Week five of the Raymarine Warsash Spring Series took place on the Sunday 20 April. The forecast showers did not materialise and the Solent turned out to be one of the warmest spots in the country with the temperature well into the teens. Competitors found themselves casting off the full foul weather gear that had been essential so far.
In Black Group, it was the intention to hold two races for IRC2 and IRC1. PRO David Greenway used the length of the eastern Solent for his courses which had finish lines away to the east off Stokes Bay as well as close to the Bramble Bank to be ready for restarts.
The light north-easterly hovered in the 8 to 14 range, making the decision on headsail choice difficult for some with a higher range cut off point of 10 knots for a light No 1. The strong tide at full springs caught out the combined IRC1 and 45 footer class which was subject to a general recall at the first attempt and then the black flag rule. Even so, Erivale and Pace were eliminated.
On the water, no one could catch the TP52 Ran, with Jeremy Robinson on the helm, but in the afternoon race, John Shepherd brought his Ker 46 Fair Do’s VIII home close enough behind to take the race on corrected time. With six races completed, the discard comes into play and Dark and Steamy holds an eight point lead with one race left.
It was Class IRC2’s turn to catch up on an earlier abandoned race. Andrew Webster on Circus has had a good series so far and he consolidated his overall lead by winning the morning race and coming fourth in the afternoon. Behind him, 10 points cover the next eight boats and the title could go to any one of them.
IRC 3 and 4 were set longer courses which included shy spinnaker reaches as well as extensive beats against the tide. Russell Hodgson (Dehler 34, Rushlex) and Nick and Suzi Jones (First 34.7, Astarte) have been trading tacks, if not blows, all season and for the second week running Astarte came off best by less than a boat’s length at the line.
As a sub-set of IRC3 the Sigma 38s are having their own battle with Rob Denning on Light and Nigel Goodhew on Persephone of London are one point apart - another duel to be settled on the final week. Jackie and Robert Dobson have met with success in IRC4 with their Elan 333 Elusive, winning three races, but a sixth place in Race 2 means they are only two points ahead of David Rider’s Catch 22 which has not scored worse than fourth.
In the J/109s, the two front runners Zelda and Shiva, were both over the line and failed to return. This left Jon Perry on Firestorm and Mike Wallis on Jahmali to battle it out. In the event Firestorm was the winner by one slender second.
The White Group committee boats took up station near the Meon shore. These classes have preset courses of winward/leewards, varying in length. In the Hunter 707s, some competitors were out for the first time this weekend. These included Beaver Hunter which took one win and Cacciatore which took the remaining two. Tequila heads on Series point.
The J/80s saw three different winners - Just Chilling, Jevan and Savage Sailing Team - but Boats.com tops the Series results. The SB3s had two one hour races and a 30 minute third race. At this point Geoff Carveth heads Ian Southworth and Nigel Jones by 26 points.
Raymarine Warsash Spring Series - Provisional Results Week 5, 20 April 2008:
- Race 1 Ran TP52 Niklas Zennstrom
- Race 2 Fair Do’s VII Ker 46 John Shepherd
- Race 1 Circus Seaquest 36 Andrew Webster
- Race 2 Prime Suspect Mills 36 David Richards
IRC 3 Astarte First 34.7 Nick & Suzi Jones
IRC 4 Elusive Elan 333 Jackie & Robert Dobson
J-109 Firestorm Jon Perry
J-105 Fay-J Paul Griffiths
Races 1 and 2 Team Touareg Jono Shelley
Palava Geoff Carveth
Races 1 Beaver Hunter Paul Gray
Race 2 and Cacciatore Dicky Barnes
Race 1 Savage Team Sailing Liz Savage
Race 2 Just Chilling Stephen Chiverton
Race 3 Jevan Robert and Jonathan Fox
Races 1, 2 & 3 Finn M’Coul Tom Clay