Dell Quay Sailing Club


(As submitted to the Chichester Observer, which usually publishes them)

Sailing Report: Dell Quay Sailing Club Racing May 18-19 2002

With fading evening wind and an increasing adverse tide, Dell Quay Sailing Club’s distance race on Sunday turned into a two-boat competition. Chris Rowsell and Ronnie Quinn (RS 400) finished way ahead, leaving them with clear handicap victory over Jeremy Burden and Jeff Wilson (Wayfarer) whose progress home from the seaward end of the Itchenor reach was slowed even more by the conditions.
A brisk wind stirring up white horses on the usually sheltered waters close to the club persuaded potential entrants for Saturday’s two scheduled pursuit races to stay ashore, though the few brave souls who ventured out for pleasure enjoyed some brisk planing.


Sailing Report: Dell Quay Sailing Club Racing May 11-12 2002

The weekend’s racing saw the completion of Dell Quay Sailing Club’s new Upside Down series – not an event rewarding those who capsized most, but an initiative to bring enthusiastic but rarely race-winning sailors into the prize list..
While it did not fully succeed – probably because the early season weather was unkind, with three of the ten planned races lost – it showed its potential. Novice racers Roy and Beryl Dyton (Laser 2000) were eighth overall among the 20 competitors, and Laser sailors Chris Wood and Helen Penfold took the third and sixth slots respectively, ahead of faster class-mates Richard Whitmore-Jones and Malcolm Buchanan.
The aim was to amass the maximum points possible, not the minimum as is the normal practice in competitive sailing. So there were points for starting, for finishing and for every boat beaten, plus one extra for winning, with no limit on the number of races which could be included in each competitor’s total.
Saturday’s racing was held in very light breezes, with frustrating flat spots which saw boats behind infuriatingly gain the gusts first, to overtake those ahead which had opened out long leads.
Both times, the Fireflies of John and Liz Sagues and Anne and Jim Norfolk capitalised on the conditions, swapping places several times in each race and heading the faster boats on the water as well as on handicap. Only Jim Hailstone managed to split them, in race two, leaving the Sagueses taking two first places, while both the Norfolks and Hailstone had a second and third each.
As Sunday’s racing began, in a much brisker wind which gave the Lasers good planing reaches especially in race two, Chris Wood (Laser Radial) headed the overall points list. But he couldn’t compete, so the series first place became a tussle between Hailstone and the Sagueses.
Each time, in conditions he enjoyed far more than the previous day’s, Hailstone opened out a long lead, plenty enough to hold on handicap. But with the Firefly taking second place in both races, its score totalled just one point more.

Upside Down series: 1. John & Liz Sagues (Firefly) 50 points, 2. Jim Hailstone (Laser) 49 points, 3. Chris Wood (Laser Radial), 41 points, equal 4 Mike Fizgerald (Fireball), Anne & Jim Norfolk (Firefly) 36pts , 6. Helen Penfold 35pts. Best junior: Robert Argent (Topper) 24pts, 9th overall.

Dell Quay Sailing Club April 27-28 2002

The forecast was for strong winds on the Saturday and the few that braved the conditions were rewarded with some exhilarating sailing in force 5 winds. The races this weekend were the start of a new handicap series where competitors are awarded points for starting, finishing and for each boat they beat. This is to reward the keenest sailors even if they are not always at the front.
In the first race Richard Whitmore-Jones pulled out into an early lead closely followed by the Fireball of Mike Fitzgerald and Tim Dorner with Bob Marshall and Mike Savage doing well on handicap in their Lark. A trapeze wire broke on the Fireball pitching the crew in the water letting the Lark through.
The wind increased during the race and all racers capsized with the exception of junior Robert Argent who gamely stayed upright only to be beaten on handicap by Whitmore-Jones.
Chris Wood found some good planning reaches to come third in his Laser Radial. Last was Alex Dupee and Ashley March racing an RS200 for the first time. They did well to finish the race under jib alone after breaking gear during a capsize.
The second race was sailed in steadier conditions but once again it was only Robert Argent who managed to keep his boat upright.
Whitmore-Jones opened an early lead to be overtaken by the Fireball of Fitzgerald and Dorner when he capsized. The Fireball pulled out a long lead up to the final 100m when a vicious gust caught its spinnaker causing a capsize. When the handicap positions were worked out, Whitmore-Jones ended up the winner, Argent second and Fitzgerald/Dorner third.
Racing was scheduled to be held on Sunday but was abandoned because of fierce gale force winds.

Sailing Report: Dell Quay Sailing Club Racing Easter 2002

Truly balmy spring weather, as much as the draw of Easter egg prizes, tempted Dell Quay Sailing Club’s racers on to the water in good numbers for the first two days of bank holiday competition.
The light winds and sunshine which characterised both the Good Friday and Saturday races saw close competition, but Jason Buchanan (Laser) set a standard which would prove hard to beat when he drew well clear of younger brother Ryan to lead the fleet home in the first race and win comfortably on handicap. Only challenge to the Lasers came from Anne and Jim Norfolk (Firefly), third behind the Buchanan brothers.
But in the longer race two, in a failing breeze, the Buchanan positions were reversed, as Ryan caught a fortunate puff in the very final stages to pass his brother. Kate Johnston, also Laser, took third slot, but almost eight minutes behind.
The Lasers were out of luck on Saturday, however. In race one, Ron Sanders and Sylvia Collier (Enterprise) showed a clean transom to their competitors, but the distance wasn’t quite enough, with the Firefly of John and Liz Sagues just close enough to snatch first place on handicap, by 15 seconds. The Norfolks were third and Guy Osborne best of the Lasers in fourth place.
The day’s second race was a Firefly benefit, with the Norfolks starting well and keeping close enough to the faster boats which inevitably overhauled them to win on handicap, despite the long lead eventually opened out by Malcolm Buchanan (Laser). Second place went to the Sagueses, with Jason Buchanan taking fourth after Sanders and Collier retired for a course error.
Easter Sunday was a day for the courageous, as cold, gusty weather chased away the spring. It should have been ideal conditions for the Fireball of Chris Rowsell and Sarah Johnston, but a combination of problems hit them and left Jason Buchanan a clear run to first place in both races, ahead of his father Malcolm. Patrick Johnston and the Fireball each took a third, while 14-year-old Robert Argent (Topper) was a commendable fourth in the first race.
So Monday’s final two races started with Jason Buchanan in an impregnable overall lead, but the places behind wide open. Roger Francis and Tom Gatehouse (Scorpion), making their first appearance of the season, enjoyed the brisk breeze and won race one by comfortable margin from Jim Hailstone (Laser) and the Sagues Firefly.
The Scorpion appeared to be sure of a race two victory as well, though challenged hard by Hailstone, now helming Warwick Hoddy’s new Laser 2000 with Hoddy crewing. But both leading boats had passed the first mark on the wrong side, and were disqualified, leaving Bill Dawber (Topaz Uno) a clear winner from the Firefly, with Argent third.
With the four best races counted, Jason Buchanan took the biggest box of Easter eggs, with 5 points, from John and Liz Sagues (8 points), with Patrick Johnston (19 points) third and Guy Osborne (25 points) fourth. Robert Argent was first junior, with Suzie Munnery (Laser) second. In all, 26 boats from 10 different classes competed.

Sailing Report: Dell Quay Sailing Club Racing April 13-14 2002

A mixture of winds brought a mixture of results in Dell Quay Sailing Club’s racing at the weekend, with a different winner in each of the four races sailed.
Saturday’s breeze was brisk enough to cause one capsize, of the Fireball of Chris Rowsell and Sarah Johnston, when a gybe under spinnaker went wrong. Though they recovered enough to cross the line first, they dropped two places on handicap.
Deserved winner was Helen Penfold (Laser Radial) who tussled with the full-sail Lasers all the way round, finishing comfortably ahead on handicap of Mike Fitzgerald, the only full-rig sailor who kept in front of her on the water.
Race two saw the Fireball establish a commanding lead, easily enough for victory, with Fitzgerald narrowly pipping the Firefly of John and Liz Sagues for his second runner-up position of the day.
Lighter winds on Sunday were variable again, and race one saw a series of duels through the fleet. The Fireflies of John and Liz Sagues and Anne and Jim Norfolk had the best of the first leg, but Ron Sanders and Bob Parsons (Enterprise) edged ahead and showed only their transom to the rest of the fleet, even finishing ahead of Mike Fitzgerald, this time at the helm of his Fireball with Garry White on the wire.
The Enterprise’s handicap victory was equally commanding, while the Fireflies – which swapped places several times, with the Sagues just nudging ahead on the tight reach to the finish – in second and third places. Fourth and fifth went to the duelling Lasers of Suzie Munnery and Jim Hailstone.
The longer second race, in a marginally stronger wind, saw Fitzpatrick and Hailstone swapping the lead before the Fireball edged well ahead on the second lap. But behind them the Sagueses’ Firefly, holding off all the other faster boats until the final run, came home in a time which ensured a comfortable victory. Sanders and Parsons, lacking their first-race speed, were second and Hailstone third.
Junior honours went to Robert Argent (Topper) in both Sunday races, from new member Tom Bridle (Topper), competing for the first time at Dell Quay.

Sailing Report: Dell Quay Sailing Club Racing December 29 2001

The conditions could not have been more appropriate as hardy competitors made their way afloat for the final races of Dell Quay Sailing Club’s winter series. As the final flurries of Saturday’s snow added to the layer already on the quay, the regulars were joined by two new contestants, the Fireball of Chris Rowsell and Sarah Johnston, and the Javelin of Phil Boocock.
Roger Francis and Tom Gatehouse (Scorpion) already knew no-one could wrest the trophy from them, but they confirmed their overall victory with a good start in race one. Though they were headed briefly by the faster Fireball they overtook again to win both on the water and – very convincingly – on handicap, with Bruce Dupée (Topper) coming in second on corrected time, with Jim Hailstone (Laser) third.
But the Scorpion’s run of good starts ended in race two, held in a gently freshening breeze as the sky cleared. The Javelin came home first, just ahead of Hailstone, who easily took first place on handicap.
Third on the water, and second on handicap, were Bill Munnery and John Mortimer (Fireball), with Francis and Gatehouse next – their only result other than first in the six races they sailed.

So counting best four results from the seven races in the series, Francis and Gatehouse were clear trophy winners with four points, followed by Hailstone (7 points), Munnery/Mortimer (8 points), Dupée (11points) and Bob Marshall and Mike Savage (Lark) (16 points).
Racing done, the competitors were greeted in the clubhouse with well-deserved glasses of mulled wine and the congratulations of warmer members who gathered to join them for the frostbite lunch.

Racing at Dell Quay starts again at Easter. Requests for membership information can be left on the club answerphone, 01243 785080, or addressed to membership secretary Anne Norfolk at DQSC, Apuldram, Chichester PO20 7EE.

Any queries: please contact Liz Sagues, press officer DQSC, 01243 528672.