Monday, November 28, 2016

Hamble Winter Series VII Report

J/92 sailing Hamble winter series (Hamble, Great Britain)- Saturday's miserable autumn rain cleared up in time for the weather gods to deliver a day of champagne sailing for Sunday's Hamble Winter Series race.

A very shifty northwesterly welcomed competitors to a game of “snakes and ladders”, with oscillating windshifts providing plenty of opportunity for position changes in the large fleets. From a start line near “ buoy”, fleets beat up towards the Hamble, with the bigger boats using Hamble Point as their windward mark. IRC 3 and 4 rounded Bald Head as their first mark, with the nearby shoreline adding some extra tactical challenges.

In IRC 1 class, Simon Bamford’s J/111 KESTREL and Christopher Daniel's J/122 JUNO are still neck-and-neck in the standings, with KESTREL sitting in 6th overall and JUNO now dropping to 8th position.  At this stage, with two good races left, it is still possible for Bamford’s KESTREL to crack the top five, sitting just four points back from fifth position.

J/92 sailing off Hamble, EnglandThe “J/109 division”, e.g. IRC 2 class, close racing continues between the top boats. After posting second place last weekend, Simon Perry's J/109 JIRAFFE still lies in second overall, four points back from the lead with 14 pts total. The second J/109 is Chris Burleigh’s JYBE TALKIN and the third is Rob Cotterill’s MOJO RISIN, respectively, with 42 and 50 pts each.

The “Cinderella story” of the HWS IRC 3 class (and the overall series) so far has to be Robin Stevenson’s J/92S UPSTART.  His team continues to sail brilliantly, maintaining their overall lead, 3.5 pts clear of the next boat.  The top five saw a “flip-flop” occur in the standings between the next two J/teams.  By virtue of taking a 4th place in their last race, Annie & Andy Howe’s J/97 GBR 97X- BLACKJACK II- has 31.5 pts total to stealthily move into 4th place overall, just a half-point clear of David Greenhalgh’s J/92 J’RONIMO with 32 pts!  The drama and excitement are building steadily race-by-race as these two also have a chance for the top three in the series!

Sailing in Hamble Winter Series, EnglandFinally, “los tres amigos” leading the highly competitive nine-boat J/88 class continue to do battle with a bit of a dramatic twist this past weekend!  Kirsty and David Apthorp's J-DREAM won the race to lengthen their lead to a somewhat comfortable 12 pts total, now 6 pts clear of the next two boats.  However, the anxiety is brewing like a tempest in a teapot for the silver and bronze.  Gavin Howe's TIGRIS posted a 2nd place to close-out the weekend with 19 pts total for the series, just one point back from Paul Ward’s EAT SLEEP J REPEAT.  ESJR had a battle with Richard Cooper’s JONGLEUR in the last race, dropping to 4th place and, thus, holding onto second place for the series with 18 pts, but closing the gap quite dramatically with TIGRIS.

There are two races remaining, and everyone is hoping that the gales currently forecast for next weekend abate in time!  Sailing photo credits- Paul Wyeth/ and Hamo Thornycroft  For more Hamble Winter Series sailing information