A good, working breeze made for exciting sailing in the second weekend of the Warsash Spring Series

There was a cracking day’s racing in store for competitors during the second week of the Raymarine Warsash Spring Series on Sunday 20 March. A good, steady, easterly breeze at 18-20 knots, occasionally gusting up to 25 knots, blew away the early mist which gave way to sunshine.

A lunchtime low tide dictated the water available for deeper draft boats and Black Group PRO David Greenway sent the bigger boats to Browndown buoy near Stokes Bay, whilst the smaller ones used East Bramble as their first turning mark. The west-going tide kept boats behind the line and resulted in a sequence of clean starts. As the biggest boat in IRC1, Nick Hewson’s Farr 52 “Team Tonic” pulled steadily away from the rest of the class to win by nearly 17 minutes on the water. The two DK46s “Fidessa Fastwave” and “Shockwave” were enjoying a good tussle until “Fidessa” suffered a major electronic problem and retired.

It was a much tighter affair at the front of IRC2 where Lance Steven’s Match 42 “Sidney”, second last week, turned the tables on “Exabyte 2” (Jerry Otter).

Last autumn, Jim MacGregor had to withdraw from the Winter Series after his Elan 40 “Flair IV” was damaged in the first race, leaving Peter Rutter in the Elan 37 “Quokka” to take straight wins. Now, the two are again drawn together in IRC3, and so far the score is 2-0 to “Quokka”. “Flair IV” was pushed down to third place this week, just one second adrift, by Fairview Racing’s new Bavaria Match 35. Steve Liebmann helmed the Swan 42 “Breakout” to victory in IRC4 while the one-design classes saw second wins for “Whippasnappa” (Sigma 33) and “Supernatural” (Sigma 38).

Further inshore the White Group raced off Hill Head. Enthusiasm got the better of some 1720s and 707s, who had to be ‘black flagged’ after general recalls. One crewmember in the Sportsboat class went for an involuntary swim – without wearing any kind of buoyancy. Fortunately for him, with a water temperature of only 7 degrees, this occurred alongside a RIB and he was taken out of the water within a minute. The Race Committee has sensibly introduced an amendment to make the wearing of personal buoyancy compulsory in this class.

In a very close race, Nick Fisk sailing “Gill” beat John Cooper in “Oi!” in the 1720s with Darren and Georgie Baker taking the second race in “Mad Cow”.

Although selected as the small boat for this year’s Admiral’s Cup, the Mumm 30 class has had only four starters. This week Peter Morton sailing “Salvo” and Ian Gill in “Offbeat” shared the honours. There was a double victory for Volvo Ocean Race CEO Glenn Bourke in the Laser SB3s, now with a large turnout of 32 entries. Having missed the first week, Mark Gillett made up lost ground by winning both 707 races in “Pocket Battleship” and Chris Brooks brought the Beneteau 25 “Verve” home first in both Sportsboat Rules races.

The Raymarine Warsash Spring Series team now takes a rest for Easter and returns for four more weekends of racing in April, with the last two including Saturday racing in the Spring Championships for White Group classes. As well as presenting Champagne to the weekly class winners, sponsors Raymarine will also be running a free prize draw with the opportunity to win a Raymarine VHF radio, for those enjoying a post-race drink at Warsash Sailing Club’s Shore House.