Dinghies Dinghy Racing Race Reports

Solo Open 2021 Start Line

The Dell Quay Solo Open once again proved to be a huge favourite amongst the travelling Solo sailors with entries coming from as far afield as Devon. The entry limit of 30 boats filled quickly, with a good mixture of 11 Dell Quay sailors and 19 visitors.

Those familiar with Dell Quay know it for being one of the south coasts most scenic sailing locations, situated at the top of Chichester Harbour, framed by the backdrop of the South Downs National Park and Chichester Cathedral. The club has a reputation for delivering top notch racing, perfect wind conditions and large slices of cake, the question was could this year match the expectation?

Dell QUay Solo Open 2021 Race Start

Once again, the answer was an emphatic yes! As always, an enormous amount of work went on behind the scenes to deliver the event, made harder by the current restrictions, but the result was a beautifully organised day, reflected afterwards by the competitors’ comments, with many saying the Club went above and beyond, a great effort all round.

The forecast was a tricky light and shifty ESE breeze, race officer Martin Jones made the best of the awkward direction by setting a windward leeward course across the harbour arm, with a windward mark on the east bank and a leeward gate tight on the west bank.

Race one saw Nigel Thomas from Hill Head get off to a flying start from a jam packed and extremely competitive line, making the best of the shifty wind and cross tide, Nigel led pretty much from start to finish and was a long way ahead at the finish. Tim Lewis from Silver Wing finished second with Simon Lomas-Clarke from Frensham finishing third.

Nigel Thomas Rounds the windward mark

The race officer made the decision to increase the number of laps from 3 to 6 in race two to keep the race a decent length and with the wind shifts, tidal flow and speed sapping weed it gave competitors plenty of opportunity to make up and lose places. Nigel Thomas once again sailed a brilliant race to finish first with Ian Barnet Chichester Yacht Club finishing second and Dell Quay’s very own Roger Puttock taking third place.

The third race was much the same as the second with the race officer keeping it 6 laps and the wind increasing slightly. This time the finishing order like the wind shifted about a little and it was Roger Bennett Silver Wing who took the honours with Nigel Thomas taking second and Tim Lewis third.

Nigel Thomas collects his winners trophyOverall, Nigel Thomas was a clear and well-deserved winner. The sun kept on shinning afterwards and there were plenty of trophies and bottles of wine for the winners and organisers presented on the club balcony. A friendly atmosphere, talk of opportunities lost and gained, tea, sandwiches and the promised huge slices of cake were enjoyed by all.

Overall Results:

1. Nigel Thomas - Hill Head Sailing Club
2. Tim Lewis - Silver Wing Sailing Club
3. Roger Bennett - Silver Wing Sailing Club
4. Ian Barnet – Chichester Yacht Club
5. Simon Lomas-Clarke – Frensham Sailing Club

First Lady: Nicki Buchanan
First Master: Nigel Thomas
First Grand Master: Ian Barnet
First Septimus: Michael Webster
First Dell Quay boat: Bill Dawber