Summer Series 7

The Aberdeen Boat Club’s Shun Fung positioned itself between Ocean Park and Round Island, dropped anchor, and the race management team began preparing for the start of Race 7 (and final) of the Summer Series 2021. A long line was laid as race officer, Alex Johnston, was expecting 15 knots from the southeast. In towards Repulse Bay, a windward mark was positioned about 400 metres away.

Johnston informed the fleet over VHF Channel 72 that he had chosen Course 36 for both IRC and HKPN. This, he figured, would give the 12 IRC boats a race of about 13.5 nautical miles and take in Castle Rock (p), Beaufort Island (p), Shek O Rock (p), Cape d’Aguilar (s) with a finish in Tai Tam Bay.

For the 18 cruisers, Course 36 meant leaving Castle Rock to port, likewise Beaufort Island and Fury Rocks. Johnston warned all HKPN boats that Fury Rocks had no beacon (or light) and advised giving them a wide berth. The finale for the two HKPN divisions would be a run into Tai Tam Bay.

Completion of the course would mean a distance covered of close to 13 nautical miles.

But in spitting rain, a front could be seen approaching the starting area from behind Round Island.

The RO, exercising caution, raised the AP flag and waited for the squall to blow through. It didn’t take long and the AP soon came down at 1029.

At 1030, the gun went for the five-minute starting sequence for IRC. In the aftermath of the squall, the wind had dropped to 8 knots which allowed the boats to cross in good order with Neo One in the lead. Wicked, out near the ODM, was over and told to return.

The HKPN boats started at 1035 with Jibulai called OCS (On Course Side). Close to the committee boat, Water Rabbit had issues with Happy Ours and gave the RO pleading looks while Ocean’s Five was forced to go around the outside of the two.

Somewhat strangely, newcomer to the series, Sawadee, started under mainsail alone, only filling its two headsails before reaching the windward mark. The plucky Taipan 28, Ragamuffin, with just three crew, struggled to cross the line while, sadly, Juggerknot and Speedy Gonzales never showed up.

Past the Cheshire Home the breeze began to die. Nevertheless, 4-5 knots kept the fleet moving but, on reaching Bluff Head, and with Neo One still in the lead, it became obvious that it was going to be a difficult race. To the south, angry clouds lined the horizon while flashes of lighting lit up the sky and thunder filled the air.

The RO had to make a decision. At 1145, the leaders had come to a standstill off Bluff Head and some of the HKPN boats had not even passed Chung Hom Kok. Despite the tide coming in and pushing the boats through, Johnston figured that even the fastest boats were going to struggle to get to Shek O Rock.

At this point, with the wind coming from 200 degrees and another squall building, the RO decided at 1150 to shorten course for all divisions at Castle Rock. Shun Fung dropped anchor in the deep water south of Castle Rock. The first boat to officially retire – Jarrah – radioed in at 1201, followed by a luckless Wicked minutes later.

Neo One was first boat home at 12:02:52. Next came Nightshift to claim 1st in IRC 2 on handicap.

The finishing order in IRC 1 was Intrigue 1st, Jinn 2nd and Neo One in 3rd with Sunny Chai’s Daydream filling the 4th spot. Redeye retired and Juggerknot scored a DNC.

Behind Nightshift in IRC 2 came Arcturus, Zesst and the venerable Gambit.

In HKPN A, Generations took advantage of its new rating and claimed handicap honours ahead of Ocean’s Five and blowers daughter. Francis Ma’s Crystal took the 4th position.

Race 7 concluded the ABC’s Summer Series 2021 with Intrigue crowned the winner of IRC 1 and Nightshift at the top of IRC 2. The French sailors on the Archambault, Ocean’s Five, took the HKPN A series and Shun Shui claimed victory in HKPN B.

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