Jim Saltonstall looks at racing from Poole
There are two main racing clubs serving this venue - Poole Yacht Club and Parkstone Sailing Club. Poole Yacht Club is housed in superb premises and positioned in the western part of the harbour - next to the ferry terminal. While Parkstone Sailing Club is situated at the eastern end of the harbour. Both clubs have excellent facilities with plenty of car and boat parking space for keelboat and dinghy events. Both have hosted many major regattas over the years and have a wealth of experience in running top events. Hospitality is excellent - everyone is helpful and they go out of their way to make the regatta successful. Accommodation and campsites are in abundance with excellent restaurants. Book early to avoid disappointment, as Poole Bay is one of the most popular holiday destinations in Britain. Racing Areas There’s a choice of two main race areas - inside the harbour to the west of Brownsea Island; and outside the harbour in Poole Bay. Inside the Harbour The race area is in shallow water, west-north-west of Brownsea Island, and is suitable for both dinghies and small keelboats. The surrounding land mass is not too high, so the wind shifts are not that bad - especially when the wind blows over the low-lying land to either the west or the east. The wind is quite shifty when it’s in the north or south, as the land is slightly closer and higher. Wind Direction 310-040 degrees: When the wind blows from anywhere in this sector it’s quite shifty and gusty. Knowing the maximum left and right in the shifts is now very important, to gain the advantage off the start line. Once you’re happy with the numbers game, you should be using the shifts and looking for the gusts on the water - will they lift