MODEL yacht enthusiasts are still unable to cast off in Poole Park because of a menace lurking in the deep.

More than 100 Poole Radio Yacht Club members, who meet at the boating lake, cannot race their yachts because of tasselweed below the surface.

The plants, which – coupled with an outbreak of waterborne blanket weed – led to a pungent odour hanging over the park all summer, are still making their presence felt.

The unwelcome stink was created as the plants rotted.

In July, Poole council added blue dye to the lake and flushed it in a bid to combat the weeds.

Three months on the smell may have subsided, but for model yacht owners the weeds’ disruptive legacy continues.

Club scale secretary John Trimmer explained: “We cannot race competitively as our yacht keels, which are comparatively deep in the water, get caught up in the weed which is still growing from the bottom of the lake.

“The cold October nights may have come to our rescue in killing off most of the blanket weed, which covered the top of the boating lake, but more needs to be done about the weed growing from the bottom.”

The club believes Borough of Poole needs to employ “more stringent measures” if members are to witness any improvement by next summer.

Poole council’s head of leisure services, Clive Smith, said: “We recognise this is particularly difficult for the model yacht club and we are continuing to look at finding ways to resolve the issue.

“However, the cost to remove the weed from such a large area is very expensive.”

Poole Radio Yacht Club has been forced to abandon a string of open events because of the problem.

Mr Trimmer added: “Fortunately, most of the scale boats – not the yachts – are relatively short in depth, so that side of our activities hasn’t been affected as much, apart from the propellers, of course, which can get tangled up in the weed.”