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Poole Bay Winter Series - Day 8

by Parkstone YC Poole Bay Winter Series 5 Dec 06:19 GMT 2 December 2018
Elanor (GBR1531R, Elan 31) on day 8 of the Poole Bay Winter Series © David Harding / www.sailingscenes.com

High winds once again dominated racing in the Poole Bay Winter Series. In contrast to conditions on most of the previous Sundays, the wind returned to what is supposed to be the prevailing direction, namely west to south-west. In spite of gusts up to 30 knots, the fleet enjoyed flat water for the penultimate day of the series, racing in the shelter of Studland Bay.

A combined Class 1 and Class 2 start allowed the leading boat from Class 1 to test itself again the Class 2 boats. The fleet set out from the start line across the North Channel close to the Sandbanks shore inside the harbour. A short beat took them to Brownsea Light cardinal mark and then it was out of the harbour entrance and down the Swash Channel to Bar Buoy. Trican (Contessa 32, Giles Vigar) was first away at the port end of the line, with MS Amlin Enigma (MG 346, Ian Braham), Elanor (Elan 31, Chris Hawkes) and Matchmaker (Contention 33, Mike Fox) towards the middle.

The yachts tacked to lay Brownsea Castle and then back on to the layline for Brownsea Light. MS Amlin Enigma just managed to round first, having to luff to make it and with Elanor overlapped to windward. These two kept close company on the reach down the Swash Channel, with MS Amlin Enigma rounding Bar Buoy only 20 seconds ahead. The beat to a laid mark in Studland Bay allowed Enigma to stretch away a little. The next leg was a short plain-sail reach to Chalys, followed by a port-gybe run back to Bar Buoy, with MS Amlin Enigma the only boat to fly a spinnaker.

The next beat was back to the laid mark in Studland Bay, which by this time the RIB had moved south to create a truer beat. On the next port-gybe run to Bar Buoy, MS Amlin again flew a spinnaker and was joined later in the leg by Elanor. From Bar Buoy, a final beat to the committee boat finish line finish saw MS Amlin Enigma finish just over 3 minutes ahead of Elanor. In Class 2, Elanor was first on corrected time, with Trican second and Matchmaker third.

The second race took Class 2 from the committee boat start line in Studland Bay to a laid windward mark, then to Chalys and on a run to Bar Buoy on which both Elanor and Matchmaker flew spinnakers. From there, the fleet reached back up the Swash Channel, through the harbour entrance and downwind to Bell Race Mark before a short beat to Brownsea Light.

The final leg to the finish at Glovers saw all boats flying spinnakers, with one who shall remain nameless doing some trawling! At the finish it was Elanor ahead by nearly 2 minutes, followed by Matchmaker and Trican. These positioned remained unchanged on corrected time.

Again the crews were treated to excellent courses by the PRO Graham Davies, who made the most of the protection provided in Studland Bay by the Purbeck Hills. The final two races of the series are planned for next Sunday and crews are hoping for a break from mainly high-wind sailing they have enjoyed so far.

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