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GJW Direct 2024 Dinghy

2024 International Paint Poole Regatta Overall

by Mark Jardine 28 May 08:39 UTC 25-27 May 2024

With a gentle start, a boisterous middle day, and a fresh conclusion, mostly in sunshine, the 2024 International Paint Poole Regatta organisers and competitors alike couldn't have asked more from the weather.

The full series was completed for all classes on all five courses, with the combination of Poole Bay and Harbour giving racers the perfect location for fair competition. Combine that with backdrops that include Old Harry Rock and Studland beaches on one side, then Bournemouth beachfront on another, and you have a great amphitheatre for yacht racing.

The final day arguably provided the best conditions of all, with up to 20 knots of wind and mostly sunshine, completing the superb event on a high.

This year the event included the GBR IRC National Championships, which added extra spice, and a fair few of the top yacht racing teams in the country. The competition was intense, but didn't lose sight of the fact that the main reason we sail is to have fun. There are always a few tense moments when yacht racing in strong winds, but these are quickly forgotten when the drama is over and the joy of sailing in stunning conditions returns.

Race management was slick, with quick turnarounds between races and clear communications with competitors. Combined with the social programme, spread throughout the organising clubs, this was a regatta to remember.

The prize-giving was held at the magnificent Parkstone Yacht Club which, with its incredible views over the second largest harbour in the world, has to be one of the best in the country. The GBR IRC National Championships title was presented by RORC CEO Jeremy Wilton, while Regatta President Andrew Pearce presented the Canford Cup, which is the oldest trophy in sailing. Andrew also thanked the army of volunteers and the sponsors, who without this event simply wouldn't happen.

Apart from the two main trophies there were prizes for all the fleets with other National and Area titles settled.

Red Course

Niklas Zennstrom's Carkeek 41 Ran continued Saturday's form in IRC 0, knocking in another pair of bullets to win the class by 2 points from Karl Kwok's TP52 Beau Geste. The three most powerful yachts at the event were a sublime sight in the bay, and it was great that the Parkstone Yacht Club youth sailors had a chance to look around James Neville's Ino Noir during the event.

Julian Metherell's Bullit wrapped up the win in IRC 1, but by no means had things all their way after their strong start to the event. The U-Flag penalty for Nick Phillips' Chaotic in race 6 derailed their charge, but winning race 7 had them pushing the leaders hard, but in the end, they only just finished second overall, tied on points with Ben Pritchard's Akheilos, making it a podium clean sweep for the Cape 31s.

Adam Gosling's JPK 1080 Yes! overcame a rocky start to the event, and didn't put a step wrong from race 5 onwards in IRC 2. Their performance not only won them the class, but also the crown of GBR IRC Champions. James Chalmets' J112 E Happy Daize and Charles & Rosie Berry's J109 Jenie completed the IRC 2 podium.

Green Course

Ian Braham's MG 346 Haven KJ Enigma had it all on in IRC 3, having to hastily complete repairs to a torn mainsail overnight which forced them to retire from race 6, but the setback clearly galvanised the team, who finished second and first in the concluding races, which meant they overhauled James Crew & Peter Rutter's Half Tonner Quokka to win the class. Sam and Sophie Pearson' Dehler 33 Ruthless completed the podium.

The larder was clearly well stocked for Bank Holiday Monday on Ed Wilton's X35 Who's Next, with the BBQ boat winning another two races in VPRS 1 to make it six wins out of eight races at the event. Mark Carey's Beneteau First 34.7 Zorra 4 continued their climb up the rankings to finish second overall with Philip Cotton's Cal 40 Breeze third.

Pink Course

In the J/24 Southern Area Championship, David Hale & David Coward's Davy J finally managed to pull away from the pack as David Cooper's Jawbreaker faltered on the final day. James Torr's Majic team completed the event with two second place finishes, which propelled them to third overall.

Olympian Hugh Styles and his Jupiter team proved they weren't invincible, with a spinnaker drop issue causing them problems in race 7, but that second place was their only blemish, so they comfortably won the J80 National Championship ahead of Edward Smith's Grendel's Modor and Jonathan Nutting's Jaloha in second and third respectively.

'Team Hamble' on the Quarter Tonner Protis similarly only had a single imperfection on their scorecard in IRC 4, giving them a 13-point winning margin ahead of Andrew Rushworth's Limbo 6.6 Marmite and Annie & Nick Haigh's Fire Fox RF290. Helm Ian Southworth and the Protis team were awarded the historic Canford Cup for their performance, which Tony Kilby happily collected at the prize-giving.

Yellow Course

Joe Cross & Russell Wheeler's Duette scorecard in the Sonata Southern Area Championship was identical to that of Protis, meaning they wrapped up the win by 8 points ahead of David Pipe's White Magic with Dawn Bee's Dick Dastardly third.

Simon Flack's Folkboat Stralende had another good day in VPRS 2, wrapping up the class win by a huge 15-point margin. Things were far closer behind them, with Quinton Hall's Moody 28 Y-Qnot having a superb final day to overhaul Owain Peters' MG C27 Rum Juggernaut by a single point.

Pink Course

The only perfect scoreline at the event was completed inside the harbour by Megan Pascoe on Pink and Stormy in the 2.4mR National Tidal Championship. She won the class by 14 points from fellow Frensham Pond Sailing Club member Bruce Hull, with Dutch sailor Pieter Visser third.

Huw Willetts and Bob Alexander on Land of Conffusion comfortably won the Flying Fifteen class, swapping wins with Peter & Jo Allam on Fantasy II on the final day. The podium was completed by Andrew Currell's Effervescent.

Malcolm Bentley's Prawn II won both races on the final day in the Redwing class to pull away from Andy Pearce's Rosetta.

Andy Macgregor's Ricochet overhauled Tom Campbell's Ruffian in the R19 class to take the win on countback, thanks to their three race wins, in this super-tight fleet. Nikki Curwen's Rastamouse had an even tighter tussle with Steve Thompson's Roulette for third place, with Nikki taking the final podium spot, with the same number of firsts, seconds and thirds, eventually breaking the tie on number of fourth place finishes.

The Shrimpers completed another anticlockwise lap of the harbour on the final day.

See full results from all the fleets.

This really has been a regatta to remember. Once again, a huge thank-you to the volunteers, title sponsor International Paint, silver sponsors Haven Knox-Johnston and Poole Harbour Commissioners, bronze sponsors Savills and Stoneways Marine, marketing partner The Knot Agency, spirits partner Salcombe Distilling Co., and beer partner Sandbanks Brewery.

International Paint confirmed during the prize-giving that they will be continuing as title sponsor, with the event dates being set for 23rd to 25th May 2026.

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