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Crewsaver Warsash Spring Championship - Weekend 1

by Louise Nicholls 19 Apr 2016 11:51 BST 16-17 April 2016

Tight racing on the first weekend

110 boats competing, around 850 people on the water and 50 race starts on the first weekend (16/17 April) of the Crewsaver Warsash Spring Championship.

A NNW wind dominated in the Solent over the weekends racing. Saturday was largely grey and cold with the wind generally 8-10 knots, dropping away for a time during race three to 5-7 knots and coming up to 12-15 knots at the end of the afternoon. Sunday bought sunshine but a very light breeze from between the W and NNW. Fluky and between 3-7 knots.

Black Group start area was towards the eastern end of the Ryde Middle bank near the 'Roger Swinney' buoy. The four races on Saturday and two on Sunday were mainly windward / leeward courses around laid inflatable marks for the six classes; Fast 40+, IRC1 to IRC4 and the J/109. The race course was swung for each race to suit the prevailing conditions; lots of work for the four people on the two mark laying RIBs!

New to this year's championship is the Fast 40+ class with 10 light displacement race boats competing in the Championship as part of the 2016 Fast 40+ circuit. Girls on Film (Carkeek 40 Mk3- Peter Morton) claimed a podium place across all the weekend's races making her the lead boat in this class for the Championship. Tokoloshe II (Modified GP42 – Michael Bartholomew) lies in second position and Jubilee (GP42-Tony Dickin) in third.

Racing was very tight in the IRC1 and IRC3 classes with just a few points separating the top three boats. In IRC 1 Aurora (Corby 37-Rod Stuart & A Ram) gained three first places out of the six races and is leading overall with Nifty (Mark Mills King 40-Frank Roger Bowden) and Alice (Mumm 36-Simon Henning) in second and third places.

In IRC3 Sunshine (Ker 9m Modified-Malcolm Roberts) Elaine (Elan 37-Mike Bridges) and Malice (Hod 35-Mike Moxley) vied for first place throughout the weekends racing; the end result left Sunshine leading overall, with Elaine and Malice following.

The J/109 class lead boats; Diamond Jem (Robert Stiles), Jumping Jellyfish (David Richards) and Jiraffe Simon Perry), are all on 11 points overall making this class another one to watch in next weekend's Championship racing.

Salvo (JND35-Peter Morton) took the honours in IRC2 with a 6-point lead overall. Eat, Sleep, J, Repeat (J/88-Paul Ward) finished with a fourth position and said of the weekend's racing: "Courses were all very good and the four race format is exactly what we need to get the boat handling sharpened up at the start of the season...With the wind up and down and swinging around there were a lot of decisions for the race team and from what we could see you got them right and gave us all a really good and challenging day on the water".

In IRC4 the Quarter Tonners Bulitt (Louise Morton) and Aguila (Sam Laidlaw) dominated throughout the racing resulting in Aguila taking over lead of the class with Bulitt a close second.

White Group saw the first Black Flag of the year raised when the 24 strong J/70 class was too eager to start in the third race and the middle of the fleet pushed out over the start line. The Group raced four races on Saturday but the faltering wind meant only one race could be run on the Sunday despite moving the start inshore from Hamblewinterseries.com to the Royal Southern buoy.

Flutter (Aron Wellbend) has an impressive overall lead the SB20 class, Jester (Mike Lewis) is leading overall in the J/80 class and Bob (Russel Peters) is leading the J/70 class.

Back in the Warsash SC Club house after racing on the Sunday, 18 bottles of champagne were on offer for distribution to winners or runners-up from the two days racing, and the free draws for a Helly Hansen Salt Power jacket and a Crewsaver Crewfit Pro lifejacket were won respectively by Tigris (Gavin Howe) and Sunshine (Malcolm Roberts).

Peter Bateson concludes "Next weekend is the last of both the Series and the Championship. If the advance weather forecast of force 3-4 breezes proves correct, there should be some great sailing conditions to make a climax to this year's event."

Go to the Crewsaver Warsash Spring Championship results to read the full racing results.

The Warsash Spring Championship is sponsored by Crewsaver and supported by race partner Rolly Tasker Sails.

Crewsaver Warsash Spring Championship Provisional Results:

IRC1
1. Aurora - Corby 37-Rod Stuart & A Ram
2. Nifty - Mark Mills King 40-Frank Roger Bowden
3. Alice - Mumm 36-Simon Henning

IRC2
1. Salvo – JND 35 Peter Morton
2. Sunrise – JPK 1080 Tom Kneen
3. Xinska – X-40 Bernard Olesinski

IRC3
1. Sunshine – Ker 9m Mod Malcolm Roberts
2. Elaine - Elan 37-Mike Bridges
3. Malice – Hod 35 Mike Moxley

IRC4
1. Aguila – Quarter Tonner Sam Laidlaw
2. Bulitt – Quarter Tonner Louise Morton
3. Tiger – Quarter Tommer Tom Daniel

Fast 40+
1. Girls on Film - Carkeek 40 Mk3- Peter Morton
2. Tokoloshe II - Modified GP42 – Michael Bartholomew
3. Jubilee - GP42-Tony Dickin

J/70
1. Bob – Russell Peters
2. Team RAF Benevolent Fund Spitfire – Simon Ling
3. Gill Race Team – Ian Wilson

J/80
1. Jester – Mike Lewis
2. Jumblesail – Rachel & Robert Hunt
3. Aqua-J – Terence O'Neill

SB20
1. Flutter – Aron Wellbend
2. Trouble & Strife – George Barker
3. Blackstone Racing – James Russell

Full results at warsashspringseries.org.uk/2016/index.htm

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