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4 seasons in one race!

The opening weekend of the Warsash Spring Series was mainly characterised by bizarre weather conditions, ranging from sunshine, zero wind, rain, hail and F5 gusts!

Libby Greenhalgh, the professional sports meteorologist behind Weatherwhiz gave all the Sailing Logic teams a private weather briefing on Saturday evening. She predicted that it would be cold (it was), that the wind would veer to the North (it did) so staying right on the course would be beneficial (it was). She also explained that as a trough passed through it would bring periods of rain with increased wind speeds – it did that too!

After Saturday’s grey skies the Sunday morning sunshine was a welcome sight. Although the flat-calm waters of the Solent inevitably led to postponement until the wind built – to just 7 knots! The race finally got underway and with the committee having advised that the West going tide would push unsuspecting boats over the startline, most boats opted for a conservative start.

Visit Malta Puma skippered by Tim Thubron had a good start, followed very closely by Peter Burwood on Jaguar Logic. Our team of novice racers under the guidance of James Gair on Addiction looked every part the professionals as they crossed the start line mid-fleet.

It was a slow beat to the top mark, although as the wind veered NW there wasn’t much tacking and most boats could almost lay it in one! The light winds aren’t normally so favourable for the Reflexes, but by the top mark Jaguar Logic were in second place, with excellent team work. Meanwhile on Visit Malta Puma, someone put S instead of N into the GPS co-ordinates, so after realising that a mark  in the Southern Ocean was unlikely, this was quickly rectified!

Jaguar Logic fumbled their first hoist which lost them some of their lead, but were soon back in running and delighted to still be looking backwards at Visit Malta Puma! On the run, Tim chose to heed Libby’s hint that the wind would build from the North and stayed North on the course to be one of the first to receive the fresh winds. As the wind strength jumped from 6 kts to 16, gusting 22 in an instant everyone was nervously watching their lightwind kites stretch to the limits. Visit Malta Puma were soon screaming along, rounded the next mark and were well on their way to the finish when the winds dropped away again leaving 0-2 kts and drifting conditions.

Lightwind racing can be painfully frustrating both Jaguar Logic and Addiction raced carefully and maintained as much momentum as they could to ensure they trickled over the finish line. In the end a time limit was applied and many boats failed to finish. Demonstrating just what a great result the three Sailing Logic yachts achieved!

Libby Greenhalgh is providing a free weather blog to all Spring Series competitors, which is updated at 8 on Sunday race days. Click here to see it – then bookmark it! Weatherwhiz Blog

Spring Series Racing. Places available for after Easter dates. Join us on Jaguar Logic.

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