Monsoon Spring Series 7 & 8

It was a grey, drizzly morning as crews headed for Port Shelter to compete in Races 7 & 8 of the Monsoon Spring Series 2021. But, Saturday, the 17th of April 2021, wasn’t looking good in the Obervatory’s forecast and, sure enough, it wasn’t good out on the water either as race officer, Rob Allen, on Hebe One, searched for a suitable place to drop anchor and prepare the courses.

Wind readings revealed just 3, sometimes 2 knots, oscillating from the northwest to the east and concerns started to grow. Was there wind further out? A quick reconnaissance revealed pretty much the same conditions beyond Shelter Island.

In the distance, the Shelter Cove Dragons emerged from inside Hebe Haven although, at the rate they were moving, they weren’t going to make it for their 1410 start. Kind-hearted Allen sent one of the Hebe Haven Yacht Club’s support boats to give them a tow.

As they were approaching so was the countdown for the start of the IRC Division. Ten boats ghosted across the line with progress to the top mark very slow. At one point, the entire IRC fleet was dead in the water but slowly Ambush, Zannekin and Alpha Plus eased ahead. XT was also making way.


Then it was the turn of the 11 cruisers and four Sportsboats in HKPN. But no sooner had they crept across the line than the RO decided it was pointless and abandoned HKPN, with the 12 waiting Dragons being put on hold. It wasn’t long before he did the same for the IRC boats, even though some had rounded the windward mark. He rightly figured that they simply wouldn’t be able to complete their three laps.

But pressure was beginning to build on the other side of Port Shelter, near Kau Sai Chau, and so a quick decision was made to attempt a second race. The committee boat moved eastwards, the course was re-laid with an outer windward mark for the IRC boats at 0.5 nautical miles and an inner mark for HKPN at 0.3nm. Very short, but the aim was to complete the race before the breeze died completely.

Off went the IRC fleet, then came HKPN and finally the Dragons. Wind lines appeared and disappeared as the boats struggled to make way. At the top mark, Ambush and Alpha Plus rounded, then came H3O and Wicked but, over the VHF, came the sad news that all racing was cancelled for the day.

Back on shore, there was a lot of grumbling, especially from those who had actually reached their windward marks. Ichiban was one, but agreed that the RO had made the right call, all things considered.

Said the RO: ”We tried our best but it wasn’t to be.” He added that, nevertheless, under the Cox-Sprague system of calculating results, everyone got points for turning up.
The re-sail of Race 1 of the Monsoon Spring Series 2021 will be held on the 1st of May. This will be the decider for the three-event Monsoon Series 2020-21.

 
 
 
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