18ft Skiff National Championship
The weekend's racing is scheduled to commence in Hayling Bay at noon on Saturday. Chairman of the UK 18 foot Skiff Association Rob Dulson is hoping that conditions will allow the race officers to consider holding Sunday's races, which will begin at 1 pm, inside Chichester Harbour to allow the spectacle to be seen by as many people as possible.
As always, visitors will be very welcome, and are advised to be at the Sandy Point rigging area in good time to avoid missing the interesting on shore action.
Defending champions Victor Brellisford, James Fawcett and Dave Smith will be going flat out on 'White Stuff' to retain their title. Their victory last year, also at Hayling Island was achieved in strong winds, but they are equally at home in the lighter stuff, and the currently expected force 2 to 3 breezes might be to their liking.
Standing in their way will be the formidable obstacle of 'RMW Marine' sailed by Rob Greenhalgh, Dan Johnson and Jonny Meers, who have rocketed to prominence in the 18 footers this season, and proved to be invincible in the Grand Prix series. They too are happy in all conditions, and will be extremely hard to beat on their home waters.
Another team with plenty of pedigree is 'Team P & B', skippered by Ian Pinnell, with Bill Masterman on mainsheet and Jon Mildred in the bow. They may lack experience in 18 foot Skiffs, but their huge list of world and national titles will command great respect.
Hayling Island will also see newcomers Dave Spragg, Doug Walker and Andy Loukes from the International 14 class, sailing their as yet unnamed and unsponsored boat.