Storms and calms
The 2013 Garmin Hamble Winter Series enters its second half on Sunday after a mid-series break. We’ve had a mixed bag of conditions so far this year, with the first race day abandoned due to lack of wind and the fourth lost to too much. Nonetheless, we’ve seen some close racing in all classes, with some single-point differences that line up some close and exciting racing to come in the second half of the series.
Classes to watch include IRC4, where Sigma 33 Stan the Boat has a one point lead over Mustang 30 Erik the Red. In the Sigma 38s, Nigel Goodhew’s Persephone has a four point lead over second-placed Mefisto. In IRC 3 Nick Munday’s IndulJence has a four point lead over Chudziak, Horner and Malas in Wee Bear. Elsewhere in the fleet, Localletterbox Zero II has a healthy lead over the IRC 0 fleet, Just So tops the J/109 fleet and Puma Logic heads IRC1. Mike Bridges’ Elaine has a 14-point lead over IRC2, while J-Dream tops the J/111s.
Thanks to our day sponsors so far - Southern Ropes, One Sails, Hudson Wight and The Bugle. Don’t forget to come along to the prizegiving after racing over the next four weeks, where Rigmasters, Drivers Dry Berthing, Force 4 Chandlery and the Sigma 38 class will be handing out prizes. Best of all, there’s beer on tap at £2 a pint and hot food.
MDL Marinas Hamble Big Boat Championships
The first and third weekends of the Garmin Hamble Winter Series also held racing for the MDL Hamble Big Boat Championships.
This year’s event hosted top-class racing for Farr 45, J/111, Beneteau 40.7, Beneteau First 40 and all IRC classes for yachts with a minimum IRC rating of 1.040.
The first weekend saw a slowly fading 8-10 knots on the Saturday, which let the committee get in 3 races before it shut off for the rest of the weekend. The second weekend was markedly different, with a gusty breeze that topped 25 knots at times, accompanied by sweeping curtains of torrential rain.
In the Farr 45 class, Simon Henning’s Alice II pushed Niklas Zennstrom’s Rán hard, but Rán soon found her form to post four consecutive firsts and win the event by six points. Alice II was second and Jeffrey Blue’s Espresso Martini third.
In IRC 0, David Bartholemew’s Tokoloshe finished at the top of the leaderboard after posting four firsts. Andrew Pearce’s Magnum 3 was close behind, scoring two first places.
Nick Rawbone’s Playing Around won IRC 1 by a single point ahead of Andy Uren’s Winston, while David and Kirtsty Apthorp’s J-Dream topped the J/111 class by three points, ahead of Richard Barnes’ Biela-Munkenbeck in second and the Army’s British Soldier in third.
Kudos to competitors for some masterful sailing in varied and changeable conditions.
Doyle Sails Hamble One Design Championships
The second and fourth weekends of the main series were to have hosted the Doyle Sails Hamble One Design Championships - but due to the precursor to the St Jude storm, racing was only held on the weekend of the 13-14 October.
Featuring racing for J/70, J/80, SB20 and J/109s, the weekend was a great success, with some incredibly close racing in these competitive one-design fleets. The Saturday saw a pleasant if shifty 12-15 knot breeze that swung between 078 and 097°, and bright sunshine. The Sunday was far less pleasant, especially for the open sportsboats, with torrential rain and strong winds that made life exciting for all concerned.
Iain MacKinnon’s Tigh Solius 3 had a successful weekend in the J/109 class, winning three of the five races to take first overall, ahead of Tony Dicken’s Jubilee in second place and Paul Griffith’s Jagerbomb in third.
In the J/70 class, Malcolm Jaques’ DJango was similarly successful, also scoring three wins in five races. The RAF’s entry, helmed by Simon Ling finished the weekend just two points behind with 9 points, ahead of Ian Wilson’s Joyride in third.
Jon Powell’s Betty won the J/80 class after a strong performance over the weekend – they scored two seconds and three firsts and topped the class by four points, ahead of P Liardet’s Aqua-J and Yannig Loyer’s J out of the box.
In the SB20s, Mark Gillet’s Poor Buoy scored two firsts, two seconds and a third to lead the series at this mid-way point, ahead of Scott Graham’s Chill Pill in second and Tim Newton’s Polar Bear in third.