Final day blown off

Warsash Spring Series and Spring Championship decided

Monday April 30th 2012, Author: James Boyd, Location: United Kingdom

The final gathering for the Warsash Spring Series and Spring Championship took place over 28-29 April, sponsored by SLAM. Earlier in the season, conditions had been bright, sunny and light, but this was all set to change. After a very damp week, the rain looked like continuing and more importantly forecasts highlighted gusts to 50 knots over the Solent on late Saturday/early Sunday. The race officers kept their collective fingers crossed, hoping the worst of the weather would blow through overnight but in the event all classes were cancelled on the final day.

Saturday 28th April – Warsash Spring Championship Day 3, powered by SLAM

Four races were scheduled for Black Group on day 3. The breeze came mainly from the northeast but with frequent minor oscillations. The committee boat set up station between North Ryde Middle and Mackley buoys with a finish at Goodacre. Races 1 and 2 were windward/leeward courses, two rounds totalling just under eight miles, with a half-mile spreader at the windward end to take boats up tide for an accurate run. Races 3 and 4 were shorter, except for the Farr 45s, and as the tide had slackened, were simple windward/leewards. The final race included a starboard leeward rounding – just to keep crews on their toes! The breeze started around 11/12 knots for the first two races, increasing to 14/15 knots in the afternoon. In the Farr 45s, Rán (Niklas Zennström) put in a good performance with five points from four races, but having not competed on the previous weekend was not to feature on the overall leaderboard. The closest finish came for second and third places in Race 1, with three seconds separating Kolga (British Keelboat Academy) and Werewolf (Jerry Otter).

This year all boats in IRC1 and IRC2 were eligible for the Spring Championships. As no discards are allowed, consistency often paid. In IRC1 both Tokoloshe (Michael Bartholomew) and Brevity (Mark Devereux) scored no lower than fifth place but with four wins, Tokoloshe took a six point lead to repeat their success as class winner in 2011. Similarly in IRC2, two boats headed the pack with Winston and Tarka II separated by two points after nine races. There was a close tussle in the J/109s headed by Jahmali (Mike and Sarah Wallis) two points ahead of Outrajeous (Richard and Valerie Griffiths).

Returning to the J/80 class Stewart Hawthorn headed the fleet in J’ai Deux Amours with J2x (Rob Larke) second. The turnout in the Laser SB3 class was patchy, but the Russian entry from Oleg Zherebstov improved to first place from his fifth position in 2011.

The Quarter Ton class knotched up 11 races after, which the Irish entry Anchor Challenge (Diamuid Foley) was tied on points with local sailor Louise Morton in Espada, but four bullets gave Diarmuid the trophy.

Sunday 29th April – Warsash Spring Series Day 5, Warsash Spring Championship Day 4

After a successful Saturday’s racing, everyone hoped that the worst of the gale would go through the Solent overnight. There did seem to be the possibility of a lull during the middle of Sunday although a significant wind veer was also forecast. Beaulieu Boat Jumble was cancelled and the high speed Southampton/Isle of Wight ferries were suspended until lunch time. All racing for White Group was cancelled early on while Black Group was told to stay ashore as racing, if it were possible, would not commence before 1130. In the event, Black Group too was abandoned at 1000.

Spring Series Chairman Peter Bateson said: “We were hoping to achieve a race for Black Group but it was still blowing Force 6 with gusts above 30 knots by mid morning. An expected wind shift from northeast to southeast meant we would not have guaranteed a good course for competitors, even if the wind had abated in time.”

This left the standings for the Spring Series as at last week. After six races in IRC1 no one could catch Magnum III (Andrew Pearce), discarding an 11th place and scoring no lower than fourth. Having enjoyed some close racing at Spi Ouest France over Easter, the team on Mike West’s Archambault A35 Eaujet triumphed in IRC2.

Some of the top runners in IRC3 were the victims of over-eagerness on the start line leaving Starspray (Dehler 36), crewed by an ad hoc group of Bateson family and friends, to gain the class win. IRC4 had a different winner each week - a close finish was to be expected.

Seasoned Solent sailor Bernard Fyans (Erik the Red) and Allan Fraser (Prospero of Hamble) both gained nine points and this was a tie that could not be broken by countback. So, first places to both of them with Imptish (Barnaby Smith) just two points behind.

The J/Sprit class was new this year and attracted a selection of J/92, J/97 and J/105 designs. Again there was keen competition for the top spot, J’Ronimo (John Taylor and David Greenhalgh) gaining the all-important one point lead over Induljence (Nick and Adam Munday). Jahmali was the runaway leader in the J/109s and Mefisto (Kevin Sussmilch) in the Sigma 38s, although further down the results Pavlova III, With Alacrity and Light finished on level points.

Warsash Sailing Club now looks forward to the prizegiving for the Spring Series and Spring Championship, at Shore House, Warsash, on Friday 18 May. All competitors and crew will be welcome.

Provisional Overall Results: Warsash Spring Championship 2012

CC1 Keronimo Ker 40 Jonathan Goring
CC2 Premier Flair Elan 410 Jim Macgregor
CC combined Premier Flair Elan 410 Jim Macgregor
Farr 45 Alice 2 Farr 45 Simon Henning
IRC1 Tokoloshe King 40 Michael Bartholomew
IRC2 Winston First 40 Winston First 40 Charters
J/109 Jahmali   Mike & Sarah Wallis
J/80 J’ai Deux Amours   Stewart Hawthorn
Laser SB3 Team Russia   Oleg Zherebtsov
Quarter Ton Anchor Challenge   Diarmuid Foley

Provisional Overall results: Warsash Spring Series 2012

IRC1 Magnum III Ker 40 Andrew Pearce
IRC2 Eaujet Archambault A35 Mike West
IRC3 Starspray Dehler 36 Bateson family & friends
IRC4 (joint winners) Erik the Red Mustang 30 Bernard Fyans
  Prospero of Hamble Sigma 33 Allan Fraser
J/Sprit J’Ronimo J/92 Jon Taylor and David Greenhalgh
J/109 Jahmali   Mike & Sarah Wallis
Sigma 38 Mefisto   Kevin Sussmilch
J/80 J2x   Rob Larke
Laser SB3 Robina   Jo Lloyd

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