The Black Group committee boat set up station at East Knoll, giving an initial windward leg for all classes to Fastnet Insurance buoy south of Lee-on-the-Solent. Courses were tight – IRC1 having 13 marks over 15 miles and the course setters mixed in plenty of starboard roundings to ring the changes. All the starts went remarkably well. The breeze, while fairly constant in direction, occasionally dropped from 11 knots down to 8 kts. Tacticians were fully occupied trading less tide for more wind. Given several marks in common to all classes, rounding could be tricky with many and varied designs in one place at the same time. The strong ebb tide on the windward legs caught some boats out judging the layline incorrectly, causing them to make several attempts to round, short tacking close to the buoy.
In IRC 1 class, the J/111s are having close racing around the dozen plus marks set out each weekend.
JITTERBUG continues to lead the class now by only one pt. Their 1-2-3 score for 6 pts just nips David & Kirsty Apthorp’s J-DREAM with a 4-1-2 for 7 pts. Tied for third on 14 pts apiece are Will Naylor’s crew on BRITISH SOLDIER and Simon Boadle’s MUNKENBECK. Revving up their engines this past weekend with a solid race was Charles Ivill’s ETB TYRES, taking a first in class and also 2nd in IRC overall!
In the J/109 class David Mcleman’s OFFBEAT put a stop to JAGERBOMB’s (Paul Griffiths) chance of a hat trick; these two boats pulling away from the rest of the class in the Series. The J/109 series is getting interesting because there are two races within the series at this time. The leaders are just one point apart with JAGERBOMB still leading and OFFBEAT beginning to “get their groove on”. Just behind them, another duel is shaping up between Owain Franks & Jean Lockett’s JYNNAN TONNYX and Marcus Wilson’s Royal Air Force crew aboard RED ARROW. Both are tied for third overall with 15 points each. More interesting news to come from this set of duels!
In IRC 3 division, Nick and Adam Munday’s J/97 INDULJENCE didn’t sail this past weekend. The IRC 4 class saw David Greenhalgh’s J/92 J’RONIMO continuing their consistent performance in the series with a 3rd this past weekend. Their finishes of 3-4-3 for a total of 10 pts, puts them just 3 pts out of first.
White Group has kept to the full schedule of racing, with nine races now completed. Their racing area was chosen this week off Hill Head. After Race 1 the courses were shortened to two laps and the leeward end of the course was swung 10 degrees before Race 3 due to a slight wind shift.
JUGADOR (Jack Davies) showed up for the first time in the series and nailed two wins in the J/70s. Another newcomer, JUST NOW (Paul Molesworth) took the remaining race. At this halfway stage, Ian Wilson’s JOY RIDE is leading the series with 44 pts, followed by Marie-Claude Heys on JOSEPHS COAT in second with 46 pts and Ian Atkins on BOATS.COM in third sitting on 63 pts. With a great turnout of nine boats registered, there is a certainty the standings will get jumbled in the second half since drop-out races starting coming into effect.
The French boat J-OUT-OF-THE-BOX (Yannig Loyer) came to the fore in the first J/80 race with AQUA-J (Patrick Liardet) taking Races 2 and 3. The nine boat J/80 fleet are also having exciting close racing. Jon Powell’s BETTY continues to hold on to the lead by a thread, giving up a lot of real estate this past weekend with a 3-6-2 to finish the halfway mark at 22 pts. Just one point back with 24 pts is Liardet’s AQUA-J; their outstanding performance in the last two races helped their case immensely. And, only three points in arrears of AQUA-J is Mike Lewis’s JESTER with 26 pts.
Competitors made brief visits to Warsash Sailing Club after racing, probably anxious to fulfill their Mothering Sunday responsibilities. A couple of class winners even missed collecting their weekly champagne prizes presented by Lisa Vincent from Brooks Macdonald. With so many class leaders close on points, there is everything to play for going into the second half of the Series next Sunday 6th April. Thanks for contribution from Louay Habib. For more Brooks Macdonald Warsash Spring Series sailing information