suepearson1Sue Pearson

The family joined Dell Quay Sailing Club in the early 1960’s so I have been a member for over 55 years.

I started sailing when I was 12, My Dad (Alfie Yellowley) built a Mirror dinghy from a kit. He was encouraged to include a suit of sails in the package by my sister Jean and I. I had read Swallows and Amazons and sailing didn’t seem too hard. The boat was built, the sails were put up and after a few trials on the lawn, Jean and I were pushed off the hard at Dell Quay with the advice not to hit anything.    
The maiden voyage was a success and I was keen to do more. My school friend Penny Pascal sailed a Cadet with her brothers and she encouraged me to go sailing with the Club. I watched and copied what Penny did following her every move around the buoys and soon became part of the junior fleet.  This comprised mainly boys from Chichester High School who had been taught to sail and we all became a close-knit group and remain friends to this day. A girl helming was something of a rarity in those days.

I had been brought up near to the sea, but not on boats. I knew the tide came in and went out and the sea could be calm or wavy and I learned to respect it from an early age. I was used to swimming in the sea too which proved to be a useful skill when the gybe didn’t go quite to plan. I cannot remember being frightened as a beginner, I can however remember being exhilarated by some high speed downwind legs, a reward for all that effort sitting out on the windward leg up to Longmore and that encouraged me to go out again. I was rather more nervous manoeuvring the family cruiser into tight berths. Parking the big boat in a marina usually with spectators who once they saw it was a woman at the helm seem to pop up to watch the entertainment, still does make me a little anxious until I tell myself I’ve done it perfectly before and I can do it again!

After several successful seasons as a Junior in the Mirror, it was time to join the big boys and the Firefly racing fleet. Dad built me a beautiful boat F3155, named My Beau. The large fleets and class racing at Dell Quay and around the harbour honed my racing skills and with two bailing buckets and an energetic crew, I could catch up after a dunking at the gybe mark.  After University racing in a Merlin Rocket, I found myself a very able swimmer to crew for me and we acquired a Fireball called Obsession which was probably why we bought it. More racing at Dell Quay and in the Harbour with some truly spectacular planing reaches during Federation Week at Hayling Island when I could not see despite sheltering behind Barrie who acted as a spray deflector are etched on my memory.
It was on a camping trip to Salcombe and on a walk out to Bolt Head Barrie and I watched yachts making their way into the estuary. “That looks like fun” I said, ‘There is the challenge of navigating your way along the coast, you can keep dry and have a comfortable bed to sleep in overnight’.  In 1977 “Fairwind of Dell Quay’’ a Moody 30 was purchased, sailed back from Southampton and horizons were broadened.  

suepearson2Evening classes in navigation were followed by a move back to West Sussex and our family travels in Fairwind began and memories made. We have sailed to Normandy, Brittany and the Channel Islands on our own and in company with other DQSC cruisers. We crewed Dell Quay friends from Chichester Marina across Biscay to Spain on the first leg of their trip across the Atlantic and chartered boats in Greece, Turkey and The British Virgin Islands.  

Fairwind in Braye Harbour, Alderney during the Fastnet race storm 13 August 1979. Photograph by Barrie Pearson

I am in my happy place bobbing about on the water. There is so much to look at and watch, no two days are the same and there is always something to learn. There is the sense of freedom and nothing can beat the very satisfactory sense of achievement when you reach your destination having harnessed the energy of the wind and tides to get you there.

What roles/activities have you participated in at DQ?
I have been a member of the Cruiser committee since November 2006, on the Regatta committee for 13 years, been a race officer several times and more recently helped out at Junior Week keeping an eye on grandchildren enjoying the excellent tuition.

If you want to get out on the water, come to Dell Quay, the waters here are sheltered and land is close by. It is a very friendly Club, find yourself a buddy and take it in easy stages if you are nervous.  Watch videos so you know what to expect. If sailing turns out not to be your thing there are plenty of other ways of getting out on the water, paddle boarding, kayaking, rowing and power boats. It is one of the best ways to make lasting friendships.

suepearson3The cruiser section organises a variety of rallies, ranging from a local day sail to longer distance cruises lasting a few weeks to France, the Channel Islands or the West Country with overnight trips to Solent destinations in between; there is something for everyone and the camaraderie and support is second to none.
Every day offers something new, a warm and sunny day with a perfect sailing breeze, a pod of dolphins playing on the bow wave, a stunning sunset, mist over the water in the morning; all this is what makes messing about in boats such a joy. Being able to share these experiences with our children and now their children makes the memories even more special.

Fairwind picking up a mooring in Hugh Town, St Mary’s, Isles of Scilly 15 July 2013. Photograph by Bill Greening aboard Niobe.

Sue Pearson



Meet Manon, Dinghy instructor, pico sailor and her mother, Gill who reflects on the camaraderie and wonderful scenery at Dell Quay


manonManon Francis-Braconi, age 17, qualified Dinghy Instructor for single handed boats. Happy as a crew or helm.

I have been a member and sailor at Dell Quay since I was five. I started sailing in an optimist and now sail a laser pico.

At Dell Quay everyone is really enthusiastic and willing to help. Everyone just wants to have fun and enjoy themselves.

My message to girls who are starting to sail and feel a bit nervous is that it is always scary at first but it is easier than it looks and just takes practice. Also, the boys are probably just as scared as you they just hide it a bit better!

Three items that I always take with me when sailing are sailing gloves, a waterproof watch and chocolate – depending on how wet I am going to get.


Sailing has given me an array of benefits; a community, exercise, sport, friends. The DI qualification has enabled me to practice presenting and passing on skills and teaching. Sailing has pushed me out of my comfort zone and I am always learning!

An aspect of sailing that used to scare me is sailing in high winds alone!
If I was sailing to a desert island the three things I would take would be: fresh water, a snack and satellite phone.

I definitely prefer a leisurely sail all the way.

In general I can tie about four knots give or take, depending on if I have to take them to other people in half an hour.



Gill Francis – age 56, sailing level intermediate and very competent!

I have been an enthusiastic sailor for 45 years. I began sailing in a mirror dinghy and now sail a pico.

The best thing about sailing at Dell Quay is the camaraderie and beautiful scenery. My message to younger girls who feel nervous about sailing is to go for it because it is loads of fun!

When I go sailing I always take a buoyancy jacket and chocolate (and alcohol!). Sailing has given me exercise and a sense of achievement. An aspect of sailing that used to scare me is capsizing.

If I was sailing to a desert island I would take a satellite phone, water and food.

Between racing and leisure – it’s an easy choice. Leisurely sail every time.  

I can tie five knots.




Handicap class captain, Laser enthusiast, girl power personified, Sue Manning was practically raised at Dell Quay!


My parents joined Dell Quay Sailing Club in the early 50's. I was brought up on Swallows & Amazons, and messing about in boats. Dell Quay was like our second home.

As the youngest of 3 children, I was taken along as 3rd crew with my Dad & Mum racing their Wayfarer, while my brother & sister raced together. So I learnt my port from my starboard, how to work a jib, flip the plate mid-tack, and not to sit in 'the slot' (one of my Dad's little obsessions).
I don't ever recall being taught to helm, other than being handed the tiller of the Wayfarer and told to "have a go, but don't tip us in"!

One of our fleet when I was growing up. Somehoe my brother & sister squeezed into her - she was smaller than a duckling!

I worked my way through several boats growing up - a Gull, crewed my brother in a Firefly, a Moth (before foiling was invented), a Fireball with my sister swinging on the trapeze, and a Laser (only full rigs in those days, so always a struggle) - before going off to Uni and being bitten by the Windsurfing bug.

We brought our 2 kids up in a similar manner, in all kinds of boats. When we finally bought our teenage daughter a Laser - with a lovely little 4.7 rig - there was the Topper they'd grown out of kicking around, so I decided to jump in it and join her racing. No longer required as beach crew, so why should they have all the fun?!

I found there was a new world of downhauls, outhauls, inhauls & kickers to adjust - we used to just rig it on the beach & sail - but now apparently I needed to start playing with all of those on the go as well, so more of a learning curve than I had expected.
And then I tried the Laser with its baby rig… I was hooked again on the lovely feel of a Laser helm, but without the full-rig jeopardy, and we bought a second Laser.

It was my daughter who persuaded me to have a go in Fed Week - now known as Chichester Harbour race week - run by Hayling Island Sailing Club annually. She had practiced crewing in an RS Feva as a junior, and with her as a very competent kite-flying crew, we borrowed the club Laser 2K and took the plunge. It was a windy & exhausting week, but we had solid backup & enthusiastic encouragement from the other Dell Quay members there - from shore crew to patrol boat crews, and not forgetting the Solo contingent - which very much made our week there so enjoyable.
I've been back there each year since in my Laser 4.7 and even come away with a couple of plates. Whoop!

I’ve tried a few other boats - playing with a kite is fun…


"Ready Salted"

Girl Power - a short foray into RS200 sailing with my daughter


… but I just come back to my Laser.

I'm still trying to work out how best to set all the different hauls & kicker (unless it's blowing a hoolie, when it's just about as hard as I can pull them) to get the better of all those sneaky Solos.


"Ready Salted"

It was windier than it looks!

- everything pulled full on


Some you win, some you lose, but sailing is definitely the best therapy for me.

'Cos girls just wanna have fun!   SueManning5



And Avril Sargent – volley ball in the mud, sailing the Enterprise to Bembridge in a force 7, the perils of channel crossings (there is no escape!) and many happy memories of Dell Quay

What Dell Quay Means to Me.

It was 1979 two years after the Queen’s Silver Jubilee and the year that we all sung ‘I will Survive’ and danced to ‘YMCA’.  A work colleague, the then Hon Secretary, Steve Parker, persuaded us to join. We bought our first sailing dinghy and were quickly introduced to the Enterprise class - the most popular fleet of sailors at that time. Racing at all times of year and in all weathers, it was via this group - club races, the annual parties, open meetings - that we made many of our lifelong friends.

So many crazy, but not lazy days at DQ. Volleyball in the mud - the smell of which you would not wish on your worst enemy, - they say it’s good for the complexion.  Rob’s crazy loony series, Jan and I would have won one leg had we realized the course was set in the Southern Hemisphere.  Sarah’s dedication in the galley providing the fuel we needed after a morning crewing. That’s what happened in those early days. Race officer and duty officer were one and the same.

I remember the long-distance dinghy races to Bembridge where we would sleep onboard the cruisers whose crews had supported our crossing.  Our last Enterprise crossing was in a force seven and just about everything broke on the boat. We survived, and the reception on arrival was fantastic.  Never has a half of lager tasted so good.

The parties at Dell Quay – such memorable evenings and great fun.  Masked balls, murder mysteries, wine tastings, and celebrations of all descriptions.  Such talent at DQ - in writing, set designing, food preparation and organization.  I remember one occasion when the port was passed round after the usual splendid meal.  In line with tradition the decanter was passed to our friend on the left.  ‘No, that is not a port class,’ we utter, as he tries to create a meniscus in a rather large wine glass.  We are not sure where he slept that night but he was still able to sail in the morning.

My only cross channel yachting experience was on board Harami, as part of a week-end rally to St Vaast. - We set off from DQ, six club members onboard.  I was really please to reach the Nab Tower without incidence.  Steve P took the helm and for some reason the boat did a 360’ without warning.  I spent the next 14 hours over a bucket wanting to get off the boat asap.  I believe it was Kevin Ridgeway who prevented me leaving - he had booked the restaurant and insisted I tried their Moules and frites.  They were good and I had a wonderful evening.  Needless to say, I came back on Brittany Ferry the following day.  The others of course had the most wonderful reach all the way home.

One evening I remember sitting relaxing in the Club, when I was approached by the then commodore, John Ayling. He asked would I like to be treasurer? After a while I agreed, little knowing that it would be eleven years later before I stepped down from the post, - when John became commodore.  We now stock the bar, a more relaxed duty.

Then there is junior week - the dedication and patience of all involved - rewarded by smiling faces of young people and their growing confidence.  Many of them going on to become instructors to give back to the next generation of young members what they have learnt.  No one does it better.  I love capturing the moment they arrive back at Dell Quay having achieved their goal.

We have had many happy years at and around Dell Quay, and now have our own cruiser, a Westerly Centaur, ‘Snoopy’. Day Skipper course completed, - thank you Carol for your dedication.  Isle of Wight, here we come again.

Lockdown 2020.  Well we didn’t see this coming.  Who would have guessed we would be in the position of not being able to socialize at the club?  In many ways it meant we were able to slow down and enjoy more family time.  Thank goodness for the fantastic summer weather.  It became the norm to take a BBQ and cook burgers and sausages on the beach or the Hard. The lockdown spurred our daughters to buy paddleboards and canoes, allowing us to share our love of the water with a new generation, our grandchildren.

Snoopy came into her own providing a means for the family to get to East Head without battling through traffic and queuing to get home. She became a diving platform and her dinghy a splash pool, - our summer house on the water.  We were also to enjoy a Westerly rally to Gosport with friends.  Last minute arrangements did not include supper.  We looked for a fish & chip shop, and found it closed.  Have you ever tried a kebab?  I was pleasantly surprised and it brought back memories of student days for our friends.

When restrictions allowed we were all enjoying being in one place, loving the sun, and being out as a family.  The sound of laughter and conversations between generations accompanying the glistening sunshine, and lapping of the water.  Young and old made new memories in a year that took so much from us all.

Dell Quay – A magical place to be at all states of the tide. 

Avril Sargent



John and Grandson, Jack abourd snoopy



Kebabs in Gosport
Junior Week 2019
- Instructors Evening






Meet Carol Morley and her two daughters, Aimee and Lucie. Both girls are following in Carol’s footsteps developing a love of water sports and achieving some RYA qualifications!

Morley Girls – Two Generations of Female Sailing

I started sailing at 12 years old when I joined the Sea Cadets in Blackpool. We sailed a big wooden boat called an ASC which had sliding gunter rig and could only be described as a tank! While Blackpool sounds like the ideal place to learn to sail, in reality it is an incredibly difficult place to dinghy sail, due to the 10 metre tidal ranges resulting in 5 knot tidal currents.

As my skills and experience progressed so did the boats that were available to sail. The Unit purchased a couple of second-hand Toppers and each year the Unit would attend a weeklong sailing camp at a Hollingworth Lake in Rochdale where I also sailed a Bosun dinghy.

In 1998 I qualified as a Dinghy Instructor. As a member of staff with the Sea Cadets and an RYA instructor, I was able to share my passion for sailing with the Cadets and develop and evolve both the range of dinghies and the opportunities for the cadets to learn to sail. I was instrumental in the unit becoming an RYA recognised training centre in 2006.

I have lost count of the number of youngsters that I have taught to sail. I am still in touch with many of them who are still sailing today, some of whom now work within the watersports industry in senior roles.

Becoming a mum to Aimee and Lucie made it more difficult to maintain my qualification and regrettably by instructor qualification lapsed.

carolMorley1carolMorley2In 2010 we purchased a Wanderer Dinghy which allowed us to start sailing as a family at Dell Quay Sail Club, Chichester, where we have enjoyed many family weekends, day cruising up and down the harbour, going on adventures to Itchnor for an Ice Cream or just sailing across to Copperas Point and landing for a family picnic!

carolMorley3carolMorley4As Aimee and Lucie have grown up, they have enjoyed learning to sail independently and love being on the water with their peers. A turning point for us was when we purchased a Laser Pico which gave Aimee and Lucie an opportunity to sail together without me.

As they have progressed through the RYA Youth Sailing Scheme it has given them the skills and confidence to enter Dell Quay’s regatta in their Pico. The results have been mixed but in July 2019 they took first in the Junior race.

Aimee has since advanced to sailing a Laser 4.7 and is utilising sailing as an individual sport in GCSE in PE. She is also working towards becoming an Assistant Instructor at Dell Quay, where she hopes to pass on her own passion for sailing to younger members of the club.

Lucie continues to enjoy sailing her Pico and hopes to achieve RYA stage 4 during the summer of 2021.

I led Woman on the Water (WoW) group for 2 years which was a role that I really enjoyed, this enabled me to reinvigorate my personal love for sailing.

carolMorley5In 2021 I stepped down from the WoW role to become Junior lead. I am working towards revalidating my Dinghy Instructor qualification now that Aimee and Lucie are more grown up and are sailing independently. Over the last few years, the family’s love of water sports has expanded and includes Kayaking, Stand up Paddle boarding and I have recently qualified as an accredited rowing Coxswain in the clubs Celtic Long Boat.

Sailing has given me some wonderful opportunities, lifelong memories and I am grateful that it continues to provide an interest that I can share with Aimee and Lucie.

Carol Morley







My sailing story – Beryl Dyton

"We are going to learn to sail" Roy informed me one day in 1996 when I enquired why he planned to retrieve an
old Mirror dinghy with a hole in the hull from a neighbour’s front garden and bring it round to ours. "What me?"
I replied. We were both in our early 50s and neither of us had any experience of sailing. Being a dutiful wife, I
agreed and the next step was to go to CYE at Cobnor, with our two married daughters, for a taster family day.

It was suggested that at our age it would be good to learn to sail in the warm water of the Med and our first
tuition was at Sun Sail in Greece. We had a great time – we were hooked - so began a new phase of our lives.
We lived in Guildford and found Dell Quay Sailing Club with it’s notice ‘new members welcome’ on a tour around
the harbour to find somewhere we could sail our newly refurbished Mirror. Everyone welcomed us especially
those whose boats were near to ours in the dinghy park and we met more people by joining in working
weekends and dinghy day cruises.

Roy soon realised that the Mirror wasn’t fast enough and, encouraged by a visit to the London Boat Show, we
bought a Laser 2000, the first of many at DQ. This was a great boat to sail with plenty of room to move around
and the excitement of an asymmetric genneker. Roy went on a training weekend to learn how to use it and we
both did RYA training on a Neilsen holiday in Grenada in the Caribbean as a treat for our 60th birthdays. We
joined DQ L2K class events and I enjoyed the exhilaration of racing until quite recently.

When we retired, we moved to West Wittering to be nearer to Dell Quay and joined in more club activities. Roy
became Club Secretary and I joined the House Committee. This gave me the chance to give back to the Club
which had changed my life!! I enjoyed the planning and preparation for Club events and made more friends of
all ages. I have been a Duty Officer, Galley Supervisor, Patrol Boat Crew and recorder at Regattas. I have also
participated in some of the WOW activities and have had fun with other ladies.

I am grateful to our DQ Cruiser friends who have kindly invited us to sail with them in the Solent and across
Channel and for many years we had the privilege of sailing holidays with Bill Munnery and DQ dinghy sailors in
Greece, Turkey and Croatia.

I enjoy being the crew and are still not very confident as a helm but last summer as a lockdown project we
renovated a 30yr old Keyhaven Scow dinghy which had been garaged for eight years and so Roy and I were able
to sail together despite Covid restrictions. This is a small, stable boat in which I feel safe. I have found over the
years that wearing the appropriate clothing as given me confidence as when I am warm I feel safe.

Another great experience has been to be part of the Race Team at Fed Week (now Chichester Harbour Race
Week) at Hayling Island Sailing Club. I would recommend getting involved with this week of sailing either
competing or on the support team – free lunch and T shirts are provided. Here is a photo taken by Sue Manning
of some of the team from DQ in 2017.







Celebrating two women at Dell Quay


carolAndrewsMeet Carol Andrews –

Carol is Dell Quay’s Membership Secretary, a yacht master instructor and part of the National Solo fleet at Dell Quay.  Carol’s first encounter with a Laser (and how not to board it!) as well as some unexpected wild life in the harbour make for great reading.

How long have you been a member at Dell Quay?

I joined Dell Quay SC soon after moving to the south coast.  I checked out quite a few sailing clubs but I had heard that the Club was run by the members, it was friendly and had some of the best views on the harbour.

How did you become interested in sailing?

When I was about 14 I wanted to do something different to my brother and twin sister.  I joined Sea Rangers with a couple of school friends and joined in weekly activities such as rowing, kayaking, dinghy sailing and even sailboarding.  One day I was asked if I would like to go sailing on a 50ft yacht owned by a well known MP.  To me I was being given a glimpse into what rich people did.  I sailed for a week and just loved it.  We were six teenage girls learning to sail under the direction of a skipper and his mate.  At the end of the week I was asked if I would like to sail in the Tall Ship Races.  After that, I never looked back.  

By the time I was 24 I was gently advised that it was time to take a few qualifications.  I had been sailing for 10 years so taking some formal RYA qualifications seemed to make sense plus it would allow me to continue sailing with the Sea Rangers and Scouts but this time as a leader.  Over the years I sailed across oceans, entered long distance sailing races e.g. cross channel JOG races, Fastnet Races as well as Trans Atlantic races.   By being involved with the Dockland Scout Project as an instructor I felt I was enabling young teenagers to have the opportunity I had when I was young.  I became a Yachtmaster Instructor (Sail) and taught practical sail courses for over 20 years. Now I keep my sail instructing to the classroom.

I took up dinghy sailing quite late. When I first qualified as a Cruising Instructor I realised that dinghy sailing would teach me so much more about sail and boat trim. I remember stepping off the quay at the London Docks onto a Laser as if I was stepping onto a yacht. Needless to say the boat capsized and I was swimming in the black dock water in less than a second.  I persevered and it was not long before I was sailing around and just loving the thrill of it all.   Dinghy sailing became my escape from work and instructing. It was my ultimate relaxation. I will sail any sort of watercraft.  Currently I sail a Solo racing dinghy.  

As soon as I get the dinghy on the water all my worries disappear. When I sail, I think about how I can make best progress using just the wind, tidal stream and correct trimming of the sails and boat. The wildlife in and on the harbour is a frequent and welcome distraction to my sailing. I have seen many wonderful sights over the years from dolphins riding the bow wave, whales swimming alongside the hull and even a deer swimming across my bows in Chichester Harbour.

Advice to women and girls who might be interested in sailing?

I was lucky to be able to learn sailing when I was young. Everything was just a game and it was more about being with friends, we learned something each time we went on the water. Put aside thoughts of having to always get it right first time.  Just play, have fun and if/when you make a mistake treat it as a learning opportunity. Get out with people like yourself. I learned so much faster when I wasn’t trying to impress anyone and we were all friends having a laugh together. Talk with other sailors and get some of their knowledge. Most sailors want to help you enjoy the sport they love. I can frequently be found on the decking area at Dell Quay SC after racing having a tea and slice of cake discussing some errors I think I made, asking for advice so that I can try not to make the same mistake again.




Meet Rose Potter – one of Dell Quay’s juniors on the Dinghy Instructor pathway, Rose shares some of her early fears as well as the benefits of music when sailing!

Rose Potter, 16 years old, on her DI pathway:

I have been a member of dell quay since I was five years old; I started sailing in a wayfarer with my family, and mostly my dad helming. When I was about 10, I started sailing in a pico, and have sailed that ever since. I love sailing at dell quay because the community is so nice and you really feel part of the club, as everyone is so friendly.

I would say it is scary at first, but when you start sailing, and make friends, it is really fun. I was nervous at first, but now I love going down to the club to sail with my friends. When I am sailing, I always wear my life jacket, and if it’s sunny, I usually wear sunglasses and sun cream. I also like bringing a speaker, because I love listening to music when sailing.

Learning to sail has made me much more confident, and I have lots of new friends because of sailing.

Completing the AI course has been really beneficial for me, because it has given me more confidence, and a chance to help at junior week.

When I was younger, I used to be very scared of capsizing, but, when I started to go out more, and played pirates with my friends, I got used to it, and now I am fine with capsizing.

If I had to take three things on a voyage to a desert island, it would probably be snacks, water and a speaker, to listen to music. In general, I definitely prefer a leisurely sail, because it is more relaxed, especially when it is sunny. Although sometimes I like to be more competitive, if it’s a fun race.

Honestly, I’m so bad at knots, I always struggle with the Bowline, but I can do some of the basics, like the reef knot and figure of eight.