The third race day of the Garmin Hamble Winter Series rounded off a successful weekend of racing, which this week incorporated the final act of both the Doyle Sails Hamble One Design Championship and the Sailing Networks Hamble Big Boat Championship – not to mention a marriage proposal…
The wind was decidedly fluky for Sunday’s racing, but the race team got all fleets away after a short postponement. The wind started at around 10 knots, easing through the day to a minimum of 3 knots of Northeasterly, but the race team fitted in two races to leave competitors smiling as they came off the water – despite some large shifts that meant no position was set in stone until the final tack to the finish line.
A strong weather-going tide meant that there was a general recall or two, but fleets subsequently got away cleanly – no doubt encouraged to be cautious by the Z flag flying from the committee boat.
First away was the IRC 0 class. Cornel Riklin’s Jitterbug added two more firsts to continue her run of bullets, making her lead look healthy and strong after three weekends of racing. Fellow J/111 Journeymaker II took two second places, ahead of J/122 Juno in third, making for a complete J-boat podium at this stage.
In IRC1, Philip Farrands’ Old Mother Gun made the best of the shifty conditions to take two first places on Sunday, bringing them to within two points of overall leader, James Wilkie’s Fast-Tack Puma, in the overall standings.
HOD35 Malice increased her overall lead in the IRC2 class, scoring two more firsts to add to her near-perfect scoreline. Mike Bridges’ Elaine took two second places, with J/88 Jongleur finishing 3rd in both races.
In IRC3, J/97 Blackjack II recorded two wins, rounding off a weekend of celebration as owners Annie Kelly and Andy Howe got engaged on Saturday. At the prizegiving, day sponsor, the Bugle pub presented them with a special champagne bottle to add to their day prize, to tumultuous applause! J/92s Upstart took two second places to add to their consistent scoreline.
The J/109 fleet, racing with IRC3, was won by Simon Perry’s Jiraffe, which took two bullets ahead of Joe Henry’s Jolly Jack Tar’s two second places.
Day prize in the Sigma 38 fleet went to Chris and Vanessa Choules on With Alacrity, who recorded a 2nd and a 1st, with Nigel Goodhew’s Persephone scoring a 1st and a 2nd.
IRC 4 saw some chopping and changing, and the first race was won by Sigma 33 Stan the Boat, with Impala 28 Polly in second and fellow Impala Uproar in third. Polly won the second race, with Mustang 30s Respect and Erik the Red close behind. This leaves things tight at the top of the results.
The Impala 28 class, racing in IRC4, was won by Polly, with Uproar and Imptish just behind, sharing equal points after the day’s racing, with Imptish edging ahead on countback.
Thanks go to the Bugle pub, who as day sponsors donated the prizes –meal vouchers and bottles of wine – in a packed HRSC clubhouse after racing. We look forward to seeing all competitors on the water next Sunday.
Next weekend sees two more races in the Garmin Hamble Winter Series, before a mid-series break.