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PYRA Poole-Yarmouth & Yarmouth Poole Races

by Theresa Lawrence, Quadrophenia 16 May 2016 19:13 BST 14-15 May 2016
PYRA Poole-Yarmouth race © Clive Lawrence

Poole-Yarmouth race (14th May, sponsored by A-plan Insurance)

Weather on Saturday was bright and sunny with a Northerly predicted. It was actually a little stronger than anticipated (15 knots plus) as we approached the start line and a couple of boats had a reef in.

Our start boat for the weekend was Scudamore, from Parkstone Yacht Club, who were hoping to start us from South Hook Cardinal from 11:00, unfortunately Flair found that there was little water beneath their keel when they arrived and so, after a little radio discussion, it was decided that Sudamore would start the race from Bar Buoy and set us a course of Bournemouth Outfall to starboard, North Head to starboard, finish line.

With a high number of boats in class one, including Esprit, Deity, Destiny, Spruce Goose, Flair, Blue Ecstasy and Escapade. Along with a good turnout form class two; Mojito, Maris Otter, Athene.

Once through the start we all set off on a beat on what turned out to be a more East North East wind than forecast, with a following tide. The Class one boats, including Flair, Blue Ecstasy and Esprit soon passed and made it round the first mark before the wind started to drop. The smaller, slower boats in classes 2,3&4 weren't so lucky and the wind dropped to 5-6 knots soon after rounding the mark.

By this time the fleet had split into three distinct groups, the fast class one boats heading off south to try their luck on a speedy down wind leg. Fighting it out round the mark and searching for wind were Mojito, Maris Otter, Fraid seau, Escapade and ourselves, Quadrophenia. The remainder of the fleet were still attempting to reach the mark.

As we we passed Hengisbury Head, falling in and out of wind holes, we saw Esprit put up her spinnaker way out and start heading to North Head. The wind began to fill in a bit and those that were able to take early advantage strung out the fleet even further.

As we approached North Head several more of the class one yachts raised crushing chutes and headed for the mark. Surprisingly, we found that we were catching up with some of the larger yachts and even making on some. Esprit rounded the mark first, and headed off into the Solent with the rest of the fleet soon rounding it too.

Hurst proved a bit of a challenge as a fast incoming tide and lack of wind made steerage tricky.

Once across the line it was a slow procession into Yarmouth harbour to be ranted up with the rest of the fleet.

Our generous sponsors, A-plan Insurance, had set up a mini bar and nibbles on the Green behind Yarmouth Sailing Club. Yvonne Hall, Marine Insurance Manager at A-plan, had raced up with her husband Quentin and four members of the A-plan team, including Matt, Area Manager and Coll, office manager, on their J24. Quite an experience for them as never having sailed before. They had provided PYRA well with drink and their was a good turn out of around 80 crew and their captains. Prizes were awarded to the winners based on preliminary times with Quadrophenia first in class four, Pink Panther class three, Mojito class two and Destiny class one.

Yarmouth-Poole race (15th May)

Wind 15 knots North Westerly sun out, cold wind.

Scudamore, the start boat, had cruised up with us. The start line was set from Black Rock. Short tacking through Hurst, a long tack out to the Needles and then a long beat to Swash with all the Class One boats taking the lead. Some went high and benefited by not having to tack out again.

Results will not be available until Wednesday due to our results officer being away.

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