Wet but warmer

Overcast but warm weather greeted competitors for week three of the Raymarine Warsash Spring Series

Tuesday March 28th 2006, Author: Flavia Bateson, Location: United Kingdom
In contrast to week two of the Raymarine Warsash Spring Series, there were no sunny blue skies to greet competitors for week three. Instead, there were leaden clouds with a persistent drizzle which obscured large parts of the Solent and penetrated everywhere. On the positive side, the temperature was considerably less Arctic, in a lower than forecast breeze coming from the south-west which was due to move southerly and rise by the afternoon.

After a brief postponement to adjust the start line, IRC1 was then subject to a general recall and sent to the back of the sequence, leaving IRC2 the first away. Here boats jostled at the pin attempting to dip back but again over accelerating whilst being too close. This resulted in seven boats marked as over the line.

By Air Canada, the first windward mark, Ian MacLean’s Ker 36 Software Mistresshad a small lead, which she kept on the run to Fastnet Insurance off Lee-on-Solent and extended to take line honours. Jack Pringle’s IMX-40 Mankie had trouble hoisting her foresail at the end of leg two but nonetheless was second to cross the line, only to discover she was one of the early starters. This left Cool Runnings to claim a second place and a three point series lead at the halfway stage. In IRC3 Flair IV showed the fleet that starting at the committee boat end was the right choice. She had total command of the first beat and finished minutes ahead of this closely fought class on corrected time. In IRC4 Ian Dawson continued to demonstrate the performance which won him the Raymarine Trophy in 2005 with a perfect score of three first places.

The combined J/109 and Bowsprit class got clean away and for the first time in the series, the J/105 Java was not the fastest round the course. Nigel Brooke’s Jalapeno had an early lead until the second run, when Zelda (Mike Ewart Smith and Ben Richards) broke away on the opposite gybe from the rest of the fleet to take the lead and a win by over four minutes. Jalapeno managed to retain second place, but by a slender two seconds from Mike and Sarah Willis in Jahmali.

On the sportboat course, the Laser SB3s had problems starting the first race and, even under the black flag rule, one boat was excluded. Mike Budd helming Gul was being hotly pursued by Ben Duke at the start of the final leg. But then WKD found a hole in the wind allowing seven boats to sail over Duke. Things were tight in the afternoon race when Mike Budd won again but with Nick Haigh and Geoff Carveth second, only three seconds adrift in Small but Steamy with Ben Duke in third place. A consistent run by any one of five crews in the second half of the series could give them the title. In the other main class, the Hunter 707s saw the same podium places for both races.

April brings with it the first of the Big Boat Series on Saturday first. These competitors will join the rest of the Raymarine Warsash Spring Series the following day, enjoying two races with IRC1 - even more opportunities to collect the champagne kindly provided for class winners each week.


Fleet Race Boat name Boat type Owner
IRC1   Decosol First 47.7 Rob Bottomley
IRC2   Software Mistress Ker 36 Ian MacLean
IRC3   Flair IV Elan 40 Jim McGregor
IRC4   Glide-X X-332 Ian Dawson
IRC5   Exeat Westerly Storm Guy McBride
Bowsprit   Java J-105 Paul & Marie-Claude Heys
J109   Zelda J109 Mike Ewart-Smith & Ben Richards
Sigma 38   Festina Lente Sigma 38 Meakins family
Hunter 707 R1 Pocket Battleship Hunter 707 Mark Gillett
  R2 Pocket Battleship Hunter 707 Mark Gillett
Cork 1720 R1 Key Yachting Cork 1720 Shane Hughes
  R2 Sworded Fish Cork 1720 Simon Blake
Laser SB3 R1 Gul Laser SB3 Mike Budd
  R2 Gul Laser SB3 Mike Budd
J-80 R1 Just Savage J-80 Liz Savage
  R2 Just Savage J-80 Liz Savage
Sportsboat R1 Billy Sonar Duncan Bates
  R2 Billy Sonar Duncan Bates

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