The race team managed to fit in one race at the Garmin Hamble Winter Series last weekend – but it was in conditions that put boats and their crews to the test.
As boats motored out of the Hamble in the early morning, conditions seemed mild, with a light breeze from the South-south east. But as they cleared the lee of Calshot Spit, it built to around 18-20 knots. With the wind forecast to increase further throughout the day, the race committee broadcast their intention to sail only one race, which was gladly received by the fleet.
By 1200 the wind had built to 25 knots, which combined with bright sunshine provided some stunning sailing for the 70-odd competing yachts – along with the odd impressive wipeout. The startline was near Royal Southern buoy, with a cascading course up to marks near the Bramble Bank for most classes.
In IRC 0, the British Keelboat Academy on Kolga continued their run of first places with another bullet, placing themselves atop the overall results by 8 points ahead of Louise Makin’s J/111 Journeymaker II and third-placed J/111, Icarus.
Similarly, in IRC 1 Bernard Olesinki’s X-40, Xinska, added another first to their results, ahead of Stuart Wilkie’s Puma and Tim Octon’s Doyle Sails.
Richard Searle’s JPK1010, Pincer Movement won the IRC2 class, finishing a minute ahead of HOD35 Malice on corrected time.
In IRC 3, it was local boat, Projection 920 Wee Bear that pulled out all the stops to win the class by four and a half minutes on corrected time. J/97 Blackjack came in second, at the head of a trio of J/97s.
In IRC 4, it was Richard and Ursula Hollis’ X-95, Crackajax that finished first, 40 seconds ahead of Toby Gorman’s Sigma 33 Stan the Boat, who was four seconds ahead of Impala 28 Polly.
Of the J/109s, Adrian Wheal’s Jolly Jack Tar beat Owain Franks’ Jynnan Tonnyx to take the top spot.
Finally, the Sigma 38s had a close battle on their hands, but it was Nigel Goodhew’s Persephone that added to their string of first places with another bullet, ahead of Chris and Vanessa Choules’ With Alacrity and John and Susan Rainger’s Light.
Back at the club, the day sponsor was Key Yachting, which provided Champagne and other prizes to the winners in each class. At the prizegiving commodore Trevor Pountain led a tribute to the late David Thomas, many of whose designs (Impalas, Sigma 33 and Sigma 38s) have been racing in the Garmin Hamble Winter Series.