Gale Force winds last Sunday forced the abandonment of the open day's racing at the Raymarine Warsash Spring Series
Gale Force winds last Sunday forced the abandonment of the open day’s racing at the Raymarine Warsash Spring Series where over 200 boats were scheduled to start.
It was a day that brought difficult decisions for the race management team too. The forecast gave Force 4-5 increasing 5-6, possibly 7 by midday, but at 8am Lymington weather station was already recording a steady south-westerly at 30 knots. Similar readings came from Lee-on-the-Solent and Southampton. Bearing in mind difficulties of positioning and working committee boats in these conditions, plus the high probability of damage, the decision was reluctantly taken to call-off the racing. The judgement was vindicated at 10.30am when a gust of 42.5 knots was recorded at Warsash Sailing Club’s weather station with conditions worsening through the day.
Looking forward to the rest of the series, it is interesting to note that opinions are divided amongst the owners of boats with both IRM and IRC certificates. With the new Grand Prix Rule due to come into force towards the end of 2004, things are to an extent in limbo. WSC has responded to this by arranging for the IRM boats to race with IRC Class 1, but to be dual-scored with their own system.
The Raymarine Warsash Spring Series runs for a further five weeks, with a break for Easter, Spi Ouest-France and Red Funnel Regattas. The final two weekends also include the Spring Championships for nominated classes. Principal Race Officer David Greenway says that re-running Race 1 may well be possible, but probably not before week four.