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'Duette' Sonata Southern Champions

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Published 09:28 on 31 May 2024

The Sonata Southern Championships took place as part of the International Paints Poole Regatta over the last May Bank holiday weekend. A great venue at which one of the highlight's was seeing the large range of very impressive racing yachts in the Marina, but back to the Sonatas.

We only had six sonatas out for the event; two from Poole YC, two from Parkstone YC (also local) and two visitors from the Solent, but the racing was close and competitive all the same. We were given a course area, with just one other class, under the beautiful 'Old Harry Rocks' in Studland Bay. The first day saw Sunshine and light south easterly winds. We got in three fairly gentle windward / leeward courses with Joe Cross and Russell Wheeler in Duette taking first in every race setting the scene for things to come, David Pipe in White Magic in second and Dawn Bee in Dick Dastardly in third.

Day two was completely different with 15 knots building to 24 knots from the southwest for the final race of the day, and stories in the bar tell of gusts of 33 knots plus! The sun however still shone and three races were held, two windward leeward of varying lengths followed by a round the cans to take us home. The testing weather shook up the results a little with Steve Brown's Aeolian getting a second in one race, and Duette getting their only 2nd of the series, still it helps to have a clear choice of discard. Wight Magic got a first place, well done guys, and Piccolo seemed to come into their own in the very strong winds and came home with a 4th place. Onboard Dick Dastardly we managed to break the end of our spinnaker pole by skying it but held on for two thirds. So after all the excitement the top three positions overall hadn't changed.

It's when you break bits, far from home you realise what a friendly class the Sonatas are and the sport of yacht racing is. With lots of help (big thank you to Steve Brown from Aeolian for the loan of tools and a pole, and to Joe Cross from Duette and Micheal Goodwin from Pintsize) we were ready to race day three.

Still south westerly but moderated slightly, day three saw two races, a windward / leeward followed by a round the cans which took us on a lovely fetch up alongside Old Harry. Lucky the series result were all sorted by this point as my 'racing crew' were slight more interested in taking photos!

The results finished as they had started with Joe Cross and Russell Wheeler in Duette taking first, David Pipe in White Magic in second and Dawn Bee (and her capable crew) in Dick Dastardly in third.

Highlights of the regatta: Sailing to and from Poole Harbour from Cowes and a 4.5hr downwind return trip to Cowes [For the Solent boats it's really not that far!!], there are some big seas past Hurst and the end of the Shingle bank, lots of fun; Racing in the beautiful Studland Bay; A Marina full of very impressive boats; Sailing in and out of Poole Harbour so many times it stops being scary; Coming away from a Southerns with a Third. What's not to love!

Thanks to the International Paints Poole Regatta for hosting our Southern Championships and we look forward to seeing more boats coming along in 2026.

For more information about the International Paints Poole Regatta head to the website here:

Thanks to third place Dawn Bee for the event report.

For all the images check out the gallery: 2024 Sonata Southerns Gallery

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Last updated 11:43 on 9 July 2024

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