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Bournemouth Digital Poole Week 2023 – Day 2

by David Harding 22 Aug 2023 06:41 BST 20-25 August 2023

Decisions, decisons...

When you have more than 160 boats in Poole Harbour doing battle with a wind that's oscillating back and forth, you can almost hear the cogs whirring as the crews decide which end of the line to start and which way to go up the first beat.

For the fleets starting from the Parkstone Platform, the pin end was favoured more often than not for the first race because the starts often seemed to coincide with a shift to the left. Even a port-tack flyer worked once or twice.

On the whole, though, the wind did nothing too wild on Monday. As ever, it was a question of playing the shifts. In the Top Triangle, where the Flying Fifteens, ILCA 6s and 7s and RS200s were racing, it usually paid to go right, and the boats that figured that out were generally the ones who made the running.

In most of the fleets, familiar names are showing at the top of the lists, though in some cases the favourites or defending champions are having to work hard. Having been knocked off the top spot in the ILCA 7s for the past two years, former Poole Week winner Alan Davis stamped his authority on the 23-strong fleet on Monday with a 1st and a 2nd to take a three-point lead from Chris Walley, who won the ILCA 7 Masters Spring Qualifier earlier in the year from 46 other entrants.

Roger O'Gorman, who finished 5th in the same fleet, is sailing an ILCA 6 this week and dominating the racing with three 1sts and discarding a 2nd.

Another fleet featuring Parkstone sailors who have acquitted themselves well further afield is the RS200s. On Monday they were joined by Parkstone regular Will Storey, crewed by his nine-year-old son, Reubyn, who finished 2nd in the Coached Regatta fleet at the recent Optimist Nationals in Weymouth. With a 2nd and a 1st today, Storey and Storey leaped straight into 4th place overall. Peter Loretto, with two 1sts, maintains his lead, tied on points with Dave and Jan Pointer.

Further down the harbour, the XODs are still being shown the way home by John Tremlett from Itchenor, though he was hotly pursued in the first race by Parkstone's David Law and, in the second, had to pull his way through the fleet to maintain his perfect score.

Like the XODs, the Dolphins don't fly at high speeds but enjoy some very close racing. Nigel Yeoman's customary authority is being challenged by Richard Whing who, with Gail Davies at the sharp end, has taken off and counted a 1st and a 2nd to lead overall. Unlike the other fleets, the Dolphins are sailing just one race a day - often a long one around the harbour - while the Cornish Shrimpers are taking a more leisurely approach still and racing on just Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Monday's race was won by former J/24 sailor Richard Hornby, who overtook David Lack on the beat up South Deep to come home first.

Also with 10 entries, like the Shrimpers, the Wayfarers enjoyed tight racing again on Monday. Ian Sargeant, crewed by Kate Wyatt, maintains his overall lead but the defending Poole Week champions, Jackie Dobson and Dave Mitchell, finished Monday with two 2nd places to sit only two points adrift.

Yet another defending champion with work to do (in the slow handicap fleet) is Duncan Glen in his Byte. As Byte national champion in 2022, Duncan went on to finish 11th in last year's 'champion of champions' Endeavour Trophy, crewed by his daughter, Lorna, whose sister Kirsten is also racing a Byte this week. Leading the slow handicap fleet after Monday's racing is Sally Killick in her ILCA 4 (Laser 4.7).

After all that, it hardly needs to be said that the weather forecast was wrong yet again. That's almost a given these days, but at least there was enough wind, and some good racing was had by all. It's shaping up to be an excellent week.

Provisional results on www.pooleweek.org

Photos on www.SailingScenes.com

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