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42nd Hamble Winter Series - Week 4

by Trevor Pountain 1 Nov 2023 16:25 GMT 29 October 2023

The main concern in the build up to Sunday's two races was that the weather was looking rather scary. Well, it was billed as the Halloween Race!

"We'll all look pretty scary with 30 knots and wind against the tide!" said Lis Robinson the day before.

The Race Team took an early decision to stand down the mark laying rib and just rely on the pin end boat, Obsession, to lay a line. The finish boat, Extract, was also given the option of staying at home, but skipper Dudley Stock would have none of it. Later, he was perhaps reconsidering his choice, when Extract dragged its anchor and the finish line increased slowly in length.

The CV Wetwheels, Hamble, went out to the vicinity of 4Q, John Fisher buoy, to see who was brave enough to follow. Although it was pretty windy on the way out, by start time things had become much calmer. An hour after leaving the river, Mike Yates on JAGO, J109, reported they were "tuning up in 5 knots." Everyone had had an extra hour in bed due to the clocks going back, or as Mike put it "another hour listening to the rain hammering down."

Half an hour into the first race Kathy Smalley reported from the CV "Who would have thought it? A forecast for 30 knot gusts and at present they are all becalmed..." she continued "Hill Head buoy is doing well against the tide." To add insult to injury the wind went from 200 to 120 and then became northish. Mike Yates summed up the feeling on JAGO. "As we approached the windward mark, Hill Head, a 120 degree wind shift and only 3 knots of breeze found us setting the kite and struggling against the tide to make the weather mark." Mojo Risin, J109, Rob Cotterill sneaked in front of JAGO and the whole fleet compressed right behind them. Despite this, JAGO crossed the line first but J'ronimo, J92, David Greenhalgh, got the win. Hot Rats admitted to not fully grasping the situation of the wind shift. "The upwind leg having turned into a downwind leg would obviously mean the downwind was now upwind." Sorting this out meant a loss of valuable time.

The second race saw the wind pick up and this meant headsail and kite changes mid race. Wind shifts once again played their part with different sail configurations on different boats on the same leg of the course.

At the end of this second Race the overall positions for the series so far are as follows. In IRC 2, Jump 2 it, J99, Kevin Taylor, leads Triarchy, Arcona 380, Oliver Reynolds in second, with Wavetrain, Gavin Howe in third. IRC 3 is led by JAGO with J'ronimo and Mojo Risin second and third. The fifteen strong IRC 4 has Protis, Quarter ton, Team Hamble ahead of Banter, Mustang 30 mk, 2 David Hadley and Tim James in second and Quokka, Half ton, James Crew in third place. Protis, currently showing six bullets, is looking good for the yacht of the series. There are however four weeks to go so anything can happen.

Greene King provided the day prizes back at HRSC and for some reason their product is always well received. The prize for the scariest boat was won by Vitesse or to be more precise the Witch, Paula Tripp on Vitesse.

Next weekend is the lay weekend, so racing will commence on 12th November 2023.

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