After a vicious rain squall caught the fleet on the way out, the wind shifted around between southeast and northerly until it settled in the northeast for long enough to get a good race in for all classes. The race team combined some starts to get everyone away in good time, with all classes sailing short courses between Royal Southern and East Knoll buoys. This led to some close-quarters racing to keep everyone on their toes, but the frequent windshifts gave tacticians the chance to make some big gains up the beats and down the runs.
In IRC 0, Chris Body's J/111 Icarus added a first place to her scoreline which leaves her equal on points with fellow J/111, Louise Makin’s JOURNEYMAKER II. Just 2 pts back is Martin Dent’s J-ELVIS. With two weekends left, is it possible there is a three-boat clean sweep of IRC 0 Class for the J/111s?
Stew Hawthorn’s J/88 JIFI sailed a great race to take the top spot in IRC 2, ahead of Paul Hayes' J/88 JONGLEUR in third. At this stage of the game, JIFI is sitting in third overall with 24 pts with a good mathematical chance for 1st overall. Not far off the stage is Paul Ward’s J/88 EAT SLEEP J REPEAT; and an outside chance for the top three is Ivan Trotman’s J/88 JOJO.
It appears that Charles Ivill's J/97 JTB TYRES/ JUST LIKE THAT, which finished just under two minutes ahead of the fleet on corrected in their last race, is poised to be the primary candidate for series leader. However, they have a mere 2 pts lead over Andy Howe’s J/97 BLACKJACK II and knowing how the teams have responded to sailing conditions in the last few weekends, this class could still be open for a surprising outcome?
In the J/109s Adrian Wheal's JOLLY JACK TAR added another first to her scoreline, with Owain Franks' JYNNAN TONNYX in 2nd place. As a result, Wheal’s crew is leading for the series with 9 pts, followed by Roger Phillips’ DESIGNSTAR II in second with 12 pts and Franks’ JYNNAN TONNYX in third with 18 pts. Given the fact that any one crew is capable of winning one or more races, it would not be prudent to go down to your local Ladbrokes Betting Parlour and bet on a horse that may not leading by a nose on the final furlong!
Having endured one rain squall before the race, competitors were relieved that the clouds held their rain until the fleet was assembled in the HRSC clubhouse for the prize-giving, were day prizes were presented by Peter Kay and Ian Brown from One Sails, who have been longstanding supporters of the Hamble Winter Series for over 20 years. Next week sees the penultimate weekend of racing in the 2014 Garmin Hamble Winter Series. Thanks for contribution from Ben Meakins. Sailing Photo Credits- Paul Wyeth/pwpictures.com. For more Garmin Hamble Winter Series sailing information