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IRC Southern Championship at the International Paint Poole Regatta - Preview

by Chris Jones 14 May 2018 18:08 BST 26-28 May 2018
Ker 32 'Raygun' at the 2016 Poole Regatta © David Harding /

Less than two weeks remain before the start of the International Paint Poole Regatta 2018 and it is clear that competition in the IRC Southern Championships will be intense. Many well recognised helms will be out on the water racing. Will you be out there shaking up the fleet? To whet your appetite here is a round up of the favourites, as entries stand to date.

In Class 1, the multiple Commodore's Cup competitor Flair V (Jim Macgregor) is sure to be towards the top of the fleet, no doubt being pushed hard by three Archambault Grand Surprises from Weymouth Sailing Club (Bon Vancances, Qu au Rhum and Passion) and by Rob Bottomly's First 40 Sailplane. Others to watch include local boat Amegos (Wintle & Fullager), an Archambault A35 and the First 40.7 Addition, skippered by Ernie Hatton.

In IRC 2, the Dehler 33 Ruthless will be going for the hat-trick, having won the IRC Southern Championship at Poole Regatta 2014 and 2016. Ruthless is owned by Poole Regatta Chairman Martin Pearson, who as usual will be too busy running the event to compete. The hot-shot helm he has drafted in this year remains a closely guarded secret! The runner up in 2014 and 2016, MS Amlin Enigma, skippered by Ian Braham will sure to be out for revenge and others to watch include a pair of half-tonners in Quokka 9 (James Crew) and the re-worked Swuzzlebubble (Phil Plumtree). With others as diverse as a JPK, a J97, a Corby, an SB20 and a J80, this class is sure to provide competitive racing.

Class 3 will be equally competitive, with no less than five Quarter Tonners taking part, including Sam Laidlaw's Aquila, Louise Morton's Bullet and Illegal Immigrant sailed by Willie McNeil of Poole, putting local knowledge to good use. Others of note in this fleet include a pair of Impalas, Parallel Universe and Two Frank, along with John Alan's X302 Antix, all the way from Whitby. Local boats aiming to upset the Quarter Tonners include Richard Freemantle's Dehler 29 Chablis and and the MG 27 of Owain Peters, brilliantly named Run Juggernaut.

Entries for the IRC Southern Championships at Poole Regatta are up nearly 20% on 2016 and with entries open until 20th of May, this is set to increase further. Over 150 yachts are expected to compete in the regatta overall, making it one of the largest in the UK.

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