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Points Week at Itchenor Sailing Club

by Rachel Soothill 24 Jun 22:47 BST
Catherine wins the XOD class at Itchenor Points Week © Sula Riedlinger

Itchenor Sailing Club hosted its annual Points Week, a festival of classic keelboat racing, last week. The three classes based at the club XOD, Sunbeam and Swallow all had races each day in Chichester Harbour. Start times were adjusted to ensure that the race team, led by Roger Wickens, could set courses for the fleets to take full advantage of high tides in the Harbour. Sixty four classic boats took part.

The Itchenor XOD fleet was augmented with the addition of sailors and four visiting boats from Cowes, Lymington, Yarmouth and Parkstone. The thirty boats enjoyed very close racing throughout the week. Monday provided perfect weather and the die appeared to be cast with last year's winner Lass helmed by John Tremlett taking first place and Roger Yeoman steering Xcitation into second place. These are the form boats in the Itchenor fleet.

However, the slightly trickier conditions on Tuesday gave us a new winner - Catherine with Colin McKinnon on the stick - and Liz and Phil Chowiencyk's Seamist a surprise second. All change again on Wednesday when the light winds proved even more challenging. Visiting sailor Michael O'Donnell brought Lightwood home to take the bullet ahead of local maestro Alastair Shaw in Phoenix. Thursday and Friday saw the return of those champagne conditions all racers enjoy; a steady, building breeze from the South West and bright sunshine. Yeoman and Moss's Xcitation made amends for the black flag disqualification they suffered the day before with their only first place of the week. Phoenix was again second.

So with six boats in contention for the week's top prize, the Benson Platter, a close battle ensued. Catherine was the early leader but had dropped back to third under pressure from a number of boats including Xcititation, the consistent Michael Martell's Astralita and Madeline in the hands of visitor Penny Fulford. In the end Catherine prevailed to take the race and week.

The Sunbeam class also enjoyed close competition. Peter Taylor and Robin Richardson in Betty showed early in the week with class captain Nick Leach in close pursuit. However, it was Polly's consistency that was key as Polly triumphed. Polly included a first and two seconds while Betty had a first and two thirds. Tim Hill's Query took third place overall on count back from Penny.

In the Swallow class the series became a tussle between Skua and Osprey swapping first places during the series. Both had three firsts but it was Skua's two seconds that proved the difference against Osprey's one.

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XOD Results:

1st Catherine - Colin McKinnon, Ros and Neil Hart - 10 points
2nd Astralita - Michael Martell, Fraser Graham and Tim Copsey - 16 Points
3rd Xcitation - Roger Yeoman, Michael Moss and Rob Tywhitt-Drake - 17 points

Sunbeam Results:

1st Polly - Nick Leach, Simon O'Hea and Martin Evans - 10 points
2nd Betty - Peter and Anne Taylor, Robin Richardson - 15 points
3rd Query - Tim Hill - 17 points

Swallow Results:

1st Skua - Harry, Prue and Peter Roome - 11 points
2nd Osprey - James Hartley, Jeremy Sibthorpe and Rob Sutherland - 14 points
3rd Gwaihir - Mike Wigmore, Mark and Rachel Struckett - 18 points

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