164 boats racing and over 60 races laid on over the opening weekend (18/19 April) of the Brooks Macdonald Crewsaver Spring Championship and the Warsash Spring Series. IRC1 and IRC3 saw some close racing across both days with Antix (Ker 40 Anthony O’Leary) leading IRC1 by the end of the weekend, with last year’s Championship winners, Tokoloshe II (GP42 – Michael Bartholomew) and Alice (Mumm 36 Simon Hennng) in close second and third respectively.
Malice (Hod 35 – Mike Moxley) is leading IRC3 but Elaine (Elan 37 – Mike Bridges), in second place is just two points between them.
Aguila (1/4 Tonner – Sam Laidlaw) in IRC4 swept the board with straight wins and in IRC2 Raygun (Ker 32 – Mark Devereaux) was consistently in the top three across all the weekend’s races.
Peter Bateson, Series Chairman “It was an incredible weekend’s racing. We have more boats entered this year for the Championship which, combined with the weather has led to some really close and challenging racing this weekend”.
Saturday saw 22 knots of wind that started in the NE and gradually swung to the SE and back again by the end of the day. Sunday had a generally steadier ENE breeze of 8 to 10 knots with gusts in the low teens and the occasional drop to 5 knots.
The Black Flag had to be dusted off for Sunday’s races with the initial wind against tide pushing the normally conservative IRC4 fleet across the line; resulting in a general recall and the black flag to ensure they got away cleanly at the second attempt.
The J70’s followed and similarly were recalled and got away at the second attempt, but four boats at the pin end did pick up a disqualification. The SB20s and J80s spotted the problem and managed better.
By the start of the second race the tide was beginning to turn and with it the starts improved as boats were being pushed down the line rather than across it. A drop to just 5 knots and the wind shifting around by 30 degrees at the end of the day led to some rather tight approaches to the leeward gate as boats misjudged the strength of the tide.
In the White Championship Group Ian Atkin’s J70, Boats.com looks set to repeat his winning performance from last year having gained podium places across all the weekends races bar one.
Betty’s (Jon Powell) dominance of the J88 fleet in the Spring Series extended on into the Championship with a good lead of 6 points over Mike Lewis’s Jester. Similarly F5 Synthesis swept the board in the SB20’s with an 11 point lead over Richard Powell’s GBR 3728.
As we head into the final Sunday (26 April) of the Warsash Spring Series we see that Salvo (JND 35 – Peter Morton) in IRC 2 and Icarus (J111 Chris Body & Andrew Christie) in IRC 1 have extended their leads and Jumanji (David Mitchell), in the J70 fleet, has closed in on Little Louise’s (Nigel Evans) lead from last week.
more info …… warsashspringseries.org.uk
The second and concluding weekend of the Spring Championship is on 25/26 April.