Monsoon Winter 6

The Hebe Haven Yacht Club’s Monsoon Winter Series 2020 has attracted a fairly consistent number of boats to date. There were 17 starters for Races 1 & 2 and 17 for Races 4 & 5. Race 3 was a little disappointing with only 10 starters but this was to be expected as many participants were preparing for the Around the Island Race the following day.

Race 6 in the Series, held on the 5th of December, drew an acceptable 18 boats in warm conditions, with soft afternoon light on the hills and islands along the eastern seaboard of the territory.

What could be better than a start in Port Shelter, with Ma On Shan towering in the background, then navigating the craggy coastlines of Tiu Chung Chau and Rocky Harbour, and gliding past the beautifully restored church on Yim Tin Tsai? The answer is nothing, really.

Race officer Rob Allen and his team of five on the committee boat, Hebe One, arrived on station a good hour before the start. Hebe One dropped anchor west of Shelter Island and an ODM was laid for a fairly short line. A windward mark was positioned about a mile distant, off Tiu Chung Chau with the fleets expected to sail anti-clockwise around this island and Kau Sai Chau. The finish would be in the channel between Sharp Island and Kai Sai Chau.

The committee boat displayed Course #45 for everyone which, to be precise, stated Club Mark, Ma Tsai Pai (p), Bay Islet (p), Tai Tau Chau (p), Green Beacon (p), then Finish.

At 1400, on schedule, the seven boats of the IRC Division had a clean start in 8 knots of northerly breeze. Five minutes later, the 11 boats of the HKPN Division had a competitive start with H3O well leading the charge. H3O stayed ahead for the next two hours and three minutes to claim line honours. Despite a hefty PN of 1049, this MC31 has performed very well this season. Perhaps time to move up to IRC?

In the IRC fleet, Ambush was making ground with Whiskey Jack snapping at its heels. In no time at all, Drew Taylor had Ambush slipping through the back channel, past High Island Reservoir, and turning left at Yim Tin Tsai. Up with its big red kite, Ambush took line honours shortly thereafter, having covered the 15-nautical-mile course in one hour and 45 minutes. Average speed : 8.57 knots.

On handicap, though, Whiskey Jack placed 1st in IRC, Ambush 2nd and the venerable X-Terminator, 3rd.

In HKPN, H3O took 1st on handicap, followed by No One Else, Bits & Pieces and Lazy Piggy in 4th.

With never-ending restrictions in place, there was no prize-giving planned in the Hebe Haven Yacht Club’s Garden Bar.

Instead, and much to the delight of the crews, they were handed bottles of chilled San Miguel beer as they crossed the finish. What a way to end a great day on the water!

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