Half way stage

Second half of the Garmin Hamble Winter Series set sail in 20 knots northerlies

Monday November 9th 2009, Author: Jonty Sherwill, Location: United Kingdom
The second half of the Garmin Hamble Winter Series 2009 kicked off with a cold northerly breeze gusting to 20 knots, marking a turn in the weather for this eight weekend long series.

The Black Group classes were set courses from the Ryde Middle up to Fastnet Insurance buoy, and after a broad reach to Norris had a succession of beats and runs cascading eastward with the flood tide. There was drama in IRC Zero with the overall points leader 'Biela' losing her rig, while Michael Blair's Ker 11.3 Paragon had a runaway win over Tangent Minus 1.

In IRC1 the Reflex 38 stranglehold was broken by Paul Turner's Grand Soleil 43 Artemis [Ed: Please, not another one....] competing in their first race of the series, although Jaguar Logic retains the class lead by two points. In IRC2 Mike Bridges' Elaine added another race win to her tally, and although some smaller boats complained about being caught up in the leading pack of J/109s, Tom Snowball's Beneteau 34.7 Mongoose found her way through to second place on corrected time.

The 20-strong IRC 3 fleet includes 14 Sigma 38s and they are setting a tough pace for the rest, with just 63 seconds separating the first four, but Jamie Muir's SJ320 Scarlet Jester kept snapping at their heels. The four Quarter Tonners in IRC4, including the recently acquired Whiskers of Ian Southworth and Led Pritchard, battled hard in the fresh conditions, but could not keep up with Richard Puddifoot's Sigma 33 Whippa Snappa. Meanwhile in the J/105 and J/109 fleets, the class leaders Voador and J-Dream both won again.

In the White Group three races were completed on a course set across the North Channel, with some adjustment needed after a 25 degree right hand wind shift before the third race. Just 17 of the 30 Laser SB3 entries showed up, with David Cummins Rumbleflurg and Mark Rushall's TBC sharing the honours in the first two races. Hamish Walker's Sail Navy held them both off for a ten second win in the third race, this one after a general recall and black flag.

The J/80 fleet was down to six boats, but John Cooper's Oil maintained the pressure with two wins, Ian Atkin's Boats.com taking the third race. Tom Clay's 1720 Finn M'Coul scored a hat-trick on her first day out in the SBR class, while the consistent Hunter 707 Touchdown maintained her lead in the overall points, and an injury forced her closest rival X-Static to retire from race three.

Next Sunday's racing continues with the full Winter Series programme for White and Black Group racing.

Garmin Hamble Winter Series - Day 5 Results:

Black Fleet Race Winners:
IRC 0 'Paragon' Michael Blair
IRC 1, 'Artemis' Paul Turner
IRC 2, 'Elaine' Mike Bridges
IRC 3, 'With Alacrity' Chris and Vanessa Choules
IRC 4, 'Whippa Snappa' Richard Puddifoot
J/105, 'Voador', Simon Curwen
J/109, 'J Dream' David & Kirsty Athorp

White Fleet Race Winners:
Laser SB3
Race 1, Rumbleflurg' David Cummins
Race 2, ‘TBC’ Mark Rushall
Race 3, ‘Sail Navy’ Hamish Walker

J/80
Race 1 & 2, 'Oil!’ John Cooper
Race 3, 'Boats.Com' Ian Atkins

SBR Sportsboats
Race 1, 2 & 3, ‘X-Static' 'Finn M'Coul' Tom Clay

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