Summer 4

The Aberdeen Boat Club’s Summer Series is popular among sailors from the south side of Hong Kong Island, Discovery Bay and even Causeway Bay. The seven-race series – now six with Race 3 having been cancelled because of Typhoon Chaba – began on the 5th of June and is scheduled to end on the 28th of August 2022.

The series is less demanding than the club’s 12-race Waglan Series in the winter months, and features long courses and organized lunches ashore not far from the finish line. In fact, it is also known as The Restaurant Series as wine, beer, squid and scallops make for an excellent ending to a day’s racing, especially when temperatures reach 34 degrees as they did for Race 4, on Sunday, the 17th of July 2022.

At 1030, racing began southeast of Lamma Island, off Tung O Wan, in 12 knots of southwesterly breeze. Five IRC boats crossed the line with, surprisingly, Intrigue way behind. Prior to the start, skipper, Thiery Barot, had circled the committee boat and seemed to be having difficulty reading the courses. Nevertheless, the Bashford 41 was soon chasing the frontrunners, Next, Neo One and Redeye, headed for the rounding mark, P1 Buoy.

Sadly, and although entered, five IRC boats did not compete which depleted the two IRC divisions somewhat. Missing were some of the series’ stalwarts – Gambit, Red Kite II and Zesst.

Next off the line at 1035 were the two HKPN divisions – eight boats in A and four in B. blowers daughter passed within inches of the committee boat but, once in the clear, gave chase to Rhye & Rue, Francis Ma’s Crystal, and Sunny Wong’s Jibulai. Missing from the A fleet was the numberless, Legende II. Also missing was James Barker’s competitive J Chi.

Both IRC and HKPN sailed Course 45 with the only difference being the faster boats, after rounding P1 Buoy, did a dog leg to a club mark and then back up to Cheung Chau Rock, left to port, and on to a finish off the pagoda on the westernmost tip of Cheung Chau.

The breeze held at 12 knots. The committee boat was on station at 1215 and the first boat home in the fine conditions was Eddy Lee’s Next at 12:35:10, in an elapsed time of two hours, five minutes and 10 seconds. On handicap, IRC A was won by Next, with Intrigue in 2nd and Neo One in 3rd. DBX2 did not compete. IRC B was won by Nightshift which finished at 12:52:45. Four boats in this division did not compete.

In HKPN A, Ding Dong reached the finish at 12:44:59, and the third boat to finish the race. On corrected, Crystal scored a deserved victory with Ding Dong in 2nd and Jibulai in 3rd. Five O One led the HKPN B fleet home and also collected 1st in division on handicap, with Rhy & Rue in 2nd and Shun Shui 3rd.

With 17 boats finished, the plight of the Japanese crew on Water Rabbit became a concern. Where were they, the management team wondered? Sai Fok was duly sent to the other side of Cheung Chau Island to see if he could locate them. They were coming around Cheung Chau Rock, he radio-ed. A quick telephone call by the RO confirmed that they were still in the race, and wanted to finish.

Picking up speed towards the line, Water Rabbit took a horn in an elapsed time of four hours, three minutes and 12 seconds. Perhaps they did the longer course by mistake . . . From the finish it was a right turn and into Cheung Chau Typhoon Shelter, to be ferried ashore by Sai Fok in the club’s sampan for a delicious seafood lunch at Baccarat. The race officer, Alex Johnston, joined the sailors for a brief prize-giving in the restaurant.

Race 5 in the Summer Series 2022 is scheduled for Sunday, the 31st of July.

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