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Ocean Elements 2016

Helly Hansen Warsash Spring Series - Day 2

by Louise Nicholls 20 Mar 13:21 GMT 19 March 2017

If patience was the key factor in Race 1 then endurance and good waterproofs were the key factors in Race 2 of the Helly Hansen Warsash Spring Series on Sunday.

The forecast for the Solent was SW 20 knots gusting 30 knots, and when the committee boats arrived on station the wind was varying around 20. During the morning, however the wind increased to 25 knots with gusts of 29/30 so after one successful race the decision was taken to send the White Group back in.

With a lee going tide you might have expected the sea to be fairly flat, but this wasn't the case – it was lumpy making the foul tide beats a struggle to keep the boats in the groove when both wind and sea were determined to knock them out of it.

Starting at the 'Darling Boy' buoy (formerly Meon), the White Group fleet got away cleanly, with a good starting discipline; possibly due to the strong foul tide. The skill level in the fleet was high, with spinnakers being flown and few broaches considering the conditions. The lead J/80 was laid flat during a spectacular broach letting the chasing J/70 in second place through, before recovering.

The J/70 Soak Racing (Marshall King and Ian Wilson) leads the J/70s and the combined White Group, with Betty (J/80 - Jon Powell) and Jeepster (J/70 - Graham Clapp) in equal second place. In the SB20 fleet Dark & Stormy (Andrew Bell) came first with Trouble & Strife (George Barker) in second.

In Black Group the J/109 fleet first beat saw some boats with full mains and No4s up and others with one reef and a No3 but the upwind speeds between the boats remained very similar. On the first foul tide beat to Prince Consort from the start line near 'Kilchoman' buoy on the tail end of Bramble Bank Jynnan Tonnyx (Owain Franks) left the rest of the fleet beating up the tail of the Bramble Bank and decided to beat up the island shore instead. Despite the dreaded "Norris Naggers" sailing in flatter water the decision paid her handsomely. She then led the fleet round to win with Jago (Mike & Susie Yates) following in second, and Jiraffe (Simon Perry) in third.

In IRC4 Silver Shamrock (Shamrock Prototype - Stuart Greenfield) led the fleet round the course to win, with Erik the Red (Mustang 30 MkII - Bernard Fyans) only getting past her once on a surfing downwind spinnaker leg. Erik came in second with Prospero of Hamble (Sigma 33 - Allan Fraser) in third. Silver Shamrock is continuing her winning ways after a successful 2016 RORC season, proving again that a good oldie sympathetically and intelligently restored can deliver the results.

IRC3 was won by J'Ronimo (J/92 - David Greenhaigh) with Quokka (Half Tonner - James Crew and Peter Rutter) second and Jumblesail2 (J/97 - Rachel and Robert Hunt) third. Talking at the prize-giving Quokka explained that work over the winter stiffening the structure down below had been a definite benefit in the conditions, but felt that the changes made to the mainsheet system may not be a step forward!

In IRC2 Sailplane (Beneteau First 40 - Rob Bottomley) was first with Dusty P (Beneteau First 40 - Richard Patrick second and Malice (HOD 35 - Mike Moxley) third.

IRC1 was won by Night Owl II (MAT12 - Julie Fawcett) with Jitterbug (J/111 - Cornel Riklin) second and Kestrel (J/111 - Simon Banford) in third. After the racing, Night Owl commented that "they had full main and No.4 up, 12 crew, ran an asymmetric kite downwind and sailed a good uneventful race with no dramas".

In the J/88's fleet Tigris (Gavin Howe) won with Jongleur (Richard Cooper) second and J-Dream (David and Kirsty Apthorp) in third.

Back at the Warsash Sailing Club after the racing Erik the Red won the Helly Hansen Roll Top Sail bag and Night Owl II won the Crewsaver Crewfit 180N Pro lifejacket in the prize draw.

The Helly Hansen Warsash Spring Series is sponsored by Helly Hansen @HellyHansen #feelalive and organised and run by the Warsash Sailing Club. Photos of the racing are available from Close Hauled Photography.

Leading the Series by class:

  • IRC1 Jitterbug - Cornel Riklin
  • IRC2 Sailplane - Rob Bottomley
  • IRC3 Quokka - James Crew and Peter Rutter
  • IRC4 Erik the Red - Bernard Fyans
  • J/109 Jynnan Tonnyx - Owain Franks
  • J/88 Jongleur - Richard Cooper
  • Combined White Group – Soak Racing (Marshall King and Ian Wilson)
  • J/70 – Soak Racing (Marshall King and Ian Wilson)
  • J/80 – Betty (Jon Powell)
  • SB20 – Bluejay (John Reekie)
For the full results go to the Helly Hansen Warsash Spring Series website. Follow the news on Twitter @WarsashSS and the Helly Hansen Warsash Spring Series Facebook page.