Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Sunny, Warm Conclusion @ Hamble Winter Series

J/88 sailing on Solent off Cowes, EnglandJ/111s Sweep IRC 0, J/97s Dominate IRC 3
(Hamble, England)- The final race of the 2014 Garmin Hamble Winter Series was ushered in by sunshine and an unseasonably warm breeze – quite a change from the previous week's biblical rain and cold winds!  What is wrong with this picture?  Some considered it warm enough to toss on shorts, shades and sunscreen to celebrate the beginning of December!

The wind was from the north and shifty, which gave all classes some great opportunities to make gains on their competitors – just as well, as throughout the fleet there were scores to settle and places to be gained and lost, even at this late stage. In most fleets the established order was turned on its head, with the usual winners often well down the pack.

J/109s sailing on Solent off Cowes, EnglandIn IRC 0, the J/111s swept the class for the first time in history.  Martin Dent's J-ELVIS added another first place to her scoreline to win the class overall by eight points. Taking second overall was Chris Body's ICARUS.  Despite not sailing the last race, Louise Makin's JOURNEYMAKER II took third overall.

In IRC 2, the five J/88s took five of top 11 spots- placing 4th (Stew Hawthorn’s J/88 JIFI), 5th (Paul Ward’s J/88 EAT SLEEP J REPEAT), 6th (Ivan Trotman’s J/88 JOJO) and 11th, respectively.

J/97s filled the first two podium spots in IRC 3, with Charles Ivill's ETB TYRES/ JUST LIKE THAT first overall, four points clear of Andy Howe's BLACKJACK II.  In retrospect, it was clear from the first two weekends of racing that Ivill's crew was not to be denied, closing out the series with nearly straight firsts!

J/109 sailboat- sailing on Solent off Cowes, EnglandFor the J109s, at the start of the final race, only a few points separated the top three boats, with any capable of winning the series. Owain Franks' JYNNAN TONNYX won Sunday's race, with Adrian Wheal's JOLLY JACK TAR second – but this wasn't quite enough to knock JOLLY JACK TAR from the top spot, which she won by a point. Roger Phillips' DESIGNSTAR 2 fell a place to third, only a point behind second place.  Great, close racing for this beloved Solent one-design class.

Day prizes were provided by Wadworth's Brewery, as crews with sun-kissed faces returned to the HRSC clubhouse after racing. Thanks must go to the army of volunteers who run the event, from race teams to mark-layers and kitchen and bar staff – the event wouldn't happen without them! Grateful thanks also go to the event sponsors, from title sponsor Garmin to the day sponsors who provided the weekly prizes.

Next Saturday sees the event prize-giving at 6pm in the clubhouse, where event sponsors Garmin will be on hand to distribute prizes to boats on the podium. Thank you to all competitors who have sailed in the Garmin Hamble Winter Series in 2014 – we hope to see you on the water again next year!  Thanks for contribution from Ben Meakins.   Sailing Photo Credits- Paul Wyeth/   For more Garmin Hamble Winter Series sailing information