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Warsash Spring Series - Day 1

by Peter Bateson 16 Mar 09:07 GMT 15 March 2020
Lancelot 2 in Class IRC 1 on day 1 of the Warsash Spring Series © Andrew Adams

Brisk conditions of force 5-6 from the SSW greeted the hardy people who ventured out on Sunday 15 March for the start of the new season.

Having reviewed the forecast, an early decision was taken to postpone the Combined Sportboat Class by an hour to allow the expected wind to moderate a little from the early morning predicted 20 gusting 30 knots, but still give everyone a chance for three races. This particularly suited the SB20 fleet who had a class training session the day before and still give the opportunity for the planned three races for the day's racing which were also their Frostbite Championship.

The conditions clearly suited Simon Cavy in J70 Just4Play who took line honours is all three races as well as winning them on corrected time. Charles Whelan in SB20 Breaking Bod pushed hard in all three races and finished second on the water and on corrected time, managing to finish within 30 seconds in the third race. Charles comment afterwards 'It was sailable and we got a chance to learn to set the boat up in the higher winds we can face at international events. We were also grinning from ear to ear on the runs and gybes!.'.

As it turned out the wind stayed at 18-20 knots with regular gusts well into the 20s which gave lots of opportunity for exciting downwind legs but surprisingly few entertaining broaches. The entertainment prize of the day went to Doug Innes, SB20 Amica who, in the second race, spent an exciting few minutes trying to tame his kite before giving in and dropping it.

Black Group enjoyed some long beats and runs or reached from the start near Goodall Roofing buoy. The windward mark for most classes was the newly named TeamO Marine mark on the Ryde Middle bank, and from there the boats surfed down to Lee-on-the-Solent and back to the Ryde Middle a couple of times, before finishing just NE of the North Channel at Hamble Yacht Services buoy.

Race Officer Peter Bateson noted that at 10-12 miles, the races were deliberately set a little shorter than usual, as seemed right for the blustery conditions in the first race of the season. Elapsed times ranged from 1 half to just under 2 hours. Class IRC4 started as usual from further inshore, at William buoy, had a first beat to West Knoll and then joined the rest of the Group between the Ryde Middle and Lee-on-the-Solent.

Rob Bottomley's newly acquired MAT 12, called Sailplane like his previous boats, was the convincing winner of class IRC1, with the Beneteau First 40 Lancelot 2 (Sailing Logic) 2nd. Michael Bartholomew's new Tokoloshe 3 (a Cape 31) was doing well until a crew member's head connected with the boom and she retired; at the time of writing the injury was reported as minor.

In IRC2 Chas Ivill and Devanti Tyres (J/112e) was the winner, baulked slightly by shipping on the last run across the North Channel but holding her lead nevertheless. Peter Rutter & James Crew's Quokka (half-tonner) took class IRC3 and a close tussle in IRC4 eventually saw Bernard Fyans and his Warsash SC crew win by just under 40 seconds over the Sigma 33 Stan the Boat (Toby Gorman).

As a precaution in view of the spread of Covid-19, the daily prize-giving was postponed to avoid a gathering at Warsash Sailing Club. The prizes for the day's winners have been put aside for handing over later on.

The Series continues next Sunday 22nd March, so long as the RYA and government advice continues to be that it is sensible to do so; and the two Spring Championship weekends are on 18-19th and 25-26th April.

More information at

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