Monsoon Winter Series 2019, Race 6

Picture perfect conditions welcomed 15 of the 25 registered entries for Race 6, the penultimate race day of the Hebe Haven Yacht Club’s Monsoon Winter Series 2019. Held out of Port Shelter, the breeze was better than expected at 7 knots from 110 degrees.

Race officer, Eric Tomter, and team opted to forgo laying a windward mark and chose Course #102 for the IRC fleet and Course #31 for the HKPN boats.

First off on schedule at 1400 were the four IRC boats. Their course would take them around Bluff, Basalt and Table Islands, all to starboard, before finishing at Little Palm Beach after 13 nautical miles.

Outrageous, powered up, led the fleet across the start line at the committee boat end followed by Blu. Talkinghead, nearer the centre of the line followed, whilst X-Terminator brought up the rear.

Eleven boats in HKPN followed at 1405, sent on a shorter 10nm race, taking in Table and Bluff Islands and the Bay mark to port, Table to starboard and again finishing at Little Palm Beach.

Ichiban, the MC31 H3O, Bits & Pieces and Bucephalus were amongst the front-runners. Lazy Piggy, having tacked early had to avoid a port/starboard incident with No One Else, was almost run down by a speeding LoTech bringing up the rear.

Bits & Pieces was the first to enter the channel between Bluff and Basalt Islands followed by H3O and Amaze. Temujin went too close to Bluff and had to tack out, allowing Ichiban to overtake, which was closely followed by Bucephalus and LoTech.

No One Else stayed further out in the channel and closed the gap on those ahead as they began to flounder in the sheltered waters.

However, at least maintaining momentum, the HKPN boats managed to clear the channel from where it was up with their colourful kites for a run across to the Bay mark and back to Table Island, and the finish.

With only three crew, it was not until approaching Table that Temujin hoisted its red kite but, by then, the veteran Northshore 38 had already been overhauled by Lazy Piggy.

The breeze had swung to 160 degrees and was beginning to ease, dropping to a frustrating 3 knots for the late finishers.

First across the line in IRC was Outrageous but it lost out to both Blu (1st) and Talkinghead (2nd)  on handicap, with X-Terminator in 4th place.

Unfortunately some late changes in handicaps after the awards ceremony meant the HKPN results had to be revised.

H3O took line honours by four minutes over Bits & Pieces and was subsequently awarded 2nd place on corrected.

AmaZe took handicap honours with Windseeker awarded 3rd with Bits & Pieces 4th.

Jedai, bringing up the rear, radioed in to retire, allowing the race officer to lift anchor and head, after a great afternoon on the water, for the awards ceremony and San Miguel refreshments at the Hebe Haven Yacht Club’s Garden Bar.

Numbers should again swell for the finale with two geometric races and the closing function on Saturday, the 14th of December 2019, bringing a close to the first event in the 2019-2020 Monsoon Series, organised in conjunction with the Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club. Further events in the Series include the Monsoon Spring Cup 2020 on the 22nd and 23rd of February and the Monsoon Spring Series from the 7th of March to the 25th of April 2020.

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