Photos: Jonty Sherwill

Garmin Hamble Winter Series kicks off

It's that time of year again

Monday October 11th 2010, Author: Jonty Sherwill, Location: United Kingdom

The first weekend of the 2010 Garmin Hamble Winter Series produced two days of near perfect sailing conditions in the Solent. While Saturday’s Hamble Big Boat Series, sponsored by The Bugle, got going in a steady northeasterly breeze under a cloudy sky, Sunday’s fleets in the main Garmin series had warm sunshine to enjoy and up to 18 knots of a more shifting wind.

During the summer Garmin had run a competition for local youngsters to design this year’s official backstay flag, so before the main series racing began there was a flag raising ceremony at the host club, Hamble River Sailing Club. The winner, 11-year-old Kimberley Arné proudly hauled her winning design to the yardarm before heading out on a Fairey Spearfish to watch the first day’s racing.

With four races of the Bugle Hamble Big Boat Series completed on Saturday, this fleet joined the Garmin racers on Sunday for a memorable day's racing. The Black Group was set up near East Knoll buoy allowing just enough water at the pin end for the biggest boat in the fleet to start, Gray and Laidlaw’s powerful Farr 52 Bob.

But the strong flood tide caused some starting problems and after a ten-minute postponement the over-enthusiastic eight-strong Farr 45 fleet had a general recall. Things settled down after the ODM was re-laid and the eight classes of IRC and one-design yachts got away on a series of windward leeward courses across the Brambles Bank.

As the morning progressed the wind clocked right from 060 at 1000 to 085 by midday, and this combined with a high water time of 1345 required some clear tactical thinking from the Black Group navigators. Outstanding performances were Fair Do’s VII with two wins in IRC0, Elaine and Steady Barker swapping wins in IRC2, and a one-two for With Alacrity in the Sigma 38 class and Aria in the J/109 class.

Over at the White Group near the entrance to Southampton Water the tide was less of a factor than the gusty northeasterly that gave the crews some exciting downwind rides and caused a few spills. Even so the somewhat depleted Laser SB3 and J/80 fleets were behaving impeccably with no recalls or black flags during all their three races. David Cummin’s‘Rumbleflurg in the SB3s and John Cooper’s Oi! in the J/80s both scored three straight wins.

Class leaders at the halfway point in the Bugle Hamble Big Boat Series are Niklas Zennstrom’s Ran in the Level Racing 45s and Peter Rutter’s Quokka in the IRC class.

The daily prize giving is scheduled for 1530 but there were few complaints about the hour’s delay after such a stunning day’s racing. The HRSC clubhouse and terrace was packed to the gunwales as Laurent Cescatti, the Bugle general manager, and Commodore Pat North handed out the day prizes.

Next weekend also sees the Premier Marinas Autumn Championships for Laser SB3, J/80, and J/109, with the conclusion of the Bugle Hamble Big Boat Series the following weekend.

Garmin Hamble Winter Series - Day 1 Results

Black Fleet Race Winners:
Race 1 & 2 ‘Fair Do’s VII’ John Shepherd

Race 1 ‘Visit Malta Puma’ Phillipe Falle
Race 2 ‘Vortex’ Tim Harrington

Race 1 ‘Elaine’ Mike Bridges
Race 2 ‘Steady Barker’ Michael Brough

Race 1 ‘Hot Rats’ Lis and Robbie Robinson
Race 2 ‘Jika-Jika’ Mike and Jamie Holmes

Race 1 ‘Chimp’ M. Kershaw
Race 2 'Patriot Games' Paul Blowers

Sigma 38
Race 1 ‘With Alacrity’ Chris and Vanessa Choules
Race 2 ‘Rapscallion’ Peter Diamond

Races 1 ‘J Dream’ David & Kirsty Apthorp
Races 2 ‘Aria’ Luca Rubinelli

White Fleet Race Winners:
Laser SB3
Races 1, 2 & 3, ‘Rumbleflurg’ David Cummins

Races 1, 2 & 3, 'Oi!’ John Cooper

Bugle Hamble Big Boat Race Winners:

Level Racing 45 Class
Races 1, 2, 3, & 6 ‘Ran’ Niklas Zennstrom
Race 4 ‘Werewolf’ Jerry Otter
Race 5 ‘Rebel’ Stewart Whitehead

Open IRC Class
Races 1, 2, & 5 ‘Quokka’ Peter Rutter
Race 3 ‘Jammy Dodger’ Neil Martin
Race 4 ‘Dark & Steamy’ Nick and Annie Haigh
Race 6 ‘Bob’ Gray & Laidlaw



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