Tacticians tested in low-key finale

Light winds prevailed once again in the Spring Championship and Warsash Spring Series. Picture: Eddie Mays
Light winds prevailed once again in the Spring Championship and Warsash Spring Series. Picture: Eddie Mays
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Once again the wind – or lack of it – was the key to the final weekend of the sailing season opener, the Warsash Spring Series and Spring Championship.

As anticipated, the breeze failed to materialise at all on Saturday – the championship’s penultimate day – with racing abandoned at lunch time.

Sunday promised better and patience was rewarded around midday when a light south-easterly breeze filled in and – while never more than eight knots – was just enough to race in.

The breeze dipped just after first start – consisting of IRC1, Big Boats and Farr 45s – and with a strong adverse tide, some boats took a painfully long time to clear the line, leading to a further postponement for the following classes.

In almost all classes, those that were able to find clear air from the start made significant gains.

But the various tacticians and navigators had to be on their game thereafter to avoid the numerous wind holes around the windward-leeward courses.

With only the one race possible, it was a low-key ending to both sailing series.

There was no catching Niklas Zennstrom’s Ran in the Farr 45 class of the Spring Championship.

Meanwhile, Velvet Elvis headed the J/109s in the same competition.

The Farr 52 Bob counted only first and second places to win the Big Boat 1 division.

While Tokoloshe – with three wins from six races – finished nine points ahead of Quokka 8 in the Big Boat 2 class.

In the Spring Series, Ran led Brevity on overall points in IRC1.

Trustmarque Playing Around was the runaway winner in IRC2, although the lower-rated Malice put up a brave fight – including two wins – to take second place.

IRC4 counted five races, with the two Mustangs, Erik The Red and Hobby Horse level on points.

However, Erik The Red’s three wins gave them the class title.

In the one-design groups ,Jahmali led Shiva in the J/109s, while With Alacrity finished with a hat-trick of first places to take the Sigma 38s.

IRC3 was a close tussle between Stiletto (First 35) and Guy Jackson’s X-34, with the former taking the win in the last race.

The Spring Championship does not allow discards and six races were finally counted to decide the overall standings in the White Group.

In the Laser SB3s, Oleg Zherebstov’s Team Russia was the only team to score two wins.

But they did not compete on the final weekend.

This gave the title to Spirit of Cape Town (Roger Hudson) ahead of 3 Sad Old Blokes and Gill Race Team, both of which missed the final race.

The J/80 Spring Championship winner was Henri Lloyd Shockwave.

They finished just one point ahead of Aqua-J.

The RAF’s Team Spitfire were third.

The championship prizegiving ceremony will be held on Friday, May 20, and hosted by Warsash Sailing Club’s Shore House.

Warsash Spring Series (overall class winners): IRC 1 Ran Farr 45 Niklas Zennstrom; IRC 2 Trustmarque Playing Around Peter Robson; IRC 3 Stiletto First 35 John Barrett & Paul Woodward; IRC 4 Erik the Red Mustang 30 Bernard Fyans; J/109 Jahmali Mike & Sarah Wallis Sigma 38 With Alacrity Chris & Vanessa Choules; J/80 Aqua – J Patrick Liardet; Laser SB3 3 Sad Old Blokes Jerry Hill

Warsash Spring Championship (overall class winners): Big Boat 1 class Bob Farr 52 Rob Gray, Sam Laidlaw & Tony Hayward; Big Boat 2 class Tokoloshe King 40 Michael Bartholomew;

Farr 45 Ran Farr 45 Niklas Zennstrom; First 40.7 Trustmarque Playing Around Peter Robson; J/109 Velvet Elvis Velvet Elvis Racing; Laser SB3 Spirit of Cape Town Roger Hudson; J/80 Henri Lloyd Shockwave Dan Brown; Quarter Tonners Alice II Rickard Melander