Half way stage
In a scene more like Cowes Week, three of the seven Black Group classes converged at a leeward mark in Sunday’s fourth round of the Garmin Hamble Winter Series. While admirable rule observance ensured that every boat rounded safely, it was the bolder skippers who gained most.
Two that secured inside overlaps were the Impala 28s of Ben Meakins and Paul Blowers racing in IRC4. Each scored a first and second in the scheduled two races and these closely matched crews are now just two points apart at the halfway stage in the twelve race series.
On this overcast but mild morning courses for the IRC and larger one-design classes were set across the Brambles Bank to suit the 10-15 knot easterly breeze that backed steadily during the day. With low water coinciding with the first starts the tide was by then running eastwards, but assisted by cautionary announcements on the VHF from Race Director Jamie Wilkinson all seven fleets got away without a general recall.
The increasing tide also contributed to the bottleneck at the Flying Fish turning mark, where yachts in the IRC1, Sigma 38, and IRC4 classes arrived together with spinnakers set. It provided some nail-biting spectator sport. Here too a slightly late spinnaker drop aboard Me Julie in the J/109s saw a crew member over the side, but quickly recovered.
While some boats lost out, Visit Malta Puma, with Hamble’s Tim Thubron at the helm, slipped through a gap to win this one, and also the second race. Front runners in other classes maintained their form, with double wins for Jua Kali in IRC0, Festina Lente in the Sigma 38s, J-Dream in the J/109s, and a hat trick for Big Grin in the SBR sportsboat class.
At half time in the 2010 Garmin Hamble Winter Series and with two discarded scores, the class leaders are Jua Kali in IRC0, Vortex in IRC1, Steady Barker in IRC2, Jika-Jika in IRC3, Festina Lente in the the Sigma 38s, J-Dream in the J/109s, Polly in IRC4, GBR3082 in the SB3s, Oi in the J/80s, and Big Grin in the SBR class.
Sunday’s day sponsor was Harken UK, and their Marketing & Sponsorship Coordinator Loretta Cuoghi presented the prizes.
With the mid-series break next weekend, the series resumes on 14 November with one race per day for the Black Group, while the sportsboats in the White Group continue their regular three race schedule.
Garmin Hamble Winter Series - Day 4 Results:
Black Fleet Race Winners:
Races 1 & 2 ‘Jua Kali’ Mervyn Hughes
Races 1 & 2 ‘Visit Malta Puma’ Phillipe Falle - Sailing Logic Ltd.
Race 1 ‘Desseo’ Peter Dessent
Race 2 ‘Elaine’ Mike Bridges
Race 1 'Hot Rats' Lis and Robbie Robinson
Race 2 ‘Jika-Jika’ Mike and Jamie Holmes
Race 1 ‘Polly’ Ben Meakins & Adrian Cudmore
Race 2 ‘Patriot Games’ Paul Blowers
Races 1 & 2 ‘Festine Lente’ Meakins Family
Races 1 & 2 ‘J Dream’ David & Kirsty Apthorp
White Fleet Race Winners:
Race 1 'Rumbleflurg' David Cummins
Race 2 'Chill Pill' Scott Graham and Nick Elder
Race 3 GBR 3082 Llewellyn, Wakefield, and Vigus
Race 1 'Spitfire' Team Spitfire
Race 2 'Oi!' John Cooper
Race 3 'Swallow' Gordon Cragen
Races 1, 2 & 3 'Big Grin' Gary Shaffer
More images from Vicki Weston:
and two more from Jonty Sherwill: