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Bournemouth Digital Poole Week 2021 - Day 2

by David Harding 24 Aug 02:29 PDT 23-27 August 2021

Day 2 of Poole Week was distinctly greyer than the first day and with less breeze, but the competition was as intense as ever. The wind had veered overnight from north-west to north-east, resulting in rather more consistent pressure across the harbour.

Nonetheless, it was still all about playing the shifts and, even more crucially for the fleets in the lower part of the harbour, making the right tidal calls.

For the Flying Fifteens, RS200s and ILCAs (6s and 7s) in the top triangle, the tide was generally less of an issue than the wind and simply going the right way. That was classically demonstrated by the Fifteens in the first race. The leading group of half-a-dozen or so had established a massive lead over the chasing pack, but the order among them was to change dramatically on the last two legs.

Richard Whitworth, crewed by Eddie Scroggie, gybed round the wing mark in the lead, just ahead of the father-and-son team of Graham and Ben Scroggie. They then sailed high to keep their wind clear. It was a deep leg, however, and gaining unwanted height cost the two leaders dearly.

Pete and Jo Allam sailed straight down the middle to move up to second, while Bob Alexander and Huw Willetts did well by heading over to the right. They rounded the leeward mark in the lead and took the gun. Whitworth made it up in the second race of the day to record a convincing win.

In the ILCA 7s, Alan Davis was uncharacteristically buried in the fleet for the first half of the first race before pulling through to the front. His 1, 3 results leave him level on points with the home club's Hywel Roberts, who tops the table by virtue of winning the last race. Both ILCA fleets were kept on their toes by the presence of Niall Myant-Best, returning in his role as coach for Poole Week, who was watching and filming on the water before presenting his observations in the club house after racing.

It was a very different day for the Wayfarers, Dolphins and fast handicappers, who sailed just one race: a long one to the top of South Deep and back. Getting there was the straightforward part. Beating back past Brownsea Castle once the tide had started to ebb, however, was a challenge to say the least. Opinions were divided between whether to continue to hug the island or, once past the castle, to head across to the Sandbanks side.

For most of the boats in most of the fleets, the latter paid. It was a time for bold moves and decisive action. Those who wavered - or who thought that heading in the general direction of North Haven Beacon was a good idea - paid the price. One or two boats seemed intent on taking the scenic route home via Studland Bay.

While Brownsea was dishing out the challenges, the slow handicappers, Darts and XODs were sailing tighter courses centred around the Parkstone Platform. The racing here, especially among the XODs, was as close as it gets even if some of them found that someone had inconveniently left a sandbank in the way once the tide started to drop.

For many, the second day of Poole Week was a tough grey Monday. But with the tides slackening off as the week goes on, more water in the harbour and sunnier weather on the way, it looks as though Poole Harbour might be about to show its brighter and more benign side.

Provisional results on www.pooleweek.org and more photos on www.SailingScenes.com

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