Typhoon 3 & 4

For a change, there was little concern for the weather as the race management team assembled on Hebe One on Sunday, the 9th of July, for Races 3 & 4 of the UK Sailmakers Typhoon Series 2023. The rain that had disrupted recent racing had dissipated and bright sunny conditions, with high visibility, prevailed.

Still anxious to secure the best conditions, race officer, Inge Strompf, assistant race officer, Barry Truhol, and deputy race officer, Sara Houghton, headed out on the committee boat to appraise conditions. They were supported by a team of volunteers, several of whom had completed race management courses and, having fulfilled various roles, were keen to have the RO sign off on their record cards. Jamie Xiong from the China Cup was again also on board.

Day 3 would consist of two geometric races inside, or at the entrance to, Port Shelter. Strompf decided to head out beyond Table Island, and avoid any wind shadows that might impact within Port Shelter. After dropping anchor, the support boats laid the outer windward mark (A1) at 1.4 nautical miles for the IRC fleet and, for the HKPN fleet and others, an inner mark (A2) at 1.2 nautical miles, into the southwesterly towards Steep Island. The 120-metre leeward gate was laid in front of the relatively long start line.

There was concern from some skippers that, having sailed for over an hour to reach the start area, the starts were not postponed. The RO, however, was adamant that races should start on schedule.

First off at 1100, on two laps of the long course, in a combined start, were the five IRC A and 11 IRC B boats. Witchcraft and Nightshift, in IRC B, were amongst the front-runners in a breeze of 10 knots..

The TP52, Phoenix, flew around the course to comfortably take line and handicap honours as it did in the second race which followed at 1217. Incidentally, all IRC A boats finished Race 3 inside 54 minutes so their second race of the day – Race 4 – was extended to three laps of the long course.

Sea Wolf claimed handicap honours in Race 3 with Kikukie’s Dream 2nd and Phoenix relegated to 3rd. Sea Wolf likewise took handicap honours in Race 4 with Phoenix 2nd just 24 seconds behind on corrected. Zannekin took the 3rd podium position.

In IRC B the Cape 31, Out of Africa, led the fleet around the course but was relegated to 3rd on corrected. Despite leaving it late to drop its kite at the gate, and initially struggling to retrieve it, Bad Idea Bears on Full Tilt clinched 1st place by just 10 seconds on corrected over Nightshift.

In their second race at 1226, into a 12-knot breeze, again on two laps to the A1 mark, Witchcraft was caught OCS and obliged to restart, but still recovered to beat Out of Africa for line honours and finish 2nd and 3rd on handicap respectively. Nightshift capitalized on Witchcraft’s OCS to take handicap honours by 62 seconds.

The second start in Race 3 at 1110 saw the six IRC C boats hit the line with Talkinghead in the lead and going on to take line honours and 2nd on handicap. Juice claimed handicap honours with Admiralty Harbour Whiskey Jack 3rd.

In their Race 4, at 1235, Goddess and Gambit led off the line but Juice demonstrated its capabilities to win both line and handicap honours. Talkinghead finished 2nd on handicap, whilst the red caps on Dexter II claimed 3rd.

The third Race 3 start, at 1110, saw the seven J/80s off on two laps supposedly of the long course, along with the 12 HKPN A boats on two laps of the short course. Tornado was a late arriver but made the four-minute cut-off window.

The J/80s’ second race of two laps to the A2 mark then followed in a separate start at 1245. Jive and Jelik 7 led off the line with Jelik 6 opting for a port tack start at the pin end. The Future Seafarer Racing Team on Jive won both races while Footloose claimed 2nd in Race 3 and 3rd in Race 4. The Shenzhen Weekend Sailing Team on Jelik 6 finished 3rd in Race 3 and 2nd in Race 4.

By the way, it wasn’t the best day for Team Outrageous (Baring Asia 1) who had an unfortunate encounter with a squid boat.

Minnie the Moocher took line honours in HKPN A, Race 3, and also in their second race at 1255. It was only good enough for 3rd on handicap in Race 3 and 2nd in Race 4. Temujin claimed the handicap honours in Race 3 and 3rd place in Race 4. Jibulai finished 2nd in Race 3 while XT came to the fore to win Race 4 on corrected. Voyages 56 failed to sail the course in both races while Krampus retired inRace 3 and, along with AmaZe, did not start Race 4.

The HKPN B Race 3 was briefly interrupted with the AP postponement flag was hoisted to correct an issue in hoisting an incorrect class flag, but was quickly resolved with racing underway four minutes later at 1119. Harpseal took line honours but were relegated to 9th on handicap. Pepper & Salt claimed handicap honours with Scrumpy 2nd and Zoe 3rd.

Their Race 4 started at 1305 still in a consistent 12-knot southwesterly. This time Coral Harbour took line honours but dropped to 7th on corrected. Zoe claimed handicap honours, Pepper & Salt finished 2nd with Dolphin six 3rd.

The final class involved five Voyages DC29s with their first start at 1110 followed by a second at 1320. Voyages 50 had major issues with its kite getting wrapped around its forestay before the crew decided to retire and miss Race 4. Voyages 59 comfortably won both races but, not to be discouraged, there was some concern about the competence of crews on some of the other boats.

Voyages 32 and 55 finished 2nd and 3rd in Races 3 and 4 respectively.

Sadly, the Hebe Haven Yacht Club is experiencing delays in the transfer of its liquor license so the prize giving party was postponed.

In conclusion, the day provided some of the best sailing conditions in recent memory – blue skies, some splendid cloud formations on the horizon, and a constant southwesterly of 9-12 knots. Champagne sailing, indeed.

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