Parkstone Open 2006

After a summer of good wind it was looking so good. The great and the good of the Merlin fleet joining in the club racing on the Saturday to show the locals how it should be done, a social in the bar after a good meal followed the next day by racing round the cans in beautiful Poole harbour. Only the wind failed to turn up - glorious sunshine and a postponement followed.

A light breeze filled in from the southeast allowing the race officer to release the tallies and direct the fleet to the committee boat. As we arrived the wind shifted 90 degrees and filled from the southwest as a fickle force three. The committee boat was moved to allow a good beat and to get the racing going quickly an Olympic course was set using Parkstone’s fixed racing marks and a moveable windward mark.

The fleet got off to a clean start with those staying on the lifting shift long enough being rewarded with a shift to allow a 20 degree lift into the mark. Tom Stewart and Chris Downham led the way, followed by Dan Alsop and Jennie King, Steve and Ally Tyler then Dave Winder and Jilly Blake. It stayed this way until the last when Winder sneaked through to third.

The second race started under black flag with four boats deemed OCS. The course was a nice little zigzag round the top triangle with Mike and Jane Calvert taking the win, newly crowned National Champions, William Warren and Chris Robinson, 2nd.

The PRO, Jon Gorringe did a great job getting three races in despite the delay and fickle winds. The final race was set as a harbour tour with the finish adjacent to the yacht club. Richard and Ellie took the win but Willie and Chris second and Tom and Deepy 3rd set up a tie for first place for the meeting – split in Toms favour by their first in the first race leaving Willie 2nd.

This left Mike and Jane 3rd overall and Richard and Ellie 4th which raises the pressure for the last 'open' water event of the series at Hayling. A look at the results shows huge variations in the results with even the stars carding poor results and explaining why it felt like hard work.

Report: Steve Tyler

See also:
    full results
    Photos on Y&Y website