Twenty six boats turned out for the fourth weekend of the Hamble winter series

With 26 of the 33 entrants on the start line for the fourth weekend of racing at the Tyco healthcare Hamble winter series, the Hunter 707 fleet was again the largest competing at the event.

After two general recalls in race one, with pile-ups on the pin end of a port biased line, the black flag came out and proved to the fleet that they can stay behind the line before the gun goes.

First round the windward mark was Pocket Battleship followed by The Sweeney and Muttley, but the mistake was to gybe onto port and by the leeward mark Charlie Fish had taken the lead from Chilli Chaser and Royal Thames. Charlie Fish consolidated their lead over the next two laps to win comfortably and Royal Thames waited until the last beat to push Chilli Chaser into third.

In race two a strong incoming tide was sweeping from right to left upwind and the race officers set a wide leeward spreader to compensate and allow for fair runs and beats.

The fleet got away on the first start and split, the wind being variable in both strength and direction. Those on the right looked good early on, also avoiding the 1720s going round their leeward mark, then there was a hole in the middle and boats on the left came into the mark with more breeze.

The leading pack included The Sweeney, Charlie Fish and Doh! which stayed the same although Chilli Chaser got past Doh! to take third.

Charlie Fish have taken the lead in the overall standings for the winter series, with Pocket Battleship in second from The Sweeney third, then Royal Thames and Doh! Two more races need to be sailed before discards come into play, which is likely to see plenty of place changing.