Summer Saturday Series 7 & 8

After the blistering heat of the previous week, conditions on Saturday, the 30th of July, for the final race day of the Peroni Summer Saturday Series 2022 made for quite a change, at least when the committee boat, Hebe One, ventured out into Port Shelter.

The cloud-covered sky and light drizzle cooled the atmosphere but the amber rain warning signal and the sound of thunder and flashes of lightning were to prove ominous. Conditions were forecast to be light with a 5- to 7-knot northwesterly, swinging southwesterly 6 to 10 knots.

Out in Port Shelter the breeze appeared to be settling in at 260 degrees where the outer windward mark, for the IRC fleet, was dropped at a distance of 0.6 nautical miles and inner mark for the HKPN and Dragon fleets at 0.5nm.

However, with the wind oscillating, the race officer Rob Allen requested the mark laying boats to adjust the course to a bearing of 240 degrees.

With just one IRC boat turning up, Allen decided to reduce the planned three starts to just two with a combined start for IRC and the 13 HKPN boats, followed by the six Dragons in the second start, making 20 of the 28 boats entered in the series.

With the course in place, the warning signal was sounded on schedule at 1355 for Race 7. However, after barely two minutes the wind had swung to 210 degrees. Undeterred, the RO pressed ahead.

Mystique led the HKPN fleet to the start line but, as IRC boat Arcturus+ approached, Mystique bailed out. Meanwhile Lazy Piggy approached at speed close to Hebe One. Unfortunately, within minutes and before the Dragons had time to start, the wind died completely, leaving the fleet wallowing in the vicinity of the start line.

With no one going anywhere, the race officer had little option than to abandon the race hoisting the white and blue ‘N’ flag.

Red Herring, close to the start line,and Jive far from it, were both on course side (OCS)whilst Bits & Pieces was alsosome distance from the start and were all fortunate the race was abandoned.

Thereafter, with the fleet following, Hebe One went in search of wind before dropping anchor in the middle of Port Shelter.

The wind gods then seemed to be teasing the race management team with the breeze swinging between 119 and 260 degrees and varying in strength from 0 to 10.2 knots. In the hope of getting at least one race in after consultation with the mark laying boats, another shorter course was laid bearing 200 degrees with the outer top mark brought in to 0.4nm. Unfortunately it was not to be as, by 1440, the wind had died completely, five minutes later it was 5 knots but from 360 degrees, after which it steadily declined.

Consequently, with a minimum of 5 knots recommended to start a race, at 1500 Allen had little option than to pull the plug, hoisting the ‘N’ over ‘A’ flags and abandoning racing for the day and the series.

There was considerable disappointment on some boats, but cheers of celebration on others, their crews thinking of an early return to the bar!
Once back at the Hebe Haven Yacht Club’s Garden Bar, the presentation function got underway under strict Covid-19 protocols.

In the series, Races 4 & 5 were postponed due to the approach of Tropical Storm Chaba, on the 2nd of July 2022, and rescheduled on the 16th of July. As a result, Island Race 6, scheduled for that day, was cancelled. The abandonment of the two geometrics, Races 7 & 8, on the 30th of July, meant that the series results were based on five races – four geometrics and one island – held on three Saturdays.

In IRC, Alpha Plus finished 3rd, H30 2nd and Arcturus+ 1st. A secial commendation should go to Arcturus+, whose crew made the effort to turn out for the last race sailing all the way from Kellett Island, only for racing to be abandoned.

In HKPN, LoTech claimed 3rd place, Lazy Piggy 2nd with Bits & Pieces benefitting from a more reasonable handicap and consistent results, 1st.

In the Dragon Class, Fei Chi took 3rd place, Mei Fei 2nd and Dragonfly 1st. Although disappointed not to complete the final two races, after enjoying the complimentary finger food and beers, the Dragonfly team confirmed they would be back next year to defend their title.

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