Hamble Winter Series One Design opening 2019
The first Weekend of the Hamble Winter Series One Design Championship got off to a better start than had been feared. For the whole of previous week the forecast was for winds gusting up to 38 knots at 1000 on Saturday 13th October. The forecast was for a moderation late afternoon; wisely HRSC (Hamble River Sailing Club) postponed the start by an hour.
It was clear on Saturday morning that the large gusts were not going to happen and the SB20 fleet started on time. However the forecast had led to a couple of boats not showing and another couple to arrive late. Race one started 10 minutes after the J70’s in 18 knots and warm sunshine. Perfect sailing conditions. As Breaking Bod (Charlie Whelan, Annabel Whelan, Mike Jaffe, Charles Sheppard) rounded the first mark first they were told the race had been abandoned due to the J70’s going to the wrong mark. For the record Reach Around (Christian Sutherland, Etienne Gauvain) and Carnage (Robin Kirby) were 2nd and 3rd.
By the time Race 1 restarted, two more boats turned up, Sail Navy (Lizzie Farrington, Mark Flanagan, Ollie Hobson, Isobel Booth) and Dark and Stormy (Andrew Bell, Alida Lewis, Adam Kitchen). The wind increased a little as the fleet sailed up the beat. Breaking Bod took the transoms of Sail Navy, Herbie (Phil Tilley) and 6A Vision Homes (Peter Noe, James Greenwood, Richard Anderton) to get hard right as it looked like a large shift was coming through. Carnage also dived over to the right. As luck would have it for these two boats an even bigger shift than expected came in and they were not troubled again. Meanwhile Reach Around who had been hard left, managed to sail a blinder to get back to 4th coming in just behind Dark and Stormy.
For Race 2, PBII (Mark Gillet, Paul Hine, Richard Hall, Nigel Frith) joined the party. They had a good tussle with Breaking Bod and Reach Around and prevailed to win, with Reach Around passing Breaking Bod on the final run.
Race 3 was gusting 25 knots with sunshine and nearly summer temperatures. Champagne sailing at its finest. At the top mark it was Reach Around, followed by PBII and Carnage. All the boats gybed asap and set off at Mach 2. Boats were falling over all over the place, but most spectacular was a Carnage spin out as they broke their rudder right in front of Bod, who somehow mange to dive underneath them.
PBII followed a small wipeout by an over-stand for the leeward gate. So at the leeward gate it was Reach Around followed by Breaking Bod, 6a and Dark and Stormy. PBII was 5th but managed to climb to finish 3rd behind Reach around and Breaking Bod.
So it was back to the Ketch Rigger / King & Queen for a beer, with everyone looking forward to a lighter Sunday…….
HAHAHA, and how the Weather Gods must have laughed. Sunday loomed with wind and rain. Plenty of both. On the way to the start there was 30 knots of breeze and torrential rain, visibility was down to less than ¼ mile. Thankfully by the time racing started the wind had died to 20 knots, gusting 25 and just normal rain. Oh and it was far colder on Sunday!
The numerous J/70 general recalls frustrated the SB20 fleet, all day long! The SB20s were joined by Whyaduck (Tom Clay, James Clay, Charlie Sheppard), who must have wished they had sailed the day before instead. Charlie Sheppard had jumped ship to join WhyaDuck and Doug Innes had taken his place on Breaking Bod for Sunday!
Natalie French (Turbulence Too’s usual skipper) joined 6A Vision Homes for Sunday and Roz Brawn replaced Richard on PBII.
Race four was neck and neck for PBII and Breaking Bod till the latter dumped its kite in the sea on the first hoist, not fast! PBII went on to win, with Reach Around 2nd. A rapidly recovering Breaking Bod managed to pass Whyaduck to secure third.
Race 5 proved to be a rather one way race. Reach Around crossed the fleet, however Breaking Bod (310 kgs on board) managed to use horsepower to climb into any early lead, which they never relinquished. There was a really good scrap for the next four places, with second going to Reach Around, then Whyaduck, PBII and Dark and Stormy.
After a day of watching the J/70s being OCS, the final race gave the SB20s their first two OCS’s. Whyaduck went back fairly swiftly, and when the X flag did not drop Breaking Bod sailed back and were met by the dipping flag. PBII now had a healthy lead, followed by Reach Around, Dark and Stormy and then Sail Navy. The wind was fairly variable on the run and Reach Around found a hole so at the bottom it was PBII, Dark and Stormy, Whyaduck. By the final mark Reach Around had got to third and Breaking Bod up to 4th. Again the final run proved tricky with the boats who went left making the gains. Dark and Stormy took the gun from PBII, Reach Around had a very fast final leg and Sail Navy sailed into 4th, her best finish of the day.
So after one weekend, only 1 point separates the three lead boats. Breaking Bod leads Reach Around by virtue of an extra win, with PBII just one point behind. Bring on weekend two, the forecast looks very light, hopefully that will change!
Top 3 after six races:
1. GBR3758 – Breaking Bod – Charles Whelan: 1 3 2 3 1 (5) – 10 pts
2. GBR3017 – Reach Around – Christian Sutherland: (4) 2 1 2 2 3 – 10 pts
3. GBR3149 – PBII – Paul Hine -(10/DNC) 1 3 1 4 2 – 11 pts
The first weekend of the Hamble One Design Championships doubled as the final weekend of the SB20 Solent Series (The Chairman’s Trophy) and trebled as the ultimate event in the SB20 National Series (new Trophy for this year). Relative new comers to the fleet Reach Around (Christian Sutherland, Etienne Gauvain) have proved consistent over the season and take both titles for 2018. Full results can be found here.
In 2019 the Solent and National Series have been re-designed so they share less events, none the less it is quite achievable to race in both series and the Cowes Grand Slam and Mini Slam, each feature in one of the series (previously neither formed part of the SB20 series). Full detail of the 2019 programme can be found here.
Text: Charlie Whelan & Doug Innes
Photos: Bebert Malas