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Bournemouth Digital Poole Week 2022 - Day 1

by David Harding 29 Aug 06:46 BST 28 August - 2 September 2022

Not a bad day on the water

That was the consensus among competitors on coming ashore after the first day of the 74th Poole Week. The wind had blown - not very hard at times, but generally enough - and the sun had shone now and again as well. So it had been quite a satisfactory day, all things considered.

The fact that the wind had blown from the south east rather than from the widely-forecast north east didn't really matter. The race officers set the courses accordingly and everything ran pretty well according to plan, bar a last-minute postponement for the fleets starting from the Parkstone Platform. This saw the fleet with the first start - the Darts - deciding collectively to start anyway, just in case. Eventually they all came back from about half-way up their beat and proceedings then proceeded as they should. With entries nearly into double figures, the Darts were fielding their best turnout in Poole Week for some years.

The XODs, also starting from the platform, turned out in slightly greater numbers and enjoyed their usual tight racing, though the front-runners in both races got away for convincing wins. In race one it was David Law in Kyperini, comfortably ahead of Gill Ellis crewed by David and Will Bedford in Heyday. Willie McNeill in Lara made a late charge through the fleet to take 3rd, before running away with the second race.

Jackie Dobson and Dave Mitchell started where they left off last year in the Wayfarers to lead the fleet home in race one. They were then among the few in any of the classes to allow for the strengthening ebb tide carrying the fleets over the line in the second race.

On the Top Triangle courses, run from the committee boat further up the harbour, the Flying Fifteens, RS200s and ILCA 6s and 7s were sailing a mix of triangle/sausage and windward/leeward courses, with most of the usual front-runners making their presence felt. Racing was especially tight in the RS200s, in which two of the boats that are nearly always in the mix featured the youngest crews on the water. Will Storey was sailing with his son, Reuben, while Georgie Vickers was crewed in the first race by the daughter of her race-two crew, Kate Davies. Reuben's grandfather was also racing, making it three generations of his family in the 200 fleet.

In the ILCA 7s, Michael Atkinson found the conditions to his liking and also worked out that the left-hand side of the beat was was favoured. He won the first race and finished 2nd in the second.

With conditions forecast to remain broadly similar for much of the week, it will be interesting to see whether those who set the pace on Monday manage to maintain it. There are a lot of very good sailors in Poole Week and most of the fleets are so tight that any errors can be expensive. But whatever the results, with the prospect of warm easterlies and plenty of sunshine ahead, there should be more sailors coming ashore during the week thinking that it hasn't been a bad day on the water.

To find out more, including provisional results, visit www.PooleWeek.org

More photos on www.SailingScenes.com

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