Wednesday, 17 August 2022

Chichester Harbour Race Week 2022 Wednesday 17th August Race Report

Wednesday’s weather forecasts suggested that racing was unlikely to be straightforward with thunderstorms and lightening on the agenda. The rain appeared in the morning and the Race Team hoped as the rain started to abate that Hayling’s micro-climate might prevail. Series A and B committee boats set themselves up on the winner bank on 045° but as the sun tried to break through the wind dropped and backed with a starboard hand course finally set on 010°. Despite this the wind continued to back to 340° and finally dropped away to below 3 and half knots after 4 fleets on Series A had been started, and the flood tide had carried them towards the windward mark. 

At this point the Race Officer decided that abandonment and restart for those classes was the right decision as the wind swung around to the south-east. With it came a rain squall and loss of visibility so racing for both Series A and B was abandoned for the day.

Series C was more fortunate as the squall failed to reach them although the wind direction turned their course through 180°. The second race was sailed after a reset although the wind continued to be fickle in both direction and strength.

Series D for the Elites started today out in Hayling Bay East and suffered the same vagaries of wind in both direction and strength. Fortunately their course was sufficiently south of the harbour entrance to avoid the squall and they were also able to complete their second race after a course reset. 

Robert Macdonald

Tuesday, 16 August 2022

Chichester Harbour Race Week 2022 – Tuesday Race Report

Tuesday started with a gloomy overcast sky and rain, yes the wet stuff we had forgotten existed, and which actually appeared as forecast, but as competitors started rigging, the rain out. The forecast on most of the renowned weather models (we are sure they all use the same underlying data) was for a 10 knot Southerly from about midday onwards.  


After yesterday’s annoying shift late during the start sequence the nervous race officers for Series A & B decided to keep the fleet ashore for a short time.  As CHRW regulars will understand it’s impossible to alter 2 courses (Series A and B have to move in unison) once the first few starts are away. After 20 mins or so the wind seemed settled at 120 so both Series A & B fleets was released and the race was on.  The start line for Lady ‘G’ (Series A) was in the vicinity of Channel buoy, the windward mark near John Davies and the gybe mark near SW Pilsey.  A good sized course for the wind strength so 2 rounds were set for all classes.

As the race progressed the predicted shift to the south happened but thankfully gradually.

The leading Fireballs, Simon Kings/Jono Looe and Nathan and Joanne Rushin, were neck a neck approaching the finish line with Kings on starboard and Rushins on port but the Rushins made a bad tack which let Simon and Jono through for their second win.

In the Fast handicap, the Flying 15 sailed by Nick Peters and Guy McBride always looked well placed and indeed took the win on corrected time.

In the intriguing battle of the classes (Hadron H2, DZero and RS Aero 9) it Was David Valentine from Emsworth Slipper home first in his Devoti DZero.

There were different faces at the front of the Finn fleet today with Richard Sharp  today’s winner.  I think this fleets results will go down to the wire this year.

It was interesting to see the well sailed RS800 of Frances and Tom Partington edge out the RS400 of Steve and Sarah Cockerill today. Andrew Gould in his Musto skiff once again came 3rd on corrected time. Josh Stokes and Gregan Bergmann-Smith once again dominated the 29er’s with a comfortable victory.  

In the RS200 now up to 40 boats is was once again the brother and sister team of Tom and Charlie Darling taking another good win from Aidan and Ella Mitchell .

It’s great to see so many family teams entered and at the front end of most of the 2 person fleets.


On Series C the third race started on time with 8-10 knots SE wind, and very close racing in the Tera fleet, with places 2 – 4 changing throughout the race. The course was shortened to 3 laps due to time and wind swinging to the south. The Oppies had their best start so far with all boats across the start line within 5 seconds of the gun. An incredibly close finish between 5813 and 6629 with 5813 just managing to snatch the lead 5 seconds before the finish.

On Race 4 the course was adjusted to accommodate the southerly breeze. One Oppie capsized, one boat was repaired mid race with both sailors showing maturity and resilience. The Tera’s race proved very competitive with close racing but with the Tera Pro 1225, Harry Slight, (ESC) still managing his 4th successive win. 


Greg Wells & Robert Macdonald.

Calling all technophiles

Especially those who take their phones afloat. The Safety Team needs your help with a little experiment.

A key task for the team is keeping tabs on competitors. And that basically means looking around, which in turn means having enough experienced eyes and adequate visibility.

GPS tracking is an interesting technology which may help us. We want to give it a try using SailEvent, the service that provides eTally and which also supports tracking.

If you would like to join in, it’s a bit geekish but all you need to do is

  •        install a free app to turn your phone into a GPS tracker. 
  •          Register your phone with SailEvent. 
  •        Have the app with you and running while you are afloat.
Instructions are here.

 You can do this any time but we are looking at regatta day 4 – Tracker Thursday – to be the day we focus on.

 Note: If you happen to already have a dedicated GPS tracker then you can use that rather than your phone; SailEvent supports a wide range of devices. See here for instructions.

 Thank you in anticipation. We’ll let you know how it goes. Any questions, talk to Richard in the Race Office.


Chris Ford

Safety Officer

Monday, 15 August 2022

Chichester Harbour Race Week Report – Monday 15th August 2022

The recent hot weather unsurprisingly attracted an entry in excess of 350 for the first day of Chichester Harbour Race Week, with 307 signing afloat for the first race. As the committee boats left their moorings and competitors launched it looked all set for a classic CHRW day.  The wind was 12 knots at 210 with a forecast to build and veer to 235.

With a strong flood the race officers for Series A and B set up in vicinity of Pilsey bank on a 200-210 axis and all starts began on time.  However, shortly after the first few starts it all went messy; the wind backed, dropped to less than 5 knots and backed again eventually going as far as 140.

Boats piled up on the winner bank as they struggled to make head way against the strong flood.  After almost an hour the wind started to build again and eventually settled back at 220 at least making the last lap a half decent course.   Who would be race officer!

Despite all these shenanigans it seems the usual suspects were still at the front of their fleets although there were no doubt a few heavyweight casualties!

Simon Kings and Jono Looe had a huge lead and win in the Fireballs but it was great to see Mike Partridge and Clare Davis coming in 2nd.  In the Fast Handicap, the light winds would normally favour the Flying Fifteens which did take 2nd to 4th but it was the Merlin Rocket of Judith Massey and Graeme Williamson who took the win on corrected.  Roger Millett took an early lead in his Hadron H2 and managed to hold off late pressure from Tim Weeden in his Devoti DZero to win the interesting combined Hadron H2, Devoti DZero, RS Aero 9 class.    

Its brilliant to see another healthy Finn entry this year and it was Julian Smith from Mengeham Rythe who took a good win today in a very competitive fleet.  As expected in the lighter breezes, it was RS400’s which dominated the Asymmetric class with 4 in first 6 and it was Stephen and Sarah Cockerill from Stokes Bay (and just back from the class nationals in Scotland) who in turn dominated the RS400’s to take the overall win on corrected time.   In a good fleet of 29ers, local boat Josh Stokes and Gregan Bergmann-Smith came out clear winners.   Finally, in the ultra-competitive RS200’s, many of whom are practicing for next week’s nationals, it was the brother and sister team of Tom and Charlie Darling who secured their first win.

On Series B, where fleets struggled equally to Series A competitors to combat the first beat across the flood tide on the winner bank Alex and Angela Johnson (ESC) were able to take the gun for an impressive 2000 entry although one of the fleet chose the finish line to capsize on top of the Committee boat! In the large Medium Handicap fleet the K1 of Graham Butler (Frensham Pond) secured the win on corrected time over the Europe of Gareth Tweedle (ESC) and ILCA 7 of Charles Porter from CYC. In the large and competitive Feva fleet Zac Sheperd and Platon Khodykin (HISC) took the gun ahead of Tristan Harding and William Ahlheid (Frensham Pond). With the light breeze many competitors missed the shorten course signal and proceeded to complete additional rounds before crossing the finish line for a second time.

Series C sailed over the sheltered ‘West Mud’ saw a welcome return for the Optimist class and Tera fleet. Whilst possibly ideal for the less experienced the very light winds did not benefit from the strengthening sea breeze through the harbour mouth, and both first and second races provided the same results in the Optimists with Sam Mitchell (HISC) taking first place, followed by Freddie Jones and Lucy Whorton crossing the line for 2nd and third place. In the Teras Harry Slight (ESC) leads with 2 firsts, whilst Ben Gardner (HISC) and Beaulah Wilson (HISC) are on equal points both with a second and third respectively.

Greg Wells & Robert Macdonald.

Monday, 8 August 2022

When it comes to sail numbers...

There can’t be much to say about them, can there? Class and sail number uniquely identify a boat, don’t they? You put the number that’s on your sail on your entry form, it appears in the entry list, it gets recorded as you cross the finish line and it appears in the results. And that’s the way it is for just about everyone, except...

Typos There are always a few, usually digits transposed, like written as 1683 when it should be 1863. Easily done but it causes chaos when working out results – what’s this new boat, what class, who’s sailing it? So please take a moment to check the entry list and correct if necessary.

Hire boats can mean that you don’t know your sail number till late on so you entered with something fictitious – 0 or whatever. As soon as you do know your real number, please update your entry form with it.

Substitutions So far we’ve been talking about ‘official’ sail numbers, the ones that appear in results. But there are occasions, hopefully rare, when, in mid regatta, you have to switch to another sail with a different number – perhaps your original got damaged on a breezy day. This is where Alternate Sail Number on the entry form comes in. Put your substitute sail number in the Alternate box. That way, when your alternate number is seen on the finish line, it is automatically mapped to your original number and you appear correctly in the results.

Saturday, 6 August 2022

Online Innovations for 2022

Running a regatta with several hundred boats and competitors spread over nearly twenty fleets and four race courses needs a robust and comprehensive IT system. Race Week’s custom app means Race Teams know who to expect on the start line, the Safety Team can quickly make sure everyone is accounted for, and results are published pronto.

Each year we like to introduce something new and in 2022 the emphasis is on empowering entrants and minimising paper. You can now go back to your entry form online anytime and keep it accurate and up to date; no need to traipse up to the race office and fill a paper form.

Most people won’t need this but there is always the odd typo, last minute change of crew, update of emergency contact. If you have a choice of rigs you can even defer that decision right up to your first race. For details of how, see Using the Online Entry Form in the Documents section of the Official Notice Board.

Serious note: with empowerment comes the opportunity for abuse of power so, when it comes to making changes to your entry form, please play fair and keep in mind that “a regatta entry is one boat sailed by one or more competitors” (NoR 3.2).

Also we now have -

Results archive back to 2014. See the Information menu.

New results presentation in both the results app and the rolling display.

Push notifications Get pinged on your phone when notices to competitors and results are published. Subscribe via the Information menu.

Please leave a comment if you like this new stuff and also share ideas for innovations in 2023.

Friday, 5 August 2022

A Quick Tour of the Regatta Website


If you are reading this you will already know that there’s a lot of stuff on the event website!

Most importantly it’s the home of the Official Notice Board (SI 3.1), viewed via its own menu, top right below the banner.

The ONB’s Documents section contains not only the Notice of Race and Sailing Instructions but also online forms for protests (not too many, please!) and results queries. Paper versions are available but please use the electronic ones if you can.

Notices to Competitors convey essential information such as amendments to the SIs and changes to the schedule of races. All competitors are emailed when a Notice is published and you can be pinged on your phone if you subscribe (in the Information menu).

To keep the ONB uncluttered, other stuff is on the Information Board, top left. Here you can find photo galleries, the results archive, Contact Us, this blog and lots more.

The Twitter timeline provides a rolling up-to-date snapshot of what’s happening both ashore and on the water.

Last but far from least we acknowledge the generosity of our sponsors and our many dedicated volunteers.

Chichester Harbour Race Week 2022 Wednesday 17th August Race Report

Wednesday’s weather forecasts suggested that racing was unlikely to be straightforward with thunderstorms and lightening on the agenda. The ...