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Warsash Spring Championships 2021 - Second Weekend

by Chris Wozencroft 27 Apr 17:36 BST 17-18 April 2021
Warsash Spring Championships - White Group Day 4 © Close Hauled Photography

The second weekend of the Championships was chosen by the J70 Class to be the start of their Grand Slam Series so a competitive weekend was guaranteed. On Saturday the wind started in the east at about 18 to 24 knots and then after the first race shifted to the south east but the sun was shining.

Race one started under the U flag but as you might expect with an eager J70 fleet, the midline bulge went early and the General Recall led to a black flag start. Paul Ward got out in front with "Eat Sleep, J, Repeat" but picked up the only penalty of the day, his discard. Peter Knight the PRO continued to use the black flag for the rest of the day and had very good close starts but with no one over. The wind went to the southeast creating a longer fetch and the swell built up added further excitement for boats planning downwind in the gusts.

The Black Group Committee Boat set up a mile west of East Bramble buoy. The different classes raced over windward -leeward courses varying in length from just under 4 miles to over 8 miles, to various inflatable and fixed marks on the Ryde Middle or laid in the deep water between the Bank and the Middle. The planning boats were an especially spectacular sight, especially the four new Cape 31s and the HP30 class, sometimes surfing at what must have been up to 20 knots. With crew numbers restricted due to Covid-19, most boats managed to keep control admirably well, nearly all the time!

By Sunday the wind had reduced by a couple of knots and moved to the north east it was fairly steady in direction so the sportsboat course only with the course only had to be moved once by 10 degrees through the day but the strength varied from 8 knots to 20 knots giving some exciting sailing. There were some big shifts coming off the land providing competitors with short term big gains or losses and the potential for over standing the leeward mark with predictable brooches as boats tried to sail too high to make the leeward gate.

At the end Calascione & Peter in Calypso won both the Championship and the Grand Slam weekend. Nick Phillips in Chaotic was second in the series and third in the weekend with Paul Ward taking second for the weekend. In the SB20 fleet Reach Around, Christian Sutherland was the clear overall winner from PBII, Paul Hine and Breaking Bod, Richard McAdam in second and third, separated by one point after 12 races.

Sunday found the Black Group Committee Boatnear East Knoll buoy. As planned, the courses for the two races were a little more varied, sausages and triangles plus a little more reaching. The windward legs went up to laid marks off Hill head and then the various classes found their way downwind either to the newly named Team O Marine buoy in Stanswood Bay or to West Knoll and Williams Shipping just to the west of the Brambles Bank, before beating back to the committee boat at East Knoll. The Spring work to complete laying and renaming the last few yellow race marks will complete in the next few days however the race team were glad use a temporary inflatable buoy as the mark in memory of the late Paul Heys - we hope to see 'his' permanent buoy there very soon.

Congratulations go to Russell Peters who won IRC1 in Squirt, one of the Cape 31s, ahead of Eddie Campbell's Lombard IRC46 Pata Negra, two very different boats but both found the second weekend conditions just ideal and well done to British Soldier that battled to win IRC2.

Race results are available at

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