Slow start to Garmin Hamble Winter Series
Someone forgot to tell the weather gods that it was the start of the Garmin Hamble Winter Series this weekend. Light and fluky winds plagued competitors and race officers alike, with PRO Jamie Wilkinson describing it as "possibly the lightest wind I have ever run a Winter Series race in!"
The first and third weekends of the series also host the MDL Hamble Big Boat Championships, and competitors racing in the J/111, Beneteau First 40 and 40.7 and IRC classes managed to get in two of the scheduled four races on Saturday in a decreasing breeze that set the scene for the remainder of the weekend.
French boat Jitterbug won both races in the J/111 class. In the three-boat Farr 45 class, Rebel and Kolga won a race each. La Reponse posted two wins in the Beneteau First 40s, as did Playing Around in the 40.7s. In the eight-boat IRC fleet, there were wins for the J/122 Joopster and the Ker 40 Magnum 3.
Sunday saw a battle between the gradient northerly and a light southeasterly, which cancelled each other out for much of the morning as the fleet waited under an AP. The race team managed to get the Big Boat championships fleet, IRC 0, IRC 1, IRC 2 and the J/111s away before the wind stalled again, and by 1300, racing for the rest of the competitors in the main series was postponed, to be sailed another day.
Those that did manage to start had a frustrating race, with the windspeed not exceeding 5 knots. Nonetheless, in the MDL Hamble Big Boat Championship, J/111 Munkenbeck ended Jitterbug’s two-race reign, claiming first place on Sunday. She now trails Jitterbug by two points. Rebel topped the Farr 45 class, and ends the weekend first overall by two points. Tilt won the Beneteau First 40 class, leaving her third overall, with La Reponse still leading by a comfortable margin. In the 40.7s, Nick Rawbone’s Playing Around posted another first, and in IRC, Neil Kipling’s Joopster won Sunday’s race to take the top spot overall.
Hamble pub The Bugle was the day sponsor for the Garmin Hamble Winter Series. IRC 0 was topped by Dr Ivan Trotman’s J/122 Jolou. IRC 1 was won by Philip Farrands’ Old Mother Gun by four minutes on corrected time. David Franks’ JPK1010 Straight Dealer won IRC 2 by a smaller margin, only 5 seconds on corrected time.
Next weekend the club hosts the first of two Lewmar Hamble One Design Championship weekends, with racing for One Design classes including the J/109, J/80, and SB20. Next Sunday will also see the second race day of the Garmin Hamble Winter Series.