A sunny spring day, 10 knots of SE breeze, swinging right to SW and increasing a couple of knots was the forecast, and as the committee boats arrived on station SE with up to 10 knots of breeze was what they found.
On the inshore White Group line IRC4 was sent away cleanly to their first windward mark, however the J/70 start was a much more eager affair and with the fleet firmly over the line on the gun, a general recall ensued. To persuade the fleet there were other places to start rather than the inshore less-tide pin, race officer Peter Knight put more bias into the line and got the fleets away for an hour of close racing, with the numerous J/70 fleet in particular enjoying exciting times through the leeward gate.
During the second race, however the wind hesitated, so due to the dying wind, the decision was taken to shorten the course and the fleets were shortened to 2 or 1.5 laps, but still got a finish. When the breeze did fill in again it had moved to a SW sea breeze of 12-15 knots, the committee boat moved inshore to start race 3.
Again, the J/70s were over eager and had to be recalled, but the use of the black flag installed discipline, and they restarted ok, other classes got away with individual recalls and enjoyed three short sharp laps with a steady sea breeze. In the White group, Betty (J/80 Jon Powell) led the J/80 fleet. Meanwhile, Offbeat (J/70 David McLeman) led the J/70 fleet.
As a result, the White Championship J/70 fleet has Simon Ling’s TEAM RAF SPITFIRE in 1st with 8 pts; Marshall King & Ian Wilson’s SOAK RACING in 2nd with 12 pts; and Jonathan Calascione’s CALYPSO in 3rd with 17 pts.
For the White Group J/70 fleet spring series, after twelve races, it’s David Mcleman’s OFFBEAT leading with 73 pts; Patrick Liardet’s COSMIC sits 2nd with 76 pts; and third is Marshall King & Ian Wilson’s SOAK RACING with 88 pts.
The White Championship J/80 fleet has Jon Powell’s BETTY leading with six 1sts! Second is Nick Haigh’s SLIGHTLY STEAMY with four 2nds and third is Mike Lewis’ JESTER with 15 pts.
For the White Group spring series, after twelve races, Powell’s BETTY is leading with 13 pts, followed by Mike Lewis’ JESTER in second with 26 pts, and Terry O’Neill’s AQUA-J in third with 32 pts.
The Black Group started near Hillhead with a South Easterly breeze that started at 5-6 kts, building at times to 10 kts. For the various classes a 5 to 8nm race was set with a final beat to QXI international and a fetch to the finish at Deloitte Sailing Club buoy. For the majority of the fleets this worked well, but as the wind died, some boats in IRC1 and IRC2 and the J/88 fleet, didn't get around QXI against the tide and couldn't make the time limit.
The J/109s and IRC3 fleet were stranded between East Knoll and QXI international and some boats gained places (or didn't lose them!) by kedging - not a skill you often see practiced in a Spring Series race. A few boats ventured south of the Bramble bank, either looking for breeze or carried down there by the tide, and eventually breaths of wind started easing in from the South West.
The two fleets together with some J/88s, then parked up in a long line abreast wafting towards the mark, then drifting back in the hot sunshine, until the new South Westerly breeze got tired of this game and suddenly just filled in - this left the fleets all trying to round the mark almost simultaneously, but due to courtesy and common sense there appeared to be no collisions, and after a short beat to the finish the committee boat had the task of recording every finisher in a two minute window.
During a day's racing like this, some boats have good days and some are bound to have bad days, but our sympathy goes out to the J/88 with the lime green spinnaker who used it to lasso the windward mark!!
With the breeze now filled in, the Black Group committee boat moved to a new position near Jonathan Janssen buoy, and in the limited space and time available set a short windward leeward course as the breeze freshened to around 12 knots, and all classes enjoyed a short but sparkling final race.
The J/88s had TIGRIS (Gavin Howe) win the first race with J-DREAM (David and Kirsty Apthorp) 2nd and SABRIEL JR (Dirk and Dianne van Beek) third. In the second race J-DREAM got to the front with SABRIEL JR second and EAT SLEEP J REPEAT (Paul Ward) in third. Overall J-DREAM leads from TIGRIS and SABRIEL JR.
The J/109s had their ranks swelled this week with boats coming out for the championship weekend, giving good competitive racing. In race 5, JIRAFFE (Simon Perry) won from JUKEBOX (John Smart) and JYBE TALKIN (Christopher Burleigh). In race 6, JUKEBOX posted a well-sailed first from JIRAFFE second and JUMPING JELLYFISH (David Richards) 3rd. Overall JIRAFFE leads from JYNNAN TONNYX (Owain Franks) and JAGO (Mike and Susie Yates) in equal second place.
In IRC 1 class, Simon Bamford’s J/111 KESTREL had her first win of the series, after a string of thirds, with Paul Griffiths’ J/109 JAGERBOMB second. As a result, KESTREL is biting at the heels of the leader and lie in a close second.
In IRC 3 class, 1st is Rachel & Robert Hunt’s J/97E JUMBLESAIL2 with 5-1-2-4-1 for 13 pts and 2nd is Andy Howe’s J/97 BLACKJACK II with a 2-2-1-5-7 for 17 pts.
For the highly competitive J/109 class, 1st is John Smart’s JUKEBOX with a 4-1-1-2-1 for 9 pts; 2nd is David Richard’s JUMPING JELLYFISH with a 3-3-5-4-3 for 18 pts; and 3rd is Simon Perry’s JIRAFFE with a 5-9-2-1–2 for 19 pts.
Not to be outdone by their one-design compatriots, the J/88 class is seeing a bit of stratification amongst the fleet. As a result, the leader is David & Kirsty Apthorp’s J-DREAM with all five 1sts! Taking 2nd is Paul Ward’s EAT SLEEP J REPEAT with all 2nds! And, in 3rd is Tim Tolcher’s RAGING BULL with all 3rds!
Consequently, in IRC 3 Class, third is David Greenhalgh’s J/92 J’RONIMO with a 25-1-7-1-3-6 for 18 pts and in 4th place is Rachel & Robert Hunt’s J/97E JUMBLESAIL 2 with a 4-3-6-3-5-3 for 18 pts.
For the J/109 spring series championship, the leadership is beginning to be well-defined. First is Simon Perry’s JIRAFFE with a 4-3-2-1-1-2 for 9 pts. Second is Owain Franks’ JYNNAN TONNYX with a 1-1-1-8-4-8 for 15 pts. Third is Mike & Susie Yates with a 2-2-3-2-6-6 for 15 pts.
For the J/88s series, there is no question that David & Kirsty Apthorp’s J-DREAM with a 4-3-1-1-2-1 for 8 pts has a good lead. In second place is Gavin Howe’s TIGRIS with a 5-1-2-6-1-4 for 13 pts, and in 3rd Dirk & Dianne Van Beek’s SABRIEL JR with 3-4-3-2-3-2 for 13 pts.
Nothing is set in stone in rest of the classes as we head into the last two Sundays of the Spring Series, and see the start of the Crewsaver Warsash Spring Championship on Saturday 8th and Sunday 9th April continuing after Easter on 22nd and 23rd April. Sailing Photo credits- Close Hauled Photography For more HELLY HANSEN Warsash Spring Series sailing information Add to Flipboard Magazine.