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Hamble River Sailing Club Early Bird Wednesday Series - Day 2

by Trevor Pountain 6 Apr 2017 21:20 BST 5 April 2017

Ten to twelve knots from the NNW and sun was the forecast for this Wednesday's race, and so it was. This, allied to a high water time of 18.25 Portsmouth, meant that finding race marks with sufficient water was a relatively simple process. The only question left, at this time of the year is, will the light disappear before the wind fades?

With this in mind, a series of windward/leeward legs with lots of options to shorten was planned by the race team on the Committee Boat "Obsession". The start was in the vicinity of Bald Head as always, but on this occasion the direction of travel to the first mark would be up Southampton Water not down it.

The much improved conditions meant that fourteen boats came to the start area for this second race of the series including three XODs, a rare sight in early April. Class 3 and the XODs went first with very little fuss. The second combined start, Class 1 & Class2, proved more challenging to the participants. About half the fleet decided to go at the warning signal. This, despite the clear VHF communication of the start time to all and, the absence of flags being lowered. In addition, the fact that there was a bias at the committee boat end and some flood still running was missed by most. Even "Voodoo" Pete Rous, who came to have a look, declared "there's no tide here" whilst passing "Obsession" who was pinned at 90 degrees to the 12 knot breeze by something.

In the end they all got away at the correct time, though some such as "Midnight Cowboy" Steph Merry, had by their own admission, a "bad start" compared to their over eager first go. A good first beat, with the tide under the fleet, is a rare thing on a Hamble Wednesday night. The yachts were soon spread East and West in Southampton Water with the J80 "X"S a little too west as a coaster came down the main channel. They tacked back eventually without any sound signals necessary.

It was obvious that one and a half laps were the best that could be achieved and the committee boat moved to shorten at Cat Head. In Class 1, "Midnight Cowboy" recovered from her start, to take line honours and first place on handicap. With her crew returned from skiing in Italy," La Nef IV" John Noe, came second. "XS" RSrnYC Academy, having had everything their own way last week, had to make do with third. However, if the number of knee replacements aboard" Midnight Cowboy" is anything to go by the crew XS have time on their side.

In Class 2, history repeated itself, at least as far as 1st and 2nd place was concerned. "M'enfin?!" Sophie Chudziak and Bertrand Malas were 1st followed by "Two Frank" Samantha Flint and Olly Love. "Vlad the Impala" Peter Dessent, came through into 3rd.

The XOD Class, had, "Calypso" Tim Harding, but aimed by Peter Baines, 1st, followed by" It" John Butt 2nd and "Dolphin" 3rd. It was said, by Keith Hughes, that there was a birthday to celebrate on "Dolphin", but, as is often the case nowadays, this turned out to be false news.

Mike James in "Forethought of Gosport" won Class 3.

So, as the sun sank quickly in the west the crews went ashore for Chicken Curry, Chilli Con Carne or Stuffed Peppers with salad, coleslaw and a baked potato. I can remember when it was egg, beans and chips or egg, beans and chips!

Full results can be found at