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Crewsaver Warsash Spring Championship - Weekend 1

by Louise Nicholls 10 Apr 2017 21:50 BST 8-9 April 2017

J/88 J-Dream (David & Kirsty Apthorp) will be hard to catch in the J/88 class after five straight wins on the first weekend of the Crewsaver Warsash Spring Championship (08/09 April). Impressive racing over a weekend that gave competitors thick fog, bags of sunshine and faltering winds.

Nifty in IRC1 (King 40 – Roger Bowden), Sailplane in IRC2 (Rob Bottomley), J/109 Jukebox (John Smart) all established healthy leads in their respective classes but the Championship winners are far from certain.

A fourth in race 1 and then podium places only for Jukebox with two seconds and two firsts leaving her 9-points in the lead in the J/109s with Jumping Jelly Fish (David Richards) in second place; Jiraffe (Simon Perry) is in third overall. Nifty clocked in three firsts and two thirds to gain an 8-point lead over both Jagerbomb (J/111 Paul Griffiths) and Night Owl II (MAT12 – Julie Fawcett) in IRC1. In IRC2 Sailplane achieved two bullets, two seconds and a fourth and is leading the class with 7-points; No Retreat! (Corby 33 – David & Jackie Riley) lies in second position and Elaine (Elan 37 - Mike Bridges) in third position overall.

Racing was tight amongst the Quarter Tonners with Bullitt (Louise Morton) leading the class overall and Aguila (Sam Laidlaw) chasing her in close second.

Once the fog in the central Solent had lifted on the Saturday the wind was ESE/SE, averaging 5 knots in the morning and building to 12 knots in the afternoon. Black Group enjoyed mostly windward-leeward courses comprising four 1 to 1.3 mile legs, mainly around laid marks.

Race 1 started near East Knoll buoy with courses to the east of the Bramble Bank and largely out of the main run of tide. As the tide dropped, and with some boats drawing over 3 metres, the race committee moved to the south edge of the bank near Kilchoman buoy, and the courses went across to the Ryde Middle Bank.

The final race ended with a longer run up the North Channel to a finish at Hill Head buoy. A couple of boats, trying too hard to cheat the tide, grounded as they went too far out of the deeper channel.

Sunday was wall to wall sunshine with the breeze starting as SE 5-6 knots. The first Black Group race was 5 and 8-mile round-the-cans race, finishing with a beat to QXI International and a fetch to the finish at Deloitte Sailing Club buoy. For about half the fleet, this worked well, but then the wind died and some boats in IRC1 and IRC2 couldn't make the time limit. As the new breeze arrived from the SW, the IRC3 and J/109 classes, which had "parked" for up to an hour, could get going again and complete the race.

The race committee had again moved to the south edge of the bank, but after a while it became clear that the new breeze was not going to get as far as that, and so after a delay, the race area was moved to provide a start near Jonathan Janson buoy and, in the limited space available as the tide dropped, a short windward-leeward course was set across the north channel as the breeze freshened to around 12 knots. All classes enjoyed a cracking final short (30-40 minute) race.

In the inshore White Group, the J/70 fleet on the Saturday was a little too eager to start race 1 with several boats OCS. After a general recall the fleet re-started successfully under the U Flag with no further problems. Race 3 was a tricky start with a weather tide but the fleet managed to hold back with no general recall.

On the Sunday, the J/70 start was again an eager affair and with the fleet firmly over the line on the gun a general recall again ensued. To persuade the fleet that there were other places to start rather than the inshore less tide pin, race officer Peter Knight put more bias into the line and got the fleets away for an hour of close racing, with the numerous J70 fleet in particular enjoying exciting times through the leeward gate.

During the second race the course was shortened due to the dying wind to 2 or 1.5 laps. When the breeze did fill in again it had moved to a SW sea breeze of 12 to 15 knots, and the committee boat moved inshore to start race 3.

J/70 Team Spitfire (Simon Long) finished the weekend leading the class with an impressive three bullets and two seconds, with Soak Racing (Marshall King & Ian Wilson) close behind in second place. Betty (Jonathan Powell) continues her dominance of the J/80 fleet with bullets all the way bar one race. Whyaduck (Tom Clay) leads the SB20s with Sweaty Betty (David Atkinson) a close second.

The Crewsaver Warsash Spring Championship continues after Easter on Saturday 22 April and Sunday 23 April.

Crewsaver Warsash Spring Championship Weekend 1 Results:

1. Nifty – King 40 Roger Bowden
2. Jagerbomb – J/111 Paul Griffiths
3. Night Owl II – MAT12 Julie Fawcett

1. Sailplane – Beneteau First 40 Rob Bottomley
2. No Retreat! – Corby 33 David & Jackie Riley
3. Elaine – Elan 37 Mike Bridges

1. Jumblesail 2 – J/97 Rachel & Robert Hunt
2. Blackjack II – J/97 Andy Howe
3. Machismo II – Sigma 38 Tim Levett

1. Silver Shamrock – Shamrock Prototype Stuart Greenfield

1. J-Dream – David & Kirsty Apthorp
2. Eat, Sleep, J, Repeat – Paul Ward
3. Rajing Bull – Tim Tolcher

1. Jukebox – John Smart
2. Jumping Jellyfish – David Richards
3. Jiraffe – Simon Perry

Quarter Tonner
1. Bullit – Louise Morton
2. Aguila – Sam Laidlaw
3. Tiger – Tom Daniel

1. Team Spitfire – Simon Long
2. Soak Racing – Marshall King & Ian Wilson
3. Calypso – Ripard/Calascione

1. Betty – Jonathan Powell
2. Slightly Steamy – Nick Haigh
3. Jester – Mike Lewis

1. Whyaduck – Tom Clay
2. Sweaty Betty – David Atkinson
3. PB2 – Paul Hine

Full results can be found on the series website.

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