UK. Garmin Hamble Winter Series: J Boat leaders separated by a point

Friday, 17 November 2006

The jury is currently ‘out’ in relation to the weather forecast for Sunday, but one thing is for sure, it’s hot at the top for J Boats racing in the Garmin Hamble Winter Series. The leaders of a number of classes in which J Boats star are only separated from their closest rivals by a single point or two. Assuming that racing takes place this weekend, discards will kick in across all Black and White Group Classes.

In IRC 1, two J/133s continue the battle that has endured throughout the whole of 2006 for first place. Currently Stewart Hawthorne’s Jump leads Neil Martin’s Jammy Dodger by 12 points to 13.

Marie-Claude and Paul Heys’ J/92 S Java Lite leads IRC 3 with seven points and an impressive scoreline that includes three bullets. That said, Ian Dawson’s X332 Glide-X is snapping at their heels with ten points.

In the J/80 Class the Fox brothers’ Jevan holds the top slot at the moment with 43 points, followed by Terry Palmer and Caroline Cooper in Just Do It with 46 points. Liz Savage’s Savage Sailing Team is on 51 points. The point scores for the White Group classes are particularly volatile because two races rather than one are scheduled each Sunday.  Elsewhere in the White Group Ian Atkins has a good lead on the rest of the Mixed Sportsboat class sailing his 1720

The J/105s (which are racing one-design in this series) are currently chasing Paul Griffith’s and family on Fay Jay for the top points. Fay Jay has 14 points, Nick Martin’s Diablo-J has 16 and David and Kirsty Apthorp racing J-Dream have 18. That said, J-Dream is currently counting a DNF and so whatever happens on the water on Sunday morning, it will all look very different come Sunday afternoon when the first discard of two potential discards come into play.

There were twenty J/109s out last weekend, enjoying some extraordinarily close one-design, boat-on-boat racing. Ben Richards and Michael Ewart-Smith’s Zelda holds pole position as we go to press, but Guy Knight’s (Five Star Sailing) Beth is just two points behind Zelda and Nigel Brook’s Jalapeno sits in third place with 18 points. As the pundits say: ‘it aint over til it’s over’ and there will be plenty more excitement for this class before the series is out.

Whilst on the subject of the J/109s, the Royal Southern Yacht Club held their annual prize-giving on Saturday night and Zelda, was presented with the prestigious William Sparshatt-Worley Trophy. Awarded for outstanding achievement in IRC at Skandia Cowes Week by a Royal Southern member, our congratulations go to Ben Richards and Michael Ewart-Smith for yet another trophy for their cabinet.

Becci Eplett

Last Updated ( Friday, 17 November 2006 )