Week five of the Warsash Spring Series saw entrants struggle in light winds 11/04/06

After the excitement of the previous round of racing, many competitors were no doubt relieved to be sailing in gentler conditions for the fifth week of the Raymarine Warsash Spring Series which also included the opening of the Spring Championships for Sportsboats on Saturday 8 April. The stress on both days came from making the best use of a breeze, which shifted between 30 and 50 degrees. Contestants also struggled with the fickle breezes, which became increasingly light as the weekend progressed.

Whilst the first two Black Group classes started successfully, a wind shift caused major re-jigging of the courses and this set the pattern for the rest of the day. IRC1 saw the new TP52, Panthera making an exciting start on port, successfully weaving through the starboard tack 45s at speed. She was the fastest boat round the course but Stewart Hawthorn’s J-133, Jump won on corrected time, which moves him up to second place in the series. In IRC2 the luck of the Irish transferred from Aintree to the Solent with two IRL sail numbers leading the pack round the windward mark, but this good fortune was not to last. Jochem Visser helming the X-35, Cool Runnings was in hot pursuit and when the boats ahead retired, the way was clear to take both line and class honours.

Going into the race this week, Flair IV and Quokka had identical score lines in IRC3 but by the top mark, it was Russell Hodgson’s Dehler 36, Veneziani Deliverance that had a small lead over these two with Chris and Hannah Neve’s First 34.7, No Doubt also in the group. On the reach across to Flying Fish buoy, they were joined by another Dehler 36 eye2eye and this section of the class broke away from the rest. Quokka and Flair IV then engaged each other in a private duel and hence posted their worst scores of the series, but leaving no change in the overall positions.

At the entrance to Southampton Water, the racing area for the sportboats, shifting winds made life equally difficult for the race officers. Simon Blake in Swordedfish managed to win both 1720 races and improved his overall place. Messrs Thrower, Duniam and Mitchell, sailing their Backman 21 Quarter Back continued their good run and now have an unassailable lead in the mixed sportsboat class.

Greatest entertainment came from the Laser SB3s. Wind shifts in the early part of the morning race dealt harsh blows to many of the favourites. At the front of the fleet, Mark Richards’ Rigging Gurus was unfazed by the vagaries of the weather and built a good lead to the finish. The second race was laden with problems. Eventually the fleet got away at the fourth attempt with Daniel Geoghegan in Another Naked Blonde the clear winner.

The Raymarine Warsash Spring Series regathers after a break for Easter. The weekend of 22 and 23 April will be a busy one for the Club with both the Big Boat Series and Spring Championships continuing on Saturday as well as the sixth and final Series race on Sunday.

Results – Sunday 9 April (Week 5)

Black Fleet:

Jump, J-133,
Stewart Hawthorn

Cool Runnings, X-35
Thorkild Juncker & Jochem Visser

No Doubt, First 34.7
Chris & Hannah Neve

Great Scott III, Elan 333
Eurof & Barbara Philips

Shadowfax, Sigma 33
Andrew Johns

Java J-105
Paul & Marie-Claude Heys

Mike & Sarah Wallis
Sigma 38
Festina Lente
Meakins family

White Fleet:

Hunter 707

Race 1
3 Little Pigs
Russell Morgan & Nick Matthews

Race 2
Simon Law & Christopher Eddy

Cork 1720
Race 1
Simon Blake

Race 2
Simon Blake

Laser SB3
Race 1
Rigging Gurus
Mark Richards

Race 2
Another Naked Blonde
Daniel Geoghegan

Race 1
Just Savage
Liz Savage

Race 2
Peter Henney

Race 1
Quarter Back Backman 21
Messrs Thrower, Duniam & Mitchell