Three races completed on Saturday for the 2007 Garmin Hamble Big Boat Series 15/10/07

The first three races of the 2007 Garmin Hamble Big Boat Series were sailed on Saturday 13 October, followed by two more on Sunday which were run in conjunction with the main Garmin Hamble Winter Series.

The Big Boat Series is taking place for the third time, which means it is a relatively new event compared to the Winter Series which is now in its 26th year. Another obvious difference lies in the size of the fleets, with the number of boats taking part in the Big Boat Series being far lower, but this is offset by the outstanding quality of the boats taking part.

There are two classes, the first being for 45ft boats racing on level terms without any handicapping. The fleet this year comprises seven Farr 45s and two DK46s, and the closeness of the racing is amazing, with result that the five races over the weekend were each won by a different boat.

The winners were, in sequence, Nick Lutte’s DK46 ‘Shockwave’, Shaun Frohlich’s Farr 45 ‘Exabyte’, Eamonn O’Nolan and Michelle Brachette’s Farr 45 ‘Freddie Freeloader’, Simon Henning’s Farr 45 ‘Alice 2’, and Agne Nilsson’s Farr 45 ‘Fortis Exel’.

After five races without a discard the well sailed and beautifully prepared ‘Fortis Excel’, which has blue-grey topsides with a fantastic mirror finish, leads from ‘Alice 2’ and ‘Freddie Freeloader’ but with the closeness of the racing almost anything can happen when the remaining races take place on the 29th and 30th October.

The second class, for IRC 0 boats, has an entry of 13 remarkably diverse boats, but only six of them were able to sail over the first weekend. Of those that did sail, the largest boat was Jerry Otter’s ‘Fidessa Fastwave’ is a TP52 with a TCF of 1.357, David Aisher’s ‘Yeoman XXXII’ is a Rogers 36 with a TCF of 1.269, Richard Rankin’s beautiful 12 Metre ‘Italia’ rated at 1.187, Rob Goddard’s Farr 40 ‘Farrfalina’ with a TCF of 1.175, John Stapleton’s Beneteau First 44.7 ‘ Vespucci’s Black Sheep with a TCF of 1.116, and Neil Martin’s J/133 ‘Jammie Dodger’ with a rating of 1.115.

In the first race on Saturday ‘Fidessa Fastwave’ made the mistake of trying to make her way in at the committee boat but was forced out, and had to make a turn that cost her enough time to lose the race, but from then onwards she demonstrated incredible speed and won the remaining four races on handicap. Behind her, the consistent ‘Jammie Dodger’ lies in second place, with ‘Farrfalina’ third, ‘Yeoman XXXII’ fourth, ‘Italia’ fifth, and ‘Vespucci’s Black Sheep’ sixth.