Dinghies Dinghy Racing Race Reports

Easter Racing Mini Series Report

Dell Quay SC launched its 2021 Covid-safe racing season with an exciting Easter mini-series of six races run in gusty conditions that challenged 30 competitors rusty after months off the water.

Largest entry, and closest racing, came from the Solos, where first places were shared between three racers. Mark Harper, the overall winner, led the fleet home in all three of the Saturday races, one seeing the tightest of finishes with Roger Puttock. The two were neck and neck as they approached the turning mark before the short beat to the finish, but Harper opened up the gap after rounding the mark and crossed the line comfortably ahead of Puttock.

Puttock's two second places behind Harper, coupled with two firsts on Good Friday, made him runner-up overall. Third was Simon Verrall, with a consistent run of second and third positions, and fourth John Purdy.

Winner of the Solos' first race was Bill Dawber, and Graham Dalton overcame a disastrously late start in race four to finish third. Dalton also featured in the weekend's one dead-heat, with Nicki Buchanan.

The club's rapidly growing new Firefly class saw brave determination from very young crews and there was good racing particularly between Mark Tait with daughter Beatrice – competing for the first time at Dell Quay – and class captain Shaun Pollard with daughter Zara. The Taits triumphed, winning three races and the first prizes, with the Pollards second overall.

In the handicap class Sue Manning sailed her 4.7 impressively, often remarkably close on the water to the Finn of Andrew Buchanan, to win all five races she competed in by comfortable margins and take the series with minimum points. Buchanan's consistency gave him second place, ahead of Charlotte Binning, crewed by father Peter in the family 2000.

The north easterly wind allowed courses to be set both days from the quay northwards into the open water towards Fishbourne, providing great racing while safely within patrol boat coverage. But most who capsized recovered without assistance.

Easter Sunday, with a strong south-westerly wind, saw the first race in the club's Evening series, and another, though narrower, victory for Sue Manning (4.7). Next three places were taken by Solos, sailed by Richard Bridgmont, Simon Verrall and Stephen Holcroft, all within five seconds on corrected time after a 40-minute race.

Liz Sagues

DQSC Andrew Buchanan

DQSC Graham Dalton

DQSC Richard Bridgmont

DQSC Shaun and Zara Pollard

DQSC Solo fleet Easter Saturday