Its a whopper
On Sunday the Spring Series continued and in addition to the normal programme, competitors in IRC2 caught up on the race lost due to the freak snowstorm a fortnight ago, leaving IRC3 and 4 to get back on schedule during the final meeting. WSC also ran a class for Commodore’s Cup Class 3 trials, for boats that had missed out over the Red Funnel Easter Regatta - altogether a busy time with four separate start lines and sailing areas.
Raymarine Warsash Spring Championship - Saturday 19 th /Sunday 20 th April
Competitors and officials alike had to contend with some very unpleasant conditions - sullen skies, a bitter driving rain and cold Force 5 to 6 north-easterly. In the Big Boat classes, the 45 footers provided some very close on-the-water racing. Boat handling and tactical skills proved often more important than boat design, which is the attraction of this type of racing level handicapped. A good example of this was Tony Langley’s Atomic, which raced downwind without a spinnaker pole, picked up the gybe point to perfection and passed McFly within feet of the finish for ninth place. This weekend, Simon Henning and his crew on Alice II were the masters of the fleet. They scored three wins, a second and a fifth from the five races completed. They were hard on the heels of Eamonn O’Nolan’s Freddie Freeloader, but O’Nolan had no result worse than a fourth over the two weekend series, so won by three points.
IRC1 provided a very interesting mix of boats topped by three TP52s, through a bevy of 40 foot designs and larger J-Boats, down to Peter Rutter’s new Quokka, a Corby 36. On Saturday morning the young team from Volvo RYA Keelboat Sailing on their TP52 John Merricks II had round the world sailor Alex Thompson calling the tactics. They enjoyed a brilliant first race, finishing 10 minutes ahead of the rest, but after that Niklas Zennstrom’s Ran, also a TP52, proved unstoppable, taking the three following races on Saturday as well as a clean sweep of the two on Sunday. The Irish boat Blondie IV, Eamonn Ronan’s very pretty King 40, was the next most consistent boat, collecting four seconds, a third and sixth in six races, although she did not compete on the first weekend. Had she done so, she would almost certainly have finished higher than her 11th place overall.
The First 40.7 Class was mainly a tussle between three boats - Tarka, tfs Philosophie IV and Portia. Although Steve Anderson and Jane Curwen in Encore scored a third and first on Sunday, they had missed too many races to break into the top ranks. David Richards’ Prime Suspect finished top of the table in the Commodore’s Cup Class 3 but a final decision as to who is finally included in the team rests with the RYA.
Raymarine Warsash Spring Championship for Big Boat Series
Provisional Final Results:
1 st Farr 45 Freddie Freeloader Eamonn O’Nolan 21 pts
2 nd Farr 45 Alice II Simon Henning 24 pts
3 rd Ker 46 Fair Do’s VII John Shepherd 42.5 pts
1 st DK46 Dark & Steamy Nick & Anne Haigh 45 pts
2 nd TP52 Poppy of Portland John Dean 51.5 pts
3 rd First 45 John Merricks II Volvo RYA Keelboat 59 pts
1 st Tarka Guy Prest 18 pts
2 nd tfs Philosophie IV Nicolas Gaumont-Prat 22 pts
3 rd Portia Andrew Iyer 24 pts
Entries for the sportsboat section of the Spring Championship came from three classes. The J/80s and Hunter 707s raced under the care of Jon Spencer, WSC’s Rear Commodore Sailing, whilst the 48 Laser SB3s had Commodore Peter Knight as their Chief Race Officer. The J/80s were the first away. Julian Bates’ BjornSlippy rounded the top mark on the inside of Ian Atkins’ Boats.com, took a wider line to the bottom mark but dropped a few places as the fleet got hit by a gust at the gybe point. Atkins sailed a deeper course, took the lead and was never headed for the next four races. Behind him, Liz Savage in Savage Team Sailing, recorded four second places and then sailed as well in Sunday’s three races to hold second place overall at the halfway stage in the Championship. Sunday’s weather was far more fickle and whilst Atkins was always in the top three, there were race wins for Savage, Stephen Chiverton ( Just Chilling) and Robert and Jonathan Fox on Jevan. ( see page two for the class report)
The large SB3 fleet surprised the race team with exemplary starting behaviour on Saturday. All four races got away cleanly. Could this be the effect of a no discard series? David Cummings ( Rumbleflurg) had a great start to the day. He led the fleet until a poor spinnaker drop at the penultimate mark let Geoff Carveth on Palava in for the win. With the wind touching 33 knots in the gusts, it was always going to be a test of early season seamanship, but there were no major calamities. No overall lead was established at the end of Saturday. On Sunday the wind was mainly north-easterly and subject to large shifts. Instead of the start discipline so evident on the previous day, the fleet reverted to their old bad habits and the black flag had to be invoked to ensure all the races scheduled were completed. Jono Shelley ( Team Touareg) missed the first race but took the last two and moved into fourth place behind Carveth, Colin Simmons ( Doolali) and Ian Southworth and Nigel Smith ( Chilli Chaser). The Spring Championship for sportsboats will be completed next weekend when a further seven races are programmed.
Raymarine Warsash Spring Championship for Sportsboats
Provisional leaders at the half-way point
1 st Hunter 707 Beaver Hunter Paul Grady
1 st J-80 boats.com Ian Atkins
1 st Laser SB3 Palava Geoff Carveth
Raymarine Warsash Spring Series - 5 th week, Sunday 20 th April 2008
The forecast showers did not materialise and the Solent turned out to be one of the warmest spots in the country with the temperature well into the teens. Competitors found themselves casting off the full foul weather gear that had been essential so far.
In Black Group, it was the intention to hold two races for IRC2 and IRC1. PRO David Greenway used the length of the eastern Solent for his courses which had finish lines away to the east off Stokes Bay as well as close to the Bramble Bank to be ready for restarts. The light north-easterly hovered in the 8 to 14 range, making the decision on headsail choice difficult for some with a higher range cut off point of 10 knots for a light No 1. The strong tide at full springs caught out the combined IRC1 and 45 footer class which was subject to a general recall at the first attempt and then the black flag rule. Even so, Erivale and Pace were eliminated. On the water, no one could catch the TP52 Ran, with Jeremy Robinson on the helm, but in the afternoon race, John Shepherd brought his Ker 46 Fair Do’s VIII home close enough behind to take the race on corrected time. With six races completed, the discard comes into play and Dark and Steamy holds an eight point lead with one race left.
It was Class IRC2’s turn to catch up on an earlier abandoned race. Andrew Webster on Circus has had a good series so far and he consolidated his overall lead by winning the morning race and coming fourth in the afternoon. Behind him, 10 points cover the next eight boats and the title could go to any one of them. IRC 3 and 4 were set longer courses which included shy spinnaker reaches as well as extensive beats against the tide. Russell Hodgson (Dehler 34, Rushlex) and Nick and Suzi Jones (First 34.7, Astarte) have been trading tacks, if not blows, all season and for the second week running Astarte came off best by less than a boat’s length at the line. As a sub-set of IRC3 the Sigma 38s are having their own battle with Rob Denning on Light and Nigel Goodhew on Persephone of London are one point apart - another duel to be settled on the final week. Jackie and Robert Dobson have met with success in IRC4 with their Elan 333 Elusive, winning three races, but a sixth place in Race 2 means they are only two points ahead of David Rider’s Catch 22 which has not scored worse than fourth. In the J/109s, the two front runners Zelda and Shiva, were both over the line and failed to return. This left Jon Perry on Firestorm and Mike Wallis on Jahmali to battle it out. In the event Firestorm was the winner by one slender second. (for the class report see page two)
The White Group committee boats took up station near the Meon shore. These classes have preset courses of winward/leewards, varying in length. In the Hunter 707s, some competitors were out for the first time this weekend. These included Beaver Hunter which took one win and Cacciatore which took the remaining two. Tequila heads on Series point. The J/80s saw three different winners - Just Chilling, Jevan and Savage Sailing Team - but Boats.com tops the Series results. The SB3s had two one hour races and a 30 minute third race. At this point Geoff Carveth heads Ian Southworth and Nigel Jones by 26 points
Raymarine Warsash Spring Series
Provisional Results Week 5, 20 th April 2008:
IRC 1 - Race 1 Ran TP52 Niklas Zennstrom
- Race 2 Fair Do’s VII Ker 46 John Shepherd
IRC 2 - Race 1 Circus Seaquest 36 Andrew Webster
- Race 2 Prime Suspect Mills 36 David Richards
IRC 3 Astarte First 34.7 Nick & Suzi Jones
IRC 4 Elusive Elan 333 Jackie & Robert Dobson
J-109 Firestorm Jon Perry
J-105 Fay-J Paul Griffiths
Laser SB3 Races 1 and 2 Team Touareg Jono Shelley
Palava Geoff Carveth
Hunter 707 Races 1 Beaver Hunter Paul Gray
Race 2 and Cacciatore Dicky Barnes
J-80 Race 1 Savage Team Sailing Liz Savage
Race 2 Just Chilling Stephen Chiverton
Race 3 Jevan Robert and Jonathan Fox
Sportsboat Races 1, 2 & 3 Finn M’Coul Tom Clay
More photos on following pages