Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Warsash Spring Series IV Report

J/111 Jitterbug sailing Warsash series (Warsash, England)- Competition in the Helly Hansen Warsash Spring continues over the past few weekends.  Here are the latest reports.

April 10th weekend
Crews and skippers alike had their work cut out with a SE to ESE wind of 19-24 knots, gusting 28-29 knots and a big spring tide in the Solent, the fourth day of the Helly Hansen Warsash Spring Series.

Black Group classes, except for IRC4, started racing near mark 'Deloitte Sailing Club' and followed a largely windward leeward pattern to and from the Ryde Middle Bank and then up the North Channel for further legs before finishing at East Knoll.

In IRC1, Cornel Riklin’s J/111 JITTERBUG was the only one of the three boats leading the class to finish the race. JITTERBUG finished first, with Simon Bamford’s J/111 KESTREL taking second.

In IRC2, the J/88 EAT SLEEP J REPEAT sailed by Paul Ward loved the heavy weather conditions and won her first race in the series.

In IRC3, David Greenhalgh's J/92 J’RONIMO took second by just three seconds and continues to hang on to second overall.

J/109 sailing Warsash Spring seriesFor the J/109 class, it was David McGough’s JUST SO taking the win over Owain Franks’ JYNNAN TONNYX in second and Chris Copeland & John Smart’s JUKEBOX in third place.

Racing did not go ahead for the White Group because of the conditions. Some competitors were seen hoisting their spinnakers as they headed back to the River Hamble, only to find themselves sailing horizontally.  One boat broke their mast and they had to be assisted into port. Back at the clubhouse, Chief Race Officer for White Group Peter Knight was heard to say that he was 'comfortable' with his decision!

Hats off to the Spring Series race officers out on the committee boats where conditions at anchor were less than comfortable!  WSC Commodore Nigel Russell presented Champagne and prizes.

April 19th
It was tight racing for the first weekend of the Crewsaver Warsash Spring Championship; 110 boats were competing with around 850 people on the water!

A NNW wind dominated in the Solent over the weekends racing. Saturday was largely grey and cold with the wind generally 8-10 knots, dropping away for a time during race three to 5-7 knots and coming up to 12-15 knots at the end of the afternoon. Sunday bought sunshine but a very light breeze from between the W and NNW. Fluky and between 3-7 knots.

J/88 sailing Warsash seriesBlack Group start area was towards the eastern end of the Ryde Middle bank near the 'Roger Swinney' buoy. The four races on Saturday and two on Sunday were mainly windward / leeward courses around laid inflatable marks for the six classes; Fast 40+, IRC1 to IRC4 and the J/109. The race course was swung for each race to suit the prevailing conditions; lots of work for the four people on the two mark laying RIBs!

The J/109 class had several new boats all sharing the lead in a three-way tie on 11 pts each; Robert Stile’s DIAMOND JEM, David Richards’ JUMPING JELLYFISH and Simon Perry’s JIRAFFE!  Sitting 5 pts back is David McGough’s JUST SO and another 4 pts further back is Owain Franks’ JYNNAN TONNYX.

The IRC 1 Class saw stiff competition, with Chris Jones & Louise Makin’s J/111 JOURNEYMAKER II posting all top five scores to hang on to 5th position.

IRC 2 saw Paul Ward’s J/88 EAT SLEEP J REPEAT take a fourth position.  Ward said of the weekend's racing: "Courses were all very good and the four race format is exactly what we need to get the boat handling sharpened up at the start of the season. With the wind up and down and swinging around there were a lot of decisions for the race team and from what we could see you got them right and gave us all a really good and challenging day on the water".

J/70 RAF Spitfire sailing Warsash seriesWhite Group saw the first Black Flag of the year raised when the 24 strong J/70 class was too eager to start in the third race and the middle of the fleet pushed out over the start line. The Group raced four races on Saturday but the faltering wind meant only one race could be run on the Sunday despite moving the start inshore from to the Royal Southern buoy.  Russell Peter’s BOB is leading the J/70 class with just 13 pts, winning two races in the process and having all top five finishes.  Second is the J/70 Worlds Corinthian Champions, Simon Ling’s TEAM RAF BENEVOLENT FUND SPITFIRE and third is Ian Wilson’s GILL RACE TEAM.  Rounding out the top five is Jon Calascione’s HARLEQUIN in fourth and in fifth is Nick Phillips’ CHAOTIC.

Mike Lewis’s JESTER is leading the J/80 class, followed by Rachel & Robert Hunt’s JUMBLESAIL, third is Terence O’Neill’s AQUA-J.

Peter Bateson concludes, "Next weekend is the last of both the Series and the Championship. If the advance weather forecast of force 3-4 breezes proves correct, there should be some great sailing conditions to make a climax to this year's event."

April 19- Part 2
For the Helly Hansen Warsash Spring Series, Peter Bateson, Series Chairman, commented that, “the competition in some of the Black Group classes has really heated up now with many boats which had been leading the series in their class finding themselves in second place this week. The points are really tight between the boats and so it's all to play for as we head into the final races of the Spring Series next weekend".

J/111 Jitterbug - Cornel Riklin sailing Warsash seriesThe weather had provided a complete reversal of racing conditions in the Solent from last week leaving competitors searching for wind on day five (Sunday 17 April) of the Helly Hansen Warsash Spring Series.

The forecast NNW wind of 5-10 knots shifted around 105 degrees extreme to extreme, causing the first race - and in the end the only race- of the day for White Group to be AP'd as the wind had shifted dramatically to the left.

Black Group's start area was around the eastern end of the Ryde Middle Bank with windward / leeward courses laid by inflatable marks. IRC4, which normally starts with the White Group, was moved into the Black Group start area due to the light winds.

In IRC 1 class, Cornel Riklin’s J/111 JITTERBUG has maintained her overall series lead with an astounding 10-point gap to second place. However, JITTERBUG sustained some damage in an incident with another competitor and was not able to race on the Sunday. Hopefully, she will be out next Sunday.

J/88 spinnaker reach at Warsash seriesPaul Ward’s J/88 EAT SLEEP J REPEAT continues to climb the ladder for the series in IRC 3 Class and now sits in third overall.  Richard Cooper’s J/88 JONGLEUR has been doing the same, is tied for fifth place, and has a good chance for a top five finish.

David Greenhalgh’s J/92 J’RONIMO is now leading IRC 3 Class with 11 pts.  Meanwhile, Andy Howe’s J/97 BLACKJACK II took a 2nd in her last race and has an excellent chance of hopping into 3rd overall with a good finish next week.

The J/109s still have the same top three boats leading the class, McGough’s JUST SO in 1st with 9 pts with Franks’ JYNNAN TONNYX in 2nd with 11 pts and Perry’s JIRAFFE in 3rd with 12 pts.  Who beats who in the last weekend will determine the final outcome of this trio?  Chris Burleigh’s JYBE TALKIN’ is 4th with 22 pts and David Richards’ JAZZY JELLYFISH is 5th with 33 pts.

J/70 sailing reach at Warsash seriesThe White Group course was moved inshore from a start at buoy to a start from Royal Southern buoy and the racing was able to finally got underway. But with the wind dying steadily competitors found themselves struggling around the windward mark because of the strong tide. Nevertheless, the racing was tight, with the three J/80's rounding the gate mark within three boat lengths of one another.

BETTY (Jon Powell) continues to lead the J/80 class with a sizeable 16-point lead over JUMBLESAIL (Rachel & Robert Hunt) in second place with 26 pts.  Third for the series is Terence O’Neill’s AQUA-J with 34 pts.

In the J/70 class, COSMIC (Patrick Liardet) is holding on as series leader with just 15 pts in 9 races counted.  INJUNCTION (Steve Venables) is holding onto second place after posting three bullets in three of the last four races.  Andrew Barraclough’s JENGA 8 is sitting tenuously in third position with 34 pts, just 4 pts clear of Nick Denney’s JALAPENO in fourth.  Fifth overall is Doug Struth’s DSP.

Annabel Shove presented Champagne and prizes from Rolly Tasker Sails who have provided the winner's champagne throughout the Series.   For more Helly Hansen Warsash Spring Series and CrewSaver Spring Championship sailing information