Easier going

Flavia Bateson reports from the weekend's Raymarine Warsash Spring Series

Tuesday April 11th 2006, Author: Flavia Bateson, Location: United Kingdom
After the excitement of last week, many competitors were no doubt relieved to be sailing in gentler conditions for the fifth week of the Raymarine Warsash Spring Series which also included the opening of the Spring Championships for sportsboats on Saturday 8th April. The stress on both days came from making the best use of a breeze which shifted between 30 and 50 degrees. Sunday was perhaps the more trying with a Force 3 which dropped to 8 knots and finally next to nothing just as some boats were desperately clawing their way to the finish.

Whilst the first two Black Group classes started successfully, a wind shift caused major rejigging of the courses following and this set the pattern for the rest of the day. IRC1 saw the new TP52 Panthera making an exciting start on port, successfully weaving through the starboard tack 45s at speed. She was the fastest boat round the course but on corrected time Stewart Hawthorn’s J-133 Jump came out on top which moves him up to second place in the series, behind Shaun Frohlich’s Farr 45 Exabyte 4. In IRC2 the luck of the Irish transferred from Aintree to the Solent with two IRL sail numbers leading the pack round the windward mark, but this good fortune was not to last. Jochem Visser helming the X-35 Cool Runnings was in hot pursuit and when the boats ahead retired, the way was clear to take both line and class honours.

Going into the race this week, Flair IV and Quokka had identical score lines in IRC3 but by the top mark, it was Russell Hodgson’s Dehler 36 Veneziani Deliverance that had a small lead over these two with Chris and Hannah Neve’s First 34.7 No Doubt also in the group. On the reach across to Flying Fish buoy, they were joined by another Dehler 36 eye2eye and this section of the class broke away from the rest. Quokka and Flair IV then engaged each other in a private duel and hence posted their worst scores of the series, but leaving no change in the overall positions. Again, everything will be decided on the final day.

At the entrance to Southampton Water, the racing area for the sportboats, shifting winds made life equally difficult for the race officers. Simon Blake in Swordedfish managed to win both 1720 races and improved his overall place. Messrs Thrower, Duniam and Mitchell, sailing their Backman 21 Quarter Back, were joined this week by sistership Back Beat owned by Richard Scarff, but it was the more experienced team which won the day and now have an unassailable lead in the mixed sportsboat class.

Greatest entertainment came from the Laser SB3s. The morning race suffered only one general recall but wind shifts in the early part of the race dealt harsh blows to many of the favourites. At the front of the fleet, Mark Richards’ Rigging Gurus was unfazed by the vagaries of the weather and built a good lead to the finish. The second race was laden with problems and as this also counted towards results in the Spring Championships, where discards are not allowed, the race team was reluctant to use the Black Flag Rule. Eventually the fleet got away at the fourth attempt with Daniel Geoghegan in Another Naked Blonde the clear winner.

The Raymarine Warsash Spring Series regathers after a break for Easter. The weekend of 22nd/23rd April will be a busy one for the Club with both the Big Boat Series and Spring Championships continuing on Saturday as well as the sixth and final Series race on Sunday.

Raymarine Warsash Spring Series
Provisional Results Sunday 9th April (Week 5)

More pictures on Page Two.

Black Fleet:
IRC1   Jump J-133 Stewart Hawthorn
IRC2   Cool Runnings X-35 Thorkild Juncker & Jochem Visser
IRC3   No Doubt First 34.7 Chris & Hannah Neve
IRC4   Great Scott III Elan 333 Eurof & Barbara Philips
IRC5   Shadowfax Sigma 33 Andrew Johns
Bowsprit   Java J-105 Paul & Marie-Claude Heys
J109   Jahmali   Mike & Sarah Wallis
Sigma 38   Festina Lente   Meakins family
White Fleet:
Hunter 707 Race 1 3 Little Pigs   Russell Morgan & Nick Matthews
  Race 2 Sword   Simon Law & Christopher Eddy
Cork 1720 Race 1 Swordedfish   Simon Blake
  Race 2 Swordedfish   Simon Blake
Laser SB3 Race 1 Rigging Gurus   Mark Richards
  Race 2 Another Naked Blonde   Daniel Geoghegan
J80 Race 1 Just Savage   Liz Savage
  Race 2 Nemo   Peter Henney
Sportsboats Race 1 Quarter Back Backman 21 Messrs Thrower, Duniam & Mitchell
  Race 2 Quarter Back Backman 21 Messrs Thrower, Duniam & Mitchell

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