Close at the finish too with 7 seconds separting the top three J/109s

Close at the finish too with 7 seconds separting the top three J/109s

Good opening day for the X-Yachts

A report from the first day of racing at the Raymarine Warsash Spring Series

Tuesday March 13th 2007, Author: Event Press, Location: United Kingdom
Competitors in the first race of the Raymarine Warsash Spring Series, held on Sunday 11th March, were greeted with a warm, sunny day. Early on, a good 10-12 knot southerly breeze kicked in to cover the starting sequences but instead of building, as it had done the day before, the wind became erratic, swinging towards the south-west and dwindling. This gave both fleets a challenging but rewarding day, particularly for tacticians as they watched to avoid calmer patches and carefully judged the effect of the flood tide.

Black Group, under Chief Race Officer David Greenway, set up station off the East Bramble buoy and announced a 15 minute postponement. It appeared some competitors were not used to the car boot sale in Hamble Lane and road works in the village causing traffic tailbacks, but the race committee may not be quite so accommodating in future! Courses were set for the five IRC classes, J/109s and J/105s using windward/leeward legs between the mainland and Island shores. In the event, as the breeze died classes were shortened to allow all boats a finish within the time limit.

During the start sequence, boats tended to crowd the starboard end of the line and the Army Sailing Association’s Prima 38 Longbow was the first to suffer an individual recall. She recovered well during the first leg to round the top mark in the main body of the fleet, finishing fifth on the water. The class was won by Tim Harrington’s X-35 Vortex. She finished close enough behind the higher rated Circus, which was first to cross the line. Other X-Yacht designs also had a good day. The X-41 Legally Brunette won IRC1. Ian Dawson, helming the X-332 Glide-X held off the challenging Sigma 38s to take IRC4 and Andriu McCormack brought home his X-99 2xs 11 minutes ahead of the remaining IRC5 class.

Nick Jones’ new Beneteau First 34.7 Astarte began the series well in IRC3, edging past series winner Jim McGregor on Flair IV into second position by just under a minute. The J/109s were third to start and used more of the line. Philip Smith’s Firestorm had a good first leg, arriving at the windward mark with a healthy lead, but subsequently dropped back. Johnny Blue initially languished at the tail end of the class but fought her way up to sixth place. The results demonstrated just how close the racing in this growing one design fleet was, as only 32 seconds separated first to fourth places.

With an afternoon high tide, the White Group of sportsboats had plenty of water off the Meon shore and for the first set of races the wind was reasonably steady. 46 boats have so far entered the Laser SB3s, making this the largest class and their starting record has, in the past, been somewhat hectic. However, and perhaps surprisingly, they got away clearly at the first attempt and it was left for the J/80s to take the first recall. Two boats were over the line at the gun but Darren and Georgie Baker’s Mad Cow failed to return, which gave them a poor start to this year’s campaign. First blood went to Marie-Claude Heys helming Jenga Trois which built up a substantial lead of four minutes. Immediately after the Laser SB3s successfully started their second race at midday, the wind shifted towards the south-west and the J/80s were recalled. The breeze continued to oscillate, making some of the beats one-sided but with four classes on the race track, it was impossible to adjust the course. The Laser SB3s showed further surprises in that, from a highly competitive fleet, the finished order for both races was the same, with Marshall King’s Blue Job beating Geoff Carveth’s Small but Steamy and Luke Wooster on Woosterstock. Could standards have been set?

Back in the WSC clubhouse, Raymarine’s Sarah Heasman presented the weekly bottles of Champagne Mumm to class winners present. The Raymarine Warsash Spring Series continues on Sunday 18th March.

Black Group:
IRC 1 Legally Brunette X-41 X-Yachts
IRC 2 Vortex X-35 Tim Harrington
IRC 3 Astarte First 34.7 Nick Jones
IRC 4 Glide-X X-332 Ian Dawson
IRC 5 2xS X-99 Aindriu McCormack
J/109 Jahmali Mike Wallis
J/105 Juliette Roderick Knowles

White Group:
Hunter 707
Race 1 This is Jeff Tim Hunt
Race 2 Showtime Lloyds Yacht Club
J/80
Race 1 Jenga Trois Paul & Marie-Claude Heys
Race 2 Jenga Trois Paul & Marie-Claude Heys
Laser SB3
Race 1 Blue Job Marshall King
Race 2 Blue Job Marshall King
Sportsboats
Race 1 Go Ferret 1720 Huw Alban-Davies
Race 2 Go Ferret 1720 Huw Alban-Davies

For full results please click here .

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