racing over to Bembridge ahead of them, navigation was relatively straight forward. Red Gauntlet II was ahead of Harlequin at West Pole with Snowgoose in third; it was then a run to Under Tyne. Again it was by no means a procession and having crossed the shipping channel quite spread out left & right, it was Snowgoose who reached the finish line about a minute ahead of Tara with Red Gauntlet II and Harlequin neck and neck and less than a second separating them as they crossed the line.

The four XODs managed to hold their spinnakers for the majority of the race so made reasonably quick progress. No 188, helmed by David Palmer lead almost from the start; No 55, helmed by Alan Perry and No 51 helmed by David Macgregor were close until they had passed HISC and then Alan got some daylight between them and finished in second just under a minute ahead. After a quick lunch at BSC they had a long beat back to Chichester.

Additional photos at

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