Sunday slalom

19 September 2010

For those not at the course racing at Christchurch, James Dinsmore reports back after a Sunday slalom session in nearby Poole:

Just back through the door after a top afternoon's racing near Poole. The turn-out was very good and I was pleased to meet a host of people who hadn't been to Poole Slalom before including Mandy, Sarah, Brett, Brendon and Sam to name a few. The order of the day was 3 buoy downwind slalom with the two outer marks set far out and very broad. The wind was cross-shore, about 15-18 knots, and the fleet were on anything from 5.4m wave to 9m race sails.

When the 20 strong fleet headed down the broad reach to the first mark for the first time there were a couple of catapults on the way and unfortunately Mandy knocked the nose of her board clean off. I was relieved to see that her enthusiasm was not diminished by the incident and look forward to seeing her out again in the future. After the first race we then ran handicap racing starting in reverse order with the winner of the previous race finishing last. The second race came to a premature halt when the inside mark vanished. It turned out that a kiter had got his lines entangled with it and one way or another (!) the anchor was separated from the buoy and had headed off towards Bournemouth pier.

Thereafter the racing went without hitch and, as the photos by Roger Turner show, it was exciting stuff. Some of the newcomers may not have realised but there were some class acts out there with at least 7 sailors who race in the British Slalom Association 'Pro' or 'Amateur' fleets taking part. Clear improvements are being made by all the sailors who have been coming to PS for the last couple of years and it's great to see. Probably the fastest person on the water was the redoubtable Simon Cofield who was still in the car park when I left as he'd lost his van key out at sea. As his only spare was in his jeans on the front seat he was waiting for a lock smith. I hope he's not still there!

Thanks to co-organiser Glen Truswell (who was being very modest about his top 5 finish in the International 14 European Championship last week).

Find out more about Poole Slalom.

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Photos by Roger Turner (