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National Swallow Championships 2024 at Itchenor Sailing Club

by Mike Wigmore 17 Jun 12:36 BST 15-16 June 2024

With last year's 75th Anniversary Championships lost due to strong winds, the National Swallow Fleet feared that the same might happen this year, but instead the 2024 Championships, hosted this year by Itchenor Sailing Club, will go down as one of the most memorable.

Saturday, the day of the RTI race, was a no-go for 26 foot keelboats however seaworthy they may be, but on Sunday, a brave but slightly diminished fleet survived the wind against tide ebb at the entrance of Chichester Harbour to make it to Bracklesham Bay where conditions were only slightly more manageable but the decision was made to race. PRO Peter Taylor and his team efficiently set up a windward-leeward course and all was set for some very exciting racing.

In race one, the left paid up the first beat leaving Simon Slater's Meridian and Mike Wigmore's Gwaihir fighting for the lead which Meridian only relinquished on the run in to the final mark. Osprey (James Hartley) was third.

With conditions if anything now even wilder, race two saw Gwaihir again dominant but this time it was Carolyn Brigg's Marengo with the second and Osprey in third.

The reduced programme meant that if only three races were sailed, all would count, so it was still all to play for. This time it was the pre-event favourite Nigel Masding's Svala that was first to the weather mark but most of the other contenders were caught out by the now flooding tide and we're well into the pack at that point.

Gwaihir recovered to second to take the Championship, with the ever consistent Osprey holding off Marengo to take third, and along with that the runners up spot overall.

The Swallow Fleet is now predominantly based at Itchenor Sailing Club where a fleet of thirty boats, embracing quite a few champions from other classes, enjoy tight fleet racing every weekend from April to October. The championships are always held on open water and usually away from home.

For more information and photos see

Overall Results:
If you finished in the top ten at the Swallow nationals then enter your Gear Guide information here

PosBoatSail NoHelmCrewR1R2R3Pts
1stGwaihir93Mike WigmoreCharles Hyatt, John Hodgart1124
2ndOsprey95James HartleyJeremy Sibthorp, Bruce Grant3339
3rdSvala89Nigel MasdingHugo Fisher, Paul Ward45110
4thMarengo82Carolyn BriggDavid Sloper, Oliver Sloper52411
5thMeridien77Simon SlaterNick Warner, Richard Wheeler24RET18
6thBluff64Austen SculleyPeter Baron, Celia Hansell76518
7thArchon74Malcolm GreenElizabeth Pattison, George Wright97622
8thMigrant86James LeaverGinny Fox, Iona Turner6DNSDNS30
9thSolitude67Andrew ReidRoger Roberts, Diane Sherman810DSQ30
10thKa Nyenga90Michael LindsayCharles Peacock, Lance Murray118DNS31
11thMerlin94Julian KinrossRobert Rusack, Jeremy Thompson109RET31

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