Opening Yacht Regatta

Sponsored by Sunseeker for the 14th consecutive year, the Aberdeen Boat Club’s Opening Yacht Regatta took place over the weekend of the 23rd and 24th of September 2017.
Thirty-seven boats ventured out to battle the elements on windward / leeward and islands courses.

At the sharp end (IRC O), the big battle was between Zannekin and Lighthorse Alpha+ while in IRC 1, it was wide open between the four entries. IRC 2, also four boats, was sure to see Red Kite II and Calamansi at the top of the results table.

In the three HKPN divisions, Tim Ridley’s Scintilla in A, always a consistent and determined
performer, was hot favourite with Jarrah not to be dismissed. In B, No One Else, a regular campaigner, loomed large, and in C, it looked likely to be Ragamuffin or Sunny Chai’s Simplicity.

The small but enthusiastic J-80 division was wide open (but the smart money was on Unknown Pleasure).

Racing for HKPN A and the J-80s got away on their islands courses at 1030 on Saturday morning, in bright, lively conditions. Next off was HKPN B and C (1035) and, at 1050, the three IRC fleets sped off on the first of three windward / leewards.

The Lamma patch is a magnificent place to race competitive yachts and the Sunseeker Opening Yacht Regatta 2017 was proving no exception. Lighthorse Alpha+ romped home in 55 minutes but was beaten by Zannekin on handicap. In IRC 1, Phoenix made it in 54 minutes and took line and handicap honours. Red Kite II took the double convincingly in IRC 2.

The J-80s saw some interesting developments with Bumphead surging ahead and finishing well in front of the pack. Unknown Pleasure had to be content with 4th. In HKPN, the order in their islands races (Courses 1 & 3) was Scintilla, No One Else and Ragamuffin respectively.

Racing for the day was over for the J-80s and HKPN boats but the IRC boats were still fighting it out in their windward / leewards races. In IRC 0, Zannekin won the second race and Lighthorse Alpha+ the third. In IRC 1, Phoenix impressed in the second and Juggerknot the third races.

And so to the second day of racing, Sunday, the 24th. It was wild, windy and wet as the boats assembled off the south of Lamma Island for their islands races. No windward / leewards today. First off at 1110 were the three IRC divisions, followed by the J-80s and HKPN A. Last, but not least, came HKPN B and C at 1120.

The chop combined with swell meant the smaller boats found the going tough. Many radio-ed in to inform the race officer they would not be competing. Nevertheless, IRC 0 (minus Ambush and Redeye) revelled in the conditions and were soon heading for Beaufort and Po Toi Islands. First home in two hours, 16 minutes and nine seconds was Lighthorse Alpha+, seven minutes ahead of Zannekin and a good 49 minutes ahead of 3rd-placed Rampage II.

In IRC 1, Juggerknot finished in front of Blackjack and in IRC 2, the winner was once again Red Kite II. Andiamo pipped Calamansi for line honours but had to settle for 3rd on handicap. Tigrina finished ahead of the three remaining J-80s, followed by Unknown Pleasure and Alchemist. Lila and Bumphead had to retire and Joss and Levity did not compete.

By the time the HKPN A fleet finished, three boats had retired, such were the testing conditions. In 1st, and as predicted, was Scintilla. Jarrah followed. From Discovery Bay, Legs eleven put in a good performance to cross 2nd but slipped to 3rd on handicap.

In HKPN B, Generations got the better of Tuco on handicap and in C, Simplicity took line and handicap honours in an emphatic result.

So, after another successful Opening Regatta, the podium finishers were Lighthorse Alpha+, Zannekin and Ambush in IRC 0, Juggerknot, Phoenix and Blackjack in IRC 1 and Red Kite II, Calamansi and Andiamo in IRC 2. In the no less competitive HKPN fleets, A was won by Scintilla followed by Jarrah and Legs eleven, B was won by Generations, and Simplicity took C. The smart money was wrong in the J-80s with Unknown Pleasure pushed into 2nd and Tigrina filling a well-deserved 1st position.

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