Please select your home edition
Selden 2020 - LEADERBOARD
Product Feature
Harken 57mm T2 - 2152
Harken 57mm T2 - 2152

Bournemouth Digital Poole Week 2022 - Day 3

by David Harding 31 Aug 2022 05:25 BST 28 August - 2 September 2022

A real day of Snakes and Ladders

It's hard to remember a day when the wind in Poole Harbour has been shiftier than it was on the Tuesday of Poole Week. During the racing, between 2pm and about 5pm when the fleets returned ashore, the wind was flicking between about 020 degrees and 130 degrees. Its strength ranged from practically nothing to nearly 20 knots on occasions when gusts sprang out of nowhere.

About the only good thing from the race officers' perspective was that the average direction - around 070 degrees - remained fairly constant. If the breeze suddenly swung 40 degrees to the left, the chances were that it would swing back again after a couple of minutes.

Starts from the Parkstone Platform were delayed while courses were set, but then got under way with short first beats towards the Parkstone shore.

It was the turn of the Wayfarers and the fast handicap fleet to have a harbour tour for their first race. They headed down the harbour and then up South Deep and back, east of Brownsea Island, before rounding a few more marks in the main part of the harbour on the way to the finish. Steve and Ally Tyler in their Merlin Rocket did a true horizon job to finish way ahead of the rest of the fast handicappers, which included four more Merlin Rockets, two Contenders, two Fireballs, an MRX and a couple of RS400s.

In the Wayfarers, Sean and Helen Murray broke clear to post the first of their two wins of the day and move three points ahead in the overall standings. With the wind averaging only about 8 knots during the afternoon, tidal strategy proved to be almost as important at times as keeping on the right side of the shifts. It accounted for a good number of places being won and lost in the Wayfarers as well as other fleets.

Also having a harbour tour were the Dolphins, who had to dodge the worst of the flood tide on the way down the harbour before heading up South Deep and, like the Flying Fifteens and Cornish Shrimpers on Monday, continuing around the islands and beating back to the finish. Nigel and Gareth Yeoman, winners of the week's first two races, were a few yards ahead of Richard Whing and Gail Davies approaching the finish but then went the wrong side of the Parkstone Platform and had to loop back to cross the line. This handed the race to Whing and Davies, whose scoreline now reads 3, 2, 1.

The other fleet to experience the delights of South Deep - where the wind was generally fresher, steadier and more easterly - was the RS200s. They started their second race in the Top Triangle, following a normal windward/leeward first race, and then headed for South Deep via a mark not far from Parkstone Yacht Club. Given the dying breeze and the strengthening ebb tide, however, it became clear that they had no chance making it past Brownsea Castle on the way back once they hit the main channel. Forces were mustered and the race was finished at the top of South Deep. One or two of the 200s made it back to Parkstone under their own steam. The rest were more than happy to be towed.

While many of the courses took competitors to the further reaches of the harbour, the slow handicap fleet did what it normally does and stayed relatively close to home on a course centred around the Parkstone Platform. Joining the Fusions, Bytes, ILCA 4s (Laser 4.7s) and the sole RS Aero was, as of Monday, Geoff Cox's Salcombe Yawl - a beautifully maintained example of a class that, understandably, rarely feels the urge to venture beyond its home waters.

More north-easterlies are forecast for Wednesday, and everyone involved in Poole Week is fervently hoping that they will be less capricious than they were on Tuesday.

To find out more, including provisional results, visit

More photos on

Related Articles

Bournemouth Digital Poole Week overall
A memorable day to end a memorable week Friday was a glorious day to bring the 74th Poole Week to a close. Even when the sun wasn't actually shining, the weather was still warm and bright, and there was enough wind for all the fleets to sail up to two races as scheduled. Posted on 3 Sep 2022
Bournemouth Digital Poole Week 2022 Day 5
It's not over yet, but the first winners are Although there's still a day to go, the top boats in several of the Poole Week fleets have already secured their victories. Posted on 2 Sep 2022
Bournemouth Digital Poole Week 2022 Day 4
A different sort of same again The second half of Poole Week started with the wind pretty much as it had been for the first half: a shifty north-easterly that occasionally swung round to the south east and kept everyone on their toes. Posted on 1 Sep 2022
Bournemouth Digital Poole Week 2022 Day 2
Reading the wind, negotiating the tide, avoiding the mud For Poole Week competitors on Monday, it was all about getting on the right side of the wind shifts. There were a lot of them, and they were big. That and negotiating the tide, while some later in the day also had to think about keels and mud. Posted on 30 Aug 2022
Bournemouth Digital Poole Week 2022 Day 1
Not a bad day on the water That was the consensus among competitors on coming ashore after the first day. 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. Posted on 29 Aug 2022
There's still time to enter Poole Week
Nearly 170 boats are already set to take part Poole Week, one of the country's biggest and most vibrant sailing weeks for dinghies and small keelboats, gets under way in Poole Harbour on Sunday. The weather forecast for the weekend looks perfect and the crews of nearly 170 boats are already entered. Posted on 23 Aug 2022
Poole Week 2022: Early-entry savings until Sunday
There's still time to take advantage of discounted entry fees if you're quick! Poole Week is now only three weeks away, but there's still time to take advantage of discounted entry fees if you're quick! They end on Sunday 7th August. Entries will still be accepted - indeed welcomed - after Sunday, but they will be at the full rate. Posted on 6 Aug 2022
Entries open for Poole Week 2022
Taking place this year from 28th August to 2nd September The British sailing season wouldn't be complete without Poole Week, which takes place this year from 28th August to 2nd September. Posted on 25 May 2022
Bournemouth Digital Poole Week day 6
That was Poole Week, that was For many of the fleets competing in Poole Week, much was riding on the final day. Points were tight at the top - often tied - and it could all go down to the last moments of the last race. Posted on 28 Aug 2021
Bournemouth Digital Poole Week day 5
Island Life Being a race officer can be a thankless task when the wind is all over the place. It's never easy at the best of times, but at least in Poole Harbour you usually have plenty of water to play with. Posted on 27 Aug 2021