(Warsash, England)- The six-Sunday Brooks Macdonald Warsash Spring Series resumed on 7th April 2013 after a break over the Easter weekend. On a positive note, this was the warmest day of the event so far this year which has seen very cold conditions. However, the sea temperature has yet to warm up - 4.5 degrees compared with 10 degrees at the same time in 2012! Nonetheless, crews and race officers alike donned their thermals and foul weather gear to enjoy a great day’s racing in a steady 10-14 knot breeze from the south-east in a fairly flat sea state.
The Black Group committee boat set up a start line at SCRA buoy just east of the Brambles Bank and without delay got all classes underway, with courses ranging between 11 and just under 14 miles. Tacticians needed to find a way out of the tide on the windward legs, without losing the best wind. There were three fast downwind legs with the tide, when places were often changing and this resulted in some crowded mark roundings. In IRC1 Tony Mack (McFly – J/111) was out for the first time and took a win by over five minutes from Loco (Sydney 40). A slightly longer gap of 16 seconds in the J/109s separated first placed Jagerbomb (Paul Griffiths) from Jynnan Tonnyx (Owain Franks and Jean Lockett).
At the halfway point, IRC3 sees the J/97 JIGGERY POKERY sailed by Chaz Ivill holding second overall and stablemate J/97 INDULJENCE skippered by Nick and Adam Munday are now up to fourth overall. The J/92s J'RONIMO sailed by David Greenhalgh and John Taylor are sitting in sixth and the J/105 JOURNEYMAKER V with Chris Jones at the helm is in tenth.
Although OFFBEAT (David McLeman) slipped to fifth place this week, two wins gives them top placing in the J/109s. They are followed by Mike & Sarah Wallis's JAHMALI, Owain Franks & Jean Lockett's JYNNAN TONNYX, David Mcgough's JUST SO and Paul Griffiths' JAGERBOMB, respectively, to round out the top five.
On Peter Knight’s White Group line the wind steadied around 120 degrees, so the three 40-50 minute races could use the same course. The slightly warmer temperature may also have been reflected in White Group’s spinnaker handling. With slightly less numb hands, there was a significant reduction in the numbers taking the wide route round the leeward gate. In the first and second races, the J/70 Boats.com (Ian Atkins) saw off the rest of the fleet, but in race three were pushed down to fourth. This let Ruairidh Scott’s NORTH SAILS, helmed by Geoff Carveth, win the day with a 2,2,1 score line. As in previous weeks, the J/70 racing remains close. Ian Atkins still leads, followed by Scott's NORTH SAILS, Simon Cavey's PHEEBS, Malcolm Jacques DJANGO and TEAM SPITFIRE's Simon Ling to round out the top five.
In the J/80s, Race 2 saw a general recall when a mid-line bulge occurred a few seconds too early. Given a second chance, the class then got away cleanly although ROCK & ROLL just beat the gun in the third race and had to return. Out for the first time this season, Stewart Hawthorn in J'AIX DEUX AMOURS took all three wins. At this stage halfway into the series, Jon Powell's BETTY continues to maintain a healthy lead on the fleet. Rounding out the top five are Gillian Ross' ROCK & ROLL, Mark Baskerville's MISTRAL, Allan Higgs' JUICY and Vladimir Phillips' JABBA.
Back in the clubhouse John Wallace, the local director from sponsor Brooks Macdonald, and his family enjoyed the warmth and after-race banter whilst presenting the weekly champagne prizes. The Brooks Macdonald Warsash Spring Series continues on 14th April 2013. Sailing photo credits- Iain McLuckie For more Warsash Spring Series sailing information