35th Hamble Winter Series - Week 5, Sponsored by One Sails
The Hamble Winter Series might have only taken a week's mid-season break, but the weather had become noticeably colder since the last race a fortnight ago. Nonetheless, a veritable army of competitors and volunteers ventured out onto icy decks for the fifth weekend of racing in the series.
Out in the Solent a chilly North-westerly breeze was funnelling down Southampton Water and spreading out into the race area and the startline between Hill Head and East Knoll. The breeze was patchy and came complete with oscillating shifts to keep competitors on their toes and the results ever-changing until the finish.
IRC 1 saw overall leaders Nifty retire with equipment failure: this week it was Christopher Daniel's J/122 Juno that took the top spot. She finished 42 seconds ahead of Toby Lambert's MAT 12 Night Owl 2, with Richard Patrick's First 40 Dusty P completing the podium in IRC1.
IRC2 has seen some close racing between the top two boats – and this week it was Mike Bridges' Elan 37 Elaine that took another bullet, with a comfortable lead over Robbie and Lis Robinson's First 35 Hot Rats in second. Simon Perry's J/109 Jiraffe was third – leaving her only two points behind Elaine overall.
It was a good day for the Sigma 38 class in IRC 3, with Chris and Vanessa Choules' With Alacrity winning the IRC 3 class, finishing just nine seconds ahead of Jamie Muir's SJ320 Scarlet Jester. Kevin Sussmilch's Sigma 38 Mefisto completed the podium.
IRC 4 was won in style by Giovanni Belgrano's classic Whooper. She finished ahead of Jeffery Dakin's Starflash Flashheart, closely followed by the Meakins and Cudmores on Impala 28 Polly in third. That leaves much to play for in the class, with only one point separating second and fourth places with three races left to sail.
Gavin Howe's Tigris scored their first bullet of the series so far in the J/88 class, finishing comfortably ahead of second place, overall leaders Kirsty and David Apthorp's J-Dream. Third was Paul Ward's Eat Sleep J Repeat.
It's all to play for with three races left to sail in the series. Day Sponsor was long-established winter series supporters One Sails, and Ian Brown handed out prizes to competitors in the HRSC clubhouse, where competitors warmed up with hot food and drink.
This week's special prizes went to Scarlet Jester, for best start, and Whooper for the Top Dog prize, based on the best corrected time over distance sailed.
Well done to all competitors and to the army of volunteers who braved the icy conditions to deliver some excellent racing – and we'll see you out there bright and early next Sunday.