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Stoneways Marine 2021 - LEADERBOARD

42nd Hamble Winter Series - Week 5

by Trevor Pountain 16 Nov 2023 15:03 GMT 12 November 2023

Refreshed from the lay weekend of 5th November, both competitors and the Race Team, headed out into the Solent for the 5th week of the 2023 Hamble winter Series.

The CV Wetwheels Hamble set up in the vicinity of mark 48 Paul Heys. RO Kathryn Clark, working under the guidance of Peter Bateson, reported that "The wind is a little temperamental but not too bad." It was good enough for the racing to start on time, not something that has happened very often in this series. Seven boats started in IRC 2, fourteen in IRC 3 and twelve hit the line in IRC 4. Everything was going according to plan, or was it?

"Class IRC 3 has been abandoned as a mark is missing" came up on WhatsApp from Jackie Peck. The mark in question turned out to be 4W Ancasta and it was to be a mark of the course for all classes. The Race Team quickly dispatched the pin end launch Obsession to imitate Ancasta before classes 2 and 4 arrived. A new start was organized for Class 3 which delighted Mike Yates on JAGO. "Thankfully an abandoned first race meant that I perfected my starting technique for the second attempt."

Ancasta 4W was eventually found on Tuesday, floating around off Browndown beach. The King's Harbour Master has been informed.

For the last four weeks of the series there is just one, slightly longer race so that boats can finish before it gets too dark or exposure sets in. "It was not an easy race" said Ian Handley on Banter in IRC 4. "A foul tide and wind shifts played their part."

Protis, Quarter Ton, Team Hamble reveled in the conditions, making good use of their nimbleness and as Ian Handley observed "Bouncing from one wind shift to another whilst sailing very high into the windward marks."

They had the added bonus of a certain Tim Thubron onboard. Banter hung on in a series of mini battles with Memory Maker First 31.7, Don Forster and Whooper, Giles 39, Giovanni Belgrano, as Protis slipped away, to end up in second place. Their Mustang sistership Dark Horse, Rob Macgregor did just enough to pip Memory Maker and Whooper and come home third.

Whooper returned to the fray after a few weeks off with brand new sails to fill their, new for 2023, carbon mast that is slightly taller than the old wooden one. Whatever will the tradionalists think?

In IRC 3 JAGO, J109, with its better second start, beat Jeannie, J109, Rosie Berry to come home in first place. Mike Yates agreed that the foul tides and 30-degree shifts made it all very tactical but "It turned out to be a great days' racing in the south easterly breeze."

There were six J109s out in total which although unexpected, was good to see. J'ronimo, J92, David Greenhalgh pipped Mojo risin, Rob Cotterill to stop a J109 podium.

In IRC 2, Kevin Taylor's J99, Jump 2 it collected its third bullet of the series to keep it just ahead of the Arcona 380, Triarchy, Oliver Reynolds, both overall and on the day. Wavetrain, Gavin Howe was third. Gavin himself was not onboard, having had a recent hip replacement. He is saving himself for the RORC Transatlantic Race which leaves Lanzarote on the 7th of January 2024.

Back in the HRSC Clubhouse, Wilf Chaplain of OneSails South, presented the day prizes. There were waterproof rucksacks, sailing belts, T-shirts, sail ties and pens. In fact, everything the sailor about Hamble could possibly want.

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