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Bournemouth Digital Poole Week 2019 - Day 3

by David Harding 21 Aug 2019 05:36 BST 18-23 August 2019

Tuesday in Bournemouth Digital Poole Week was one of those days when everything came together. The sun shone (much of the time), the wind blew (not too hard) and a great day on the water was had by all.

The heavy-weather enthusiasts had enjoyed some high-adrenaline action and seriously competitive racing on the first two days in winds gusting to 30 knots. Tuesday finally allowed everyone else to get afloat as well, with no one having to worry about whether they or their boats would come home in one piece.

No racing had taken place on Parkstone Yacht Club's platform courses on Monday, so it was good to see nearly 20 entries in the fast and slow handicap fleets sharing their start. Boats ranged from a Fireball, a Contender and a handful of Merlin Rockets to Laser 4.7s, several Fusions and a Byte. Steve and Ally Tyler scored two bullets in the fast handicap fleet to move straight into second place behind Ian Duke in his K1, who currently tops the table having sailed all three races to date.

After staying ashore for the first two days, the Wayfarers made the most of their time on the water and there were some good tussles at the front of the fleet. Jackie Dobson and Dave Mitchell were the most consistent, notching up two very close 2nd places to end the day on four points with Brian Lamb and Sam Pygall, who recorded a 3rd and a 1st.

The Darts provided their own entertainment when they were sent to RoRo as one of their windward marks in the first race. It's rarely used by the Darts in their regular club racing, so most only knew vaguely where it should be and could be seen sailing every which way for a while. Eventually they all decided to follow Dave and Jan Pointer, who usually sail an RS200 and know exactly where to find RoRo. The Pointers went on to win the race and finish 2nd in the next, proving yet again that hauling an elderly Dart out of the garage for one regatta a year doesn't seem to make them any slower.

The entertainment was of an equally high calibre a little later at another windward mark, Quay Sails, which was rounded to port by the XODs and to starboard by the Wayfarers. As luck would have it, the lead boats in each fleet arrived at exactly the same time, but courtesy and common sense prevailed and there were no bumps between the leaders or anyone else as boats converged from different directions on one very small patch of water.

In the XODs, a 2, 1, 5 scoreline puts John Edmonds and Nigel Wrigley in X143 in the overall lead by one point from Eric Williams, though Will and David Bedford were seen waving a protest flag as they crossed the finish line in the day's second race so things might yet change.

Further up the harbour, on the Bournemouth Digital course, the Flying Fifteens, Lasers and RSs were racing as intensely as ever. The reduction in wind from the opening days had a noticeable effect in the Laser Radials, allowing some of the lady sailors to start making their presence felt. Both Ann Keates and Roberta Hartley were hanging on in there against their younger and heavier male competitors on Sunday and Monday, but on Tuesday they each won a race to sit 3rd and 5th respectively in the overall standings with Young Alice Woodings Hyde sandwiched between them. As the lighter conditions look set to stay around for a day or two, the Radials will be a fleet to watch.

Provisional results on More photos on

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