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2024 International Paint Poole Regatta Day 2

by Mark Jardine 26 May 21:11 BST 25-27 May 2024

Anything but a leisurely Sunday

Competitors at the International Paint Poole Regatta had a boisterous day on the water in Poole Bay, with a building South Westerly breeze and sea state to match.

Things started off reasonably enough, with a nice 12-15 knot wind, but soon built up as per the forecast (according to some models). By the end of the day of racing, there was a solid 24 knots on the race courses, with gusts approaching 30.

On the whole, the sailors handled the conditions admirably, with IRC 0 and the Cape 31s carving up the outer Red course with speed through to the VPRS and Sonata fleets powering over the short swell which had developed closer to Old Harry rocks and Studland beach.

There was the odd mishap and breakage, which is inevitable in the rough conditions, but the full programme of races was completed, bringing the total up to six in two days.

A fair few bruises and bumps will no doubt be being nursed as well, but today was Poole Bay at its finest, bathed in sunshine and blessed with breeze, testing and exhilarating, filling sailors with memories of a great day on the water.

Red Course

In IRC 0 Niklas Zennstrom's Carkeek 41 Ran turned the tables on Karl Kwok's TP52 Beau Geste to win all three races, leaving them tied on 7 points going into the final day.

Watching the three Grand Prix race yachts majestically powering over the swell was breathtaking, with the sound of the winch drums revealing the loads of the sheets during the bear away at the weather marks.

James Neville's Ino Noir scoreline may not look pretty, but this is a team working up their boat against two seasoned crews on inshore-optimised yachts. Regattas like this will be invaluable to increase their knowledge of the Carkeek 45.

Julian Metherell's Cape Bullit continues to lead IRC 1 by a comfortable margin, despite a fifth place in race 5. Nick Phillips Chaotic has move up to second after finishing second in race 4 and first in race 5, but a U-Flag penalty for starting prematurely in race 6 means their discard has now been used.

Ben Pritchard's Akheilos is just a point behind Chaotic, so the Cape 31s continue to dominate the podium, but Francois Goubau's First 47.7 Moana revelled in the conditions to be just two points further back in fourth overall.

The well-honed team on Adam Gosling's JPK 1080 Yes! pulled away from the pack in IRC 2 after posting a 2,1,1 scoreline today. The podium had been separated by just a single point after day 1, but they now enjoy a 3-point advantage on overnight leader James Chalmets' J112 E Happy Daize and Charles & Rosie Berry's J109 Jenie is a further 6 points behind.

Green Course

Taking in the big wheel beside Bournemouth Pier wasn't on sailors' minds on the green course where the swell had built considerably.

In IRC 3, the previously unbeaten team on James Crew & Peter Rutter's Half Tonner Quokka saw their lead reduced to just two points by the Ruthless team of Sam and Sophie Pearson on their Dehler 33. They are tied on points with Ian Braham's MG 346 Haven KJ Enigma, who had been putting a consistent series with four second places until sail damage in the high winds forced them to retire from the final race of the day.

The BBQ lid may have been closed today, but Ed Wilton's Who's Next team were cooking on gas in VPRS 1, knocking in three straight wins to pull out a commanding 9 point lead. Kevin Cross & John Waters' Elan 295 Volante has moved up to second overall with Mark Carey's Beneteau First 34.7 Zorra 4 moving up to third.

Pink Course

The J/24 Southern Area Championship continues to provide ultra-close racing, with David Cooper's Jawbreaker and David Hale & David Coward Davy J tied on points going into the final day. James Torr's Majic is third, but can't could on a podium finish with Tim Octon's NJO2 team just 3 points behind.

In the J80 National Championship Hugh Styles and his Jupiter team are literally on another planet, blasting off to retain their perfect scoreline. Edward Smith's Grendel's Modor team are 6 points bach in second with Jonathan Nutting's Jaloha team a further 2 points behind.

'Team Hamble' on the Quarter Tonner Protis continue to dominate IRC 4 but lost their perfect record in the final race of the day, when Rob Macgregor's Dark Horse team on their Mustang 30 pranced to a win. Andrew Rushworth's Limbo 6.6 Marmite continued to hold second overall, despite a 7th in race 4, while Annie & Nick Haigh's Fire Fox RF290 enjoyed the stronger winds to move up to third.

Yellow Course

Joe Cross & Russell Wheeler's Duette also lost their perfect picket fence scoreline, but still hold a 4-point lead in the Sonata Southern Area Championship over David Pipe's White Magic.

Dawn Bee's Dick Dastardly team continue to sit in third overall 6 points further back - can they mount a fiendish scheme to rise up on the final day? In the Hanna-Barbera Wacky Races cartoons he (in)famously never won a race...

VPRS 2 saw yachts in washing-machine conditions at times, with the short swell making boat-handling extremely tricky, but Simon Flack's Stralende made light of it to win all 3 races and leapfrog Owain Peters' MG C27 Rum Juggernaut, opening out a 10-point lead.

Pink Course (update from Race Officer Simon Philbrick)

The day started with 14 knots, building to 22-25 knots inside Poole Harbour, with all fleets completing the scheduled 3 races.

In the 2.4mR class Megan Pascoe continues to dominate, continuing her perfect scoreline, while attrition reduced the fleet to just 4 points by the final race.

Meanwhile in the Flying Fifteen class Huw Willetts and Bob showed their strength as the breeze built in Land of Conffusion, despite choosing not to fly their kite on some reaches.

Only two of the Redwings decided to brave the conditions, with Malcolm Bentley's Prawn II just getting the better of Andy Pearce's Rosetta on the day to leave them tied at the top.

In the R19 class the consistency of Tom Campbell's Ruffian team puts them in the lead by a single point ahead of Andy Macgregor's Ricochet, while overnight leader Steve Thompson's Roulette dropped to third, 3 points further back.

Only three of the Shrimpers chose to race today, completing an anti-clockwise harbour course.

A thank-you to the RIB crews, and club members the Pearce & Taylor family, including a 6-month-old, for assisting with a 2.4mR recovery.

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