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2024 International Paint Poole Regatta Day 1

by Mark Jardine 25 May 20:05 UTC 25-27 May 2024

A light start, sizzling racing and the odd wine-glass kite

The sun was shining on Poole Bay on the first day of the International Paint Poole Regatta, but the wind took its time to fill in, leading to a postponement on all bay courses before the fleets could get racing under way.

It's a big year for the event, with the GBR IRC National Championships being part of the event, attracting some of the best racing yachts in the country.

While the racing is fierce, there is always a fun and relaxed feel at this biennial regatta, with smiles a plenty, but maybe the odd too-relaxed moment, leading to a few wine-glass spinnaker hoists on a range of yachts.

Here's the run-down of the action around the Poole Bay courses.

Red Course

IRC 0 was dominated by Karl Kwok's TP52 Beau Geste, streaking away from the smaller yachts of Niklas Zennstrom's Carkeek 41 Ran and James Neville's Carkeek 45 Ino Noir to win all three races by a comfortable margin.

IRC 1 is dominated by the Cape 31 class, with Julian Metherell's Bullit leading after three races with a tiny 1,3,1 scoreline with match-racing supremo Ian Williams calling tactics. Local legend Duncan McCarthy won the second race of the day in his Cape 31 Tonto, and is tied on points with Ben Pritchard's Cape 31 Akheilos, but Bullit has opened up a useful 6 point lead over the pair.

IRC 2 is arguably the most competitive fleet at the event with 17 entrants and some well-honed teams taking part. The top of the leaderboard reflects that, with the top three separated by a single point after 3 races. James Chalmets' J112 E Happy Daize is ahead by the slenderest of margins, posting a consistent 2,4,3 scoreline. Charles & Rosie Berry's J109 Jenie is second, winning the first race, but then having two dead-heats in races 2 and 3 to post a rare 1, 2.5, 6.5 scoreline, tied on 10 points with the hugely successful team on Adam Gosling's JPK 1080 Yes!

Green Course

IRC 3 saw a perfect scoreline recorded by James Crew & Peter Rutter's Half Tonner Quokka, with Ian Braham's MG 346 Haven KJ Enigma second, just a point ahead of the young team on the Elan 333 Energy, where most of the crew are under 18 years old, with most 15 or 16.

VPRS 1 saw the 'barbeque boat', Ed Wilton's X35 Who's Next, get better and better, fuelled by delights from their Weber BBQ on the stern quarter, which left other yachts salivating in their wake. Their 3,2,1 scoreline leaves them tied on points with Kevin Cross & John Waters' Elan 295 Volante and Trevor Annels' Archambault A31 Red Fox. Maybe Ed and the team should light the barbie a little earlier tomorrow to fire up their performance?

Pink Course

The J/24 fleet is always tightly packed, so it was no surprise to find another 3-way tie at the top after the first day of their Southern Area Championship, with David Cooper's Jawbreaker, James Torr's Majic and David Hale & David Coward's Davy J all on 5 points.

The J/80 National Championship sees Olympian Hugh Styles showing his class to lead with a picket-fence 1,1,1 scoreline ahead of Edward Smith's Grendel's Modor and Jonathan Nutting's Jaloha.

IRC 4 is similarly being dominated by 'Team Hamble' on the Quarter Tonner Protis, who have so far recorded a perfect scoreline ahead of Andrew Rushworth's Limbo 6.6 Marmite and C & E Dymock & T Gorman's H-Boat Wight Wedding.

Yellow Course

The Sonata Southern Area Championship saw the top three finish in the same order in every race: Joe Cross & Russell Wheeler's Duette winning all 3, David Pipe's White Magic recording three second places, and Dawn Bee's Dick Dastardly finishing third, but we didn't hear 'Drat, and double drat!' cursing from the team!

VPRS 2's leader may not have won a race yet, but finishing second in each race means Owain Peters' MG C27 Rum Juggernaut leads by a point from Simon Flack's Stralende. Stewart Bowen's Impala 28 Nyala is in third a further 1.5 points back.

Pink Course

Results for the Poole Harbour 2.4mR, Flying Fifteen, R29 and Shrimper fleets, as well as full results for the Poole Bay courses, can be found at pooleregatta.co.uk/results-2024

The teams are enjoying various events throughout the organising clubs this evening, with the social side being an integral part of the International Paint Poole Regatta. The party has well and truly begun!

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