HHYC San Miguel Monsoon Spring Series 2019, Races 7 & 8

The final two races of the HHYC San Miguel Monsoon Spring Series 2019 started at 1400 on the 27th of April under dark clouds and 15 knots of wind. Race Officer Nigel Slattery laid a geometric course with the top mark at 1.2 nautical miles for the eight IRC boats and a shorter distance mark for the three J-80s and nine HKPN boats.

With headsails sheeted in tight, the boats thrashed their way to the mouth of Port Shelter on a southeasterly track with some overpowered, some getting it right. Lighthorse Alpha+ opened up a sizeable lead.

Then, drama. Approaching the bottom mark, the Italia 9.98, Blu, had problems getting its kite on board, lost steerage and snared the mark. The following boats were left wondering what to do as the mark made for the University! Quick thinking by the RO had the nearby media boat in place to act as a temporary mark while a spare mark was rushed to the scene. Blu retired.

With order restored, the race continued but the wind had increased to 18 knots and a threatening black cloud hung over Sai Kung. Outside Port Shelter, over Bluff Island, a rain storm was visible. Windguru was giving some frightening forecasts for the weather system ashore but, thankfully, the southeaster was keeping it from moving on to the course.

Then, more drama. Lighthorse Alpha+ snared the top mark! At that point the RO decided to abandon Race 7 for the IRC boats. An N flag was raised and the fleet informed by VHF. The J-80s and HKPN continued – all three J-80s completed the course but only six of the HKPN fleet recorded a finish.

On to the final at 1545. This time Lighthorse Alpha+ made no mistakes and finished at 1631 in an elapsed time of 46 minutes and 13 seconds. Second over the line and 2nd on handicap was Talkinghead. Outrageous was next to cross but ended up 6th on handicap. Goddess took 3rd.

By this time rain was sweeping the course and winds had dropped to 7-9 knots. The J-80s soldiered on with Jelik 7 first to finish and 1st on handicap, followed by Jazz and Jelik 6.

Having retired in Race 7, Ichiban came back with a vengeance and took line and handicap honours, followed by LoTech and Temujin. Sadly, conditions had taken their toll, and only four of nine HKPN entries finished.

Back in the Hebe Haven Yacht Club’s Garden Bar, awards were duly presented as above for Races 7 & 8.

Then it was time for the silverware to be presented for the entire Monsoon Spring Series 2019. Sailing Manager, Rob Allen, announced the winners for IRC Overall – 1st was Lighthorse Alpha+, 2nd was Ambush, 3rd was Quest. Despite completing all races and putting in a strong campaign, Talkinghead had to accept 4th place in IRC, but better was to come for the veteran Sydney 36.

In HKPN Overall, determined campaigner, Ichiban, topped the results (despite recording an RET in Race 7). In 2nd was the venerable Temujin and 3rd, AmaZe. Just 1 point behind was the much-improved LoTech in 4th.

The J-80 Overall order for the series saw Jelik 7 at the top, followed by Jazz and Jelik 6. Although there were no Dragons or Sportsboats competing in Races 7 & 8, their overall results can be found on the Hebe Haven Yacht Club’s website (www.hhyc.org.hk).

The club took the opportunity provided by the prizegiving ceremony to make presentations for the inclusive Monsoon Series 2018­–2019. This combined the Monsoon Winter Series, Monsoon Spring Cup and Monsoon Spring Series, using the Cox-Sprague scoring system. And who should come out deserved winner in IRC? None other than Talkinghead! In 2nd was the Dubois 43, Outrageous. 3rd went to the X-99, X-Terminator. For HKPN, the venerable Temujin won with a total of 1,000 points, followed by Ichiban (924 points) and LoTech (917 points).

Hebe Haven Yacht Club laid on an excellent curry buffet which had the hungry sailors returning for seconds (and thirds). Oh, and not forgetting the ice cold bottles of San Miguel beer provided by the sponsor. A happy ending to a competitive series.

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