Monday, May 7, 2018

No-Surprises @ Warsash Spring Series Finale

J/88 sailing on Solent
(Warsash, England)- The Warsash Sailing Club’s annual Helly Hansen Spring Series produced no surprises at the end of six weekends of racing.  In addition, the two-weekend Crewsaver Spring Championship also did not see measurable changes in the standings from last weekend.  As always with the wind off the mainland shore, big shifts were evident, and success in the final weekend went to those boats that managed to play the shifts correctly.

Peter Knight- PRO of White Group- exclaimed, “This second Saturday played out much the same as the first. We got the classes started, and then the Northerly wind shifted round to the left forcing us to delay the J/70 fleet whilst we moved the Committee Boat and re-set the start line.”

Overall, it turned out to be a taxing days racing for competitors and committee alike with the wind continuing to shift and the committee moving start lines and adjusting courses to the breeze. The wind started to drop off later in the afternoon but rallied with 6 knots of breeze enabling all four White Group races to run on Saturday.

Although still offshore, the wind on Sunday was further to the right and stronger, and the White Committee boat set up courses on a 020-degree axis. In the afternoon, it built to 15 knots by the final race giving White Group competitors a good blast to finish the Championship on.

J/70 sailing on SolentThere was no change in places in the J/70 class from last weekend with CALYPSO (Calascione/ Ripard) winning, SOAK RACING (Marshall King & Ian Wilson) in second and JELVIS (Martin Dent) in third.

Black Group race committee was busy moving around the Solent and adjusting courses as well. To begin, it set two windward/leeward courses each of 4-5 miles on the East Knoll bank from near 4N QXI International. However, as the tide began to drop it had to move the fleet down to the Ryde Middle Bank near 4U Fevertree. Then, followed an unfortunate delay of three quarters of an hour as the wind shifted to the NW and it had to take the fleet further east to near 43 Wightlink to avoid the 10 boats racing in a Fast 40 class event who had set up in the middle of the bank. This meant there was no time for the planned fourth race.

Sunday was an easier day with the Black Group Committee boat setting up near 4W Goodall Roofing Courses were two triangle-sausage races each of around 8-10 miles using a mix of laid and fixed race marks and starting with beats to a laid mark inshore off Lee-on-the-Solent.

J/111 sailing on SolentIn Black Group, IRC 1 Class saw Chris Jones’ J/111 JOURNEYMAKER II take 4th, while Cornel Riklin’s J/111 JITTERBUG finished 6th. Taking 8th was Chris Daniel’s J/122E JUNO.

In the IRC 3 Class, it was Mike Lewis’ J/80 JESTER, Jack Banks’ J/92 NIGHTJAR, and Andy Howe’s J/97 BLACKJACK II taking 2nd to 4th, respectively.

For the J/109 class, it was JIRAFFE (Simon Perry) that was once again piped to the post (by 1-point only) by the 2017 Spring Champions JUKEBOX (John Smart & Chris Copeland).

Apart from the first cancelled weekend of the Helly Hansen Warsash Spring Series, this year's series has been characterized by generally light winds.  However, on Sunday during the last race, the fleet did see up to 15 knots out of the North.  The White Committee boat set up courses on a 020-degree axis and adjusted the length as the breeze varied.

The J/70s did their normal routine of treating their first start as practice start, with a big bulge of boats in the middle. Subsequent starts under black and then U flags saw their starts returning to their normal good standard.  In the last J/70 race the increasing breeze allowed them to start planing which gave them an exhilarating end to the series.

From an entry of thirty J/70s, DSP (Douglas Struth) sailed consistently well to win this class from PEGGY (Jon Powell) and OFFBEAT (David Mcleman).  The standard of sailing in the J/70s is high and purportedly that there are at least two world champions and the twice winning Nigerian GP14 National champion in the fleet!

The Black Group had two races on Sunday starting near Goodall Roofing on the tail of the Bramble bank. The breeze was 8 to 15 knots NNE and two triangle sausage type races were set, using fixed and laid marks, starting with beats towards laid marks near the mainland shore off Lee-on-Solent, and forays across the main tide to the Ryde middle bank. A longer course set for the second race as the breeze increased.

In IRC 1, Paul Griffiths’ J/111 JAGERBOMB closed with a 10-5 and finished 4th, just two points out of third.

J/122e sailing on SolentDAVANTI TYRES (Chaz Ivill) won the first race in IRC 2 and was 2nd in race two. With consistent results in the IRC 2 series, DAVANTI TYRES has won overall.

IRC 3 class saw J/97E JUMBLESAIL 2 (Rachel, David & Robert Hunt) finish the series in third position. Fourth, just two points back, was David Greenhalgh’s J/92 J’RONIMO.

In the J/109 fleet JUKEBOX (John Smart & Chris Copeland) won the first race with DIAMOND JEM (Robert Stiles) second, while in the second race JIRAFFE (Simon Perry) won with JUKEBOX second. This gave JIRAFFE a good series win, with JUKEBOX second and JAGO (Mike and Susie Yates) third. After the racing, Perry (JIRAFFE) said he had enjoyed the racing and the courses, and it had been a good series for the J/109’s, with ten boats taking part and most boats out most weekends.

It was close racing for the J/88s with TIGRIS (Gavin Howe) and J-DREAM (David & Kirsty Apthorp) each getting a first and second on Sunday.  This also meant that over the series they were equal on points and final positions!  They were separated on countback with J-DREAM winning from TIGRIS with JONGLEUR (Richard Cooper) third.

So, overall as PRO Peter Bateman commented, “it was an uncharacteristically chilly day, but excellent sailing conditions and some great racing! A good finish to the Series and the Championships!”   Sailing photo credits- Closed Hauled Photography  Follow the Helly Hansen Warsash Spring Series on Facebook here.  For more HELLY HANSEN Warsash Spring Series sailing information Add to Flipboard Magazine.