AFTER a lack of breeze delayed the start to Poole Regatta on Saturday, the rest of the weekend provided the “perfect conditions” for sailing.

This premier sailing event – the second biggest in the country – saw competitors from as far afield as Australia, America, France and Belgium pit their skills against one another in races around Poole Harbour and Poole Bay.

More than 140 boats and some 1,000 competitors took to the water over the bank holiday weekend.

The event ended with overall winner Sam Laidlaw being presented with the historic Canford Cup after he won six out of his seven races in his quarter tonner.

Martin Pearson, regatta committee chairman, said: “Despite the late start on Saturday because of a lack of breeze, we have been able to put on a full programme of races.

“Thankfully the rest of the Bank Holiday weekend provided us with perfect sailing conditions, weather-wise.

“It’s been a wonderful event and I want to thank all those who helped make it such a success.”

The biennial event, which has been running since 2000, is this year made all the more special by the presence of a historic yachting trophy which pre-dates the America’s Cup and disappeared from public view for more than 150 years ago.

The Canford Cup was first awarded at the 1849 Poole Regatta, re-emerging at an auction in London last year when it was purchase by Poole Museum with donations from the Poole Regatta committee and Poole Yachting Association at auction in October.

After being presented to Sam Laidlaw, the cup – a George IV silver vase created in 1822 – will go on permanent display at Poole Museum.