LAST Sunday saw Highcliffe Sailing Club launch the 2019 Harbour Icicle Series.
Twenty-eight competitors from five local clubs and guests made up a fleet including Finns, Lasers, RS Aeros, Solos and a single Topper.
Setting off from Mudeford Quay RNLI station in light winds and an ebbing tide, some rusty post-Christmas tactics on show led to a shortened course for race one.
Atkins claimed first place, New hot on his heels followed in only two seconds behind, Denison bagged third place completing a Finn hat-trick for Christchurch SC.
An alteration to marks saw the second race get off at a faster clip. A longer downwind section led to techniques more akin to windsurfing and spinnakers being unfurled to grab every breath of air.
Rounding the final marker with a dash back against the tidal pull across The Run, the fleet completed the course.
The first race clean sweep for Christchurch SC looked certain to be repeated as Arnell (Finn) and Atkins (Finn) separated by 35 seconds took the top two spots. However Rusden (Laser) of Highcliffe SC crossed the line in third place preventing a CSC whitewash.
After the first meet, Atkins is series leader, Denison second and both third and fourth placed New and Rusden are just one point behind.
The Icicle Series reconvenes on Sunday 20th January at 10:30am with the RS Aero UK Winter Series fleet also competing. Highcliffe SC clubhouse will be providing spectator refreshments and warmth.