10 Oct Autumn Trophy and Autumn Pint at Itchenor Sailing Club
This weekend saw the 14’s compete for two prestigious prizes in Chichester Harbour, the Autumn Pint on Saturday and the Autumn Trophy on Sunday. The 14 boat fleet descended onto Chichester harbour excited for a hard day in 25-30 knots to blow away the cobwebs that have appeared since the PoW in late August.
The sailing didn’t disappoint and gave the talented fleet fast and furious with the boats and crews maxed out in the testing conditions, racing was tight on the simple windward leeward course in a harbour, emptied of its usual Saturday swarm of boats due to the conditions.
The first race developed into a two horse tussle at the front between Fitzgerald / Dobson and Partington/ Partington with the latter squeezing past Fitzgerald on the last downwind before the finish to take line honours. For the start of race two the breeze came in harder than ever the first downwind took its toll leaving the steady team of Massey/ Hillary leading the pack with a masterly display of seamanship to clinch first place and the Autumn Pint!
Sunday dawned with a very different looking conditions with a 5-8 knot westerly breeze in the harbour with racing set over Stocker Sands. The first race started after much of the fleet had a long sail/tow out from Itchen or to meet the Hayling 14s. The forecast was very light and possibly un-sailable conditions. 14 boats made it to the start line, with the first start going off clear in a 5knot westerly wind. On a seemingly heavy right handed biased course Andy Fitz and Dobson came out on top taking the early cross of the fleet from the right and take advantage of slightly more pressure and lifts in the top left corner of the first beat. They were then chased around the course by Katie Nurton and Nigel Ash to only finish a couple of boat lengths behind! Finishing third was Douglass Pattison and Mark Tate closely followed by Andy Shaw and Rob Struckett sailing Pamela (ex Pattison/Tait)
Race 2 and wind was generally up however, it was very patchy, with some boats able to be fully powered in areas of the course at the same time as others had crews standing on the foredeck. A pin biased line lead to a pile up at the pin end at start time. With Katie and Nigel coming out on top and winning the day and with it the coveted Autumn Trophy, with Douglas and Mark in second.
After the 2 official races had finished our tireless race team spearheaded by Roger Yeoman decided he fancied a little more action from the fleet and so put on an unofficial race. After some boats headed home in a dying breeze, a third race was started for the remaining 8/9 boats. The dying breeze was even more unpredictable now, with many boats electing to hit the left hand corner going upwind to hook into the favourable tide in the main channel. After some big light patches and some large shifts, Douglas and Mark again took the win with a convincing lead over the rest of the fleet.
The fleet now look forward to a busy Autumn Series with sailing almost every weekend until Christmas including the final Sterika raced on the 21-22nd October, the firecracker raced on the 4-5th Nov and the series of races known as the Perry Pot which has been hotly contested over the last few years and can be a great indication for how teams will fair at the start of next season.