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16th Mar, 2015

Competitors in the opening races of the Brooks Macdonald Warsash Spring Series were undeterred by the heavy grey sky and chilly wind in the Solent on Sunday 15 March 2015.

12-18 knots of breeze, with just the occasional 20 knot gust, from the ENE throughout the day provided a good breeze for competitors. The wind tracking showed a 20 degree shift cycle coming off the Meon shore which took about an hour to go from left to right, and back to left again, thereby favouring the right hand side of the courses set for the day.

Series Chairman Peter Bateson commented at the end of racing, "It was a good first day of the series all round. The racing did show some early season hiccups, particularly on the downwind legs, with one spinnaker becoming a luff tape joining two corners and a few failing to come down promptly at the leeward mark! But that's all to be expected at the start of the season!"

Dominance was the name of the game for the White Group's J80 and SB20 classes, with Betty (J80 - Jon Powell) taking first place in the J80 class and F5 Synthesis (Pieter Heyn) first in the SB20 class in all three of their races, with Just4Play (Simon Cavey) gaining two out of the three wins in the J70 class.

Enthusiasm fused through the Black Group with some 'over' enthusiasm leading to an individual recall and penalty in IRC4. Crakajax (X-95 – Richard and Ursula Hollis) took the win in this class, followed by Erik the Red (Mustang 30 mk2 – Bernard Fyans) and then Menace (Keltic 25 ¼ tonner – (Tim Rees and Derek Morland)

Mike Moxley's Malice (Hod 35)) took the honours in IRC3 with Pincer Movement (JPK1010 – Richard and Lucy Searle) and Stiletto (Beneteau First 40 – John Barrett) coming second and third place respectively.

In IRC2, last year's Series winner Salvo, (JND35 – Peter Morton), looking smart in her new grey livery, came out on top with a useful two minute winning margin. Fast Track Puma (Reflex 38 – James Wilkie) and Doyle Sails (Corby 35 – Tim Octon) came in second and third respectively.

In IRC 1 Simon Henning's newly refurbished Mumm 36 Alice took first place, beating Cornel Riklin's J111 Jitterbug to second, with Sailing Logic's Arthur Logic, a Beneteau First 40 coming in third.

Looking ahead to next weekend's racing Peter's thoughts are: "Next Sunday we've got big tides to contend with so we'll be looking for the same kind of breeze as we had today but a few degrees warmer would be nice!"

Post racing competitors came together at the WSC's clubhouse and enjoyed a warming drink thanks to race partners Rolly Tasker Sails. Greg O'Brien of race partners Crewsaver presented the champagne prizes of the day for each of the eight classes. The draw for the free Crewsaver Crewfit Lifejacket was Malice(Mike Moxley) who also collected a bottle of champagne as winners of IRC3.

The Warsash Spring Series is sponsored by Brooks Macdonald Group PLC, and supported by race partners Crewsaver, Hudson Wight Performance Sailwearand Rolly Tasker Sails.

Photo: Iain Mcluckie 302_7341.jpg J/80 Betty chases J/80 Jester.