Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Smokin Hot Hamble Winter Series Rolling!

J/111 Biela-Munkenbeck sailing off Cowes, England A Case of the Tortoise & The Hare All Weekend
(Hamble, England)- From the long-range forecasts over the past week it was clear that there wasn’t going to be much wind for the first weekend of the Garmin Hamble Winter Series, incorporating the first of two MDL Hamble Big Boat Championship weekends.

So it was a relief to find that the forecast had improved during Friday night, predicting 8-10 knots by late afternoon on Saturday. With an oscillating breeze that swung between 260 and 310 degrees, racing started on time at 11am for an 18-strong fleet that included many of the Solent’s top racing yachts in IRC 0, IRC 1 and J/111 classes.

In race 1, David & Kirsty Apthorp's J-DREAM topped the J/111 fleet, ahead of William Naylor’s BRITISH SOLDIER. The light breeze held up for race 2 with Richard Barnes’ BIELA-MUNKENBECK topping the J/111 class. The 10 knots promised by late afternoon failed to materialize, and the third race got underway as the breeze began to die, with a course comprising fixed Solent windward marks and an inflatable leeward mark. In the J/111s, BIELA-MUNKENBECK again took line honours.

Sunday’s forecast was never looking good, but the race committee headed out into the Solent just in case, followed by most of the 70 + boats. Unfortunately, the wind steadfastly refused to build above 2-3 knots and racing was abandoned for the day at noon.

In the MDL Hamble Big Boat Championships, that meant BIELA-MUNKENBECK heads the J/111 class, tied on points with J-DREAM. That all leaves much to play for in the second weekend of the MDL Hamble Big Boat Championships, held in a fortnight’s time.

Next weekend hosts the second Garmin Hamble Winter Series race day as well as the first of two Doyle Sails Hamble One Design Championships weekends. Day Sponsor is Hudson Wight. Here’s hoping for some more breeze – see you then!  Thanks for contribution from Ben Meakins.  Sailing photo credits- Malcolm Donald.    For more Garmin Hamble Winter Series sailing information