All photos © Mike Millard
Hundreds of supporters of Poole and Parkstone Yacht Clubs turned out on December 27th for the 17th running of the annual Commodore's Youth Challenge, an exciting Youth Match racing event consisting of 5 races.
This year Poole hosted the nail biting event using two Elan 333's (Beluga and Panache) with the Teams alternating between the boats after the first and third race.
The boats are sailed by ten under 18s with the owner or owner's representative on board for insurance reasons.
Once again we are very grateful to John Wilcocks, the General Manager of the Poole Hotel du Vin and Bistro, for their very generous sponsorship, his support is greatly appreciated.
For the first race Parkstone won the prestart but hit the pin-buoy so umpires, Olympic sailors Lucy Macgregor and Annie Lush, flagged them a penalty. With Parkstone taking their penalty Poole gained the lead on the approach to the windward mark with Parkstone not far behind. The downwind legs were tight and intense but Poole won with a 10 second lead.
Poole won the prestart of the second race, cover tacking Parkstone up the beat, rounding the windward mark 6 boat lengths ahead. Parkstone gybed early onto a dead run with Poole gybing later to defend their lead. Poole rounded the leeward mark 7 boat lengths ahead, covering Parkstone up the beat and going on to win the race by 2mins and 30secs.
For the third race Parkstone confidently won the prestart, sailing up the beat with lots of speed and rounding the mark with Poole on their tail. Poole was taking Parkstone's wind on the approach to the leeward mark and gained with some slick gybes. On the following beat Parkstone tried to cover by double tacking but they lost a lot of speed, Poole managing to keep their pace up to squeeze past. They then continued to extend their lead finishing 30 seconds ahead.
Fantastic team work from both squads made for another most entertaining and memorable event. With racing having taken place immediately outside Poole YC's Yacht Haven it took little time for competitors and supporters of both Clubs to take to the Club house for the prize giving. Following the Prize giving an extended lunch has become a feature of the event providing a great occasion for the sailors at the two clubs to get to know each other better.