Conditions prove tough on the Solent

Action from the Warsash Spring Series   Picture: Eddie Mays
Action from the Warsash Spring Series Picture: Eddie Mays
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The Solent may be a long way from the Olympic classes venue at Hyeres – but like the southern French port, the weather played its part on home water last weekend.

The Warsash Spring Series was brought to a premature end as a weather system with gale force winds failed to clear through in time for racing on the Sunday.

Spring Series chairman Peter Bateson said: ‘We were hoping to achieve a race for Black Group but it was still blowing Force 6, with gusts above 30 knots by mid-morning.

‘An expected wind shift from north-east to south-east meant we would not have guaranteed a good course for competitors, even if the wind had abated in time.’

However, conditions on the Saturday at least allowed for four races to conclude the Warsash Spring Championship.

In the Farr 45s, RAN (Niklas Zennstrom) put in a good performance with five points from four races. But having not competed on the previous weekend, they did not feature on the overall leaderboard, which was topped by Alice II (Simon Henning).

All Spring Series boats in IRC1 and IRC2 were eligible for the championship, and with no discards, consistency proved key.

In IRC1, neither Tokoloshe (Mike Bartholomew) nor Brevity (Mark Devereux) placed higher than fifth, but with four wins, Tokoloshe’s Anglo-South African crew took a six-point lead to repeat their success as class winner in 2011.

In IRC2, Winston and Tarka II were separated by just two points after nine races.

There was a close tussle in the J/109s headed by Jahmali, two points ahead of Outrajeous.

Returning to the J/80 class, Stewart Hawthorn headed the fleet in J’ai Deux Amours, with J2x second.

The turn out in the Laser SB3 class was patchy but the Russian entry from Oleg Zherebstov improved to first place from his fifth position in 2011.

The Quarter Ton class saw 11 races after which the Irish entry, Anchor Challenge (Diamuid Foley), was tied on points with local sailor Louise Morton in Espada, but four wins gave Foley the trophy.