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Poole Bay Winter Series - Day 5

by Parkstone YC Poole Bay Winter Series 6 Nov 12:27 GMT 29 October 2018
MS Amlin QT on day 5 of the Poole Bay Winter Series © David Harding /

Rain, low visibility and a sizeable swell were the main features of the fifth day of the Poole Bay Winter Series on Sunday 4th November. The PRO, David Pipe, set a start line north of Brownsea Castle in winds gusting into the mid 20s from the south. Most yachts chose small headsails for the beat out through the harbour entrance into Poole Bay.

In Class 1, Amigos (Archambault A35, Wintle/Fullager), Ruthless (Dehler 33, Martin Pearson) and MS Amlin Enigma (MG 346, Ian Braham) all started close to the line on the gun, with Amigos closest to the committee boat. Amigos established a lead by the time the yachts reached the harbour entrance, with Ruthless and MS Amlin Enigma locked in a battle for second. These two continued their dual up the beat to the Bar Buoy, the windward mark. Ruthless rounded ahead, but a slow spinnaker hoist allowed MS Amlin Enigma to establish a position to windward. Ruthless was able to break cover and surf away on the fast reach towards the Branksome mark on the Sandbanks shore. Amigos rounded Branksome several minutes clear and Ruthless managed to pull out around 2 minutes on MS Amlin Enigma on the reach, which they held on the final beat to the committee-boat finish line. On corrected time, Ruthless won by 15 seconds, with Amigos in second and MS Amlin Enigma in third.

In Class 2, the fleet was given a short-cut into Poole Bay via the East Looe Channel and on along the Sandbanks shore to Poole Head. From there it was a beat to East Hook, a broad reach to Branksome and a short beat to the finish. First away was Trican (Giles Vigar), tacking to pick up a lift soon after the start. Trican led out of the harbour entrance, but was soon overhauled by the faster Elanor (Elan 31, Chris Hawkes). Between East Hook and Branksome, some boats flew spinnakers, some stuck to white sails and Rum Juggernaut (MG 27, Owain Peters), having flown their Code 0 on the way out of the East Looe, made use of it for the second time. Clearly enjoying the lively conditions, Elanor won by 50 seconds from the smallest yacht in the fleet, MS Amlin QT (Ecume de Mer, Keith Lovett). Third was the lightly-crewed Rum Juggernaut, with Trican in fourth.

The second race was started in the bay from the committee boat. The course took both fleets on a long beat to Bar Buoy, down the Swash Channel, through the harbour entrance and to the finish line at number 17 channel buoy.

Class 1 were first away, with Ruthless requiring a last-second duck to avoid being over the line. MS Amlin Enigma took full advantage of this and then gradually pulled away. Amigos made an early tack after the start, and when they next crossed with MS Amlin Enigma a third of the way up the beat, were just ahead. Amigos pulled further ahead by the top mark, with MS Amlin Enigma in second and Ruthless in third. Amigos slowed as they punched the tide at the harbour entrance, deciding to head for the Brownsea side the the channel. Enigma followed suit, with Ruthless heading for the shorter route on the Sandbanks side. In the end, the Brownsea side proved the better option, resulting in Ruthless falling back further on the final run to the finish. On corrected, MS Amlin Enigma won by over a minute, from Amigos in second and Ruthless in third.

In Class 2, it was Matchmaker which managed to stretch her legs on the long beat to Bar Buoy, rounding well ahead of the pack. The 25-foot QT decided to push across the south end of Hook Sands to reach the favoured tide in the Swash Channel and, in doing so, encountered some spectacular braking waves. She handled these without issue and rounded the windward mark in the company of far higher-rated boats. At the finish, Matchmaker won by 20 seconds, from the irrepressible MS Amlin QT in second, Elanor in third and Rum Juggernaut in fourth. Pied Piper, the Parker 27 (Peter Taylor) managed to beat Trican into 5th.

In spite of rain and a lumpy sea, crews agreed that a great morning's racing had been provided by the excellent race team on board the committee boat Rox Cox, ably supported by the RIB crew. Crews now have a break in the series, which continues in two weeks' time.

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