Mitch Booth scores two wins at the opening day of the Formula 18 world championship at Poole

Early morning forecasts indicated light/moderate winds for first day’s racing at the Formula 18 world championship at Poole on 16 July. A southerly sea breeze filled in and the fleet launched after a short delay.

In the first race, the fleet finally started at 1305 after one general recall and a postponement (to adjust the line). There was a bright blue sky with a nine knot breeze and the first beat only took 10 minutes. At the gate the fleet split with the first two taking it to starboard and Hugh Styles of GB opting to go to port. A fast second round brought the first boats home in quick succession: Mitch Booth and Herbert Derchsen, Jean-Christope and Phillippe Mourniac and Hugh Styles and Adam May.

In the second race, the wind held steady and, with a slightly lengthened course, the race officer got the fleet away with only one or two boats over the line. The right-hand side of the course was favoured, but once again decisions at the gate were split. Emmanual and Vincent Boulogne from France, in a boat they built themselves, led at the windward mark and held this to the end, finishing over one minute in front of Gavin Colby from Australia. The French brothers Mourniac were only 10 seconds behind with Hugh Styles – British Olympian – finishing fourth.

The third race got away after one general recall and Once again the leading boats took the right-hand side of the course with varying opinions at the gate. Booth held his lead at every mark with GBR’s Rob Wilson and Will Howden in second and Jean and Phillippe Mourniac third.