THE cadet sailing season kicked into life on January 27 with a winter regatta for the South and South West based boats, held at Poole Yacht Club.

With three other junior classes taking part in this inaugural event and a 9.30am briefing, it meant an early start for many of the 190 competing boats.

The schedule was for five races in the day, three of them before lunch. Among the 36 cadets entered was Cirencester-based Elliott Parsons (15), who last season secured a place in the British Cadet Squad.

With a new boat (8519 Pan Galactic Gargle Blaster) and his new crew, Jenny Lennon (12), from Petersfield, this would be a good chance to put their winter training in the British squad to the test.

In race one, Elliott and Jenny made a good start at the Pin end and made the windward mark in third place which they held on to with no real challenge until the end.

With five races to get through, race two was soon under way. The wind had dropped and the tide was getting stronger but Elliott and Jenny started well.

After moving into the lead at the windward mark, they were pushed hard by Adam Richards (ranked second in Britain last season).

A good race developed with another Lymington boat, helmed by Charlotte Lawrence, becoming involved.

With no room for mistakes in a short race, Elliott and Jenny were passed by both boats and had to settle for another third.

For race three, Elliott and Jenny maintained excellent spinnaker work on the last two reaches to pull through the leading pack to get third on the line.

With wind direction changing after lunch, the course was altered and this proved a different challenge for the cadets.

Another good start and fine sailing up the first beat put Elliott and Jenny second at the windward mark.

It was a position they consolidated as they pulled away from the fleet. With one result to discard and second place secured with their four results thus far, Elliott and Jenny tried a different starting strategy.

Back in 12th place at the windward mark, their spinnaker work came to the rescue and they steadily pulled through the fleet to get sixth place.

The results put Elliott and Jenny in second place overall with 11 points and three behind the winners, Adam Richards and Sam Muskett, from Lymington.

Elliott and Jenny are sponsored by Rowsell Sails, Douglas Gill Clothing and System Business Solutions.

Anyone else would like to sponsor this local boat is asked to contact Steve Parsons on 07771 883618.