Thursday, May 4, 2017

Glass Out @ Warsash Spring Series Finale!

J/109 sailing on Solent, England (Warsash, England)- After five fantastic weeks of racing in the Helly Hansen Warsash Spring Series, the final day's races (Sunday 23 April) had to be abandoned due to a lack of wind.

Competitors headed out for their start lines in fog with very little wind and little visibility, less than 1/2 mile. The White and Black Group Committees announced a half hour postponement and whilst the fog slowly lifted, revealing a beautiful sunny spring morning, the wind remained elusive. This proved to be the first of several postponements.

With less than 4 knots of wind, both committees and all the competing yachts waited for breeze through the morning, some using the time to potter around, do light maintenance jobs, talk to old friends, or just lay back and soak up the sun; at one point Queen's Bohemian Rhapsody could be heard drifting over the water.

Midday saw the prospects for a sea breeze filling start to look promising, with cloud bubbling up over the Isle of Wight and on the mainland. White Group Race Officer Peter Knight moved the committee boat further inshore in the hopes of picking up some temperature increased airs, but it was not to be, and eventually both committees abandoned racing and sent the fleets in at around 13:00.

This was a disappointment to those boats hoping to improve their final positions, and a frustrating finish to a good Spring Series, but of course, the weather is beyond the control of even the highly-respected Series Race Officers!

J/111 Kestrel sailing on Solent, EnglandPeter Bateson, Spring Series Chairman, commented, "Congratulations to all the class winners and thank you to all the boats and crew that have competed in this year's Series - we hope you have enjoyed the racing. Thank you also to our title sponsor, Helly Hansen, for their continued support!”

The prize draw winners this week were J/88 J-DREAM for the Helly Hansen Roll Top Sail Bag and J/109 JAGERBOMB for the Crewsaver Crewfit 180N Pro lifejacket.

The final overall positions for the Black Group in the Helly Hansen Warsash Springs are, therefore, the results from the previous weekend’s sailing.

It was a good showing IRC 1 class for J/Crews.  Taking 2nd was Simon Bamford’s J/111 KESTREL with 19 pts total, 4th was Cornel Riklin’s J/111 JITTERBUG and 5th place was Paul Griffith’s J/109 JAGERBOMB.

In the rough and tumble IRC 3 fleet, third was determined by a tie-breaker on 18 pts each; David Greenhalgh’s J/92 J’RONIMO took it over Rachel & Robert Hunt’s J/97E JUMBLESAIL 2 by having more 1sts.  And, in IRC 4 class, it was Jim Anderson’s antique Rogers J/24 called CHALLENGER that took third place!

J/88 sailing Solent seriesLike they have done in the past with the J/109 fleet, with a bit of practice, David & Kirsty Apthorp’s crew on their J/88 J-DREAM would finally get it all together and climb on to the podium.  This was their first Warsash Series win in the J/88 class, winning three of the last four races!  Second was determined on a tie-breaker no 13 pts each, with Gavin Howe’s TIGRIS securing 2nd with more 1sts over Dirk & Dianne Van Beek’s SABRIEL JR.

The eleven-boat J/109 class had spirited racing for six weekends, with Simon Perry’s JIRAFFE taking class honors with just 9 pts.  Remarkably, yet a third fleet saw positions determined by a tie-breaker!  In this case, at 13 pts each, it was the familiar JYNNAN TONNYX skippered by Owain Franks that took 2nd place over Mike & Susie Yates’ JAGO.

J/70s sailing on SolentThe J/70 fleet on the Solent continues to gain in popularity, the spring series saw over two-dozen boats participating over the 12 race series in six weekends!  A newcomer topped the standings this time!  Another veteran of the J/109 wars, David McLeman, put together a crackerjack team and on his new OFFBEAT managed to post two 1sts and two 2nds on their way to the class win with 73 pts total.  Second place was a veteran of the J/80 wars, Patrick Liardet, who’s COSMIC crew also posted duel 1sts and 2nds enroute to 76 pts net.  Having missed four races, but in between posting five 1sts and two 2nds in a dozen races, enabled Marshall King & Ian Wilson’s SOAK RACING to snare 3rd on the podium with 88 pts net.

The half-dozen crews on the J/80s saw a “runaway” take place each weekend, with Jon Powell’s BETTY winning nine races to finish with just 13 pts net in 12 races sailed.  Hopefully, he can carry that momentum into the J/80 World Championship later in the summer on the same Solent waters!  Second was Mike Lewis’ JESTER with 26 pts and third was Terence O’Neill’s AQUA-J in third with 32 pts.  For more HELLY HANSEN Warsash Spring Series sailing information Add to Flipboard Magazine.