Monsoon Winter Series 2019, Race 3

Proceedings were a little rushed for Race 3 of the Monsoon Winter Series 2019, held on Saturday, the 2nd of November. With the Rugby World Cup being live streamed in the Garden Bar of the Hebe Haven Yacht Club at 1700, the start time of the scheduled islands race was brought forward to 1330. Normally, afternoon racing starts at 1400.

The committee boat dropped anchor near the mouth of Port Shelter in an easterly of 8 to 9 knots. Race officer, Eric Tomter, decided on shorter island courses and, at 1330, sent the IRC fleet around Table, Bluff, Bay and Table Islands, with a scheduled finish off Little Palm Beach (Course 31). For the HKPN boats, he chose the similar, but shorter, Course 30 which took in Table, Bay and Table Islands with a scheduled finish near Little Palm Beach. They set off at 1335.

There were six entries in IRC but only four showed up. X-Terminator subsequently retired leaving Xena, Outrageous and Talkinghead to battle it out.

In HKPN, there were 13 entries, nine showed up with hot favourites Bits & Pieces, H30 and Lazy Piggy all in with a chance.

Not long after the starts, the wind eased and it was slow progress around Table Island, leaving it to port. But gradually, the breeze improved and the IRC boats picked up speed with the wind on the beam and headed for Bluff, through the gap and into Rocky Harbour, around Bay and down to the shortened finish off Table Island.

Also enjoying the breeze into Rocky Harbour, the HKPN frontrunners were soon rounding Bay Island, hoisting their kites and running back down to the shortened finish off Table. First across the line was the China-built MC31, H30, at 14:49:15 but a minute later Bits & Pieces finished and claimed handicap honours. H30 was 2nd and Windseeker 3rd with Lazy Piggy in 4th.

The big X-55, Xena, took line honours in IRC at 15:25:18 but the winner on handicap was Talkinghead, with Outrageous in 2nd.

The boats then made their ways back to their respective clubs while the crowds gathered at Hebe Haven Yacht Club to watch the Rugby World Cup final, England vs South Africa . . .

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