Local Letterbox posts a win
The Brooks Macdonald Warsash Spring Series reached the midpoint on Sunday. Following last week’s heavy conditions, again there was a change back to bright sunshine accompanied by a light southeasterly.
The Black Group committee boat set up station at East Knoll, giving an initial windward leg for all classes to Fastnet Insurance buoy south of Lee-on-the-Solent.
Courses were tight – IRC1 having 13 marks over 15 miles and the course setters mixed in plenty of starboard roundings to ring the changes.
All the starts went straightforwardly, although two boats were penalised in IRC2 for touching the committee boat.
The breeze, though fairly constant in direction, occasionally dropped from 11 knots down to 8. Tacticians were fully occupied trading less tide for more wind. Given several marks in common to all classes, rounding could be tricky with many and varied designs in one place at the same time. The strong ebb tide on the windward legs caught some boats out judging the layline incorrectly, causing them to make several attempts to round, short tacking close to the buoy.
Having retired last week following a man overboard incident, James Gair's Mills 39 Local Letterbox Zero II took first place on handicap in IRC1 by over three minutes from Charles Ivill's J/111 ETB Tyres. Guy Prest's Beneteau First 40 Tarka took her first win in IRC2 from Peter Morton’s Salvo.
There was constant changing for the lead in IRC3 between Malice, Stiletto, Elaine and Starspray. Mike Moxley's HOD 35 Malice eventually came out on top followed by John Barrett's First 35 Stiletto, but the lower rated X-99 2xS of Aindriu Mccormack sailed well into third place by a vital two seconds on corrected time from Mike Bridges' Elan 37 Elaine.
There has been a different winner each week in IRC4: this time it was the turn of Jamie Muir’s SJ320 Scarlet Jester. At this point, the series results table looks very close indeed with one point separating Toby Gorman's Sigma 33 Stan the Boat from Tim Rees' Keltic 25 Menace with Scarlet Jester another one point adrift. In the J/109 class David Mcleman’s Offbeat put a stop to Jagerbomb’s chance of a hat trick; these two boats pulling away from the rest of the class in the Series.
White Group has kept to the full schedule of racing, with nine races now completed. Their racing area was chosen this week off Hill Head.
After Race 1 the courses were shortened to two laps and the leeward end of the course was swung 10° before race 3 due to a slight wind shift.
Jack Davies' Jugador enjoyed two wins in the J/70s, with Paul Molesworth's Justnow taking the remaining race. The French boat J-out-of-the-Box, skippered by Yannig Loyer, came to the fore in the first J/80 race with Patrick Liardet's Aqua-J taking Races 2 and 3.
The SB20 fleet is largely preparing for the Brooks Macdonald Warsash Spring Championship weekends, which starts on 12-13 April, but Greg O’Brien's Crewsaver Racing has braved the best and worst of the weather so far to take a commanding lead in the Series and will certainly take some catching.
Halfway through the Series, many of the class results are close.
In IRC1, Jitterbug holds a one point lead over J-Dream. In IRC4 first to third places are separated by two points with Stan the Boat ahead of Menace and Jamie Muir's SJ320 Scarlet Jester. The Ramsgate-based First 35 Stiletto currently tops IRC3 while Peter Morton's JND35 Salvo has established a good lead over Puma Logic in IRC2 by counting two wins and a second place.
Among the J/109s Jagerbomb and David Mcleman's Offbeat battle for honours.
Sportsboats in White Group have completed nine races. In the J/70s Ian Wilson's Joyride leads Marie-Claude Heys on Joseph’s Coat by two points. The J/80s have a 12-strong entry where Jon Powell's Betty has gained a one point lead over Aqua-J.
Competitors made brief visits to Warsash Sailing Club after racing, probably anxious to fulfill their Mothering Sunday responsibilities. A couple of class winners even missed collecting their weekly champagne prizes presented by Lisa Vincent from Brooks Macdonald. Geoff West owner of Lightning Reflex was delighted to win the SLAM jacket this week. With so many class leaders close on points, there is everything to play for going into the second half of the Series next Sunday, 6 April.
Provisional Class Winners
IRC1: Local Letterbox Zero II-Dream (James Gair – Mills 39)
IRC2: Tarka (Guy Prest - Beneteau First 40)
IRC3: Malice (Mike Moxley – HOD35)
IRC4: Scarlet Jester (Jamie Muir – SJ320)
J/109: Offbeat (David Mcleman)
J/70: Races 1 and 3 Jugador (Jack Davies), Race 2 Justnow (Paul Molesworth)
J/80: Race 1 J Out of the Box (Yannig Loyer) Races 2 and 3 Aqua-J (Patrick Liardet)
SB20: Races 1, 2 and 3 Crewsaver Racing (Greg O’Brien)