Typhoon 7

Race 7 of the UK Sailmakers Typhoon Series 2023 was held on Sunday, the 6th of August 2023.

Due to the light conditions that affected the last race day on the 23rd of July 2023 just one islands race was planned but, as a contingency, marks were also prepared for another geometric.

A southwesterly of 8 to 9 knots was forecast veering westerly with a high tide at 1245.

It took a while for the committee boat, Hebe One, to get settled for the start in Port Shelter with a somewhat fickle breeze. Initially the AP postponement flag was hoisted delaying the scheduled 1100 start. However, by 1107, the AP flag was lowered after the Club Windward Mark had been laid at 0.4 nautical miles at an axis of 230 degrees.

At the 1113 start, the TP52, Unicorn, at the pin end, was OCS and obscured the race management’s  view of Phoenix. Thus, the assistant race officer, Howie Suen, hailed a general recall. This, in the end, was fortunate as the breeze shifted some 40 degrees causing the postponement flag to again be hoisted. Given the shift, Hebe One relocated setting up a new direction to the windward mark of 270 degrees with a new start line of 270 metres.

The five boats in IRC A finally got away at 1150 in 7.9 knots. Unicorn and Kikukie’s Dream II favoured the pin end whilst Zannekin and Seawolf chose the committee boat end starting on starboard tack before opting for port.

The TP52, Phoenix, brought up the rear, but not for long. After rounding the Club Mark to port, the IRC A and B fleets were to round Basalt Island (S) followed by East Nine Pin (S), Steep Island Mark (S), Ma Tsai Pai Mark (P), Table (S) and into the finish at Little Palm Beach – 17 nautical miles in total.

Ten IRC B boats then followed in a rolling start five minutes later. The two Cape 31s, Out of Africa and Capitano were front-runners along with Nightshift and Arcturus+.

The five IRC C boats followed on a shorter 13 nautical-miler, rounding Bluff (S) before heading to Steep (S) and avoiding Basalt and East Nine Pin. Admiralty Harbour Whiskey Jack, Juice and Goddess led off the line.

The 12 HKPN A and seven J/80s followed on the same shorter course with Team Outrageous on the J/80 Baring Asia 1 and theShenzhen Weekend Sailors on Jelik 6 leading off the line joined by the VX One, Serendipity.

Unfortunately, the Beneteau First 40.7 Victoria approached the start line on port tack and was involved in a port/starboard collision with the Magic 25, Hotwired. With limited manoeuvrability, Hotwired attempted to bear away but still hit Victoria’s starboard stern quarter. Two crew, including the helm, were thrown overboard whilst the two onboard sustained injuries. Having recovered the MOBs and, after appraising the damage, they were fortunately able to continue.

Meanwhile, Victoria had continued sailing without offering any assistance and failing to complete any penalty turns. Hotwired has filed a protest, the impact of which will have no impact on the day’s podium positions but could impact the overall results with Victoria currently lying 2nd in HKPN A.

Happy King failed to start correctly and was scored DNS.

Fourteen HKPN B boats followed at 1210, also on the shorter course around Bluff, with the wind having picked-up to 9.9 knots. Dolphin six, Harpseal and Baby Beluga led off the line.

Finally, it was the turn of the DC29s with Voyages 88, having selected to join the class race rather than HKPN B, leading off the line. Their 12-nautical-mile race was, after the Club Mark, to take them around Table (P), Bluff (S), Steep (S), Trio (P), Table (P) also finishing at Little Palm Beach.

It was a colourful spectacle as the fleet with their multi-coloured kites bore down on Bluff Island.

Fortunately the breeze held in and also strengthened with gusts of 25 knots recorded giving an exhilarating sail for many.

The IRC A boats raced around their course with Phoenix completing their 17 miles for line honours in one hour 50 minutes and 21 seconds and 3rd place on corrected. Seawolf took handicap honours ahead of Zannekin. After seven races, Seawolf leads overall and will be hard to beat with just two races to go.

In IRC B, just 13 seconds separated the two Cape 31s at the finish line with Out of Africa just pipping Capitano, while Witchcraft was 3rd on handicap. Out of Africa is tied with Nightshift on 12 points after one discard for overall.

The red caps on Dexter II sailed to line and handicap honours in IRC C with Talkinghead beating Juice for 2nd place on handicap by just 21 seconds. Juice currently leads Dexter II by 1 point in overall.

The Future Seafarer Racing Team on Jive claimed the honours in the J/80 Class beating Footloose by 11 seconds. Jelik 6 finished 3rd. Jive and Footloose are tied on 9 points for overall.

Minnie the Moocher took line honours in HKPN A but was relegated to 4th on handicap. Temujin claimed handicap honours ahead of Jibulai and AmaZe. Minnie the Moocher leads the  HKPN A series.

In HKPN B, Pepper & Salt has raised two protests: the first against Zoe for failing to give way to the leeward boat; and against Noah for almost causing a collision. The outcome against Zoe will have no impact on podium positions in Race 7, but could impact its 2nd place in overall. Noah’s provisional 2nd place on handicapin Race 7 could be affected.

Harpseal claimed line honours in HKPN B but dropped to 14th and last on handicap. Dolphin six seized handicap honours with Raptor 3rd.

As always, the DC29s were the last to finish, which could have been avoided had they sailed the correct course. Instead they sailed further than they needed to, going out to East Nine Pin!

Voyages 88 finished 1st over an hour ahead of Voyages 55 and Voyages 35. Voyages 32, in its penultimate leg, took Trio to starboard instead of port and was scored NSC for not sailing the course. Hopefully, they live and learn! Despite that, Voyages 32 currently leads their Series.

At the end of the day the RO’s only regret was that he didn’t set a longer course for IRC A.

The prize-giving was held back at the Garden Bar at Hebe Haven Yacht Club where the sponsored San Miguel made the day on the water even more enjoyable for many of the 58 boats racing out of the 86 entries.

There is still much to play for with two races remaining. Island Race 8 is on Sunday, the 20th of August,  followed by the finale and Geometric Race 9 on Saturday, the 26th of August 2023. It’s never too late to join.

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