The HRSC PRO and regatta management team were quietly confident that the high winds seen the night before would moderate in time and, true to form, the wind dropped to a west to northwesterly of 10 knots by the end of the day's racing – leading much of the fleet to do hurried headsail changes before the final beat!
It was a cold day on the Solent and kudos to the race volunteers who braved the chill in RIBS and committee boats to run some great racing. Moreover, the racing was certainly close!
In IRC 2 class, the suspense and anxiety are arising to epic proportions. In the last race, Simon Perry’s J/109 JIRAFFE won with their principal competitor, the Elan 37 ELAIINE, posting a 4th place. That means Perry’s JIRAFFE is just two points astray of winning the overall Winter Series title for IRC 2! The second J/109 continues to be Chris Burleigh’s JYBE TALKIN and the third is Rob Cotterill’s MOJO RISIN.
With one race left to sail, it is Robin Stevenson's J/92S UPSTART that leads the class by 2.5 points, having given up one more point over the weekend on their lead by finishing 4th (a counter). Fellow J/92 sailor David Greenhalgh knocked it out of the park on J’RONIMO, winning the 12th race handily over their enormous fleet to hang on to 4th overall. Now in 5th place is Annie & Andy Howe’s J/97E BLACKJACK II, just 3.5 pts back.
In the J/88 class it was Kirsty & David Apthorp’s crew on J-DREAM that won Sunday's race, finishing comfortably ahead of Gavin Howe's TIGRIS and Richard Cooper's JONGLEUR. That leaves J-DREAM six points clear of second overall, Paul Ward's EAT SLEEP J REPEAT, themselves one point clear of TIGRIS. Rounding out the top five, Tim Tolcher’s RAGING BULL is fourth, just 2.5 pts clear of Paul & Marie-Claude Heys’ JENGA in fifth place.
Crews could not believe their luck and swapped tall tales of floods and gales once back ashore for the prize-giving at HRSC, supported this week by the J/88 class, which supplied bottles of champagne to day prize winners. Special prizes this week went to the J/88 JONGLEUR for the best start of the day.
Sailing photo credits- Paul Wyeth/ pwpictures.com and Hamo Thornycroft For more Hamble Winter Series sailing information