2 Handed Series

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Clipper Marine PYRA Two Handed Mini Series.  

Poole Yacht Racing Association under race officer; Jane Latham completed their annual two –handed mini-series in Poole Bay on Sunday (10th May 2015).

Starting with a windward / leeward course for race one crews were tested by a building flood tide and variable wind increasing from 8 knots to 14 knots. A combined fleet for classes two and four under the VPRS rating system saw John Withers & Ian Wall ‘ Mojito’ leading class two home and Teresa & Clive Lawrence ‘Quadrophenia’ in class four. ‘Mojito’ was to go on to completely dominate their class winning the further two races over longer courses over the Bay. Class Four became a battle between ‘Quadrophenia’ and  Barbara & Malcolm Smith ’Ceres’ wining alternate races throughout the day.

In Class One, incredibly close racing on the water  saw the two largest  boats take line honours in alternate races the X412, Jackie & Dave Hale ‘Blue Extasy’ and Brendon Pell & Alan Bennett in  J109 ‘Blue Jay’, but it was the Match 35, Mark Brook & Keith Lovett ‘Haven KJ Firestarter’ staying close enough to secure a 1,1,2 score line and take the overall event, repeating their 2014 performance.

With frenetic activity of completing two handed round the cans racing,  crews were rewarded with a Clipper Marine sponsored  Pimms Party Reception at the Royal Motor Yacht Club. Freddy Keates from Clipper having dashed to the Club following two busy days at the Poole Boat Show to host.PYRA 2015 Two Handed Regatta 28L

From The Deck of Matchmaker
It was disappointing that there were not more boats out sailing as conditions were perfect. Perhaps it would have been nice to have seen a bit of sunshine and and for the murk to have cleared sooner however the wind was just the right strength, between 10 and 14 kn from the South. This is the first year that we have actually got round to giving the two handed a go. It was an experience! Before the race knowing that we had a southerly breeze I was concerned that perhaps the bottom mark would be an outfall buoy right by the beach which was not where I wanted to be dropping my spinnaker and getting into a tangle! Thankfully the bottom mark was East Hook buoy and there was plenty of sea room to sort yourself out if that was necessary.

Short sharp races works extremely well although we would plea for a little bit more time between races, particularly if there is a course change! The first race was virtually up wind and downwind while the second and third race included Haven as a wing Mark.

Very few managed to make a good start for the second race probably as they were still trying to work out where they were going and what the spinnaker strategy was to be. As classes 2, 4 and 5 started 5 minutes before Class 1 there was a possibility that Matchmaker could be at the front, Multi hulls sail at a different angle to us and could have had a different course!  We made a very poor start so decided the only option was to go in the opposite direction from most and headed towards the Swash channel to reach Bar buoy. The strategy did appear to pay off, probably as there was less tide on Hook Sand. There was always the risk of a little less wind due to Ballard Down. Of course it might have been luck!

Success in the race all depends on accurate planning, and hoisting on the right pole with the right spinnaker! Gybing is an option but best avoided.

Luckily each race consisted of one lap only with the finish a short way up the second beat. Packing the kite could be left to the interlude between races. Most of the crews emerged from their cabins after packing the  kite extremely hot!

Thankfully Matchmaker has tiller steering! Some with wheels stand in front of them so they can reach the ropes and help the crew but the problem comes when they forget the left from right and steer the wrong way!

Thanks go to  Mike Jeans of RM for providing virtually all the photographs. There is not time to play with a camera if only 2 up!!

Thanks also to the RM and their crew including Jane Latham and Mike Toombes and our sponsor Clipper Marine for providing the Pimms in the bar.

What better way to spend a Sunday. Will Matchmaker give it a go next year. Yes!

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