Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Warsash Series Swings Into Spring Sailing- Finally!

J/70 one-design speedster- sailing fast on Solent, England(Warsash, England)- After three weeks of freezing weather, a hint of spring was in the air on 14th April 2013 for the fourth Sunday in the Brooks Macdonald Warsash Spring Series. With the temperature rising to double figures, the thermal layers could be left behind and there was no ice to clear from the decks. Although the forecast promised 16-20 knots from the south with gusts to 30 knots, these did not materialize and the full program of racing could be completed for all classes.

The sportsboats in White Group also assembled in the entrance to Southampton Water. Relieved to find no forecast Force 4-6, a three-round windward/leeward course was set parallel to the shore, 0.65nm long. The J/70 class got away but there was disappointment for EXESS in the J/80s, having led all the way round, to return and find she was over the line at the start. This left the win to current series leader BETTY (Jon Powell).

In the second White Group race there were individual recalls in the J/70s and J/80s but this time everyone returned quickly. Halfway through, the wind started to shift and had soon gone through 90 degrees to the south-west. The race was shortened and the committee boat moved inshore ready for the third race. With the wind in the 8-10 knot range the J/70s got away cleanly only for one of the forecast gusts to come in at over 20 knots just two minutes before the J/80 start. At this point the committee boat’s anchor began to drag causing a short delay. The enthusiasm of the fleet to get under way showed when half the boats were too keen on the start line. With several hidden in the middle a general recall was needed before all went smoothly on the next attempt. Again, there was close racing in the J/70s. This time the fleet finished within 27 seconds after 50 minutes of racing. Simon Cavey in PHEEBS posted two wins and a third for the day, whilst BETTY (Jon Powell) gained the same score in the J/80s.

The J/80s continue to see Jon Powell and crew riding the mighty BETTY fast, hard and furious, never letting up on the fleet and rarely showing a chink in their armor.  With 19 pts, the betting is good that BETTY is well on her way to taking the J/80s with 19 pts after 12 races!  Behind them by 23 pts is Gillian Ross's ROCK & ROLL in second overall.  They're followed by Allan Higgs' JUICY with 59 pts in third place.

Next weekend sees additional racing on Saturday for the Spring Championship whilst the Brooks Macdonald Warsash Spring Series meets for the fifth time on Sunday 21st April 2013.  Sailing photo credits- Iain McLuckie    For more Warsash Spring Series sailing information