Garmin Hamble Winter Series 2010 Weekend 1

The first weekend of the 2010 Garmin Hamble Winter Series produced two days of near perfect sailing conditions in the Solent. While Saturday’s Hamble Big Boat Series, sponsored by The Bugle, got going in a steady north-easterly breeze under a cloudy sky, Sunday’s fleets in the main Garmin series had warm sunshine to enjoy and up to 18 knots of a more shifting wind. 

IMG_0609 During the summer Garmin had run a competition for local youngsters to design this year’s official backstay flag, so before the main series racing began there was a flag raising ceremony at the host club, Hamble River Sailing Club. The winner, 11-year-old Kimberley Arné proudly hauled her winning design to the yardarm before heading out on a Fairey Spearfish to watch the first day’s racing.
With four races of the Bugle Hamble Big Boat Series completed on Saturday, this fleet joined the Garmin racers on Sunday for a memorable day's racing. The Black Group was set up near East Knoll buoy allowing just enough water at the pin end for the biggest boat in the fleet to start, Gray and Laidlaw’s powerful Farr 52 ‘Bob’.

But the strong flood tide caused some starting problems and after a ten-minute postponement the over-enthusiastic eight-strong Farr 45 fleet had a general recall. Things settled down after the ODM was re-laid and the eight classes of IRC and one-design yachts got away on a series of windward leeward courses across the Brambles Bank.

As the morning progressed the wind clocked right from 060 at 1000 to 085 by midday, and this combined with a high water time of 1345 required some clear tactical thinking from the Black Group navigators. Outstanding performances were ‘Fair Do’s VII’ with two wins in IRC0, ‘Elaine’ and ‘Steady Barker’ swapping wins in IRC2, and a one-two for ‘With Alacrity’ in the Sigma 38 class and ‘Aria’ in the J/109 class. 

Over at the White Group near the entrance to Southampton Water the tide was less of a factor than the gusty north-easterly that gave the crews some exciting downwind rides and caused a few spills. Even so the somewhat depleted Laser SB3 and J/80 fleets were behaving impeccably with no recalls or black flags during all their three races. David Cummin’s ‘Rumbleflurg’ in the SB3’s and John Cooper’s 'Oi!’ in the J/80s both scored three straight wins. Class leaders at the halfway point in the Bugle Hamble Big Boat Series are Niklas Zennstrom’s ‘Ran’ in the Level Racing 45’s and Peter Rutter’s ‘Quokka’ in the IRC class.

The daily prize giving is scheduled for 1530 but there were few complaints about the hour’s delay after such a stunning day’s racing. The HRSC clubhouse and terrace was packed to the gunwales as Laurent Cescatti, the Bugle general manager, and Commodore Pat North handed out the day prizes.
Next weekend (16/17th Oct.) also sees the Premier Marinas Autumn Championships for Laser SB3, J/80, and J/109, with the conclusion of the Bugle Hamble Big Boat Series the following weekend. Full details of the 2010 Garmin Hamble Winter Series are available at:
Garmin Hamble Winter Series – Day 1 Results:
Black Fleet Race Winners:
Race 1 & 2 ‘Fair Do’s VII’ John Shepherd
Race 1 ‘Visit Malta Puma’ Phillipe Falle
Race 2  ‘Vortex’ Tim Harrington
Race 1 ‘Elaine’ Mike Bridges
Race 2 ‘Steady Barker’ Michael Brough
Race 1 ‘Hot Rats’ Lis and Robbie Robinson
Race 2 ‘Jika-Jika’ Mike and Jamie Holmes
Race 1 ‘Chimp’ M. Kershaw
Race 2 'Patriot Games' Paul Blowers
Sigma 38
Race 1 ‘With Alacrity’ Chris and Vanessa Choules
Race 2 ‘Rapscallion’ Peter Diamond
Races 1 ‘J Dream’ David & Kirsty Apthorp
Races 2 ‘Aria’ Luca Rubinelli  
White Fleet Race Winners:
Laser SB3
Races 1, 2 & 3, ‘Rumbleflurg’ David Cummins 
Races 1, 2 & 3, 'Oi!’ John Cooper
Bugle Hamble Big Boat Race Winners:
Level Racing 45 Class
Races 1, 2, 3, & 6 ‘Ran’ Niklas Zennstrom
Race 4 ‘Werewolf’ Jerry Otter
Race 5 ‘Rebel’ Stewart Whitehead
Open IRC Class
Races 1, 2, & 5 ‘Quokka’ Peter Rutter
Race 3 ‘Jammy Dodger’ Neil Martin
Race 4 ‘Dark & Steamy’ Nick and Annie Haigh
Race 6 ‘Bob’ Gray & Laidlaw