Typhoon 9 and prize-giving

The UK Sailmakers Typhoon Series 2023 came to an end on Saturday, the 26th of August 2023, having this year attracted a whopping 89 entries – one of the largest fleets ever for this popular summer series.

Race days are held at two-weekly intervals in a format that harks back to when much of the racing at Hebe Haven Yacht Club revolved around the club’s pilots who needed flexibility to fit in with complex flight rosters. More often than not, it provided a variety of conditions and even an occasional ‘wild ride’ when a typhoon passed by.

Over the years, the format has been tweaked and is now held over seven race days, from early June to mid-August. There is an ‘offshore’ which has its origins in the Dunhill Mirs Bay Race of the mid-1980s and, on two race days, there are geometrics inside Port Shelter – a magnificent venue for tight, competitive keelboat racing. Challenging courses are laid among the picturesque islands of Hong Kong’s eastern seaboard and the friendly host club is never too far away from the action to stage some memorable prize-givings and parties.

During the afternoon of Saturday, the 26th of August this year, 61 boats ventured out into Port Shelter for the final race of the UK Sailmakers Typhoon Series 2023. With six starts and seven classes taking part, race officer Barry Truhol was anxious to get racing underway. With a multiple prize-giving back at the club for Race 9 of the Typhoon Series, an Overall Series prize-giving and an awards ceremony for the club’s Summer Saturday Series, there was no time to lose.

Conditions were much the same as predicted for Race 8 of the previous week – Force 2 to 3 from the south. When the committee boat, Hebe One, came to a rest, the support crews worked feverishly with Buoy Zone (an excellent app for course laying) to get the marks in place for the scheduled 1300 start.

The RO welcomed everyone to the final of the Typhoon Series and announced that all five divisions and one class would follow Course 6 – a simple windward / leeward with an A1 mark for IRC and A2 for HKPN. The new DC29 class was assigned Course 1. This, in his thinking, would have everyone home by three o’clock and allow them plenty of time to ready themselves for the prize-givings in the Garden Bar.

On board Hebe One, the club was entertaining the organizer of the China Cup, David Zhong, and his team. The plan, it would appear, is to do more with racing organisations from China and increase inter-club co-operation.

At 1300 sharp, four competitive boats in IRC Division A, powered across the start line with Seawolf taking an early lead. Five minutes later, nine IRC B boats set off with the two new Cape 31s – Capitano and Out of Africa – not having it all their own way with the likes of Nightshift, Witchcraft and Wild Card showing what they are capable of.

The five-strong IRC C division was next away at 1310 with some interesting duels developing between Juice, Admiralty Harbour Whiskey Jack, Talkinghead and Dexter II.

At 1315, the seven J/80s and 11 HKPN A boats approached the line, taking advantage of the 6-knot breeze which seemed to have stabilized. Although small, the VX One, Serendipity, with Patrick Pender on the helm and up-and-coming small boat sailor Tommy Wong as crew, weaved its way through the fleet and, at that point, looked as though it would be a strong contender for handicap honours. H3O also made its mark on the 18 boats in this, the fourth start.

Five minutes later, the 14-strong HKPN Division B got away, but not without drama. Foxzhead and Marmalade had issues and, in the end, Marmalade made the decision to retire, meaning there was no protest lodged.

Last to leave were the eight DC29s in a special start that allowed them plenty of room to manoeuvre and get into the spirit of the Typhoon Series.

Romping around their two laps, the IRC A boats saw the TP52, Phoenix, claim line honours with William Liu’s Seawolf taking a deserved 1st on handicap. Capitano took line and handicap honours in IRC B with Nightshift in 2nd and Out of Africa 3rd. Andy Pidden’s Juice swept through the IRC C contenders and emerged with line and handicap honours while Whiskey Jack placed 2nd and Goddess 3rd.

The J/80s were won by Henry Wong’s Footloose. The Chinese team, Shenzhen Weekend Sailing, claimed 2nd position on handicap, and Jazz 3rd.

The fiercely competitive HKPN A fleet saw a deserved victory by Kelvin Woo’s H3O. But not to overlook the team work of Bridget Chan’s Minnie the Moocher in 2nd and AmaZe in 3rd.

Despite the start line ordeals for some of the less experienced crews, the end result for Gecko in HKPN B was a worthy 1st on handicap. In 2nd was CY Shum’s extended crew on Harpseal with Baby Beluga 3rd.

A steadily improving DC29 Class saw Voyages 57 take line and handicap honours, with Voyages 55 and 32 in 2nd and 3rd respectively.

Last boat home was Cox Kwok’s Ma Cherie 2e and, from the race course, it was a dash back to Hebe Haven Yacht Club for the prize-givings.

Prize-givings   In fact, there were three prize-givings – a wise move given that so many sailors would be in the same place at the same time. These were the Habsburg Asia Company Limited Summer Saturday Series 2023, Race 9 of the UK Sailmakers Typhoon Series 2023, and the Overall Series results for the nine-race UK Sailmakers Typhoon Series 2023.

After some last-minute calculations, writer and sailing personality, Stu Pryke, welcomed everyone and made the following awards: winner of the eight-race Summer Saturday Series was Out of Africa with Dexter II in 2nd and Ocean’s Five in 3rd. In the HKPN Division, overall victory went to Serendipity ahead of Harpseal and Jazz.

On to the final race of the Typhoon Series. IRC Division A was won by Seawolf ahead of Zannekin and Phoenix. IRC B saw Capitano in 1st with Nightshift in 2nd and Out of Africa 3rd. Juice won IRC C with Whiskey Jack in 2nd and Goddess 3rd. The J/80s were won by Footloose and HKPN A saw H3O as the victor, ahead of Minnie the Moocher and AmaZe. HKPN B saw Daniel Kwok’s Gecko victorious with Harpseal in 2nd and Baby Beluga 3rd.

The steadily improving DC29s featured Voyages 57 at the top of the leader board. Voyages 55 filled 2nd slot and Voyages 32 3rd.

Finally, with the volume of applause reaching a crescendo, the Master of Ceremonies announced the Series and special awards. Seawolf, again, took a well-earned IRC A victory in the UK Sailmakers Typhoon Series 2023. In 2nd was Steve Corrigan’s crew on the Ker 46, Zannekin. 3rd place was filled by David Ho’s TP52, Phoenix.


Nightshift won IRC B while Out of Africa claimed 2nd ahead of Capitano. Overall Series Results for IRC C saw Juice occupy the top slot, Dexter II in 2nd and Talkinghead 3rd.

A consistent Series performance by the J/80 Footloose was rewarded with a 1st, and the HKPN A Division was won by the club’s rear commodore sailing, Bridget Chan, and her happy crew on Minnie the Moocher. In 2nd was long-time campaigner, Temujin, and 3rd, H3O.

The colourful Zoe won HKPN Division B, ahead of Pepper & Salt and Baby Beluga. Voyages 32 came out as winner of the steadily improving DC29 Class.

Incidentally, a special ‘Sportsmanship’ award was made to the crew of Dolphin six who, during Race 6, stopped racing to take an injured sailor to safe harbor. Well done!


After the prizes had been awarded, the DJ turned up the volume on his speakers and the sailors danced the night away, marking an end to yet another successful selection of summer racing events.

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