Second weekend contrast
After the first weekend’s boisterous conditions, light winds saw in the second weekend of the Garmin Hamble Winter Series, with the conditions giving all classes some sparkling sailing and nail-bitingly close racing.
This weekend featured the Hamble Big Boat Series on both days, with top-class racing for a strong 18-boat fleet in IRC0 and two Farr 45s. Saturday dawned with 8-12 knots of breeze from the east, expected to shift to the right during the day. Four races were run, with a windward-leeward course set across the North Channel from a committee boat at East Knoll. David Bartholomew’s Mills 40 Tokoloshe sailed an impressive series, scoring 2, 1, 2, 1 on Saturday, ahead of Peter Rutter’s Grand Soleil 43 Quokka 8 and the Farr 52 Bob.
By contrast, Sunday morning saw thick fog, with ships sounding their way slowly up Southampton water with foghorns blaring. PRO Jamie Wilkinson set an hour’s postponement to let the fog clear, later postponed by a further hour when ABP, backed up by a competitor in a RIB reported that the Southampton Water was impassable. Every cloud has a silver lining, however, and this wasn’t an unpopular move as it allowed competitors to watch the end of the rugby.
By 1000 the fog began to clear to reveal a millpond, with zero wind - but by 1230 a light breeze had built from the WSW and the race committee hurriedly set a course for all classes, with starts combined to get racing underway as soon as possible.
The wind, after a false start, built to 10 knots during the race, which meant that all classes converged on the leeward mark at once, with large gains for the taking for those with an inside overlap. In IRC Zero Tokoloshe continued her winning form ahead of Bob in second and Brevity in third. Seaquest 36 Circus took the top spot in IRC 1 ahead of Jenga II and Visit Malta Puma, while Starspray won the IRC 2 class. IRC 3 was dominated by the J/97s Jika Jika and IndulJence, while just 21 seconds separated Peter and Fiona Diamond’s Rapscallion in first and Nick Gale’s third placed Zanzara in the Sigma 38 class. IRC 4 saw three Impala 28s taking to the podium, with Trudi first and Curved Air and Polly tied second. Jagerbomb won the J/109 class.
Race day sponsor was the Bugle, with prizes for 1st, 2nd and 3rd handed out in the clubhouse after racing. Thanks to them and title sponsor Garmin.
Next weekend sees the second Autumn Championships weekend, with racing for J/109, J/80, SB3, Quarter Ton and Impala 28 one design classes on both days, plus the third Winter Series race day on Sunday. Spinlock is the day sponsor.