Summer Saturday 4 & 5

The turnout on Saturday, the 16th of July 2022, for Races 4 & 5 of the Peroni Summer Saturday Series 2022 was, according to race officer Rob Allen, Sailing Centre Manager at the Hebe Haven Yacht Club, better than expected given the warm conditions.

A total of 25 boats showed up to contest the two geometric races rescheduled to replace Island Race 6 (now cancelled) on the 16th after racing on the 2nd of July was cancelled due to Typhoon Chaba.

Fortunately, the weather forecasters were (almost) spot on with their predicted 10- to 15-knot   southwesterly in Port Shelter, although it was oscillating widely when the committee boat Hebe One dropped anchor.

The mark boats then did an excellent job in setting up the A3 Geometric ‘Gate‘ Course for Race 4 on an axis of 240 degrees heading towards the University. The outer A1 top mark for the IRC fleet was at 0.8 nautical miles and the inner A2 at 0.6 nautical miles for the HKPN Division and Dragon Class. No offsets were laid and everything was in place for the 1355 warning signal.

First off at 1400 were the three IRC boats in a 14-knot gust. Arcturus+ approached the line at the pin end whilst H3O came in at speed from behind Hebe One. Taking a more cautious approach, RB brought up the rear.

The 14 HKPN boats followed five minutes later in nine knots. The J/80, Baring Asia 2, close to Hebe One, was early but, rather than continuing ahead to round Hebe One and restart, gybed and headed back into the on-coming pack, only narrowly avoiding a catastrophe. Ricochet, Bits & Pieces and the J/80, Jelik 6, were best placed off the start.

Eight Dragons came out to play, in the ideal conditions, starting at 1410 in a 12.7-knot breeze.

Minion, Elfje and Mei Fei were among the front-runners.

Ricochet made good progress around the first lap of the course leading Bits & Pieces and Lazy Piggy through the gate, followed by Arcturus+ on the longer course. Approaching the gate, H3O partly washed its kite, but soon recovered before heading upwind on its second lap.

Dragonfly led the Dragons through the gate. Happy King missed the gate and sailed well past Hebe One struggling to drop its kite. It wasn’t the only one!

With RB retiring, and once the tail-enders Kam Loong and Baring Asia 2 had finished, Allen set about re-aligning the course, bringing the A1 mark in to 0.7 nautical miles with both marks at 220 degrees.

IRC set off on Race 5 at 1530 with H3O at the pin end leading Arcturus+ off the line in an 18-knot gust.

Bits & Pieces and Ichiban led off the line in HKPN at 1535 in 10 knots.

At 1540, it was Fei Chi that led the Dragons over the line in 13.8 knots.

Arcturus+ led the IRC fleet around the course followed by H3O and RB.

On occasions it became quite congested at the inner top mark with 22 boats rounding. The Dragon, Dragonfly, and the Dehler 42, Daydream, had a close encounter but avoided contact.

Again at the gate several boats had problems dousing their spinnakers. Alex Chan’s J/80, Jive, ran into trouble dropping its bright yellow kite along with Baring Asia 2, which ultimately was forced to retire, along with Daydream.

Back at the Hebe Haven Yacht Club’s Garden Bar the announcement of winners was held whilst the dehydrated sailors refreshed themselves with cold beers and French fries.

In IRC, Arcturus+ claimed the daily double in both races with H3O 2nd in both and RB 3rd in Race 5.

In HKPN, Bits & Pieces took line honours in both races and, competing without a spinnaker due to a shortage of regular crew, still managed to finish 3rd on corrected in Race 5.

Lazy Piggy put in a commendable performance with two 1sts in preparation for the team competing in the EUROSAF L30 Class European Championships in Sanremo, Italy, between the 12th and 16th of October 2022.

Jive claimed 2nd in Race 4 with Ricochet 3rd. Despite Mystique’s reduced handicap, after recent victories, they still managed to get on the podium finishing 2nd on handicap in Race 5. A pending protest by LoTech for a port & starboard incident with Happy King in Race 4 should have no impact on the presented awards.

Dragonfly took line and handicap honours in the Dragon Class in Race 4 and finished 2nd in Race 5 behind Fei Chi, which claimed the win. Elfje finished 2nd in Race 4 and 3rd in Race 5, with Mei Fei 3rd in Race 4.

With the awards over, some settled down to watch the England rugby team beat Australia 21-17 and claim the tour series, making for a fantastic day on the water – and on land – with the Irish also beating the Kiwis to clinch their New Zealand tour series victory.

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