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Hamble River Sailing Club Wednesday Night Early Bird 4

by Trevor Pountain 27 Apr 07:37 BST 24 April 2019

Anyone expecting the warm and stable weather that beset the RORC Easter Challenge over the previous weekend was to be rudely awakened on Wednesday night. The good news however, was that there would be racing even if it was somewhat chilly.

With the Race Team back to full strength, a steady breeze generally from the south, met the CB Obsession as she ventured to the start area. The usual bi-weekly questions were pondered. Would the wind hold up with the ebb tide already away? And, was there enough water round the marks for the deeper draught yachts? The various forecasts said yes to the first question and the combined knowledge on-board would deal with the second. Fortune, as they say, favours the brave. The breeze in the Solent gradually increased as the boats arrived, so much so, that white horses appeared for the first time on a 2019 Wednesday night.

With the classes combined as in previous weeks, the XOD and Class 3 fleet would do triangle and sausage in the Coronation, Club2Class and Hook area, whilst the Class 1 & 2 fleets, would stretch their legs down to hamblewinterseries.com before joining in on some Coronation, Club2Class loops on their return. Starting with a couple of knots of tide under you and a building breeze is nearly always entertaining, and this start was no exception. The XOD fleet rushed to the line and Mike Dellar called for an individual recall. Little X, Gary Rossall, duly returned and restarted. The only problem here was that they were not the OCS boat, but more of that later. Sans Souci. Westerly Centaur, Rich Thoroughgood, smashed it, as they say, between the CB and Forethought of Gosport, Mike James. The only damage was a lump of water sent in the direction of Obsession, which impressed new team member Tom Ross. Everyone in the second start was a little more circumspect having witnessed the first recall.

The wind held up nicely and the XOD's used their limited draught to cheat the tide on the way back. Swallow, Simon Russell, with daughter Marcie on board came home first, followed by iT, John Butt and Kathleen, Mos Fitzgerald. The restarting Little X was next and then, just to prove that going early doesn't always pay, Satu, Andy Hamlett, crossed the line to no sound signal. Swallow won the series overall with" iT" second and Dolphin, Tom Rogers, third.

In Class 3, Forethought, having done two races on her own won on the night and overall with Starfall, Adrian Hull second and Sans Souci third.

Polly, Ben Meakins, sailed with some alacrity to take first place on Wednesday night, with guest crew Chris and Vanessa Choules, adding their expertise to an already quick Impala. They only managed second overall however, having ignored the first rule a series do all the races! Cheeky Monkey, Aden Barr, sailing two up came second on the night to win overall. Vlad the Impala, Peter Dessent was third on the night, but had to give way to Mist, Ross and Undraa Eliston in the overall standings.

Class 1 provided a mirror image of their overall positions in Race 4. M'Enfin!?. Sophie Chudziak and Bertrand Malas cleaned up in the series. They were joined on-board this week by Kathy and Rupert Smalley, no doubt honing their race management skills by observation! Second was Midnight Cowboy brought over the line by a smiling Steph Merry and third was NightJar, Joe Banks.

Next week sees the Bottle Pursuit Race which leads seamlessly into the Wednesday Night A Series.

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