Monsoon Winter Series 2019, Race 7 & 8

A festive Christmas spirit prevailed at the Hebe Haven Yacht Club for Day 5, and finale, of the Monsoon Winter Series 2019. Out in Port Shelter on Saturday, the 14th ofDecember 2019, conditions were ideal with blue skies and an 8-knot southeasterly. Twenty boats showed up --seven IRC and 13 HKPN.

For Race 7,  race officers Nigel Slattery, Eric Tomter and David Rule opted for Course #22 for all boats. This comprised a triangle and a windward/leeward sausage. The A1 windward mark for IRC was set at 130 degrees and 1 nautical mile distant, and A2 for the HKPN fleet at 0.85nm, with the B mark some 0.7nm to the east. The leeward C mark was laid in front of the committee boat.

The L flag was hoisted to indicate a change in the starting sequence with the ROs opting for a combined start for IRC and HKPN.

With 15 minutes to go and boats still arriving there was some debate amongst the ROs whether to revert to two starts but instead they opted to stretch the line!

Fortunately it was a clear start on schedule at 1400 with Quest, Goddess(helmed by a blue-costumed Santa Claus), and LoTech leading the charge to the windward marks. RB brought up the rear.

In HKPN H3O led Bits & Pieces approaching the leeward mark for the first time but with H3O’s spinnaker collapsing Bits & Pieces squeezed through on the inside to round ahead. It went on to take line honours but surprisingly finished in 12th place on handicap. Windseeker took handicap honours. Father Christmas and his green tutu clad elves on Bucephalus finished 2nd with AmaZe 3rd.

In IRC,Quest led from start to finishbut again finished down the ranks in 6th on handicap. Goddess took handicap honours ahead of Blu and X-terminator. RB apparently tried to contact the committee to retire but, failing to make contact, continued racing . . . and finished.

Despite oscillating between 170 and 200 degrees, and eliciting some less-than-favourable remarks from Outrageous over the selected course, the breeze swung back to 130 for the start of the second, and final, race in the series ­­-- Race 8.  There was, therefore, no need to relay the marks and racing  resumed for all with a combined start on the same Course #22.

However, with considerable congestion in the middle of the line, a general recall was sounded. The restart at 1516 was all clear but there was more trouble at the A2 windward mark resulting in a protest between Windseeker and Lazy Piggy. In the end, it was not upheld by the jury.

In IRC,Quest again took line honours to claim 3rd on handicap with Blu taking 1st place ahead of Goddess by 14 seconds.

Bits & Pieces proved unstoppable in HKPN, taking line and handicap honours with Windseeker 2nd on handicap and Ricochet 3rd.

Having returned to the Garden Bar at HHYC, the overall results were tallied. First the daily awards were presented along with an award for the best-dressed Christmas-themed crew. It was a close call between H3O and their silver reindeer, and Santa and his hairy-legged elves on Bucephalus.The elves won and received their award to much mirth from the happy crowd. The sponsored San Miguel followed along with a buffet before the overall Monsoon Winter Series 2019 results wereannounced.

After eight races, starting on the 19th of October2019, out of the eight boats competing in IRC and allowing for two discards,X-terminator finished 3rd, tied on points with Outrageous 2nd and Talkinghead 1st.

In HKPN, eight of the 17 boats competed in all races. H3O claimed 3rd, Windseeker 2ndand Bits & Pieces was crowned overall HKPN series winners.

This brought to a close 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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