New sailors and new dinghies... plenty to celebrate at Felpham

Members and supporters of Felpham Sailing Club get ready to launch the new dinghies / Picture by Kate Shemilt
Members and supporters of Felpham Sailing Club get ready to launch the new dinghies / Picture by Kate Shemilt
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Two new Felpham Sailing Club dinghies were named at a fun naming ceremony and more than 20 people guests new to the sport were given the opportunity to try dinghy sailing for the first time.

MP Nick Gibb and West Sussex county councillor Hilary Flynn witnessed the naming ceremony accompanied by a host of sailors and friends of FSC along with visitors taking part in the RYA’s Push The Boat Out scheme aiming to encourage more people into sailing.

The day was a tremendous testament to those who dedicate their time to ensuring that everyone who sails at Felpham has a fun time and enjoys the experience.

Roger Belton

Over the winter a lot of work has been done behind the scenes by Commodore Ross Fisher and training principal Roger Belton to raise money and generate sponsorship for two new Laser Pico training dinghies for use by adult and child members while learning to sail.

Butlin’s and Abacus Letting Services came up trumps with sponsorship, which, together with a grant from Felpham Parish Council enabled the purchase of the two dinghies.

David Rowe, club vice-commodore, said: “We are extremely grateful to all of our sponsors for their generous support of our initiatives to increase participation in sailing, particularly among local families”.

After the two dinghies were splashed with bubbly, Butlin’s Delight and Letz Sail were rolled down the ramp for their first venture into the sea.

It was a windy day and the waves were large calling for skill in dinghy handling and confidence on behalf of the helms taking guests out one at a time.

There were another four Picos and two RS Fevas taking out the would-be sailors. With sailors aged between nine and 65 and both sexes represented, it was an experience for all.

As the sailors came back to dry land, every one had a big smile and enthused with the experience.

All of the dinghy helms in charge of looking after the guests, caring for them on the sea and making sure they were safe and had fun were aged between 13 and 17, many of them assistant instructors.

FSC’s Roger Belton said: “The day was a tremendous testament to those who dedicate their time to ensuring that everyone who sails at Felpham has a fun time and enjoys the experience. This ethic has seen a surge in membership and a vibrant youth section with over 90 enrolled.”

If you want to know more about sailing at Felpham go to www.felphamsailingclub.co.uk visit them at Blakes Road, Felpham, on Wednesday, Thursday or Friday evenings or over the weekend, or call Roger Belton on 01243 587883.

DELL QUAY

Race three of the DQSC Breakfast Breeze series, aimed at early risers, took place in a gusty force five to six.

The breezy conditions gave rise to many capsizes, including Mark Harper (Solo), winner of the previous two races in the series.

With Harper consigned to fourth place by his capsize, the winner this time was Sue Manning (Laser 4.7) followed by Gordon Barclay (Solo) and M Gardner (Laser).

Harper retains his lead in the series, with Barclay second and John Purdy (Solo) third.

The following day a lighter but somewhat variable northerly wind greeted competitors in race three of the Longmore series. The race started with a beat up to an inflatable buoy just north-east of the Hook racing mark, followed by a long downwind leg to the Longmore mark, while trying to avoid dead spots in the wind.

The beat back to Dell Quay via Westlands, Heron, Monkey, Birdham and Crouchers proved a challenge against the now-ebbing tide.

First to cross the line were Peter King and Jamie Prescott (RS 400) but Harper retained his winning streak to take first place on handicap, followed by the Solos of Simon Verral and Gordon Barclay.

Harper continues to lead this series, with Verral second and Barclay third.

Race four of the Longmore series will take place on July 9 at 11.30 but the early risers will have to wait until August 19 (9.45am) for race four of the Breakfast Breeze series.

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