Dinghies Dinghy Racing Race Reports

Frostbite Success for Solo Fleet

(Published in the Chichester Observer on Thursday 2nd March 2017)

A combination of work commitments, skiing trips, sickness and a windy weather forecast meant there was a marked drop in starters for the final two races in the Dell Quay Winter Frostbite series. Four of the Solo class sailors could potentially win the series and the leader Bill Dawber (Solo) could not afford to miss the final races if he was to qualify.

With the wind a steady 4-5 a figure of eight course was set by race officer Bob Marshall which avoided the need to gybe. Staying close to the far shore to keep out of the tide Simon Verrall (Solo) made the best start and led almost to the first mark until crossing tacks with Dawber he was forced back into second place.

On the run back to Dell Quay Verrall was gaining on Dawber, but unable to make up the difference before starting the second beat, when Dawber was able to establish a commanding lead to the finish. With an almost exclusive Solo fleet Andy Morley in a Pico made the most of the strong wind to finish third on corrected time.

With the series now sewn up, having six straight wins and one second place, Dawber didn’t need to sail the final race, which allowed Verrall to take first place in race 12. Further back in the fleet the two Solos of Fred Hilgers and Richard Bridgmont were running level down to the final leeward mark with Morley staying level in his Pico.

Whilst Bridgmont had the inside place approaching the mark he headed up to avoid an inadvertent gybe and allowed Hilgers to take the lead but then immediately capsize at the mark. This allowed Bridgmont to slip inside and take third place, with Morley in second place.

Prizes for the series were presented by Rear Commodore Giles Hall with Dawber first, Verral second, Hilgers third and Bridgmont fourth.

Peter King

Photos by Charlotte Dawber

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