A total of 114 boats turned out for the Chichester YC Snowflake Series on 18 November

In spite of a cold, grey and gloomy day there was a spectacular sight at Chichester YC as 114 boats took to the water on Sunday 18 November. Sailors from as far away as Yorkshire, Northampton, Salcombe and Poole Harbour made the trip to the South Coast and enjoyed a very competitive day’s racing.

In the first race, the flooding tide caused a general recall of the fast handicap fleet but eventually they headed off on a figure of eight course in a fair breeze. The race was won, easily, by the Merlin Rocket of Tom Stewart and Kieran Collacot while other Merlins occupied the next six places.

The medium handicap fleet were more disciplined and got away cleanly. John Harrison and Rob Smith in a Scorpion disappeared into the distance but behind him the four National 12s, enjoying the light conditions, had a very close race with Geoff Camm and Amelia Hall from Pevensey Bay finally taking second place.

Local optimist sailors James Ponsford and Harriet Marsden defied the light winds and sailed brilliantly to conquer the Slow fleet, beating the Mirror of Ned McNulty and Gareth Evans from Hillhead SC (aged 13) into third place. The two leading Toppers lost a great deal of ground when they had to return to the leeward mark after rounding it to starboard by mistake

The wind dropped further and so did the temperature as the fleets took to the water for the second race. Merlins again took the first six places, in spite of four being over the line at the start, including the winner of the first race. G. Truswell and T Blake from Beaver SC took the honours in the end. The RS400 of Colin Smith and David Sloper, from the home Club, was again the first non-Merlin finisher, the rather long broad down wind legs not helping the asymmetrics.

The medium fleet had a marathon race, when the wind faded for a 20-minute period, even though the windward mark had been brought in to shorten the second beat. Again the National12s did well, this time the winners being John and Katy Meadowcroft from Henley SC, who worked out a comfortable lead over Geoff Camm and David and Josie Greeening, of Salcombe YC, by the end. However, Derek Jackman and Ron Green in their Solos came in fourth and sixth. The Lasers will show their paces when the wind improves – Steve Cockerill from Emsworth doing best with a fifth and a sixth. A depleted slow fleet struggled manfully against the falling tide with Jonathan Medway aged 16, in his Concept 302 from Bosham SC, just beating the Topper of Will Kerr.

Overall Results (after 4 races)


1. William Warren and Rachel Cooper(Merlin Shoreham SC)

2. G. Truswell and T. Blake (Merlin Beaver SC)

3. Laurie Smart and Rosie Frost (Merlin Shoreham SC)

4. Colin Smith and David Sloper (RS 400 CYC)


1. David and Josie Greening (N12 Salcome YC)

2. Derek Jackman (Solo CYC)

3. Ron and Julie James (Albacore Royal Forth YC)

4. Ron Green (Solo CYC)


1. Will Kerr (Topper CYC) aged 15

2. Natasha Meik (Topper Lancing SC) aged 14

3. James Ponsford ( Optimist CYC) aged 11

4. Harriet Marsden (Optimist CYC) aged 12

Full Snowflake