A rapidly changing low pressure system had made for a tough early morning call, and with both Black and White Fleets cleared for racing in what initially seemed acceptable conditions, it soon became clear that the sportsboats could not race safely in the increasing gusts. With the J/80 and SBR classes already started, White Fleet PRO Jenny Wilson abandoned the Laser SB3 start and sent all boats safely back to Hamble.
For Black Fleet the committee laid a start line near Fastnet Insurance buoy and with two separate courses set for the seven IRC and one-design classes. With a wind direction of 200 degrees and a west going tide the DAKS race buoy was chosen as the first windward mark for all classes, with IRC0, 1, and 2 finishing at DAKS after a series of runs and beats, while the J/109, J/105, IRC3 and IRC4 classes had a slightly shorter course finishing at Air Canada.
Visibility was changing constantly as each rain squall hit the fleet, and but for some spectacular broaches and spinnaker failures, the day was a testament to the good seamanship displayed throughout this competitive series. Even if some were hating the conditions, there were others who called up the race committee with thanks for a great day out as they crossed the finish line. One regular campaigner in the Garmin Hamble Winter Series, Neville Hodkin, was unfortunate to lose his rig aboard Extra Djinn just after finishing the race.
With seven races completed in the Black Fleet series, one race result could be discarded, and except for some minor place changes due to retirements on this dramatic final day all but one of the leading boats maintained their winning positions. The exception was in IRC3 where John Rainger's Sigma 38 Light finished second to secure the overall win ahead of Persephone of London and With Alacrity.
The end of series prize giving is next weekend, where the overall class winners will receive their awards, and the Garmin Yacht of the Year and Sportsboat of the Year will be announced. An added treat will be courtesy of the Sigma 38 class which is celebrating its 21st anniversary this year, and they will be presenting a bottle of bubbly to each of the class winners.
Garmin Hamble Winter Series - Overall Results:
1st 'Tangent Minus 1' Paul and Julia Aisher, 13 points
2nd 'Paragon' Michael Blair, 18
3rd 'Biela' Richard Barnes, 19
1st 'Puma Logic' Sailing Logic Ltd., 20 points
2nd 'Jaguar Logic' Sailing Logic Ltd., 22
3rd 'Premier Flair' Jim Macgregor, 28
1st 'Elaine' Mike Bridges, 9 points
2nd 'Starspray' Bateson Family, 22
3rd 'Malice' Mike Moxley, 29
1st 'Light' John Rainger, 14 points
2nd 'Persephone of London' Nigel Goodhew, 17
3rd 'With Alacrity' Chris and Vanessa Choules, 25
1st 'Menace' Derek & James Morland and Tim Rees, 10 points
2nd 'Catch 22' David Rider, 27
3rd 'Crakajax' Ursula Bagnall & Richard Hollis, 30
1st 'Fay-J' Paul Griffiths, 11 points
2nd 'Voador' Simon Curwen, 14
3rd 'Journeymaker 5' Chris Jones, 15
1st 'J Dream' David & Kirsty Apthorp, 6 points
2nd 'Aria' Luca Rubinelli, 15
3rd 'Outrajeous' Richard & Valerie Griffith, 17
1st 'Robina' Jo Lloyd and Sue Antonelli, 69 points
2nd 'PamBere' Gillett, Jones, & Ross, 74
3rd 'Trunk Monkey' Joe Burnie, 90
1st 'Oil!’ John Cooper, 19 points
2nd 'Boats.Com' Ian Atkins, 31
3rd 'Elle Sappelle' Thor Askeland, 44
1st ‘Touchdown' Oliver Hemming, Anthony Vollmer, & Lucien Farrell, 19 points
2nd 'X-Static' Tim Grisgby, 31
3rd 'Finn M'Coul' Tom Clay, 57