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Helly Hansen Spring Series at Warsash Sailing Club - Day 3

by Andrew Adams 4 Apr 2019 23:11 BST 31 March 2019

Black Group

In a 12-18 knot NE to NNE breeze, the main Black Group classes were started from near QXI International buoy on the south edge of the East Knoll bank, with the first windward mark laid half a mile inside the North Channel. A succession of beats and runs over 13-15 mile courses led the various classes to Fastnet Insurance buoy and finally a testing shy spinnaker reach to the finish at Hill Head buoy.

IRC 1 were line shy at the start against the west-going tide, the first boat crossing 8 seconds after the gun, but after that lively competition ensued, with two First 40s taking the honours - Sailplane (Rob Bottomley) coming home on top by just 20 seconds on corrected time over Richard Patrick's DustyP after two and a half hour's racing. Last week the result was the same by just 11 seconds.

IRC 2 saw Chas Ivill's Devanti Tyres (J/112E) score her first win of the Series by a healthy two and a half minutes over Paul Jones' Elan 410 Passion, which still leads the Series by a point over Jiraffe (J/109 Simon Perry) which was third this time. As the largest class in the Series, this will be a hard class hard to win and it is not surprising that there have been three winners in three races. The overall picture will change when discards kick in on the final two weekend.

Aindriu McCormack's X99 2XS took her second win of the Series to lead IRC 3 by one point over Jamie Muir's SJ 320 Scarlet Jester. Gavin Howe and Tigris (J/88) completed a third emphatic win in the J-Sprit class and it is hard to see anyone denying them the Series victory in due course.

IRC4 started as usual from the White Group committee boat, this time near buoy. Their 12 mile course joined the other classes sailing around the East Knoll and Bramble banks, enjoying a brisk sail in the mostly sunny conditions. Toby Gorman and Stan the Boat (Sigma 33) won for the third week in succession, but were pushed by Bernard Fyans' Mustang 30 Erik the Red which was less than a minute behind.

Next weeks' fourth Sunday of the Series will be followed by the influx of boats for the Spring Championship which starts on Saturday-Sunday 13-14 April, and on Saturday-Sunday 27-28 April. Championship entries already stand at over 50 and further entries are welcome right up to the race days. The reduced "early entry" fees run until next Saturday 6 April. Enter via the website Sundays 14th and 28th will also see the climax of the Spring Series.

White Group

With a 10-15 NNE forecast, White Group set up near expecting a day of shifts and gusts that come with a breeze off the north shore. As anticipated, there were a lot of shifts that gave and stole advantages through the three races, but always return to a reasonable steady centre that avoided the need for significant course changes. The shift also brought gusts into the high teens that gave short bursts of excitement and spectacular racing as the lucky ones were up and away. As is expected when the clocks change, there were some who did not quite manage to get to the start for the appoint time.

The J/70s continued their build up to the Spring Championships in two weeks time, and their worlds later this year with Jenga 8 and DSP out for their first races of the series. Both gave Paul Ward's Eat, Sleep, J, Repeat good competition with DSP taking 2, 1, 1 against Paul with a 1, 2, 2 today. However, overall, Paul still has a clear overall lead in the series from the Liquidity Risk (Melges 24) and Radley Colleges (SB20).

With the series winding up next week the competition looks set to continue and it bodes well for a highly competitive Spring Championships.

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