Hayling Bay Venue Guide

Jim Saltonstall looks at one of the South Coast's classic championship venues
Hayling Bay is the home water for Hayling Island SC, a club with a long history of running major events - World, European and National Championships are all a regular feature of their schedule. But the other Chichester Harbour clubs also run racing out on the Bay, and if you sail any of the popular classes, the chances are that you will find yourself on the waters of Hayling Bay at some time or another. Hayling Island is another busy holiday area, and so accommodation, restaurants and campsites are all plentiful in the area, but book in good time to be sure of your berth! At the time of writing, Lottery money had been obtained to rebuild the old Hayling Island clubhouse, and what replaces it should be one of the most impressive dinghy and small keelboat racing venues in the country. Although parking is somewhat limited, with club members understandably favoured, there is no problem with boat space and the launching is easy and protected. Racing Area The racing area is in the Bay outside the entrance to Chichester Harbour. So leave the beach, turn to starboard and head out to sea down the channel - passing the beacon to starboard, especially at low water springs! The race area is now on your starboard side, head that way and look for the committee boat. The principle race area is normally to the west-south-west of Chichester beacon. Make sure you allow plenty of time when going out to the race area against the flood tide, especially spring tides. Chichester Harbour is a big piece of water, and it’s all got to get in and out through that narrow channel. The good news is that it will take you rather less time if you’re going out with the ebb! The other thing for first