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Zhik 2024 February Outlet - LEADERBOARD

42nd Hamble Winter Series - Week 7

by Trevor Pountain 30 Nov 2023 08:07 PST 26 November 2023

PRO Peter Bateson described the conditions on week seven of the Hamble Winter Series as "cool but not cold." He must have been hiding inside on Wetwheels Hamble, as Ian Handley on Banter was experiencing a Sunday that was "By far the coldest, a true Hamble Winter series experience." One thing is for sure it was a bit grey and miserable in the drizzle.

Race officers Rupert Wolloshin and the afore mentioned Peter Bateson, fretted over where to send the boats. No change there then! They decided on starting the four classes off in the direction where the wind was coming from at the time; and then rotated the courses to the right with each new leg. They had to guess exactly when the veer(s) would happen - the forecast may have said between 1100 and 1200, but could it be believed?

Well, the wind stayed roughly where it was for much of the first beat but veered steadily, by about 70 degrees, during the latter part of the leg. This affected IRC 4 the most as they started 20 minutes after the first boats.

"The second 'beat' proved to be a fetch," said Peter, "as the breeze continued to swing right, whilst the third beat was well aligned at 210 degrees, even though up and down the course there were significant variations." Significant enough for the J109s Gybe Talkin and JAGO to be heading in the same direction on different tacks according to Mike Yates.

By the third beat to 4F, Royal Thames, and for the run to 4L, William and the final short beat to 4J, hamblewinterseries.com, the breeze built to 10 knots or so.

This adaptable course setting was appreciated by the boats. "Good course setting to cope with the expected wind shifts, which followed the forecast." said Lis Robinson on Hot Rats. Indeed the "Rats" were leading up the first beat in IRC 3, until they ran out of breeze and had to follow two J109s, JAGO and Jenie round the mark. They maintained their position on the water, if not on handicap, for the rest of the race.

Jenie, Rosie Berry, led for most of the race but as Mike Yates explained "We managed to sneak ahead of Jenie at the penultimate mark, they gybed off and we held on to the finish." J'ronimo, J92, David Greenhalgh managed to place third, pushing With Alacrity and Hot Rats into fourth and fifth.

IRC 4 was once again the biggest fleet on the water with fifteen starters. Banter, despite their skipper feeling cold, had a red hot performance. They beat the so far untouchable Protis, Quarter ton, Team Hamble, by two minutes corrected. Ian Handley put it down to the swelling of their brains trust to include former J70 Corinthian World Champion, Andy Shorrocks and Katie Shorrocks to go with the two James' and Handleys. Nobody likes a name dropper Ian!

Their plan was simple, given the foul tide; they would head mid right to the shallowest water by the bank and wait for the shift so they could lee bow to the first mark. For a while Quokka 9, Protis and Duff Lite out to left seemed to be sailing away from them, but like Jybe Talkin' in the class before they suddenly ran of wind. This left Banter leading at the first mark.

As the wind built Quokka 9, Half Ton, James Crew got through them, but could not save their time on Banter, or on the now charging Protis who grabbed second. So pleased were they on Banter that Rachel broke out the flapjacks on the way home! I'd hate to be on board when they don't win.

In IRC 2, Wavetrain, Gavin Howe, kept things interesting by beating the two class leading boats, Jump 2 it, Kevin Taylor and Triarchy, Oliver Reynolds. If Wave train does that again this Sunday things could be very tight at the top. Squeaky transom time!

The two remaining yachts in IRC 1, Lancellot 11, First 40, Pru Nash and Expresso Martini Too, Farr 40, Cameron Davis, have so far failed to come out at the same time. Will Race week 8 be any different?

Back at the Hamble River Sailing Club, Jackie Peck from Pharmaceutical Consulting Ltd presented some excellent prizes. These consisted of backpacks with very welcome "goodies" hidden inside. Some competitors again benefitted from the Club's Day Prize policy that you have to be in to win. 7th placed Voodoo, IRC 4, was delighted to pick up one of the fabulous prizes.

Reflecting on the 'interesting' weather of the series to date, Peter Bateson invited volunteers to take on the task of course setting but, unsurprisingly, no-one seemed keen...

Next Sunday sees the final race of the series. Paul Wyeth, sick of taking pictures that are grey on grey, is ever the optimist: "Here's hoping for some sunshine for the last one next weekend!"

Next week's Day Sponsor is Boatcare, part of the Boatfolk Marina group. They will be giving a free racing scrub to the class winners - yes you read it correctly - Free! I can sense Ian Handley's phone in action already. Those who don't come first shouldn't worry; there will also be wine in which to drown your sorrows.

Results at www.hamblewinterseries.com

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