Monsoon Winter Series 2019, Race 4 & 5

There was talk on shore of more than 20 boats taking part in the afternoon’s racing. Something to look forward to but, as the first start at 1400 drew nearer, only 15 had appeared – five in the IRC division and 10 in the HKPN division.

Race officer, Nigel Slattery, on the committee boat anchored in the middle of Port Shelter, opted for Course #17 with top marks laid at 0.8 nautical miles for IRC and 0.7 nautical miles for HKPN. In the 8 to 9-knot easterly blowing at the time, these were laid near Shelter Island.

After rounding their respective marks (A1 & A2), the boats were then required to run back past the committee boat and round either one of two bottom marks (C1 & C2). After rounding, they had to beat back 0.1 nautical miles and effectively ‘cross the start’ again, ie. between the committee boat and the ODM. This choice of marks made for “a thinking race”.

At 1400, the horn went for the IRC fleet in 7 to 8 knots of breeze.

A Sportsboats division had been scheduled for a 1405 start but none had shown up. A considerate RO gave them a start anyway. Needless to say, no boats were over the line . . .

At 1410, the 10-strong HKPN fleet got away and headed upwind for the A2 mark.

After two laps, in 39 minutes and 19 seconds, Quest romped home to take line honours but on handicap got pushed into 2nd place behind Goddess. Talkinghead was 3rd.

In HKPN, first across the line was a determined Bits & Pieces but despite their hard work they could only manage 3rd on handicap behind Julie Mackenzie’s Ricochet and Bridget Chan’s Windseeker.
A surprise arrival on the course was Sam Chan and crew on It’s My Pleasure. With no other Sportsboats to compete against, they entered their Magic 25 in HKPN, swelling the numbers in this division from 15 to 16!

Worried that the second race would run out of wind, Slattery shortened the course for both divisions by laying a single turn mark in front of the committee boat (Course #24). Again, two laps, but Race 5 was looking to be a quickie.

And it was. Quest flew home in 30 minutes and 15 seconds to take both line and handicap honours. In 2nd, on handicap, was Talkinghead with Goddess in 3rd, followed by X-Terminator and last but not least, RB.

Again, in HKPN, slick crew work saw the veteran campaigner, Bits & Pieces, cross the line first in an amazing 25 minutes and 53 seconds. But, sadly, with a rating of 998, the 20-year-old B32 had to accept 3rd on handicap behind Windseeker and Ricochet.

Two boats in HKPN retired – Lazy Piggy and No One Else.

A prize-giving was held back in the Hebe Haven Yacht Club’s Garden Bar. Race 6 in the Monsoon Winter Series is scheduled for the 30th of November 2019.

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