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Warsash Spring Series - Day 1

by Peter Bateson 20 Mar 06:54 PDT 19 March 2023
2023 Warsash Spring Series Day 1 © Peter Bateson

Day 1 of the 2023 Warsash Spring Series for IRC boats started with sunny intervals in about 10 degrees which seemed quite warm after the snow of a few days earlier. With a satisfactory force 4 breeze from the WSW, Race officer Peter Bateson and his team got racing under way on time at 1030 on an east-going tide on Sunday morning. Two races were scheduled.

The first was a windward-leeward course of 4 legs totalling 5 miles for IRC classes 1 and 2, with half a mile less for IRC class 3. The start was a third of a mile NE of John Fisher buoy, with East Knoll buoy used as the windward mark. The Cape 31 The Bodfather (Charles Whelan) led the way in 51 minutes and all in the three classes boats were back within 62 minutes.

In a tight finish on corrected time, Class 2 was won by Chris Burleigh's J/109 Jybe Talkin', 12 seconds ahead of another J/109, Rob Cotterill's Mojo Risin', with the Arcona 38 Triarchy (Ollie Reynolds and Faith Burns) just 11 seconds further behind. In Class 3, Warsash SC member Jon Powell's change to an SJ320, named Betty like his previous boats, saw him successful by 19 seconds over Series Chairman James Crew and Peter Rutter on the half-tonner Quokka, nearly 2 minutes clear of third placed Memory maker, Don Forster's First 31.7.

The second race starting just before mid-day was longer at 8 miles and 6.7 miles for the different classes, involving a triangle-sausage course 'around the cans' with 3 beats, 2 runs and two spinnaker reaches. This included a fairly long and tactical second beat up to the Brambles Bank, by now covered on the rising tide. The breeze was freshening and the weather had become overcast with a hint of drizzle, whilst the tide began to turn to the west, increasing the sea state somewhat. The last quarter-hour or so of the race saw the wind well up to force 5 with some heavier gusts and the conditions became a lot more challenging, especially remembering this was the first outing of the year for many boats.

In IRC class 3, Jon Powell and Betty again headed the results, this time by a satisfying 2 half minutes on corrected time. Quokka was again second, with third place taken by David Greenhalgh and J/92 J'ronimo after a last-leg struggle with her spinnaker that cost her a place. Triarchy come to the fore in IRC class 2 with a 4 half minute win over another Arcona, Neville Askew's 34' Argo, ahead of Jybe Talkin' third, just under a minute further back. The Bodfather was first home in IRC1 and it would be churlish to mention that as the only boat yet racing in the class, she nonetheless found it a useful training day.

The series continues on Sundays through to the end of April, with a break for Easter, and the Spring Championship with multiple races over 2 weekends is on 15-16th and 22nd-23rd April.

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