Sails aplenty were unfurled on Chichester Harbour as Itchenor Sailing Club hosted its annual Points Week.
The three classes based at the club XOD, Sunbeam and Swallow all had races each day in what is a festival of classic keelboat racing.
Start times were adjusted to ensure that the race team, led by Roger Wickens, could set courses for the fleets to take full advantage of high tides in the harbour. Sixty-four classic boats took part as the Itchenor fleet was joined by four visiting boats from Cowes, Lymington, Yarmouth and Parkstone.
Monday provided perfect weather and last year’s winner, Las, helmed by John Tremlett, made a fast start to take first place and Roger Yeoman, steering Xcitation, into second place.
However, slightly trickier conditions on Tuesday gave a new winner – Catherine with Colin McKinnon on the stick – and Liz and Phil Chowiencyk’s Seamist a surprise second.
All change again on Wednesday when light winds proved even more challenging. Visiting sailor Michael O’Donnell brought Lightwood home to take the bullet ahead of local maestro Alastair Shaw in Phoenix.
Thursday and Friday saw the return of those champagne conditions all racers enjoy. Yeoman and Moss’s Xcitation made amends for the black flag disqualification they suffered the day before with their only first place of the week. Phoenix was again second.
So with six boats in contention for the week’s top prize, the Benson Platter, a close battle ensued. Catherine was the early leader but had dropped back to third under pressure from a number of boats including Xcitation and Madeline, in the hands of visitor Penny Fulford. In the end, Catherine prevailed to take the race and week.
The Sunbeam class also enjoyed close competition. Peter Taylor and Robin Richardson in Betty showed early in the week with class captain Nick Leach in close pursuit.
However, it was Polly’s consistency that was key as she trumphed with Betty in second. Tim Hill’s Query took third place overall on count back from Penny.
In the Swallow class, the series became a tussle between Skua and Osprey swapping first places during the series. Both had three firsts but it was Skua’s two seconds that proved the difference against Osprey’s.