About Racing Dinghies

Racing Dinghies is a specialist company that supplies racing dinghies and equipment to the Junior and Youth classes. We are the acknowledged UK experts in the Optimist and 420 classes. Racing Dinghies was originally set up in 1992 by Tani Bassadone where it was based in Sidlesham, near Chichester. The company moved to Ashford in Kent for three years and has recently moved again to new premises just South of Chichester, West Sussex.



Charles Ainsworth

Charles took over the company in 2004. He has a PhD in genetics and his sailing background includes a variety of dinghies (Wayfarer, B14, RS800), all sailed badly. He currently is learning to get the better of a foiling RS600. He is happy to let his children, Ben and Sophie have the limelight in sucessful dinghy sailing. Sophie was 420 Junior Europeans silver medallist, Youth and Ladies 29er World Champion, 470 Euopean Champion and now campaigns a 49er FX as part of the GBR Podium squad. Ben has sailed Optimists, 420s and Fireflies (where his team, Wessex Exempt, won the 2013 Wilson Trophy and the 2013 National Championships). He is an accomplished and sought-after coach.

Lesley Ainsworth

Lesley is co-founder of IBI Sailing and runs the office. She used to act as crew for Charles but frequently found it too wet and has hung up her dinghy boots.


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Jonathan Cox

Jonathan (JC) joined us in January 2016 as Sales Director, having spent six years with Chatham Marine and living in Chichester.  He brings a wealth of sales and marketing experience and is very well connected within the marine environment.  


James Wallace

James came to IBI Sailing in 2009. He has been sailing and mending boats pretty much all his life. He campaigned a Mirror with Ed Fitzgerald. Sadly, he now prefers boats with engines. However, he in an expert and perfectionist when it comes to GRP repairs.

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Sarah Fitzgerald

Sarah joned Racing Dinghies in 2012. Sarah is responsible for smooth running of the office and on-line orders. She is alos resposnible for keeping the men and dogs in line. Sarah sails an RS200 at Itchenor with her husband Andy (owner of Oceanair Ltd). Sarah's knowledge of Mirrors and 420s is invaluable.

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Alison Elliot

Alison works part-time and helps us with book keeping and accountancy. She is a keen 2000 sailor, provided that it is warm and the sun is out. Alison has extensive knowledge of Optimist and Feva matters through her son, Charlie's campaigns.