Kerisma on top
The exciting, close racing of the IRM Class in the Spring Series was extended into the Spring Championships. The Warsash Sailing Club provided ideal racing for the IRM fleet, with the emphasis on short legs and windward - leeward courses, where good crew work pays dividends. With strong winds and short courses the boats were never far apart and would often be overlapped while speeding downwind at 15 knots or more, making boat handling as key as straight line speed. Places were continually changing during the course of each race.
With the strong wind on the last Sunday forecast to increase even more, only one race was sailed and the last race was abandoned.
Counting all nine races, Chris Bull's Race1 Ker 11.3 Kerisma came out on top, just three points ahead of Nick Haigh's Farr 40 Too Steamy. It was interesting that Kerisma had been top boat on both Saturdays while TooSteamy was top boat on both Sundays. Kerisma's team included designer Jason Ker and GBR Challenge's Jules Salter who joined the boat on the second Saturday.
Grenville Snowdon and his Sigma 38 crew chartered Robbie Cameron-Davies's Race 1 Ker 11.3 I-Site for the Warsash Spring Series, and were delighted to see their performance steadily improve throughout. They were tied with Nick Hartshorn's El Gringo (also a Ker 11.3) going into the final race, in which theysucceeded in beating ElGringo into fourth place overall by one point. This was an excellent result for their first effort in an 11.3.
As the IRM Class Association gains impetus, it is apparent that sailors in this High Performance Racing Class intend to have as much fun off the water as on it. The Association organised a crew party at the HRSC during the first weekend and a reception for owners, race organisers and potential sponsors at the Royal Southern YC during the second weekend of the Spring Championships.
The IRM Class is going from strength to strength, particularly with the close boat for boat racing between the Ker 11.3s and the Farr 40s. Steph Merry, chair of the IRM Class Association, said "the results of these Spring Championships confirm that the IRM Rating Rule provides spectacular, close racing between different designs of grand prix racer. In this event, Kerisma (a Ker11.3) took the honours, but in the Hamble River SC Winter Series last year, it was the Farr 40 Too Steamy which won."
All in all, the Spring Championships provided an excellent warm-up event for the IRM Class Association Inshore Regatta Circuit, which commences on 11 May with the Royal Southern Yacht Club May Regatta.