Monsoon Winter 3

The forecast could not have been better. Force 4 winds, occasionally Force 5 offshore, blues skies and and beautiful warm conditions, typical of November in Hong Kong. The only little cloud was that some regulars in the Monsoon Winter Series had headed for Causeway Bay to prepare for the Around the Island Race the following day.

Still, 12 boats turned up for Race 3 on Saturday, the 13th of November 2021. Race officer, Rob Allen, had three courses in mind but all depended on the strength of the wind inshore, or offshore.

A quick recce by one of the support boats confirmed that there was indeed wind near Tsam Chuk Wan so Course 40 was chalked up on the board and all four divisions – IRC, J-80s, HKPN and Short-handed – started cleanly at 1400 in 7 knots from 23 degrees.

Had conditions been light behind Kau Sai Chau, Allen would have opted for either Course 76 or Course 80. These courses would have taken the boats further out into less confined waters.

Sadly, the J-80, Jive, was late and crossed the line at 14:05:32, outside the 4-minute starting limit – a DNS for them but they chose to continue and enjoy the race anyway.

The northeasterly continued through the afternoon with the boats beating between Sharp Island and Kau Sai Chau, leaving Yim Tin Tsai to starboard, rounding Green Beacon to port, before picking their way southwards through the wakeboard boats with Tai Tau Chau on their starboard beams.

Then it was into Rocky Harbour with the two IRC entries – Talkinghead and Ricochet – leading the fleets. Bits & Pieces was not far behind.

Past Bay Islet, the boats enjoyed a spinnaker run into the finish off Ma Tsai Pai. Line honours in IRC went to Talkinghead at 15:36:33 while seasoned campaigner, Bits & Pieces, was first to finish in HKPN at 15:40:36.

On corrected, IRC was won by Talkinghead with Ricochet in 2nd place. Lazy Piggy took the eight-boat HKPN division with Ichiban in 2nd and Bucephalus 3rd. Bits & Pieces, with its PN rating of 1085, slumped to 5th place on corrected. Ma Cherie 2e retired.

In the one-boat Short-handed division, Miss LeVa took line and handicap honours (obviously) in an elapsed time of 1:57:33.

Some of the finishers continued on to Fat Tong Mun and back into the harbour but those that turned right into Port Sheter were treated to ice-cold beers from the media boat. Cries of joy confirm that official beer sponsor, San Miguel, has won hearts and minds – roll on Saturday, the 20th of November 2021, and Race 4 in the Series.

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