Getting to the Sailing Area
For those arriving early and fancying a quick shake-down sail in Chichester harbour – fine – it is a good stretch of water at high tide, but have a look where the sand banks are at low tide before you go out.
The channel out to sea is around 500m wide just off the club widening to over 1 km wide; so loads of space – and you are not dodging through cruiser moorings.
Going out into the race area, remember to go to the South and East of both Chichester Bar Beacon and Chi Spit taking care not to stray over the shallows they mark. The breaking waves will probably be enough to show you where to avoid.
Care also over shallows to the East of the channel. Staying to the South and West of an imaginary line between the RNLI (Lifeboat Station - just where you drove onto the spit leading down to HISC) and the Wreck marker post about 3 km to the South East, is a good idea.
Follow these rules and most times getting in and out of the harbour is no problem. There is however one condition of tide and wind that can get nasty, so here is some guidance if you encounter that. The problem arises with winds above 15 knots between S and SW, an outgoing tide between 3 and 1 hour before low water. The wind-over-tide can create steep breaking waves in the main channel. A 505 should beat out to sea through this OK, but it will be a bumpy ride. Running back to shore needs some care: recommended is to reach right over to the vicinity of the wreck marker, turn and then line-up on the RNLI station or the Treloar post (green channel marker) just opposite it. Reach in down that line remembering that the outgoing tide will lee-bow you up into the main channel and bigger waves, so keep pushing low while looking out for going too low onto the sands to the east
Once the Racing is happening, the Safety RIBs will guide you into the right course back in. I just don’t want those out practicing having damage before the championship gets started.