Warsash Spring Series Act 1
Despite the leaden skies and the forecast sunshine failing to show, the weather failed to dampen the spirits of the twenty six J/70s heading for the start line of the Warsash White Group Championship and importantly the first event in the nine regatta selection series for the 2019 world Championship selection series.
The enthusiasm was clearly visible at the first start when assisted by a large wind shift with seconds to go and the building tide pushed half the fleet over the line for the first general recall of the day.
With only 20 berths open to the UK fleet in 2019 competition was always going to be tough in this fleet of very closely matched one-design boats. However once the race officer had let the fleet have a crack at behaving themselves for a further two starts the committee finally unfurled the black and behaviour returned to the start line and what turned out to be a cracking weekends sailing got underway.
Shifty conditions tested both the tacticians and the committee who manged to sail the full slate of four races despite a couple of shortened courses. Surprise overnight leader GBR1290 Bryn who later admitted that this was his first time in a boat since his Int.14 days 30 years ago, put in a solid shift to lead the fleet home.
Day two and the sun shone, a light south westerly flicked around and steadily built throughout the day to give the fleet a full range of conditions to enjoy. With consistency the key factor and the discard now coming into play two boats now shared six of the seven firsts on offer. Former and current national champions Calypso and Soak Racing finished the day in first and second place overall with Bryn now in third.
A quick look round the fleet and we see the likes of Lawrie Smith, Ian Southworth and two thirds of the Saxton Dynasty on the water, this series is clearly going to be packed, tough and challenging. With the likes of Darcey, Brutus, Cosmic and Darwin still to show, the fleet is still building and the competition will only get better.
“Get buried in the middle of the fleet, sneeze and you can shed five places” quoted ex class captain Simon Cavey, who is getting a little too excited already at the prospect of next weekend’s encounters.
With a generous five regattas from nine to count across 2018, there is still time to get into the J/70 UK Grand Slam series and bag a spot for the 2019 World Championships in Torbay.
The second event takes place on April 28/29 (Warsash Spring Championship weekend 2).
1 Jonathan Calascione Calypso GBR4
2 Marshall King Soak Racing IRL1123
3 Philip Rees Bryn GBR1290