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International Paint Poole Regatta - Day 1

by Mark Jardine 28 May 2016 19:13 BST 28-30 May 2016

A hazy day with very little wind to start with turned into an unexpected and settled South Easterly of 10-12 knots to provide great racing for the 140 boats on day 1 of the International Paint Poole Regatta.

First to get racing were the J/24 fleet, where the event is the class National Championship, things couldn't be closer with David Cooper on 'Jawbreaker' and Duncan McCarthy on 'Madeleine' tied at the top after each winning two races. Duncan described the day for the J/24 fleet, "A light morning, starting with the AP up for the first hour when a little bit of breeze filled in and the Race Officer did a good job in getting the first race underway in 5 knots of breeze. As always in these boats the racing is close! We were a bit concerned that when the sun came out we might lose the breeze completely but by 2pm we had a steady 10 knots of breeze - a good afternoon in the end."

'Madeleine' took the lead after 3 races but then had to settle for a fifth in the final race of the day which Duncan put down to skipper error, "Not a very good start and so no clear lanes up the first beat. With the short courses we had to make another 4 or 5 tacks to clear our air and that's enough to put you a good way down the pack."

The J/24 fleet's Race Officer is Parkstone Yacht Club Commodore Bryan Drake who knocked in four quick-fire races, "We didn't have any wind to start with so we had to wait around a bit to get a course laid and get them off. During the races the wind came up a bit so the races were shorter than planned at times, but I think they had long enough races to get into a good order. We had to move the course round as the wind went round but at the end of the day we were happy with the day's work. The forecast was looking very iffy but the wind came in off the sea with an easterly first and then it started tracking round to the south-east and finished off with quite a good breeze."

On what the International Paint Poole Regatta means to the Poole clubs Bryan said, "It's tremendous. We get not only national entries, but international with a good friend of mine from Florida entered with a boat he sailed across the Atlantic last year. We've also got French and Irish boats here. It's a super event."

In the Flying Fifteen class two races were held in Studland Bay. Winner of race 2 was 'Footloose' helmed by Crispin Read-Wilson who described his race, "The sea breeze filled in just before the second race which provided us with a steady wind. We probably won the start at the committee boat end, were 3rd or 4th round the first mark and then we had better boat speed than anybody else, certainly upwind, and then it was a drag race really."

On racing Flying Fifteens at Parkstone Crispin said, "I love it. This is probably the biggest Flying Fifteen fleet in the world - there are 30 boats at Parkstone, and there are another 8 or 10 classics at the Royal Motor YC, so there are 40+ boats sailing in Poole harbour. It's a great place to sail and a great bunch of people as well - all ages from 35 to 80. It's great. We all help each other and have a great social life."

Also out on the Studland Bay course, the Shrimpers are led by Ken Hodgson's 'Millie D' and the XOD are led by David Law's Kyperini.

IRC is led by Jim Macgregor's Elan 410 'Premier Flair' who won the first two races, only to get pipped in race 3 by Daniel Schieber's new Ker 32 'Raygun'. Ian Braham's MG346 'Haven K-J Enigma' recorded a perfect scoreline in IRC2, as did Sam Laidlaw's Quarter Tonner 'Aguila' in IRC with two more legendary Quarter Tonners, Bullit and Runaway Bus in 2nd and 3rd.

Olly Love's 'Two Frank' leads the way in the Impala class with Simon Baker's 'Dazcat' leading the MOCRA multihulls.

We caught up with Mike Golding who is sailing in the Diam 24 OD fleet to get his view on the International Paint Poole Regatta, "I think events like this are really important - sailing in the UK needs a higher profile. We have the great projects like Land Rover BAR and Ben doing great things with the America's Cup but at a local level we do need to keep the pressure on and events such as this one are exactly what is needed to get people out on the water and racing."

VPRS1 is lead by Steph Merry's 1720 'Midnight Cowboy' with Ian Wall's MG C27 'Mojito' on top in VPRS2.

Inside the harbour the 2.4m class sees Rutland's Iain Stowe 'Mrs Robinson' and the Redwings are led by Andrew Pearce's 'Rosetta'.

Tonight sees competitors, family and friends gather at Parkstone Yacht Club for supper and drinks.

The event is supported by Gold Sponsor International Yacht Paint and Silver Sponsors Haven Knox-Johnston and PHC.

Full results can be found on the event website at pooleregatta.co.uk

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