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Hamble Winter Series - week 7

November 26-27

You were all thinking 'they really are mad!' There is sleet and snow coming this way, and they are still going sailing. They are all nutters! Admit it! That is what went through your minds. Nick Walters even sent us weather advisory warnings with photos of snow and ice covered roads!

And you know what, you were all wrong. It was fantastic sailing weather all weekend. High Tension (Mike Ridley), Doris J (Shaun Curran), Me Julie (Ian Stowe [Ed: professional skipper, not a club member, in case you were wondering why you never met him]) and X-Perience (Paul Berry) were full up again with Corinthians ready to race.

Saturday morning arrived warmer that the previous weekend with lots of wind. At first light, decks were slightly slippery, but not sheets of ice and the pontoons made walking a bit tricky. But, the sun was coming out and there wasn't that threatening look of moisture in the sky. All the boats headed out to do some practice work, as this weekend was a 'non-trainer' weekend.

X-perience was short crewed on Saturday and after a short bit of kite work decided we would stick with windward work. So, to keep the crew nice and toasty, tack, tack, tack, tack, tack. We also managed some practice starts, which paid off on Sunday morning. We were the first back to Hamble where some crew settled down for naps ot their B&B's. Eventualy, some headed to The Whyte Hart, armed with newspapers and gossip magazines, for rugby.

All the J-boats were out practicing as well. As I don't have notes from skippers, I can only report what I know. High Tension had to send a member of crew up the mast to retrieve a halyard - must be a story there!!

Saturday evening had crews in the pubs for dinner, except for X-perience. It was Thanksgiving the previous Thursday and I made dinner: turkey, stuffing, mash etc. I must say, we gorged ourselves. And I did get my Thanksgiving meal in the end.

Sunday morning arrived warmer than expected. It was a welcome surprise. Again, deck and pontoons a bit slick, but not too bad. Wind was blowing and it looked to be fabulous race weather, and it was. However, to clarify 'it was warmer than expected' it should be noted that sail covers were still frosty when being put back on Sunday afternoon.

X-perience's start practice on Saturday paid off. We were bang on the line. As we were under the Black flag, OCS would have meant you were done, no option of going back. We had a good race, starting with the #3, and realizing that we needed the #2 instead. So, headsail change and we were in the groove. The boat we have been chasing all season in IRC2, Jaguar Logic, was in our sights all day, which was a first. So all in all, a good solid race for us.

Me Julie did well again this weekend. They repeated their top placing LCSC boat performance, finishing 16th. It must be noted only 1 minute 40 seconds separated 14th-16th place. Well done all.

Doris J placed 18th this weekend.

High Tension crossed the finish line mid-fleet, however was not awarded a place. Seems they were OCS (not starting under a Black flag). Mike and crew discussed, 'Were we over?' 'Surely not!' 'Carry on then.' Lesson learned: If you think you are OCS, go back.

This turn of events and Me Julie's terrific results over the last two weekends will make the last race the deciding factor on overall results. The overall standings are as follows:

  • X-Perience (IRC2):18th out of 19 (remember, 3 races don't count. 2 were in Bowsprit, and one DNF in IRC2)
  • Me Julie (Bowsprit): 16th out of 29
  • High Tension (Bowsprit): 19th out of 29
  • Doris J (Bowsprit): 20th out of 29

So, the HWS crews will be racing one last time for the final and deciding results. The true 'End of Season' party will be on the pontoon Saturday evening with a boat decorating competition, mulled wine and nibbles. Perhaps there will be a photo or two in next week's edition.

Penny Pariso (on behalf of all the Winter Series crews)

Copyright © London Corinthian Sailing Club, 2005