Competitors experienced their first chill of winter in yesterday's fifth event in the Garmin Hamble Winter Series
The summery conditions of a fortnight ago had passed through the Autumnal Gales last week, when the Charity Pursuit Race should have been sailed, into the first chill of Winter for the fifth week’s racing in the Garmin Hamble Winter Series. However, a large number of competitors did turn out and they enjoyed a brisk day’s sailing in the 15 kt northerly breeze.
The Committee Boat set up the start line in the vicinity of SE Ryde Middle and set the fleets a windward leg to Burgess Salmon on the North shore. The strong west going tide during the first part of the race seemed to favour the boats that carried port tack across to the starboard lay line. There was enough strength in the wind to enable all the courses set to have a good selection of legs that took account of the changing tidal patterns.
In the top IRC classes three boats, Rob Goddard’s Farr 40 ‘Farrfarina’, Stewart Hawthorn’s J/133 ‘Jump’ and Jerry Otter’s IMX-40 ‘Exabyte 2’ broke away from the others but stayed close enough together to have a good race. The IMX-40 saved her time on the others to record her third win in four races. She now has a substantial lead in the series. Things were much closer in the Bowsprit class. Charles Ivill’s ‘Johnny Blue’ reached the finish line 14 seconds ahead of another J-109, Mike Ewart-Smith and Ben Richard’s ‘Zelda’. With a slightly better TCC ‘Zelda’ converted this into a nine seconds win.
In the Sigma 38 class Adrian Ward and John Dunnet onboard ‘Beefeater’ decided to go straight across the main channels to the north shore to pick up the layline. This gave them a small lead over ‘Light’ (John Rainger) and the Meakins family on ‘festina lente’. Problems at the bottom of the course left them trailing the other two but whilst ‘festina’ pulled ahead of ‘Light’ ‘Beefeater recovered well to finish second. There is a spread of nine handicap points across the X-332 class. This week Ian Dawson’s ‘Glide-X’ and Robert Peters on ‘Reckless Rat’ were nip and tuck all the way round the course with James Crockatt’s ‘Jump & Shout’ close enough behind this pair to snatch second place from the ‘Reckless Rat’ on corrected time.
This week Race Officers Jonty Sherwill and Philip Gage decided to combine the first start of the day to include the 1720s, J/80s and the Sportsboat classes and the class got away to a clean start. Eventual winners in the 1720s Darren and Georgie Baker sailing ‘Mad Cow’ were pushed hard all the way by Andrew Smith on ‘Twister’. The Bakers crossed the line nine seconds ahead but they accepted an ‘on the water’ penalty and picked up two extra points for their troubles. Robert and Jonathon Fox, sailing their J/80 ‘Jeuan’ recorded the first of their two wins and Shane Hughes, 1720 ‘Key Yachting’, added another victory to his list in the Sportsboat class.
In the Laser SB3 class three boats were spotted as premature starters. For one of them, James Howells helming ‘Monex’, it was particularly bitter. Not only was it his third OCS in eight races but he was fastest round the course. This left Ben Duke helming ‘WKD Vodka Red’ to take the gun by over a minute from his nearest rival, Mike Budd’s ‘Gul’. In the 27 strong 707 class Paul Curtis, ‘Sparkle’ improved on week four’s two third places to take the morning race comfortably from ‘This is Jeff’ (Harry Hall and Tim Hunt) and ‘Censored’ (Messers Gorman, Williams, Breslin and Simmonds).
The extra numbers in the combined fleet may have contributed to the only general recall of the day on their afternoon race. Three boats were caught OCS on the restart. Greg O’Brien has only sailed on a couple of Sundays and this is at present is spoiling his overall standing in the 1720 class. He drove ‘Gul / Purplemarine’ to their first win and this combined with their third place in the first race has moved him up the table. In a very close race where the top places changed on a regular basis ‘Monex’ redeemed their earlier mistake to come third behind the Olympic Ladies in second and the winner Mark Richards.
IRC 1 IMX-40 Exabyte 2 Jerry Otter
IRC 2 Elan 37 Quokka Peter Rutter
IRC 3 X-362 Extra Djinn Neville Hodkin
IRC 4 Oyster 37 Prime Cut Peter Parker
Bowsprit J-109 Zelda Mike Ewart-Smith and Ben Richards
X-332 Glide-X Ian Dawson
Sigma 38 festina lente The Meakins Family
Sigma 33 Cerefe Richard and Valerie Griffith
1720 Race 1 Mad Cow Darren and Georgie Baker
1720 Race 2 Purple Marine Greg O’Brien
Laser SB3 Race 1 WKD Vodka Red Ben Duke
Laser SB3 Race 2 Rigging Gurus Mark Richards
J/80 Race 1 Jeuan Jonathon and Robert Fox
J/80 Race 2 Jeuan Jonathon and Robert Fox
Sportsboats Race 1 1720 Key Yachting Shane Hughes
Sportsboats Race 2 Bull 7000 Seeing Red Phil Cornick
Hunter 707 Race 1 Sparkle Paul Curtis
Hunter 707 Race 2 Pocket Battleship Mark Gillett