Top tips for the Spring Series

The Daily Sail speaks to chief organiser Philip Gage
The Raymarine-sponsored Spring Series starts this weekend for yachts racing on the Solent. The Daily Sail spoke to Philip Gage (below), who is the chairman of the organising committee about this first major fixture run by the Warsash Sailing Club. With 160 entries so far it is anticipated that this will grow to about 200 by the end of the series as the weather improves and warms up towards the final weekend on the 27 April. In all there are six Sunday race days to which are added two Saturdays, 12 April and 26 April, which will make up a separate Spring Championship for the Mumm 30s, 1720s, 707s and Sportsboats. As usual there is no racing in the Series over the Easter Weekend of 18-21 April. Following the introduction of the sportsboats eight years ago the fleets are split into White and Blue fleets. With the White group doing predominantly windward leeward racing and the Blue group, which includes IRM, IRC, Sigma 33 and 38, Bowsprit and the X332s, racing round the buoys. With a broad variety of different type of boats out racing Philip emphasises the need to cater for the different requirements: "It does mean we have to design courses that are safe enough for the mixture of boats, 1720s and 707s don’t co-habit the leeward mark very well so we try to keep them apart." The event has grown to so large that they now use five committee boats to operate the two fleets. "We are having to charter in some boats," explains Philip, "RIBs are a swap arrangement with other clubs but we are chartering two committee boats. There is an increasing reluctance of members making their boats available, as competitor boats are getting bigger and faster, there is a clutch of very big and fast yachts and the