Monsoon Winter 7 & 8

Races 7 & 8 on Saturday, the 10th of December, were sure to see some fierce battles among the J/80s and HKPN boats for overall positions in the Hebe Haven Yacht Club’s Monsoon Winter Series 2022. Jelik 6 with 12 points, Jive with 13 points and Baring Asia 1 with 19 – two discards allowed – meant all three had a chance of filling the top slot. And in HKPN, the competition was likely to be equally fierce with podium places for all eight regular contenders up for grabs.

With the awards ceremony at 1800, race officer Rob Allen was anxious to get in two short, sharp windward / leewards and settled for Course 6 for both divisions and classes. Allen’s thinking was that two races of approximately one hour each would see everyone home by 1630 and, with an hour and a half to pack up and spruce up, they could make the awards ceremony – for both Day 5 and Overall – at 1800 in the club’s Garden Bar.

The committee boat, Hebe One, was positioned in the southwestern quarter of Port Shelter and the top mark – A1 – was laid at 15 degrees and 0.7 nautical miles distant, between the Hebe Haven headland and Sharp Island. A closer A2 mark was set for the J/80s and HKPN Division. The bottom marks – C (starboard) and C (port) – were laid 100 metres in front of Hebe One while the start line stretched 100 metres to port of the committee boat and the finish line, 60 metres to starboard.

Using the app Buoy Zone, the support staff had the course set up quickly, allowing the RO to do a little tweaking here and there. While this was in progress, a cry for help came from a J/80 with a broken block. The RO put out the call on Ch.72 and Jibulai responded with a spare for the grateful J/80 – that’s good sportsmanship for you!

Allen welcomed everyone at 1345 and announced the course. He advised there would be two starts – the first for IRC and Sportsboats, the second for J/80s and HKPN. Queenie Ho then repeated the welcome in Cantonese.

Conditions could not have been better for the final day of the club’s 2022 racing calendar – clear, blue skies and 10 to 12 knots of wind from the north. What’s more, getting into the festive spirit, crews wore Santa hats and adorned their boats with tinsel. One rather large and jolly sailor even wore a Santa coat while his ‘elves’ pranced about the deck in green skirts!

At 1355, the countdown began for Race 7 and, at 1400, two IRC boats and three Sportsboats got away cleanly. Five minutes later, three J/80s and 11 entries from HKPN crossed the line.

It didn’t take long for Talkinghead to come romping home in 44 minutes and five seconds. X-Terminator placed 2nd and, in the Sportsboat Class, recent returnee Steve Bourne took line and handicap honours in Hot Wired. The J/80 Class was won by Eliza Yeung in Baring Asia 1 and HKPN saw a tough battle between Minnie the Moocher, Bits & Pieces and AmaZe. Amaze prevailed, collecting line honours and scoring 1st on handicap.

Sadly, the big Hanse Orca, a newcomer to the series, retired and Zoe didn’t sail the course. Last boat home was the Sportsboat, Furious One, at 14:58:42.

Just 15 minutes later, the horns sounded for the final, Race 8. Five minutes after that, the J/80s and HKPN boats got away into a steady northerly. Hot Wired showed a clean pair of heels and took line honours at 15:57:32. Talkinghead finished a minute later. Eliza Yeung again won the J/80s but in HKPN it was relative newcomer, Coral Harbour, which seized handicap honours. Bits & Pieces placed 2nd with AmaZe in 3rd.

Back at the club, the Series results were announced. Talkinghead easily won IRC with X-Terminator in 2nd.  Alex Chan of Jelik 6 claimed overall in the J/80s, with Baring Asia 1 in 2nd and Jive, 3rd. Series positions were not given to the sportsboats as they had only competed in the last two races.

In the 16-strong HKPN Division, AmaZe won the Series ahead of Bridget Chan’s Minnie the Moocher, while Coral Harbour placed 3rd. Ichiban slumped to 7th.

In recognition of their efforts to bring festive cheer to the event, crews of Bits & Pieces and Bucephalus received prizes for their attire, while MoHan was voted best-dressed boat.
After the presentations, sailors, families and friends tucked in to the buffet, bringing an end to another enjoyable Monsoon Winter Series.

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