Dinghies Dinghy Racing Race Reports

Good Turnout for Solo Open Despite the Weather

(Published in the Chichester Observer on Thursday 8 September 2016)

22 boats entered Dell Quay Sailing Club’s annual Solo Class Open Meeting, of which 12 were from visiting clubs, providing stiff competition for Dell Quay sailors. With winds forecast to reach 25 mph later in the day it was with some trepidation that competitors ventured out onto the water.

Taking into account the South Westerly wind, already blowing force 4 gusting to 5 at the start, Race Officer Graham Dalton set a triangular course, followed by a sausage section, between Dell Quay and Copperas East.

The start of the racing was delayed several times as the fickle and ever shifting wind required repeatedly moving the start line to get the best upwind beat. With limited room on the start line two boats collided as the signal went for race 1, forcing the responsible boat to take a 360 degree penalty turn.

The race concluded without further incident with James Ross (Hamble River SC) taking first place, followed by Martin Frary (Weston SC) and Ian McGregor (Salcombe SC) third.

Wind conditions worsened considerably for the second race, leading to several capsizes and some retirements. One boat after capsizing twice was carried onto the western shore by the wind and tide, requiring a lee shore rescue, expertly performed by the safety boat team of Mike Dicker, Peter King and Rob Corfield. Podium honours were once again taken by Ross, Frary and McGregor, with Frary swapping with Ross this time to take first place.

The final race started with several boats having retired after race 2. The same three once again took podium honours with Frary first, McGregor second and Ross third.

Overall winner of the Open Meeting was Martin Frary with James Ross second and Ian McGregor third, a triumph for the visitors which left the host club’s highest placing at just 8 overall.

Andrew Horne