Calm after the storm

Fine autumnal day for the sixth round of the Garmin Hamble Winter Series

Monday November 16th 2009, Author: Jonty Sherwill, Location: United Kingdom
After gale force winds on Saturday and rain squalls early on Sunday morning, the weather settled down to a picturesque day of sunshine and cloud for the sixth round of the Garmin Hamble Winter Series.

With the 10am high water coinciding with the first starts of the day, courses for Black Group were set from the vicinity of Fastnet Insurance buoy across to West Ryde Middle. The moderate to fresh southwesterly breeze and strong west going tide required an offset reach leg to the east followed by cascaded windward leeward legs for the whole fleet.

After the relative calm near to the island shore a few boats were seen to broach in the gusty conditions on the spinnaker legs, but the wind strength seldom got above 22 knots. Even so there were some incidents, including a man overboard but safely recovered by the Sigma 33 Prospero in IRC Class 4, and in the White Group SBR class the unlucky X-Static broke her mast.

Despite the windward going tide that might be expected to benefit the smaller boats, most of the class leaders maintained their form. In IRC Zero Michael Blair's Paragon won again, as did Michael Bridges' Elaine in IRC2, the Sigma 38 With Alacrity in IRC3, the Quarter Tonner Menace in IRC4, and J-Dream in the J/109 class. Meanwhile in IRC1 the Elan 410 Great Scot IV made her way back to the front beating the Beneteau 40.7 Encore by just three seconds on corrected time, and Chris Jones' Journeymaker 5 won the J/105 class.

One small boat team that came close to grabbing a win was Robbie and Lis Robinson aboard their Humphreys 30 Hot Rats. Sailing hot angles downwind while some chose to sail deep and avoid gybing, they finishing second in IRC2, missing their target by 14 seconds.

The White Group classes were as usual closer to the mainland shore, and sailing in a 250 degree breeze. All three races went off without mishap, but to the frustration of the committee and probably the competitors the wind backed by 10 degrees during the final race start sequence.

In the SBR class the Hunter 707 Touchdown won two of the three races, as did Oil! in the J/80s. John Cooper and his crew slipped up with an OCS in race three, with Cressida Robson and Allan Higgs' Juicy winning this one by four seconds from Patrick Liardet's Aqua J. In the Laser SB3 Mark Rushall scored three firsts ahead of Rumbleflurg in the first two, while Team Novae climbed to second place in the third race.

Next Sunday's racing (22nd. Nov) continues with the full Winter Series programme for White and Black Group racing.

More photos on the following pages...

Garmin Hamble Winter Series - Day 5 Results:

Black Fleet Race Winners:

IRC 0 'Paragon' Michael Blair
IRC 1, 'Great Scot IV' Eurof Phillips and Barbara Mackam
IRC 2, 'Elaine' Mike Bridges
IRC 3, 'With Alacrity' Chris and Vanessa Choules
IRC 4, 'Menace' Derek & James Morland and Tim Rees
J/105, 'Journeymaker 5' Chris Jones
J/109, 'J Dream' David & Kirsty Athorp

White Fleet Race Winners:
Laser SB3
Races 1, 2, & 3 ‘’ Mark Rushall

Race 1 & 2, 'Oil!’ John Cooper
Race 3, 'Juicy' Cressida Robson and Allan Higgs

SBR Sportsboats
Race 1 'Finn M'Coul' Tom Clay
Races 2 & 3, ‘Touchdown' 'Oliver Hemming, Anthony Vollmer, & Lucien Farrell

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