Itchenor Sailing Club gears up for Junior Fortnight Week

More than 200 youth sailors and 100 boats will take part in Itchenor Sailing Club’s annual Junior Fortnight Regatta. The racing event takes place in Chichester Harbour from 25 July – 6 August.

Junior Fortnight provides an opportunity for the club’s young sailors, ranging from eight to 18, to test their skills in a competitive but fun racing environment. The classes; the Mirrors, Toppers, Fevas, 420s and Laser Radials, will each have a separate week one and week two series, with five days of racing per week, taking it to 10 race days in total.  

Trophies will be awarded for overall regatta winners and as per previous events, there will also be prizes given to winners of the individual weeks. 

British America’s Cup sailor and Emsworth local, David ‘Freddie’ Carr will make a special appearance on 27 July, to share inspirational stories from his five America’s Cup campaigns along with growing up and racing on the South Coast and on Chichester Harbour. Freddie has recently returned home from Auckland, New Zealand where he competed with INEOS TEAM UK in the 36th edition of the America’s Cup.

Daily on shore activities for the ‘supporting’ parents include yoga, stand up paddle boarding, running and rowing clubs, wild swimming and tennis. There is evening entertainment for the whole family including the infamous ISC Talent Night, the Transit Party for the Silver group, a 1980s themed night alongside Magic and Caribbean themed events. The hotly contested ‘parent’s race’ also returns and is scheduled for early evenings throughout the fortnight. 

Club Chef Danny will be fuelling the sailors – and parents – each day, providing an array of culinary delights from an Asian themed supper, Olympic themed BBQ, Italian night with homemade pizza and pasta as well as an Indian feast and paella. The ‘When the Ship went Down’ parent’s party will take place mid event – on 30 July – and is supported by Salcombe Gin, Salcombe Rum and Chalk Stream Trout.

The Junior Fortnight Committee will host a charity fun day on 5 August, to support the Ocean Youth Trust South. The Ocean Youth Trust South uses ‘Adventure Under Sail’ as a personal development opportunity for young people aged 12-25, taking them to sea in their 30-metre vessel Prolific.

Following the cancellation of ISC’s Schools Week in mid-July, the Junior Fortnight Regatta will be the only major racing event where all the club’s youth classes will come together to race this summer. Junior Fortnight Week 2020 was also cancelled due to the Covid pandemic. 

James Leaver, Chair of Junior Fortnight said, “Junior Fortnight has been a highlight of Itchenor Sailing Club’s calendar for over five decades. Like many of the parents of the current competitors I was fortunate to compete in this event myself as a child so understand it’s unique DNA.  

“What makes Junior Fortnight so special is that it has always been a really fun family event. This year we have further reinforced the emphasis on family by adding evening racing and a range of activities for the parents.  At the core there is plenty of high-quality racing in the beautiful surroundings of Chichester Harbour followed by great food and a lively social programme for all ages back at the sailing club in the evenings.”

Harriet Patterson, Co-Chair added, “This year we have also extended an existing club initiative.  Many of our older children already qualify as RYA dinghy instructors to support the younger sailors throughout the sailing season. This year they will provide coaching and rescue cover for the younger Mirror sailors while they race in the mornings of Junior Fortnight before racing themselves in 420s and Lasers in the afternoons.

“We decided to extend this initiative this year to provide a lower pressure and nurturing environment for our younger sailors on the racecourse. We think it is a really great way to bring the next generation through”.

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