Summer Saturday Series, Races 7 & 8

It was bright but hazy when the warning signal sounded for the final two races of the Peroni Summer Saturday Series 2019, on the 10th of August 2019.

A 14-knot southwesterly was better than expected by race officer, Ben Chong, having anchored in Port Shelter and set up for the first of two windward / leewards. The outer mark was set at 205 degrees, 0.8 nautical miles distant, for IRC and Sportsboats and the inner mark at 0.6 nautical miles for HKPN and the Dragon Class.

First off at 1400 were the six IRC boats, Lighthorse Alpha+ and Seawolf leading across the line.

It was a close start for the following Sportsboats (1405) with the VX One, FAB, making an impression on the six Magics.

Eleven HKPN boats led by Bits & Pieces followed (1410), joined two minutes later by Crystal . . . emerging from the haze covering Port Shelter. Eight Shelter Cove Dragons again joined the race – their start was at 1415.

Altogether, 33 boats turned out for the final day of racing, out of 48 entered in the series.

Given the 12- to 14-knot breeze, there was plenty of action. The Magic, No Rush, was in a hurry to round the leeward mark, carrying its kite well into the turn before almost broaching. LoTech had problems dropping its spinnaker and carried on beyond the mark. Meanwhile Lighthorse Alpha+ had already finished its two laps in 24 minutes, leaving Seawolf to weave its way downwind through the boats tacking upwind.

It was a close finish for the Dragon tail-enders with Maiden Hong Kong overhauling Minion on the line . . . by just one second.

Having moved the windward marks to 190 degrees, it was straight into Race 8, the final race in the series, at three o’clock.

In IRC, Blu was OCS and obliged to restart while a general recall followed for the Sportsboats (perhaps over-anxious to get back to Hebe Haven Yacht Club and the sponsored Peroni beer). They had to wait their turn at the end of the queue. HKPN followed with LoTech doing a 720 penalty turn immediately over the line.

Next off were the Dragons before the Sportsboats, finally got away cleanly.

After six races and allowing for one dropped race, Arcturus was leading the IRC series going into the final day. Lighthorse Alpha+ and Moll were tied for 2nd place with a second dropped race coming into play on completion of the series.

Lighthorse Alpha+ initially took line honours but claimed to be testing its new sails and opted to retire from both races. Moll finished with two 2nd places against two 3rds for Arcturus. Thus, Moll claimed the series title. Seawolf tied with Arcturus for 2nd place with the latter subsequently placed 3rd on countback.

Hotwired led the Sportsboat fleet going into the final day and, despite losing out in both races to FAB, clinched the series with two 2nd places. Red Herring II was 2nd and Gnarwhal 3rd.

In HKPN, Lazy Piggy held a significant lead in the series going into the final races but it was Bits & Pieces that got the better of them in both races, but too little too late to deny them the series title.

Despite its aspirations of finishing 1st, Ichiban once again came off second best to finish in 2nd with Bits & Pieces overhauling Vixen to claim 3rd in the series.

Five of eight bullets, with two on the last day, gave the Dragon, Zephyr, the series. With Eaux Vives placed 2nd going into the final showdown, its non-appearance and two 2nds on the day helped Dragonfly slot into 2nd in the series, relegating Eaux Vives to 3rd.

With the results tallied it was time for the awards for Races 7 and 8 followed by a sponsored beef burger, washed down by Peroni beer on tap. Mount Gay chasers were provided for victors during the series awards which followed.

The weather this year has been remarkably good resulting in the series being completed with much celebration in the Garden Bar afterwards, where the crew of Ichiban were the last ones standing.

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