(Hamble, England)- There might have been a mixed bag of weather conditions but the central Solent hosted some great, close racing for the second weekend of the 2014 Garmin Hamble Winter Series, this week comprising the first of two MDL Hamble Big Boats championship weekends. To say the weather was benign might be the understatement of the week- t-shirts, shorts and shades for many aboard the J/111s, J/109s, J/88s and J/97s!
For the second race of the Garmin Hamble Winter Series the forecast predicted a light Northeasterly wind that would build to around 17 knots as the day went on, and so it proved, with all classes fitting in two races from a start-line near Hill Head.
In the GHWS IRC O Class, the top three J/111s are having a close fight for the podium. After posting two 2nds for the weekend, Martin Dent’s JELVIS lies second overall. Just behind tied on points at 10 apiece are Chris Body’s ICARUS (2-4-4) and Louise Makin’s JOURNEYMAKER II (4-3-3).
The IRC 2 Class has a trio of J/88s sailing IRC as a group for the first time and they’re learning quite quickly how to make them go faster! At this stage, Paul Ward’s EAT SLEEP J REPEAT lies 3rd overall with a 2-7-6 and just 2 pts back is Ivan Trotman’s JOJO with a 4-8-5.
IRC 3 saw a first and second apiece for two J/97s, Andy Howe’s BLACKJACK II and Charles Ivill’s ETB TYES/ JUST LIKE THAT, who now sit a point apart at the top of the leaderboard. John Noe's La Nef IV had two thirds.
In the J/109s, Roger Philips' DESIGNSTAR 2 extended her lead over the rest of the fleet with another two first places. Chris Burleigh’s JYBE TALKIN is sitting on second with a 3-4-4 followed by Adrian Wheal’s JOLLY JACK TAR with a 9-2-2.
Race day sponsor was the Bugle Pub, who generously provided competitors present at the prize-giving with £30 vouchers for food and drink.
MDL Hamble Big Boat Championship
The weekend also hosted the first of two MDL Hamble Big Boat Series weekend, featuring racing for Farr 45s, J/111s and IRC0 and 1 classes keen to finish off their season with some close and exciting racing. On Saturday, the fleet sat under AP for 3 hours awaiting the breeze, but eventually their persistence paid off and a light breeze filled in which allowed the race team to fit in two races on a short windward-leeward course. The Big Boats raced with the main Garmin Hamble Winter Series on Sunday.
The J/111 class was topped by Cornel Riklin's JITTERBUG, which scored two firsts and two seconds to place them 6 points clear of Chris Body's ICARUS. Martin Dent's JELVIS finished the weekend equal on points with ICARUS but a place behind her on countback, in third.
The MDL Hamble Big Boat Championship returns for its final weekend in a fortnight. Next weekend sees the third Garmin Hamble Winter Series race day and the final weekend of the Doyle Sails Hamble One Design Championships. Sailing photo credits- B. Malas For more Garmin Hamble Winter Series sailing information