Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Brisk’n’Breezy Hamble Winter Series!

J/111 sailing Hamble Winter Series, England (Hamble, England)- Competitors in the Garmin Hamble Winter Series on Sunday could have been forgiven for thinking that the weather gods would have their revenge for the balmy first half of the 2016 event. After a week's break, the event resumed this weekend, along with an ominous forecast that predicted a building and veering southerly breeze.

And so it was, with cautious sail plans that many boats ventured out to the racing area, where the committee boat was on station at Wilson Covers buoy. An eerily black cloud gave the impression that the wind was shortly to increase, but with wind instruments reading only 10 knots at start time, the bolder sailors changed to a full rig before their starts. The wind held off until the later starters were at the top of their first beat, whereupon it began to increase, reaching 22+ knots in some gusts!

J/109 sailing Hamble, EnglandThis uncertainty, along with some crafty windshifts, led to upsets in some classes. Cornel Riklin and crew on J/111 JITTERBUG had their hitherto perfect score of 1st places in IRC 0 Class spoiled by Chris Body and crew on their J/111 ICARUS, who pipped JITTERBUG by 29 seconds on corrected time. Third this week was Christopher Daniel's J/122 JUNO.  Overall, the standings still have JITTERBUG in 1st with 6 pts, Louise Makin/ Chris Jones’ JOURNEYMAKER II in 2nd place with 12 pts and JUNO in 3rd with 25 pts.

In IRC2, it has been a battle royale in the top five with Paul Ward’s J/88 EAT SLEEP J REPEAT amongst the leaders.  However, their two hiccups (an OCS in race 1 and ZFP in race 7) are continuing to haunt them.  They currently lie in third overall for the series with 23 pts.

J/92 sailing Hamble Winter Series- EnglandThe J/92s UPSTART skippered by Robin Stevenson has been getting better and better results throughout the series, and continued her recent run of form to take another bullet in IRC 3 class to now sit firmly in second place with just 10 pts.  After suffering their worst race in the series, a lowly 4th place, Annie Kelly & Andy Howe’s J/97 BLACKJACK II continue to lead the fleet with a perfect score of six firsts for 6 pts (after two toss races).  Sitting in 4th overall is David Greenhalgh’s J/92 J’RONIMO.

The J/109s, also racing in IRC 3, were topped by Simon Perry's JIRAFFE, again.  They finished ahead of Roger Phillips’ DESIGNSTAR 2 and the RED ARROWS skippered by Frank Gmitrowicz to maintain their position atop the class leaderboard overall.  Still hanging onto 2nd place overall based on a tie-breaker is DESIGNSTAR 2 followed by Joe Henry’s JOLLY JACK TAR in 3rd- both teams have 12 pts each.

Crews were ashore by early afternoon as the wind began to howl, with most enjoying food and drink at the HRSC clubhouse, where day prizes provided by generous day sponsor Hudson Wight, were distributed to the highest-placed competitors present from each class.

Next Sunday sees the series continue, with One Sails providing day prizes. Should the current crop of Autumn gales blow themselves out in the meantime, we should enjoy some good sailing conditions!  Sailing photo credits- Paul Wyeth/ Pwpictures.com.  For more Garmin Hamble Winter Series sailing information