Bart's Bash

Bart’s Bash is a global two-day sailing event, held this year on the 10th and 11th of September, in memory of Andrew ‘Bart’ Simpson. Simpson tragically lost his life on the 9th of May 2013 when the catamaran on which he was crewing capsized whilst training in San Francisco Bay for the 34th America’s Cup.

Participating in the event the Hebe Haven Yacht Club opted for a one-day Bart’s Bash – One-Design / Dinghy Racing event, along with a Bart’s Bash – Ladies Helm.

Earlier in the week the race officer, Rob Allen, HHYC’s Sailing Centre manager was concerned that the two typhoons affecting the region – Conson (heading for Vietnam) and Chanthu (heading for Taiwan) – might result in the cancellation of the event. Fortunately, with both staying clear of Hong Kong, the event was able to proceed although Hong Kong and Port Shelter in particular found itself sandwiched between the two which still impacted sailing conditions.

There was barely a whisper of wind as the committee boat, Hebe One, headed out into Port Shelter to appraise conditions for the first of two dinghy races at 1130 and 1500. The start of the Ladies Helm Race was scheduled for 1400.

Around 1000, from 97 breezes, there was just two knots of breeze. So, anticipating some improvement, the RO prepared a downwind start with the fleet heading straight back to the finish line in front of the HHYC’s clubhouse.

Taking into account the conditions, the RO then decided to set the start line closer to the entrance to Hebe Haven. The fickle breeze was in a playful mood, so the AP postponement flag was hoisted in the hope that things would stabilise, and allow all the boats to assemble in the start area.

Meanwhile the wind had swung from a southeasterly to a northwesterly swinging between 290 and 320 degrees and ranging from 4.4 to 10 knots. The AP flag was finally lowered at 1159 with racing for all classes of the 55 dinghies on the water starting at 1205. Ultimately 48 recorded a result or retired.

Rather than the planned downwind start, with the change in breeze the fleet beat their way to the entrance to Hebe Haven before weaving through the many boats moored in the bay to the finish line in front of the HHYC.

After adjusting for handicaps three of the five 2.4mRs topped the leader board.  Foo Yuen Wai’s 2.4mR (HKG 6) took overall line and handicap honours ahead of Sylvia Leung Yuk Chun’s 2.4mR (HKG 1).

Daniel Chung on one of two Laser Radials was 3rd across the line but was relegated to 5th overall on corrected.

Mason Wilkinson was the first of two Laser 4.7s finishing 16th overall on handicap.
Poon Tze Ming, sailing single-handed, was the first of the 14 Hanse 303s of which 12 were sailed double-handed to finish 4th overall on corrected time.

Seven RS Quests ventured out with Jane Meijnen and Michael Anderson claiming class honours and 31st on handicap.

There was a whole range of skills amongst the 24 Optimist sailors, of which 18 recorded a result. First home was Matthieu Tancock who finished 7th overall on handicap.

Back at HHYC the sailors were able to enjoy their lunch break before preparing for their planned second race.

Conditions were very light for the start of the Bart’s Bash – Ladies Helm Race so a new plan was hatched to send the participants around Shelter Island and back to the start / finish line still near the approach to Hebe Haven.

Initially there was 4 knots from 020 degrees as the boats approached the start line before it dropped off. Eliza Yeung’s J-80, Jelik 7, was best-placed on the start line under mainsail before struggling to gets its kite flying. Ichiban was further back and, likewise, struggled initially to hoist its kite. Lazy Piggy had initially managed to use its spinnaker but, gybing back to the line, struggled to regain momentum.

Thereafter, the breeze continued to ease and after 45 minutes, after consulting the skippers, the race officer had little option than to abandon the race.

By 1500, the dinghies were back at the start line but, with barely any breeze, the race officer abandoned plans for a second race. He opted instead for a mass gathering of the fleet for a photo opportunity. The more competent Optimist sailors were encouraged to capsize their boats and stand on their hulls, whilst some of RS Quests also ‘capsized’. Once pictures were done, the Optimist sailors were encouraged to splash the adults on the RS Quests with ‘battles’ breaking out all round the committee boat. They weren’t the only ones with the Sailability 2.4mR sailors getting in on the action splashing their fellow sailors.

Despite the conditions, most were delighted to have at least got one race in, still making for an enjoyable day on the water, with over HK$22,000 raised for Sailability Hong Kong.

Widget is loading comments...