Fine conditions continue

If one good thing can be said about the Covid-19 virus, it is that clear, blue skies have been with us for longer than usual this year. The grey days of February, March and April have been followed by the usual brighter summer conditions and seasonal southerly winds but visibility has been exceptional and that familiar yellow tint to our shorelines and horizons has all but disappeared.

Out on the water it has been unbearably hot and the Observatory says June was the hottest ever with a maximum mean temperature of 32.3 degrees. Phew!

But sailors are a hardy lot and, fuelled by pent up energy from months of lockdown, have been turning out in large numbers for local regattas. On Saturday, the 11th of July 2020, 38 boats assembled in Port Shelter for Races 4 and 5 of the Hebe Haven Yacht Club’s Peroni Summer Saturday Series. Twelve of these entries were Dragons from Shelter Cove.

On the committee boat, Hebe One, race officer Nigel Slattery chose Course 21 for the IRC fleet which included an A mark near the University, a B mark near Shelter Island and a C mark near to Kau Sai Chau. The finish line was off the starboard beam of Hebe One.

For the Sportsboats and HKPN, Slattery chose Course 23 and for the Dragons, Course 22.
On schedule, at 1400, the horn went for the seven IRC boats. Alpha Plus, the big TP52, swept across the line into the 11-knot southerly, well ahead of Arcturus, Rampage and Kingsman at the pin end. The venerable Impala, Moll, had a good start near the committee boat.

Five minutes later, the Sportsboats set off and, at 1410, the nine-strong HKPN fleet started in a building 15-knot breeze. Five minutes later, the competitive Dragon fleet crossed the line.

It wasn’t long before Alpha Plus was rounding the C mark and beginning its sausage, others in the IRC division under kite, approaching the B mark. Alpha Plus finished Race 4 at 14:56:17 but had to settle for 3rd on handicap behind Arcturus in 1st and Rampage in 2nd.

In the Sportsboats, Fly By Wire took line and handicap honours followed by Gnarwhal and Red Herring II.

Bits & Pieces put in a storming performance in Race 4 but, with a punitive handicap of 988, fell to 7th place in the nine-strong HKPN fleet. Ichiban won handicap honours, followed by AmaZe and Lazy Piggy.

The Dragons saw Eaux Vives finish the race in 43 minutes and 54 seconds. Wudi and Shiva were 2nd and 3rd respectively.

Anxious to get Race 5 underway, the race officer began the IRC starting sequence at 1535 and soon had the seven contenders away into a strong 20-knot breeze. The Sportsboats followed. Then, before HKPN, came the Dragons at 1550. Reason being, the RO had shown some understanding and given HKPN boat, Mystique, a chance to finish (at 15:52:20) before sounding the horn for the final start at 1600.

Alpha Plus sped around the course in under half an hour to claim line honours and, this time with better crew work, came out on top in handicap ahead of Rampage and X-Terminator.

The Sportsboats were won by Havoc with Red Herring II in 2nd and Gnarwhal in 3rd.

Davinloong seized 1st in the Dragons followed by consistent performers Wudi and Shiva respectively. Kam Loong retired.

There was no official prizegiving due to Covid-19 restrictions while the next race in the series is scheduled for the 25th of July 2020.

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