After a break last weekend, racing resumed in the Garmin Hamble Winter Series yesterday with bright sunshine and an unseasonably balmy air temperature.
The breeze filled in to a patchy ESEerly, starting at a gusty 20 knots, which dropped to as low as 8 knots in the lulls as the afternoon wore on. Race Officer Jamie Wilkinson set a series of windward-leeward courses stretching up and down the East Solent, and all starts got underway on time. There was some impressive surfing downwind and the odd broach and kite wrap to add to the excitement - but most boats revelled in the shifty, gusty conditions and there were big grins ashore after racing. Some crews said it was the best day’s sailing they’d had all season!
In IRC 0, Arcona 430 Tangent Minus 1 sailed a stunning race to beat second-placed Ntanda, an X-46, by nearly 10 minutes. As ever, things were much closer in the Sigma 38 class, where Chris and Vanessa Choules’ With Alacrity took advantage of an early left shift, maintaining their lead and successfully holding off second-placed Persephone to the finish line.
Racing was equally close in the 15 boat-strong IRC1 class, where Visit Malta Puma held on to Premier Flair’s coat tails to beat her by 30 seconds on corrected time. Steady Barker continued her run of form in IRC 2 to add another win to her scoreline, as did Mike and Jamie Holmes’ Jika-Jika in IRC 3 and Richard and Valerie Griffith’s OutraJeous in the J/109s, who crossed the line first, extending their lead overall.
In IRC 4, Polly finished ahead of rival Impala 28 Trudi, while Hunter 707 Turbulence beat J/80 Jester to top the Mixed Sportsboat class.
The Race Day Sponsor was Southern Ropes, who were unfortunately unable to make the prizegiving – so prizes for this weekend will be handed out on the 27th November. Next Sunday sees another full programme of racing, with Elvstrom Sails the day sponsor. Early indications are that the mild weather is set to continue for the rest of the month. Fingers crossed – and we’ll see you on the water next weekend!