A lull before the storm on Sunday 9 March enabled the 50-strong race management team for the Raymarine Warsash Spring Series to hold a rehearsal for the big event. All systems afloat and ashore were checked, ready for the first race next Sunday 16th March.
With three separate start lines this year, Warsash Sailing Club will have four RYA National Race Officers and an International Judge afloat to see all goes smoothly. 2008 marks the Silver Jubilee of the Spring Series and Black Group Chief Race Officer David Greenway was one of the original competitors in 1984.
Even a week before the first race, over 190 skippers have entered, including Luca Bacci bringing his Laser SB3 over from Milan and Kees Kaan from Rotterdam with his Grand Soleil Roark. Particular interested has been shown from J-Boat owners with eight J/105s, 15 J/80s and 17 J/109s all ready to do battle in their one design classes. Laser SB3s (33 so far) will have a separate course and sailing area in 2008.
As well as the six race Spring Series on Sundays, the Spring Championship will comprise weekends with multiple races. For sportsboats the dates are 19th/20th and 26th/27th April. Big boats have 5th/6th and 19th/20th April reserved for their Spring Championship. A keen line up has already registered. The 45 foot class includes four Farr 45s joined by John Shepherd’s Ker 46 Fair Do’s VII, already selected for the Commodore’s Cup, Nemo of Cowes (Swan 45) and Shockwave (DK46). The Big Boat IRC section has a range of designs with the TP52 Henri Lloyd Cutting Edge highest rated.
Previous Spring Series winner Jim MacGregor will be competing in Premier Flair one of three Elan 410s currently entered. David and Kirsty Apthorp, winners of the 2007 Raymarine Trophy, will be transferring from the J/105 to J/109 class, doubtless hoping to repeat their success.
Once racing is over, everyone is welcome at Warsash Sailing Club on the River Hamble, where there is a friendly bar at club prices, hot food and fast on-screen results as well as champagne, courtesy of Raymarine, for the weekly class winners present in the clubhouse.
Last minute entries are welcome and these can be made on-line via www.warsashsc.org.uk