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Melges 2023 - Melges 15 LEADERBOARD

42nd Hamble Winter Series - Week 1

by Trevor Pountain 11 Oct 2023 14:38 BST 7-8 October 2023

The first weekend of the 42nd Hamble winter Series took place in what Paul Wyeth described as "Quite a mix of conditions!"

The Hamble One Design Championships kicked off on the Saturday with a decent breeze and a sunny day. Both the J111 and J70 fleets managed four windward/leeward races under the watchful eye of CRO Ian Bullock and his hovering drone. Journeymaker 11, with Louise Makin, and the Chair of the Hamble Parish Council, Chris Jones, in charge, scored a 1,1,4,1 to lead proceedings after Day 1.

Second was Jitterbug, Cornel Riklin with four second places, whilst Jagerbomb, Paul Griffiths lay in third place with 10 points.

The J70 Class also had a good day, but not all of them. Unfortunately, the crane at our neighbouring club, the Royal Southern Yacht Club, stopped working on Thursday. This left four J70s high and dry and David Greenhalgh J192,, J' ronimo, with a dirty bottom. Fortunately, J'ronimo was at the bottom of hoist when it stopped and was able to go out on Sunday.

One J70, with a keel up trailer, manged to go down the slipway, whilst another trailed round to Hamble Yacht Services. DSP, Doug Struth was leading after four races with 6 points, with Brutus 11, Charles Thompson one point back in second and Little J, Max Clapp back on 14 points.

Sunday dawned and the well forecast lack of breeze was evident to all. Once again, Paul Wyeth summed it up nicely. "Lots of parked boats today! Nice reflections though!!

When the Race Team gathered at 0800 at HRSC, Messrs Bateson and Bullock, PRO and CRO could be found in intense conversation. To go, or not to go? To postpone, or not to postpone? Those were the questions.

It turns out, as we knew already, these two race management goliaths are not known for giving up. AP over 1, was the decision and "out we go to hunt for some wind." The two CV's, Wetwheels and Flight Wing, disturbed a glassy River Hamble and headed for an equally glassy Solent.

The shore team were left hovering over results computers, beer barrels and chip fryers. At 12.17 a message went out "How's the wind?" Kathy on Wetwheels responded "It's Harry flatters out here!" Which, translated from the Yorkshire, means "there isn't any". Kathryn on Flight Wing was more optimistic. "We think we see it through the binoculars, coming up the western approach." Remind me to get a pair of those bins!

Eventually, a light fickle breeze came in from a sort of westerly direction and everyone went into sequence. On the One Design course, the J111s manged to complete a shortened course in which Journeymaker 11 scored another bullet and Jitterbug and Jagerbomb who were lying second and third, came second and third. The J70 Class were not having much luck again. The Race Team were debating "whether to keep torturing them or abandon". In the end the only option was to abandon, leaving the positions the same as the day before - DSP, Brutus 11 and Little J.

The racing for the IRC classes was equally challenging and it became clear that although some yachts or classes would finish, others would not. The Race Team had a difficult choice. Did they:

  • abandon the race under SI 10.3 or RRS 32.1 (d);or
  • invoke SI 10.2 under which they would score their first lap positions; or
  • score some boats with their times at the original finish and leave the others to wait another 45 minutes in order to score equal points under the TLE provisions of 12.4

In the end, for Class 2, the third was applied and for Class 3 and 4 it was the second. This was felt to be fairest outcome. Of course what felt fair to one yacht, did not for another, depending on where you were at the time.

Giving everyone a result meant that Yannick Hugo, from the Bugle, could come and spread his Gallic charm over the prize-giving. Once again, he dispersed some very generous vouchers for first place, followed by Vodka for the second and a delightful pink for third. This pink was elaborated by Gerard Bertrand and Jesse Bongiovi (Jon Bon Jovi's son!). Yannick is surely the nicest French man on this side of the river.

Recipients of these prizes, if they were in the club, were, in Class 2, Triarchy, Arcona 380, Oliver Reynolds for first place. Second was Wavetrain, Channel 32, Gavin Howe and third, Jump to it, J99, Gavin Taylor. In Class 3 Mojo Risin, J109, Rob Cotterill, was first, Hot Rats, First 35, Robbie and Lis Robinson was second and With Alacrity, Sigma 38, Chris and Vanessa Choules was third. In Class 4 Ian Southworth's Team Hamble came first in the Quarter Ton, Protis, followed by Quokka, Half Tonner, James Crew and the evergreen Giles 39 Whooper, Giovani Bellgrano, in third.

Next weekend is the two day Hamble IRC Autumn Championship. With 48 teams already entered it should be a well contested event so long as we have some steady breeze.

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