Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Hamble Winter Series IV Report

J/111 Journeymaker II sailing HambleHamble Winter Series IV Report
(Hamble, Great Britain)- The annual fall offshore classic on the Solent continues to rumble on.  The Hamble River Sailing Club is hosting its 35th Hamble Winter Series and this week the fleet was treated to a day of shifty, gusty winds and steep waves for the fourth weekend, which this week played host to the Hamble Big Boat Championships and the Hamble One Design Championships.

The race team saw a maximum gust of 26 knots, with an average wind speed of 17.8 knots from a wind direction that swung between 050-090°. Combined with a strong cross-tide, this gave competitors some challenging and exhilarating sailing. “It was a great day's sailing for everyone and a big thank you to all the race team volunteers that make it happen,” said PRO Stuart Childerley.  Here are the reports of each event courtesy of Louay Habib.

J/97E sailing Hamble winter seriesHamble Winter Series
The race team got two races underway from the vicinity of Sunsail buoy, and the exciting conditions can be seen in Hamo Thorneycroft’s excellent photos. He commented: “it was a bit wet out there in the photo boat - but everyone was having such a good time it was good to be able to capture some of it on camera!”

One discard kicked in with this weekend's racing completed, which has shaken up the overall results in some classes ahead of a break weekend next week.

In IRC 1, Simon Bamford’s J/111 KESTREL has had their moments of glory, but is now sitting in fifth place after seven races counted (one throw out).

IRC2 was very close with Simon Perry's J/109 JIRAFFE, scoring a first and a second. That leaves JIRAFFE just one point back for the series lead, with four races left to sail.

IRC 3 saw some of the closest racing of the day. The first race was won by Robin Stevenson's J/92S UPSTART, 22 seconds ahead of Annie and Andy Howe's J/97 BLACKJACK II.  That leaves UPSTART atop the podium overall, followed by David Greenhalgh’s J/92 J’RONIMO in fourth position and the Howe’s BLACKJACK II in fifth overall.

J/88 sailing Hamble Winter SeriesIn the J/88 class, overall leaders, David and Kirsty Apthorp on J-DREAM added a first and second to their scoreline to leave them four points clear at the top. Paul Ward's EAT SLEEP J REPEAT scored a third and a first, and now sit three points ahead of Gavin Howe's TIGRIS in the overall results. TIGRIS finished second and fourth in the day's races, with Dirk Van Beek's SABRIEL JR scoring fourth and third.  The three leaders are well clear of the balance of the top five.  In fourth is Paul & Marie-Claude Heys’ JENGA and in fifth place is Tim Tocher’s RAGING BULL.

The day sponsor was Key Yachting; and Marie Claude Heys was on hand to give out the prizes in a packed HRSC clubhouse. Prize for “Best Start of the Day' went to J/88 TIGRIS.

There is a well deserved Mid-series break next weekend, before the clocks go back and the series resumes on the 6th November with one race a day.

Hamble Big Boat Championships - Day 3 & 4
This weekend saw racing for the IRC 1 class, forming the second of two Big Boat Championships weekends on the Solent.  Racing was close and exciting. Twelve races were sailed over the two weekends, but the results were by no means a done deal until the final day.

IRC 1 saw five winners in twelve races.  Simon Bamford’s KESTREL is sitting in fourth place just 6 pts back from 3rd with four races left in the series.  In fifth position is Paul Griffiths’ J/111 JAGERBOMB.  What is revealing is that in the last five races in the series, Louise Makin & Chris Jones’ J/111 JOURNEYMAKER II have the third best record in the fleet- too bad they missed the first six races!

J/109 sailing Hamble Winter seriesHamble One Design Championships - Day 3 & 4
This weekend hosted the final half of the Hamble One Design Championships. A total of 14 races were sailed over the two weekends, giving the J/boats three discards to play with – but, as race officer Kathy Smalley commented: “The J/70s were all pushing it in the last race. Even the use of the U-flag didn't stop the competitors pushing the line, and with the tide underneath them 3 boats ended up paying the price!”

Overall winner of the J/70 class, Mark Lees commented: "It is such a close class, that if you make one small mistake you lose three places". Sunday's exhilarating conditions gave competitors and race teams alike a grandstand view of some exciting sailing. To demonstrate how close the racing was, eight boats won races in the 14-race series.

At the end of the weekend, it was Mark Lees and crew on JUST4SALE that topped the 20-strong J/70 class. They didn't have it all their own way, however, with boats snapping at their heels. Simon Cavey's JUST4PLAY finished second overall, with Patrick Liardet and crew on COSMIC in third place. In fourth is Dave McLeman’s OFFBEAT and fifth is Andrew Barraclough’s JENGA 8.

The J/80 class was dominated by Jon Powell and crew on BETTY, who cleaned up, winning 6 of the 7 races this weekend and 11 over the series. Second overall was Terence O Neill on AQUA J, with Michael Lewis and crew on JESTER in third.  The rest of the top five includes Chris Body’s MOCKING J in fourth and Stephen Armitage’s NINJA in fifth.  Sailing photo credits- Paul Wyeth/ and Hamo Thornycroft   For more Hamble Winter Series sailing information