Summer Saturday Series, Race 6

An Island course had been scheduled for Race 6 of the Hebe Haven Yacht Club’s Summer Saturday Series and the forecast for the day was Force 3. So, medium-distance courses were selected : 22 nautical miles (Course 116) for IRC ; 17 nautical miles (Course 117) for Sportsboats and HKPN ; and 10 nautical miles (Course 33) for the Dragon Class.

Race officer, Bridget Chan, figured that, with prevailing conditions, all boats would finish at about 1600 which proved correct for the Sportsboats and Dragons. IRC and HKPN, it turned out, needed more time to sail their courses.

A line was set at 150 degrees and first away at 1400 was the six-strong IRC fleet followed five minutes later by the nine Sportsboats. At 1410, HKPN had a fairly congested start at the committee boat end but, in time, untangled itself and headed for the windward mark, set at 240 degrees and 200 metres distant. The southwesterly breeze was around 5 knots.

The Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club’s Dragon fleet, numbering 21 boats, is based at Shelter Cove and is an active participant in the Summer Saturday Series. Twelve boats started at 1415 but, approaching the windward mark, the breeze died. Those that rounded first were lucky. The second half of the fleet struggled to catch up in what one competitor lamented had turned out to be “a drag race”.

Out in the distance, the bigger boats found good wind near Steep Island and heading north to Bluff. Sportsboats and HKPN also took advantage of the conditions and gained ground on IRC.

So, perhaps it wasn’t going to be as long a day as the RO had thought. Over the course, the haze cleared and the boats bowled along under blue skies and warm summer afternoon light.

But, on the committee boat, there were still worries that some of the slower boats would not make the finish at Little Palm Beach. The Impala, Moll, a slow yet persistent campaigner in IRC, influenced the RO’s decision to lay a finish between Table and Shelter Islands.

First across the line at 15:51:12 was the high-performing Magic 25, Hotwired – a fast rounding of the course in an elapsed time of one hour, 46 minutes and 12 seconds. Three minutes later came the Dragon, Zephyr, followed by the Magic, Red Herring II.

On corrected time, Hotwired secured top spot in one hour, 26 minutes and 14 seconds. In 2nd place came Red Herring II and in 3rd, No Rush.

The first five Dragons finished within seconds of each other : Zephyr (15:54:49), Eaux Vives (15:55:11), Wyuna (15:55:46), Wudi (15:56:10) and Dragonfly (15:56:55).

Putting in a strong performance in HKPN, Kiasu! stormed across the line at 15:55:24 to take line honours. But, on handicap, the cheeky Lazy Piggy with its amazing rating of 1203, finished on top of the results in an elapsed time of two hours, four minutes and 57 seconds, and a corrected of 1:43:52. Kiasu! could only make 4th on handicap behind Vixen and Ichiban.

The final two geometric races (7 & 8) of the series will be held on Saturday, the 10th of August 2019.

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