J/97 JIKA-JIKA Racing Fast!(Hamble, So'ton, England)- The third week of Warsash Sailing Club's Spring Series saw the first south-westerly breeze of the season. The wind stayed true in direction with the strength varying from 10 to 14 knots, providing near ideal sailing conditions if still cold. Despite the clocks going forward, competitors were out early for practice with new entries joining the fleets.
The Black Group committee boat anchored near Hamble Yacht Services buoy and used Air Canada, close to the Bramble Bank, as the first windward mark with a finish at East Knoll. Adjustments were made to the lengths of the courses with IRC1 completing 15 miles and IRC3 12.5 miles. IRC4 used a White Group start line but also finished with the other Black Group boats at East Knoll after a course covering over 10 miles. High water occurred during the start sequence, so competitors had the favoured combination of beats with the current and runs against it. Tacticians kept careful watch of the depth to benefit from or dodge the tide.
The number of "Big Boats" competing in IRC1 has increased as their Spring Championship after Easter approaches. In IRC1 the J/122 JOLLY JELLYFISH sailed to an uncharacteristic 7th, but still remained in second overall in the standings. the J/133 JAMMY DODGER raced by Neil Martin sailed a great race to get a third to move into fifth place overall.
In IRC3, the J/97 JIKA-JIKA sailed by Mike and Jaime Holmes again made another jump up in the standings from this past week to move into second overall!
For J/105s, there was an unprecedented three-way tie for first place last week. And, in short, they're still only separated by a point. Chris Jones JOURNEYMAKER 5 is now first one point ahead of a tie for second between Paul Griffith's FAY-J and Rob Dornton-Duff's JAVA. Bet everyone's relieved to not have to race Easter Weekend!
The J/109s saw Kirsty and David Apthorp's J-DREAM start to separate themselves from the pack by winning this weekends race to be ahead by two points. James Arnell's JEEZ-LOUISE is now second and moving up the standings with a well-deserved third place was David McGough's JUST SO.
The J/92s continue to have very tight class racing amongst the top competitors. The trio of Andrew, Matt and Peter Campbell sailing JAMMIN are now in second, just behind Dominic Horner's JEKYLL. Rory and Cathy Staunton on JAYA and Bill Howard's team racing WIZARD are just off the pace.
The J/80s seem to have a new class standard to live up to since the leader by a wide margin is Terri Palmer on JUST DO IT with twenty one points after nine races, just over a second average!! The fly-boys on TEAM SPITFIRE are now solidly in second with thirty three points and John Cooper's OI! has dramatically risen in the standings with three firsts this past weekend to jump into third place with forty five points. Full results on the Warsash Website. Photo by Eddie Mays- http://www.eddiemays.com.