Good conditions on Sunday puts Raymarine Warsash Spring Series back on schedule 27/3/07

There might not have been a great deal of sun in evidence for the third week of the Raymarine Warsash Spring Series on 26 March 2007, but the breeze held in the 11-20 knot range with a moderate sea state. This enabled the race management team to set extra races and get half the classes back on schedule following last week’s cancellation due to strong winds.

The wind, initially in the north-east, swung east and then south-east by lunchtime. Three races were scheduled for the White Group sportsboats starting off Hill Head. Having shown perfect manners earlier in the series, the Laser SB3s needed two general recalls and a black flag to get them away successfully. Positions changed constantly over the trapezoidal course. Coming into the top mark for the last time, David Cummins helming “Rumbleflurg” had to re-round, dropping him from first to eighth in quick time, leaving Luke Wooster, Daniel Geoghegan and Craig Burton to get ahead on the last lap. The final race used straight forward windward/leeward legs. Jason Pyke and Pauline McCracken were sailing their new boat, so new it does not as yet have a name, and were never really threatened.

Kevin Sproul’s “Jane” joined the competition this week and took up the challenge in the J/80s. He led for most of the race but was overhauled on the last beat by Marie-Claude Heys in “Jenga Trois” which, at this halfway stage in the series, has the enviable score of five firsts. In the Hunter 707 class Simon Law and Chris Eddy had a good day in “Sword” with a 1,9,2 score line giving them a small lead overall. Just behind them, three other teams are also putting together consistent scores. The 1720s, having been combined with other sportsboats, are the dominating factor in the class. Tom Clay’s “Finn McCoul” won the first two races, but Huw Alban Davies in “Go Ferret” finished second both times and then went on to win the third to top the class.

In the Black Group fleet, it was the turn of IRC1, J/109, J/105 and IRC3 to have two races. Using laid windward marks their courses involved windward/leewards from the Stokes Bay shore across the Ryde Middle bank towards Castle Point.

All got cleanly away and the strong flood tide helped give an easting element on the beats. In IRC1 Benny Kelly’s TP52 “Panthera” was the fastest round by nearly 20 minutes and so held her position on handicap.

In the J/109s “Johnny Blue II” and “Beth of Fivestar” could not be separated at the finish and were awarded joint first place. An unusual circumstance occurred for the IRC2 start. Although the majority of boats were over the line at the gun, Chief Race Officer David Greenway was able to avoid the delay of a general recall by identifying the individual transgressors. All but six returned and Tim Harrington on “Vortex” recovered well to take a second win.

With slightly more wind, the Sigma 38s in IRC4 made the best of the day. The Meakins family on “Festina Lente” led from sistership “Light”. Ian Dawson helming his X-332 “Glide-X” had to settle for third but there is plenty of life left in this class between these three.

For the second race there was more weather-going tide and more caution needed approaching the start line. Neil Martin’s “Jammy Dodger” came out top in IRC1. In IRC3 Jim MacGregor in “Flair IV” rounded the top mark ahead of the pack and was the only boat to favour the left-hand side of the course. At one stage, it appeared he might have fallen into a light spot but later it became evident he had extended his lead to over two minutes from Peter Rutter’s “Quokka” and Nick Jones in “Astarte”. There were also double victories for Philip Jubb in the J/109s and Kirsty Apthorp in the J/105s.

Next weekend is another busy one when the Big Boat Series take to the water on Saturday 31 March with the Spring Series continuing the following day.


Black Group


Race 1 Panthera TP52 Benny Kelly

Race 2 Jammy Dodger J/133 Neil Martin

IRC 2Vortex X-35 Tim Harrington


Race 1 Flair IV Elan 40 Jim MacGregor

Race 2 Flair IV Elan 40 Jim MacGregor

IRC 4Festina Lente Sigma 38 Meakins family

IRC 5Sixes and Sevens Sigma 33 Pullin, Norman, Whitmore & Dwyer


Race 1 Johnny Blue II Bruce Jubb

and Beth of Fivestar Guy Knight

Race 2 Johnny Blue II Bruce Jubb


Race 1 J-Dream David and Kirsty Apthorp

Race 2 J-Dream David and Kirsty Apthorp

White Group

Hunter 707

Race 1 Sword Simon Law and Chris Eddy

Race 2 Censored Nick Simmonds

Race 3 GBR7000N Andrew Baird


Races 1,2,3 Jenga Trois Paul and Marie-Claude Heys

Laser SB3

Race 1 Woosterstock Luke Wooster

Race 2 Champagne Blonde Daniel Geoghegan

Race 3 GBR3156 Pauline McCracken and Jason Pyke


Race 1 Finn M’Coul 1720 Tom Clay

Race 2 Finn M’Coul 1720 Tom Clay

Race 3 Go Ferret 1720 Huw Alban-Davies