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42nd Hamble Winter Series - Week 2

by Trevor Pountain 18 Oct 2023 09:37 PDT 14-15 October 2023

Fifty-three teams in four IRC Classes went out over the weekend of the Hamble IRC Autumn Championship. They were encouraged by the favourable weather forecast, the lure of a prize from Force 4 and the last chance to be IRC top dog for this year.

When the CV, Wetwheels, anchored off the Hill head shore, half a mile inshore of 4V, Hamble Yacht Services buoy, the weather was sunny and the wind was 11 - 13 knots from the WNW. The conditions were shifty, with variations of up to 20 degrees, though the average remained the same. Just for fun a rather nasty and non-forecast rain storm hit the fleet at lunch time.

"Sun, rain, hot and cold and that was just on one beat!" reported Mike Yates on the J109, JAGO. The plan for Saturday was for two windward/leeward races and a round the cans race to finish. Windward marks near 4R, Darling buoy, at 1.25 miles and 1.0 miles were laid for the different classes.

The starts for Race 1 were generally close but well behaved, except for IRC 3 where there was a general recall. "Two-thirds of the class went for it very early" said PRO Peter Bateson, "and at least 8 boats were over the line 10 seconds before the gun." With the threat of a 20% penalty under the Z flag, everyone held back for a successful restart.

The last race round the cans gave the bowmen some practice. "Two kite reaches with a reach to reach gybe tested their skills" reported Sam Love on Frank 3. Despite IRC 3 on a run, sailing through IRC 4 at their windward mark, "It was a great day, great courses and great fun!!" said Sam.

IRC 1 had three different winners in the three races. Go West, Far East 28, Alain Waha in Race 1, Jester, Lutra 30, Michael Lewis, in Race 2 and Sea Dragon, Far East 28, Timon Robinson, in Race 3.

IRC 2 was dominated by the A35, Arcus of Paul Newall, who posted three first places. In an interesting mix at the top of the class, Elysium IV, Sunfast 3600, Max Walker was lying second with Jalapeno 3, J99, Brian Denny in third.

IRC 3 was battle between four of the J109s, Jukebox, JAGO, Jeannie and Jumping Jellyfish and the JPK 1010 of Edward Mockridge, Elaine Again.

Showing once again that the IRC rule can provide close racing for everyone, IRC 4 had Protis, Quarter Ton, Team Hamble; Banter, Mustang Mk 2, Ian Handley & Tim James and Whooper, Giles 39C, Giovani Belgrano battling for the chocolates. Protis with a 2, 1, 1, was looking like the boat to beat.

Sunday was sunny again, with a shifty breeze of 6-9 knots coming from between 345 and 010 degrees. It was rather cold and Coffee and Calvados was the order of the day on Hot Rats, Robbie & Lis Robinson before they ventured out for two races. The second race, round the cans, "Involved a little orienteering past the Brambles and into the stronger tide on the south side" as Peter Bateson so tactfully put it. The later beats became one sided as the wind backed NNW. No amount of Calvados could sooth the Hot Rats crew with their symmetric set up. "The Js enjoyed the reaching around" said Lis Robinson and Mike Yates did not disagree "Great to have some reaching rather than all windward/leewards, which is always a challenge against the symmetrically rigged boats!"

When it came to the Sunday prize-giving, supported by the Force 4 Chandlery, all the top boats had performed again on Sunday. In IRC 4, Ian Southworth led Protis to a net 4 points to take the glassware with Banter in second and Whooper third. IRC 2 saw Jukebox and JAGO tied on 7 points with Jukebox taking it on countback. Elaine Again was third. Arcus maintained its grip on IRC 2, despite a late charge from Elysium IV and Jalapeno 3 who both ended on 9 points. Elysium IV was second on countback here. Finally, Jester added two bullets to seal IRC 1. Go West was second and Sea Dragon third.

Commodore Serena Alexander presented the Glassware to the winners and Julian and Tom from Force 4 at Port Hamble, distributed some well received nautical prizes.

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