Dinghies Club Racing Race Reports

Challenging Conditions for Annual Up The Creeks Race

(Published in the Chichester Observer on Thursday 30th July 2015)

Dell Quay’s annual Up the Creeks race had the honour of a visit this year from honorary life member Bob Gordon who presented the club with the Horace Gordon Trophy, in memory of his father. This prize is awarded each year to the winner of this interesting race which takes in as many Chichester Harbour creeks as possible.

Horace used to sail the harbour race single handed accompanied by his pet monkey! Bob himself had an interesting maritime career, including teaching Chay Blyth to sail and helping Robin Knox-Johnston prepare for his first circumnavigation.

This year the course was sailed from Dell Quay and took in the Bosham and Thorney channels, before returning to base after approximately twenty miles and 3 to 3.5 hours on the water. Initially the weather was sunny with a decent force 3 wind and reasonably smooth water. However conditions deteriorated throughout the race, gusting to force 5, with wind over tide and metre high waves in the main harbour.

The fleet became closely packed at the first mark in the Fishbourne Channel but it became a much more tactical race down the harbour to Bosham Quay and Thorney Channel in worsening wind and wave conditions. The return leg was even more demanding with sea spray, wind over tide and swell forcing some of the fleet to retire due to tiredness and capsizing.

The remainder of the fleet returned to Dell Quay, with the single handers making maximum use of the calmer waters and improving wind conditions. First place and the Horace Gordon trophy was taken by Chris Wood in his Streaker, followed by Nikki Buchanan (Solo) and Andrew Buchanan (Finn) third.

The next day the wind provided a quite challenging day of racing for the Dell Quay Juniors. This was the last 2 races in the Junior series and race coach Michelle commented on the fantastic progress these juniors have made over the series.  

As the afternoon went on the wind increased in strength and the juniors struggled with some of the bigger gusts. However despite some capsizes from the lighter juniors they managed brilliant results overall.

The final results were:

Equal first: Lizzie Kies and Lou Dicker / Manon

3rd              Fleur Moranne

4th             Phoebe Pontet

5th              Alice Atkins

6th              Adam Hall

Up The Creeks report provided by Nikki Buchanan

Junior report provided by Sam Schermuly

Published report edited and submitted by Andrew Horne