Rain and plenty of wind from the North had competitors digging out the layers and the waterproofs at the second week of the Hamble Winter Series in England. Saturday saw the start of the Hamble One Design Championship for the J/70 fleet. The forecasts during the week promised average wind speeds of 20 knots with gusts in the region of 30. In order to give the crews as much advanced notice as possible, PRO Roger Wilson and the team met on Friday night to reach a decision. The outcome was that racing would go ahead, but with a delay of one hour to give crews time to launch their boats and make it to the East Knoll starting area. Racing got underway at the amended, appointed time with 21 J/70s braving the conditions. All seemed well until a Cowes-based yacht club decided to lay a windward gate inside the HODC windward gate causing some confusion at the top of the course. Race Abandoned! Negotiations with the Cowes-based club as to where their buoys should be placed allowed Race 1 to go again. This time, despite two disqualifications under the U flag, all went well. The race team managed to get two more short races in, and so at the end of day one, everything was back on track. In the J/70s, Clive Bush’s DARCY was in first place with two seconds and a third place, followed by Martin Dent’s JELVIS and Paul Ward’s EAT SLEEP J REPEAT. The one-designs were experiencing the big shifts associated with a northerly in the Solent on Sunday. The second race had a 40-degree shift just as the boats arrived at the windward mark, which led to a straight-line spinnaker reach down to the leeward mark. In the J/70 fleet, which is also using the event as a World Qualifier, Clive Bush’s DARCY had three first on the day to finish top overall. Wards’s EAT SLEEP J REPEAT and Dent’s JELVIS were second and third on the day. Thanks for contribution from Trevor Pountain. For more HYS Hamble Winter Series information, visit http://www.hamblewinterseries.com/.

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