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Hayling Island SC breaks with tradition

Hayling Island SC has broken with tradition and moved the date of their annual Regatta and also changed its format.

From its traditional place on the August weekend preceding Chichester Harbour Race Week, the HISC Regatta will move to the May Whitsun holiday weekend in 2017.

The format will also change, to a three day event, with a mix of 'round the harbour racing', short-course racing and 'championship style' racing in Hayling Bay.

The final Monday will be a 'Pursuit' style charity race for all the classes and competitors in Chichester Harbour.

There will also be more emphasis on a free friendly social programme which will cater for Class gatherings, families and youth with live band and fun youth activities.

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This is a gamble for the club, which despite a big increase in membership, has failed to see a corresponding increase in race numbers.

HISC has always been a bye-word for top class racing, and is home to many National, World and Olympic champions - even the New Year Party DJ is an Olympic silver medallist!

But despite this distinguished provenance, the dinghy park has been home to hundreds of under used boats in recent years.

Hard measures have been taken over recent seasons to remove these boats and to attract new members who really want to sail.

The type of club racing has changed, with more emphasis on short, sprint racing and recently team racing has proved popular.

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By moving the Regatta and providing a more varied format, it is hoped that something of the old spirit can be re-ignited, both on and off the water.

HISC has some large class fleets and these will be encouraged to participate in the Regatta to provide a critical mass and start the ball rolling.

Thus the Solo, RS Elite, RS200, Fireball and Flying Fifteens fleets, plus the Youth: RS Feva, Tera, Optimist and 29er classes will all have class racing.

The club also wants to encourage other club classes, such as the Merlin Rocket, RS800, I-14, Moth and RS700s to participate, and class starts will be organised if they can get at least ten boats.

An interesting experiment for the club, the members and everyone who wishes the sport of dinghy racing well.

The new HISC Open Regatta event is set for the Whitsun Bank Holiday weekend 27, 28 and 29 May 2017.

The event promises to be an exciting opportunity for both adult and youth racing classes, with a busy social calendar being planned for competitors and families alongside.

Earlybird entry fees as well as accommodation packages will be available.

Christmas Cracker Open race on Saturday 31 December at Hayling Island SC.

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