Wednesday, April 21, 2010
The Spring Championship takes place on Saturday's this year over the final two weekends of the Spring Series. Black Group classes include “Big Boats” and J/109s. White Group classes J/80s. No discards are allowed for the Spring Championship – every race has to count.
The J/80s racing was managed by Jon Spencer. He too completed the full schedule of racing. Steve Chappell on JANGO FETT in the J/80s took two wins bit slipped to ninth in Race 2 resulting in a total of 13 points. John Cooper in OI! gained the top points for the day with only one win but a more consistent score.
Further out in the Solent the Black Group committee boat was anchored near Universal Marina buoy. The wind was consistently from the south-east, again peaking at 8 knots but with much lighter patches. Here event Chairman Peter Bateson set windward/leeward courses for the “Big Boats” and J/109s. A mixture of fixed and laid marks was used reaching towards the eastern end of Ryde Middle Bank. Starts were all on time, with no general recalls or OCS scores and the full program of races was completed. By Race 2 the tide had slackened and the final two races had windward legs against the tide. The J/109s enjoyed a short final race of just two miles but with the beat against a strong ebb tide in a fading breeze, that was certainly enough. The runaway leader in the J/109s was Adam Wright in VELVET ELVIS with the Apthorp's J/DREAM second and Mcgough's JUST SO third.
The Warsash Series continued racing on Sunday, the forecast was for even lighter winds. Some crews took a good supply of Sunday newspapers hoping this ruse would guarantee the arrival of a decent breeze. Unfortunately it didn’t work! Teams took the opportunity of carrying out minor repairs or just enjoyed the sunshine. The area round the Black Group committee boat at Universal Marina buoy soon resembled a boat park. Further inshore, they fared no better and at noon they and all Black Group classes were abandoned.
Fortunately, Jon Spencer tucked up inshore and found just enough early morning breeze funneling down Southampton Water to get one race going for the J/80s. Even here the breeze faded away and the course was shortened at the bottom mark. In the J/80s JANGO FETT (Steve Chappell) made a cracking start at the pin end of the line. Halfway up the first beat there was nothing to separate the leaders as they crossed tacks. JANGO FETT’s team read the wind well. Having gone left into deeper water they then put in a long hitch inshore before hitting the layline and making a tack out to the top mark. This was enough to give her the lead ahead of OI! (John Cooper) and SPITFIRE (Royal Air Force Sailing Assoc). OI! slowly pulled away but on the second run back ELLE S'APPELLE (Thor Askelund) gybed inshore immediately, kept more breeze and arrived at the top mark just behind the leader. This established the pecking order for the final lap. Full sailing news and regatta results on the Warsash Website Photo by Eddie Mays.