61 boats for Typhoon 3 & 4

For once, after a brief shower, conditions were relatively stable as the committee boat, Hebe One, dropped anchor in Port Shelter for Day 3 of the UK Sailmakers Typhoon Series 2020.

At 1040 on Sunday, the 5th of July, with the breeze fluctuating between 200 and 240 degrees and 7-11 knots, the race officer, Nigel Slattery, set the far windward mark at a distance of 0.9 nautical miles and the inner mark at 0.8nm at 230 degrees. A gate was positioned 0.2nm behind the committee boat. All boats had to pass through a second gate, between Hebe One and the pin, on the start / finish line, on their upwind legs.

Race 3 started on schedule at 1100 with the eight IRC A boats first off. These included three TP52s – the 2007 model Free Fire, the 2008 model Phoenix (ex-Yo!) and the 2018 Alpha+ (ex-Luna Rossa) – sailing three laps of a windward / leeward course covering 6.6nm.

Following at 1105 were the 13 IRC B boats on the same course.

Eight IRC C and five Sportsboats followed at 1110 on a two-lap windward / leeward. Over-anxious Whiskey Jack, Arcturus and Dexter II were OCS and obliged to restart.  

Next off were the six J-80s and 12 HKPN A boats, followed in the fifth and final start by the nine HKPN B entries, all on the short 4nm course.

Conditions were ideal with blue skies, puffs of cumuli and wisps of cirrus above. The windward mark beneath the University campus was slightly sheltered, providing an additional test to the skills of the helms and tacticians. Most rounded without too much difficulty.

Most of the action was at the leeward starboard gate where numerous boats ran into difficulty. Bits & Pieces had to bear away to avoid a collision with Talkinghead, coming in on port tack at 10-12 knots under spinnaker. A protest is pending. Temujin had problems dropping its green kite and sailed far beyond the gate. Approaching the starboard gate Outrageous had to dip inside at the last minute to avoid hitting the mark, but then got into trouble dropping its kite and sailed off into oblivion. Gecko also lost control of its rainbow spinnaker as it approached the gate and took time to regain control.

Later, on returning to shore, the RO was obliged to file protests against Jinn, Pepper & Salt and Moll for not passing through the second gate on their upwind leg. No One Else also protested Crystal for a close encounter.

Apart from shortening the length of the start line to 250 metres, the RO left the course the same for Race 4 in the series, although several sailors sauid afterwards that a 15 degree change would have been preferrable.

Again, first off on another three laps was the IRC A fleet with Free Fire and Ambush leading at the pin end.

In the next IRC B start, Juggerknot was flirting with the line but bailed out to avoid being OCS.
The remaining flights got away without incident . . . although not for long.

Approaching the leeward gate, Ichiban alongside Furious One saw its kite disintegrate after being caught by the Magic’s mast, an incident subject to protest.

Crystal also faces a protest by the RO for missing the upwind gate in Race 4, and just to keep the protest committee busy, Windseeker has also protested Ma Cherie 2e.

The sprightly TP52, Alpha+, took line and handicap honours in both IRC A races with Ambush 2nd on handicap in the first race and 3rd in the second. Blue Bunny, chartered by Nick Burn’s after the sale of Mandrake III to Japan, placed 3rd in the first and 2nd in the last.

In IRC B, Kingsman took line honours in both races, but lost out in Race 3 to Juggerknot on handicap with Blackjack 3rd. Kingsman took handicap honours in Race 4 with Juggerknot 2nd and Kiasu! 3rd.

Dexter II claimed line honours in both IRC C races but finished 2nd on handicap in the first behind Gambit by just 21 seconds. Arcturus was 3rd. Dexter II also won on handicap in the second race ahead of Whiskey Jack and Talkinghead.

took line honours and handicap honours in Race 3 for Sportsboats correcting out five seconds ahead of Fly By Wire with Good Vibrations 3rd. In Race 4, Fly By Wire won the top honours with Good Vibrations 2nd and Havoc 3rd.

Team Abercrombie on Baring Asia 2 seized line and handicap honours in Race 3 for the J-80 Class with Footloose 2nd and the Hebe Dragons on Baring Asia 1 3rd. However, Footloose faces a protest by Baring Asia 2 in Race 3. The CN-Sailing Team on Jazz claimed the honours in Race 4 ahead of Footloose and Baring Asia 2.

In HKPNA it was Vixen that crossed the line first but lost out on handicap to AmaZe by 16 seconds with Ichiban 3rd in Race 3, missing 2nd place by just three seconds. Athena claimed line and handicap honours in Race 4 ahead of Scintilla and Temujin.

In HKPN B, line honours went to Foxzhead in both races but, on corrected, Foxzhead slipped to 4th. Gecko, Raptor and Scrumpy finished 1st, 2nd and 3rd respectively in Race 3. In the final race, Gecko again claimed the win with Scrumpy 2nd and Raptor 3rd.

After weeks of lockdown the pent up demand saw 61 boats on the water enjoying some of the best sailing conditions that Hong Kong has to offer. Again, with awards functions still not permitted due to the 50 maximum headcount restrictions, those that did make it back to the Garden Bar at Hebe Haven Yacht Club were able to lubricate their throats with sponsored San Miguel beer whilst regaling fellow sailors with their tales of wonder and woe.

Race 5 in the Series, an Island Race, continues on Sunday, the 19th of July 2020.

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