Monday, November 9, 2015

Hamble Winter Series Halfway Break

J/109 sailing Hamble Winter Series (Hamble, England)- With four weekends and seven races in the bag, the fleet have reached the halfway point of the 2015 Garmin Hamble Winter Series.

The winds have been predominately light, and the weather unseasonably warm for the Autumn. These conditions of course have meant “shifts a-plenty” for competitors racing in the central Solent; not to mention a challenge for race officers Kathy Smalley and Stuart Childerley to set their courses.

When the series resumes on Sunday 8th November, there will be one race a day scheduled, meaning that boats with gains to make will have to work hard to make their gains in the four races remaining.

In some fleets, there are clear winners in the making, like IRC 0.  At this stage, three J/Teams are leading a clean sweep.  Cornel Riklin's J/111 JITTERBUG has recorded a perfect score in the series so far, followed by Louise Makin’s J/111 JOURNEYMAKER II in second just 6 pts back and Chris Daniel’s J/122 JUNO in third another 16 pts back.

The J/88 EAT SLEEP J REPEAT sailed by Paul Ward has their work cut out for them to remain in the top three, but anything is possible.  A last race ZFP added an unnecessary 4 pts to their score, otherwise they would be within a one race score for second place.

The J/97 BLACKJACK II led by owners Annie Kelly & Andy Howe lead a J/Team sweep of IRC 3 overall, with a near-perfect score spoiled only by a second place in race 7.  Not far off in 2nd and 3rd overall are two J/92s, Robin Stevenson’s UPSTART and David Greenhalgh’s J’RONIMO, respectively.

But in other classes, things are by no means so clear-cut. In the J/109 class, Simon Perry’s JIRAFFE leads Joe Henry’s JOLLY JACK TAR by three points. In turn, they are just 5 pts clear of Roger Phillips’ DESIGNSTAR in third.  As usual, the J/109s have such tight racing that one weekend’s worth of upside scores is enough to jumble the standings.  Time will tell soon!

Thanks go to our day sponsors, which have included Force 4 Chandlery, The Bugle and Wadworth's Brewery providing prizes for the highest-placed competitors present at the prize-giving, so it's well worth heading to HRSC after racing!

Thanks to all competitors and to the volunteer race teams and shoreside helpers for their dedication so far - and we look forward to seeing you on the 8th November.   For more Garmin Hamble Winter Series sailing information