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Flying Fifteen Last Blast at Parkstone Yacht Club

by Christina Moncur 30 Dec 2019 22:17 GMT 28 December 2019

Fifteen boats took to the water for the Flying 15 Last Blast race on Saturday December 28th. It was a grey, overcast day with occasional light mizzle.

The wind was a shifty SSE of 8 to 12 knots. With another racing event in the eastern end of Poole Harbour, race officers Fi Linford and Alan Hescroff set an interesting course with a short beat to No. 24 followed by a reach and run via NC12 and RoRo, before a couple of windward leeward legs up to Rebbecks, down to Morris Lane, back upwind to Chris Somner and then the final run to Morris Lane, followed by a fetch back down the harbour to Oswald Bailey and thence to the finish at Parkstone Platform.

A 30 degree left wind shift right at the start made things interesting for the fleet. Most of the fleet had sensed that the pin was the place to be and so it was quite congested there. Pete & Jo Allam (3793) probably made the best of it just squeezing around the pin, a manoeuvre which saw Graham & Ben Scroggie (4020) doing turns, while the prize for the most audacious start goes to Chris Gorringe and Nadia Hosie (4025) who dipped the line on starboard and were definitely closest at the gun.

The short beat to the first mark was always going to make the rounding a tad busy, but another wind shift at the critical moment saw the port tackers caught out trying to tack below the approaching starboard tack boats to round inside them. Several bumps and shouts were heard, but surprisingly no one shouted PROTEST and no turns were seen to be done. Just ahead of the mayhem, Pete & Jo Allam and Richard Whitworth & Chris Jermyn (3711) had rounded clear. The tight reach to NC12 resulted in another congested mark rounding, but thankfully no bumps this time. The rest of the fleet now concentrated on finding clear lanes to sail. Some elected to sail low into Parkstone Bay to avoid the declining ebb tide, while others took the more direct route. It was soon after this that the large Condor Liberation ferry elected to make her departure. This rather hampered those who had gone deep into the Bay, and as the wind veered briefly the boats to the left-hand side clearly gained.

Apart from the two leaders the fleet was closely bunched at RoRo. The beat to Rebbecks saw a number of place changes in the main body of the fleet as the wind chose to alternate between light and shifty and just plain difficult.

After rounding Morris Lane at the end of the run, Dick Linford & Peter Biggs (4036) who had been enjoying close racing in the middle of the fleet found a little extra speed and a useful slant on port. Sensing the pressure easing about half-way to the port lay line they tacked and were rewarded with a fine lift and good pressure. Approaching the starboard lay line they tacked and were again favoured, rounding in third some ten or twelve boat lengths ahead of Graham & Ben Scroggie who had also enjoyed good fortune with the shifts. As some gained so others lost out and with the wind settling down a little the fleet ran down to Morris Lane for the second time. The fetch to Oswald Bailey was a bit of a drag race, but some place changes were achieved as boats chose their route down channel and against the incoming flood.

At the finish five minutes separated first and last after 75 minutes of racing.

Overall Results: (top four)

1st 3793 Pete & Jo Allam
2nd 3711 Richard Whitworth & Chris Jermyn
3rd 4036 Dick Linford & Peter Biggs
4th 4020 Graham & Ben Scroggie

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