Category Archives: Regattas

Slow handicap regatta beats weather at Pagham

The forecast didn’t bode well, but despite the promise of strong wind and rain 15 young sailors from four different clubs joined together at Pagham Yacht Club on Saturday 15th June for a new event in the WSSYSA Calendar – a Slow Handicap Regatta.

With experienced weather watchers at Arun and Felpham the verdict was “no chance of sailing”. But at Pagham just a few miles west the conditions were excellent for racing! A good breeze but certainly manageable, even without a reef for most.

So, after a race briefing by the race officer, Ross Fisher from Felpham SC, the four safety teams set off to lay the trapezoid course with a start line off the club. The mixed fleet of Laser 4.7s, Teras, Toppers, Fevas and a Pico all launched successfully with the help of an experienced beach team and all was ready for the first race. Then during the five minutes to the start a sudden squall came through that tested sailors and safety crew alike. Visibility from the race office ashore plunged to very little, with comments being raised about the lack of wipers blades on the windows! By the time the first Laser (Miles Vidler from Crawley Mariners YC) had reached the first mark the squall had passed but both Chloe Robinson (Pagham YC) and Samson Cross (Crawley Mariners YC) in Toppers and Anna Collins and Joe Markworth in a Feva struggled and subsequently retired from the first race. After just that one squall the wind gods behaved themselves and the rain held off sufficiently long for four races to be completed.

Miles proved to be the one to beat showing mastery of his Laser 4.7 both on the upwind leg and on the awesome reaches. He achieved bullets in every race with the two following 4.7s of Jack Goodland and Zak Smith (both from Pagham YC) constantly vying for position, perhaps losing ground against Miles by chasing each other around the course — they certainly had a great day testing each other to see who could be fastest.

In the second race Mia Gray (Tera Sport) and Josh James (Topper 4.2), both of Felpham SC, were both over the start line by a huge margin. A prompt from a safety boat encouraged them to turn back from half way up the first beat to re-cross the line. Josh did this and went on the post a sixth place but Mia didn’t quite back track far enough so did not conform with the correct starting procedure. Rules is rules so she posted a DSQ on Race 2. Meanwhile the Laser trio blasted through to take the top three places closely followed by Edwin Cross (Crawley Mariners YC) with the best result of his day in fourth place.

Race 3 saw a rested Samson in his Topper bravely get back sailing after his DNF (with downwind shore recovery) and DNS in Race 2. Well done, Samson!

The first three races were timed to be around 30 minutes for the lead dinghy, but the last race was reduced to two laps and 20 mins as the weather was closing in.

One factor affecting all racers was the strong tidal flow east to west. Many competitors made a huge arc in going from mark 3 to mark 4 having not taken sufficient account of the effect of the flow. Only one racer (Josh) made a consistent straight track between these marks. A learning point for everyone else!

Four races completed on a decidedly grotty day was quite an achievement, so a big thanks to the race officer and his team, safety crews and the beach team for a smoothly run and fun day. The kitchen crew were also busy supplying hot drinks and hot food.

A big thanks to Vicky Collins (Rear Commodore Sailing, Pagham YC) for organising the event and to Pagham YC for hosting it. And big thanks too to the parents who hauled their children and dinghies over to Pagham.

The prizes were awarded in two age groups as follows:

1st – Miles Vidler, Laser 4.7 (Crawley Mariners YC)
2nd – Zak Smith, Laser 4.7 (Pagham YC)
3rd – Jack Goodland, Laser 4.7 (Pagham YC)

1st – Joshua James, Topper 4.2 (Felpham SC)
2nd – Edwin Cross, Topper (Crawley Mariners YC)
3rd – Mia Gray, Tera Sport (Felpham SC)

Update – Pagham YC regatta

The website has been updated to include the Notice of Race and Entry Form for the Pagham YC- WSSYSA Open Youth Regatta, which this year replaces the Topper Traveller of previous years.

The event takes place on Saturday 15th June at  Pagham YC and is tailored towards slow-fleet racing – entry is open to all dinghies with a PY of not less than 1207 (this includes Laser 4.7, Feva, Tera, Topper and Pico, for example).

The event is very reasonably priced at £5 per single-hander and £7.50 per double-hander and we’re hoping for a bumper turn-out.

Come along and join in the fun! Details on the website

WSSYSA Regatta 2017 – Results

The 2017 edition of the WSSYSA Regatta took place at Dell Quay Sailing Club on 9-10 September. Three races were completed on the Saturday in high winds but none on Sunday, due to the worsening weather conditions, thus the series comprised three races with one race to discard. As in 2016, sailors competed in four fleets: fast handicap, slow handicap (excluding Topper and Optimist), Topper, and Optimist.

Congratulations are due to the following sailors whom medalled in their respective fleets:

  • Fast: 1st – Alex Mayger (Laser Radial, Felpham SC); 2nd – Jonny Brown (Laser Radial, Arun YC); 3rd – Jack Miller (RS Aero 5, Felpham SC)
  • Slow: 1st – Jamie Dadswell & Megan Renson (RS Feva XL, AYAC); 2nd – Erin Aldis-Hobbs (Laser 4.7, Felpham SC); 3rd – Miles Vidler & Maria Townsend (RS Feva XL, Crawley Mariners YC)
  • Topper: 1st – Sam Brackley (Felpham SC); 2nd – Alfie Lester (Felpham SC); 3rd – Tom Twist (Felpham SC)
  • Optimist: 1st – Tom Dempsey (Chichester YC); Elfie Grant (Chichester YC); 3rd – Ella Jones (Dell Quay SC)

The team trophy was won by Felpham SC.

WSSYSA Regatta 2017 Results

Topper Traveller 2017 – Overall Results

The final event in the series was completed at Arun YC. High winds meant the event comprised only two races, but the three main contenders for the series (Alfie Lester, Miles Vidler, and Oliver Wattam) all braved the elements to fight to the finish. In the end, Alfie took first place, from Oliver in second and Miles in third.

And so to the final results for the Topper Traveller series. With the results at Arun not affecting the previous placings, it’s congratulations to our top three sailors:

1st: Alfie Lester (Felpham)
2nd: Miles Vidler (Crawley Mariners)
3rd: Oliver Wattam (AYAC)

Prizes will be presented at the end of the WSSYSA Regatta at Dell Quay SC on 9-10 September.

Topper Traveller 2017 – final results

WSSYSA apologises to all sailors participating in the Topper Traveller this year for the lack of clarify regarding the scheduling of events counting towards the series and the method for calculating the overall results. With this post we hope to restore the balance.

The WSSYSA Topper Traveller was intended to comprise six events at Crawley, West Wittering, Chichester, Felpham, AYAC, and Arun, with the best four scores to count for each sailor and with only sailors from affiliated clubs included. However, due to some administrative oversights, two corrections must be made to the series schedule.

Firstly, an event was scheduled at Lancing SC on the same day as the event at West Wittering event. Due to bad weather the West Wittering event was cancelled. However, because many Topper sailors were encouraged to attend the Lancing event and did so in good faith, we are counting the Lancing event within the series.

Secondly, it was unclear to sailors whether the Topper Traveller event at Chichester YC was the Club Open Dinghy Regatta on 25 June or the Topper Open on 9 July. Again, Traveller sailors variously attended both events in good faith and we are going to count both events towards the series scores. In a further twist, the results at Chichester on 9 July were calculcated as separate 5.3 and 4.2 fleets with no way of combining the results in to a single fleet; accordingly the 5.3 and 4.2 results have been counted as separate races when calculating the series scores.

Taken all of this into account, the current Topper Traveller standings provided below are based on the results of seven events completed (Crawley Mariners, Lancing, Chichester x 3, Felpham, and AYAC) with one left to complete at Arun on 30 July (see the events listings for NoR and SIs). Alfie Lester currently leads comfortably from Miles Vidler, Oliver Wattam and Sam Brackley, but with Sam currently counting a DNC a high finishing place at Arun could see him challenge Alfie for the title. Overall, 45 sailors have now competed in the series, with 15 competing in more than one event.

If you spot any errors in the results, please do drop the association a line via the WSSYSA website ‘Contact’ button and we’ll look into it.

We look forward to seeing you at Arun for the decider!

WSSYSA Traveller 6 – Notice of Race (Shoreham)

Dear all,

Please see the event page ( for the latest Notice of Race document.
Fingers crossed for good weather and great racing.


West Sussex Schools & Youth Sailing Association.

Feedback on WSSYSA Regatta 2015

A feedback form for the recent regatta at Felpham SC is now available through this link:

We really appreciate all feeback to make next year’s regatta even better. Results for this year’s event as well as photo gallery and write-up coming soon.