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Marine Industry Regatta 2006

Monday, 08 May 2006
Canal boat company wins Marine Industry Regatta

Beacon Park Boats, a canal hire boat company in the Brecon Beacons National Park, Monmouthshire, beat some heavily fancied runners to take first place and the Lewmar Trophy in this year’s Marine Industry Regatta.

Adding insult to injury, skipper Alasdair Kirkpatrick and his crew rarely sail together. They expect their next race to be in November...…Kirkpatrick sails only two or three times a year and lacks the usual champion’s lifetime of dinghies through to big boats pedigree. But he has made a name for himself in Sunsail-organised events. “I’ve now won every corporate event organised by Sunsail,” he told BB after adding the Marine Industry Regatta to his portfolio.

But it seems all-out competitive sailing is not necessary to succeed in Sun Fast 37s. At least, that’s what Kirkpatrick and second placed David Harding reckon. Harding and his Practical Boat Owner editorial/IPC Media crew won last year’s light and fluky event and this year’s second place proves that was no fluke. But while Harding has a lot more sailing history than Kirkpatrick, he’s still not the dedicated racing man his opposition would prefer to have been beaten by.
“This was my first race in anything since last September,” he told BB, “so I'm almost as practiced and dedicated a racing sailor as Alasdair. My crew comes mainly from the PBO office and, as everyone knows, PBO is a hot racing magazine…”

Third place was taken by Barton Marine, skippered by David Barrow (one of the fastest Westerly helmsmen of his time) and doing rather better this year (without David Coleman on board) than last.

The last trophy place - 4th - went to the second IPC Media entry of the Yachting Monthly/PBO advertising sales teams, skippered by Tom Stevens.

In all, 41 boats took part, with entries from across the leisure marine industry, including powerboat manufacturers Sealine and Fairline, a host of VT entries, the Royal Navy and a group of designers such as Design Unlimited, Dixon Yacht Design and Rainsford & Saunders.

The event runs over a day and a bit, with the bit being collection of the boats on the Tuesday evening, followed by a group dinner that, this year, saw over 300 people eating in the Indian Palace restaurant in Port Solent.

The event also raised funds for The John Merricks Sailing Trust (JMST) with a cheque for £4,100 being presented to JMST trustee and Olympic coach, Jim Saltonstall, on the Tuesday evening.

Racing took place on the Wednesday in Sunsail’s fleet of Jeanneau Sun Fast 37s, with four races being run in The Solent.

Sunsail’s full fleet of 50 Sun Fast 37s has been reserved for next year’s Marine Industry Regatta, which will take place on Wednesday April 25, 2007, with the boats being collected the previous evening. The entry list is already at 20 boats, so book early by emailing

A full list of results and lots of photographs of the event, shot by Claire Frew, can be found on the website at Marine Regatta

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