The second race in the Warsash Spring Series was a closely fought event with a number of different leaders and only five minutes separating the first eleven boats, after two hours of racing. Facing light 6-9 knot westerly winds and strong west-going Spring tide, the Race Committee chose to set a predominantly windward-leeward course over Thorn Bank to Bramble. The start off Lee-on-Solent shore saw VELVET ELVIS take the lead from SHIVA (Matt Boyle), JAHMALI (Mike & Sarah Wallis) and ME JULIE (Dom Monkhouse). The pack split with VELVET ELVIS, OFFBEAT (David McLeman) and J-DREAM (David & Kirsty Apthorp) taking a hitch right to stay in the stronger tide in the North Channel.
Those who headed out for the main channel including SHIVA, JUMPING JELLYFISH (David Richards), DESIGNSTAR (Roger Phillips) and fleet newcomer JET (Alan Neilson) were led to the windward mark by JUST SO (David & Mary McGough). The entire fleet rounded the mark and hoisted their spinnakers bow to stern; this was to set the tone for the rest of the race.
JUST SO lost the lead on the first run to ME JULIE who on the second beat was holding off the challenges of SHIVA and VELVET ELVIS. The second beat saw SHIVA and ME JULIE extend their lead whilst J-DREAM had closed the gap on OFFBEAT and rounded in front of JAHMALI and VELVET ELVIS. SHIVA and Offbeat were the inside boats at the gybe mark and rounded 1st and 2nd, closely followed by ME JULIE, J-DREAM and JAHMALI. A beat to the finish saw SHIVA win the race comfortably, whilst the rest of the fleet continued the battle.
The J/109 fleet thought last week's victory from JAGERBOMB was a close fought affair-until J-DREAM leebowed OFFBEAT five boat lengths from the line to take 2nd place by 2 seconds. Although this was the closest finish of the week, there were plenty of others as JAHMALI took 4th place from ME JULIE by 12 seconds, JUMPING JELLYFISH got the better of DESIGNSTAR for 7th place by 8 seconds, JYNNAN TONNYX (Owain Franks) pipped JEEZ LOUISE (Jamie Arnell) across the line by 6 seconds and JET and AUDAJIOUS, who were both grateful that the PRO had set a course which included inflatable buoys, finished only 7 seconds apart.
As Easter is late this year, the Warsash Spring Series reconvenes on Sunday 3rd April, followed by the Spring Championship on the final weekends of 9th/10th and 16th/17th April.