Sails East Port Shelter Regatta 2018

Conditions looked promising on Saturday, the 8th of September, for the first day of the Sails East Port Shelter Regatta 2018. True to forecast, a Force 3-4 northeasterly in Port Shelter allowed the race officer to experiment with a downwind start. It proved a learning experience for all . . .

Just before the start, it was pointed out to the race management team by Juggerknot that the outer distance mark needed to be on the port side of the committee vessel instead of the starboard . . . oops!

Up went the AP postponement flag, the committee vessel then relocated to provide a long enough start line and the mark re-set.

First off were the five IRC A boats on a 17-miler taking in Table, Steep, Bay, Trio and Table Islands, finishing at Little Palm Beach. Eight boats in IRC B followed, with Minnie the Moocher and Talkinghead off to cracking starts on their 15-mile course, which included Steep Island, a Port Shelter mark, Trio and Table Islands, likewise finishing at Little Palm Beach.

Most colourful of all was the spectacle of 20 boats – 17 in HKPN and three J-80s – in a mass start, hitting the line and popping their kites. Surprisingly, amongst the front-runners but dangerously near to being OCS, was Seahorse, which was later the last to finish.

There was slightly more wind outside Port Shelter where Jelik led the IRC A fleet to take line honours and 2nd place on handicap behind Lighthorse Alpha+, with Vineta 3rd.

There were some close encounters at the Port Shelter mark, which the HKPN and J-80 fleets approached still under kites rounding to port, whilst the IRC B fleet approached rounding to starboard but, seemingly, no protests ensued. Minnie the Moocher took line honours in IRC B, Calamansi and Talkinghead crossed the line together with Calamansi taking 2nd on handicap with Goddess slotting in between, in 3rd.

Taking advantage of its Sails East sails, Bits & Pieces claimed line honours in HKPN but was relegated to 5th on handicap. Marmalade finished in 1st place with Tornado and DEA II 2nd and 3rd respectively.

There was much celebration amongst the women on the J-80, Jive, after claiming the honours in the J-80 Class (despite their tired sails), ahead of Jelik 7 and Jelik 6.

All in all, a good afternoon on the water, although somewhat short for some of the 33 boats.

On Sunday, the 9th of September, RO Eric Tomter, was optimistic for the final day, finding a 10-knot breeze (gusting 15) as the committee vessel dropped anchor in Port Shelter.

But it did not last, down to five knots, by the time IRC A got away on the first of two expected geometrics. The fleet of five was joined by Mandrake III and Ambush but again it was Jelik that initially raced around the track comprising two triangles with a sausage slotted in between. Conditions continued to ease as the race progressed causing much of Jelik’s early lead to evaporate, although it still finished with line honours and 3rd on handicap, beaten by Ambush in 2nd and Lighthorse Alpha+ in 1st.

Arcturus joined the IRC B fleet that got away in a clean start with Talkinghead holding on to the lead for the first rounding of the leeward mark. At the top mark Juggerknot opted to return on the left side of the course, a tactic that proved fortuitous, as it claimed line honours, but good enough only for 5th on handicap. Arcturus finished 1st followed by Calamansi with RB 3rd.

Bleu was OCS at the start and had to take evasive action to avoid the other 17 boats, including the three J-80s, before it was able to actually start! With DEA II and Generation absent, Seahorse and JeDai brought up the rear before both retired. Bits & Pieces took line honours and held on to 3rd on handicap. Ricochet, just seven seconds behind on elapsed time, claimed 2nd place followed one second later by Tornado to take handicap honours.

Eliza Yeung, skippering the J-80, Jive, was unable to repeat her victory and had to accept 2nd place behind Jelik 7 and Jelik 6, 3rd.

By the finish of Race 2 the wind had swung easterly but, with barely three knots, the RO had little option than to abandon racing for the day sending the 34 boats home or back to the Garden Bar at HHYC for an early buffet and prize-giving. Graham Young of Sails East was on hand to present the awards for both days as well as the overall.

In IRC A overall, Vineta took 3rd, Jelik 2nd and Lighthorse Alpha+, with two bullets, 1st. A 1st and 2nd gave Calamansi overall in IRC B with Talkinghead 2nd. Four boats finished on 10 points with Minnie the Moocher’s 2nd place on Saturday entitling it to 3rd. Jive claimed the J-80 overall honours ahead of Jelik 7 with Jelik 6, 3rd. Bits & Pieces finished 3rd in HKPN, Marmalade 2nd, and Tornado claiming overall honours. 

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