Perfect conditions for seventh weekend of Garmin Hamble Winter Series 20/11/06

The weather conditions for the seventh weekend of the Garmin Hamble Winter Series proved to be ideal for late season racing. Although wind was in short supply, a solid south-westerly breeze of 5 knots filled in allowing Race Director Jamie Wilkinson and his Black Fleet race team to set a good long course for the nine larger classes of the Black Fleet, while Jonty Sherwill and his equivalent team chose the appropriate windward/leeward courses for the four White Fleet classes.

Obligingly, the breeze increased throughout the racing to a good 15 knots with a little bit more from time to time, all of which made for a memorable day of racing.

The largest class in the whole event, the Laser SB3s with 50 entries, once again enjoyed themselves hugely, and also produced their usual quota of general recalls. Geoff Carveth, who unfortunately was not able to race in the early rounds of the series due to other sailing commitments, has been on a roll for the past three weeks and won both races in Palava. James Fox, in Royal Thames Lucky Lady remains in the lead overall, although Tim Fells sailing Shaun Beaver was ten points better on the day, and is now only four points adrift in second position.

Also quite numerous, with 22 entries, the Hunter 707s followed their established pattern of producing new winners, and it was Peter Dickson in Star-born 3 who won the first race of the day, while the second was won by the old firm of Messrs Gorman, Williams, Breslin and Simmonds in Censored. Overall, Ed Hipkins’ Sharkin Mad was leapfrogged by Mike Foster’s Surfeit and Andrew Baird’s Feeling Rough, both of whom were able to throw away big discards, but these three boats are still within just four points of each other.

Jeffrey Dakin and Bruce Jubb in Justify had the best of the day in the J/80 class with a first and a second, but Jevan sailed by Robert and Jonathan Fox are consistently there or thereabouts and collected two third places to increase their lead overall.

The SBR Sportsboats class is the only one in White Fleet that is sailed on handicap, and it is interesting to follow the fortunes of the various types of boats involved. Ian Atkins sailing his Cork 1720 leads overall by a wide margin, having scored seven firsts and three seconds, although Richard Scarff is also sailing consistently well in Backbeat, one of the three Backman 21s in the class, and holds second place overall.

In the Black Fleet, Windsong sailed by Stuart Bowen-Davies and Huw Evans was unopposed in IRC 0 today, in the absence of the Farr 45s, and is now unbeatable in the series. The more numerous IRC 1 class is still led by the J/133s Jump of Stewart Hawthorn and Jammy Dodger of Neil Martin, but it was Phillippe Falle’s Puma Logic that won the day.

In the tightly contested IRC 2 class, Peter Rutter extended his overall lead in Quokka by winning the race ahead of his closest rivals Jim MacGregor in Flair IV and Thorkild Junker in Cool Runnings. The even tighter contest in IRC 3 saw Ian Dawson’s Glide-X take the victory from Marie-Claude and Paul Heys in Java Lite to reduce the latter’s overall lead to just one point. In IRC 4, where the series is also going down to the wire, Gareth Morris and David Sprague were the winners in Curved Air, but G. Fairhall’s Brightwork still leads Paul and Julia Aisher’s Tangent Minus 1 overall by a single point.

David and Kirsty Apthorp in their J105 J-Dream increased their class lead by finishing ahead of Simon Curwen’s Voador and Paul Griffiths’ Fay-J, while Ben Richards and Michael Ewart-Smith went even further ahead in the 23-strong J/109 class by winning from Matthew Boyle’s Shiva and David McLeman’s Offbeat.

Adrian Brown again won the Sigma 33 race in Odalisque from Ed Smith in Muskoka, although it is still Richard and Valerie Griffith who lead overall in Cerefe. This is a good time to apologize to David Rolfe whose Shadowfax was left out of the results last week following confusion with the IRC 1 boat of the same name.

The Meakins Family once again won the Sigma 38 class, allowing them to discard their second place from last week, which was the only blot on their previously unstained copybook. Light sailed by John Rainger and Rob Denning finished second today, ahead of Nigel Goodhew’s Persephone.

The series continues until 3 December.


Week 7, White Fleet Race Winners

Laser SB3 Races 1 & 2, Palava Geoff Carveth
J/80 Race 1, Just Chilling Stephen Chillerton. Race 2, Justify Jeffrey Dakin & Bruce Jubb
Hunter 707 Race 1, Star-born 3 Peter Dickson. Race 2, Censored Messrs Gorman, Williams, Breslin & Simmonds
SBR Sportsboats Race 1, Ian Atkins. Race 2, Twister Andrew Smith

Week 7, Black Fleet Race Winners

IRC 0 Windsong Stuart Bowen-Davies & Huw Evans
IRC 1 Puma Logic Phillippe Falle
IRC 2 Quokka Peter Rutter
IRC 3 Glide-X Ian Dawson
IRC 4 Curved Air Gareth Morris & David Sprague
J105 J-Dream David & Kirsty Apthorp
J109 Zelda Ben Richards & Michael Ewart-Smith
Sigma 33 Odalisque Adrian Brown
Sigma 38 Festina Lente Meakins Family