Sixteen sailors in eight Hartley 12.2 boats took part in a regatta in Christchurch harbour on Sunday 28 May. Following a very windy Saturday, the Sunday saw much lighter conditions for the event, which was run jointly by Hengistbury Head Adult Sailors Club, who hosted the event at their stunning venue, and Mudeford Sailing Club, who organised and ran the racing. 

The race officer was Mudeford's Vice Commodore, Peter Reid, who was able to run three out of four races before the wind dropped completely. In-between races, a barbecue lunch allowed friendly discussions and review of the morning’s sailing. 

For most of the sailors it was their first experience of racing and the more experienced sailors were crewed or helmed by novices. With light winds, some interesting changing of position took place during each race showing how essential it is to never give up. 

At the prize giving Rob Howlett, Head of Hengistbury Watersports Centre, said that the purpose of the event was to enable confidence-building in sailing skills, to introduce more sailors to the delights of racing and to encourage sailing participation between the centre and other clubs mixing sailors of differing abilities.

Richard Hartley, who had come down from Derbyshire especially for this event, said that he was ‘delighted and excited’ to attend this first-ever Hartley 12 open meeting. He led three cheers from all the attendees to celebrate and said that judging by the pleasure on sailors’ faces and the numbers of boats now being used in the area, he was sure it would go from strength to strength. He proceeded to award the trophies along with superb prizes donated by Hartley Boats. 

The first Hengistbury sailors were Jo Sheppard and Gary Green and the first Mudeford boat and overall regatta winners were John Challener crewed by new member Terry Disher.