Monsoon Winter Series 2019, Race 1 & 2

It is good to see the continuing collaboration between the territory’s yacht clubs and the three-part Monsoon Series 2019-20. The first part is the Hebe Haven Yacht Club’s Monsoon Winter Series 2019, comprising eight races over five Saturdays from the 19th of October to the 14th of December 2019. The second part is the Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club’s Monsoon Spring Cup on the 22nd and 23rd of February 2020, followed by another eight races in the Hebe Haven Yacht Club’s Monsoon Spring Series, from the 7th of March to the 25th of April 2020. Results for the overall series will use the Cox-Sprague Scoring System and all races will be in or around Port Shelter.

Saturday, the 19th of October, saw the start of the HHYC’s Monsoon Winter Series 2019 comprising two geometric races. Initial forecasts were varied with 6-7 knots building whilst others were predicting easing breezes. However, out in Port Shelter, a good 9- to 10-knot breeze was blowing.

Incidentally, with the Rugby World Cup being televised in the club’s Garden Bar, the organisers were anxious to keep races short to enable the completion of the prize-giving before the second quarter-final began at 1815.

Conditions were just right when the warning signal for the IRC boats was sounded at 1355 for their three-lap windward / leeward race to a mark set at 0.7 nautical miles and 120 degrees distant. The X-55 Xena had a good start but later dropped its sails and retired leaving just three boats racing. The Sportsboats, which might otherwise have been racing, were competing elsewhere in their own championships.

The second start at 1405 saw 13 HKPN boats hit the line with Bits & Pieces best placed. Lazy Piggy was caught OCS and obliged to restart, whilst the rest headed out for two laps of the windward / leeward course around a mark at 0.6nm.

In IRC, after three laps, Talkinghead overhauled Outrageous by 30 seconds to take line and handicap honours ahead of X-Terminator, which experienced spinnaker halyard problems, and Outrageous in 3rd.

The MC 31, H3O, claimed line honours in HKPN but lost out to Bits & Pieces on handicap, with Windseeker in3rd.
A second race of two laps for IRC soon got underway at 1520 with Outrageous and Talkinghead leading the field whilst X-Terminator was slow out of the blocks.

HKPN again followed on their shorter two-lap race at 1530 with only La March missing from the line-up. H3O and Bits & Pieces tacked early into cleaner air although the breeze was indeed easing, down to 6.5 knots.

H3O benefitted significantly on its downwind runs by using its turquoise asymmetric to lead the HKPN fleet on the first rounding of the leeward mark, but was overhauled by Bits & Pieces on the upwind leg. H3O again closed the gap but missed out on line honours behind Bits & Pieces by four seconds, which claimed the daily double. H3O again finished 2nd with Temujin in 3rd.

The relatively short-handed crews on No One Else, Bucephalus and DEA II, sailing without spinnakers, finished well down the pack as the breeze continued to ease.

Back at the club, after the awards presentation of pennants and bottles of wine, the sponsored San Miguel beer rapidly disappeared . . .

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