Typhoon Series 2018, Race 4

Variable conditions are expected for the Hebe Haven Yacht Club’s annual Typhoon Series. Races 1, 2 and 3 enjoyed good winds, but Race 4 of the UK Sailmakers Typhoon Series 2018 held on Sunday, the 8th of July, was not so fortunate.

A heavy downpour welcomed race officer, Inge Strompf-Jepsen, as she briefed her team on the committee vessel and discussed course options for lighter conditions. Out in Port Shelter, in a reasonable 7-knot easterly, a windward Club Mark was set at 80 degrees and 600 metres. Relatively short courses of between 14 and 16 nautical miles were selected for the day’s island passage race.

With the sun having broken through after the rain, Strompf-Jepsen got racing underway at 1100 in a combined start for the nine IRC A and six IRC B boats. During the countdown, though, the wind swung to 118 degrees and dropped to 3.8 knots before, fortunately, recovering. After rounding the Club Mark, the fleet headed for Table (p), Bluff (p), Trio (p), then out to the Port Shelter Mark, back to Table (p) and into a shortened finish before Little Palm Beach (LPB).

The breeze was back to 6.2 knots at 1105 for the 11 boats in IRC C, and five Sportsboats. Gambit, Vixen, Red Kite II and the Magic 25, Gnarwhal, were over anxiousand obliged to restart. Three late arrivals – FAB, Its My Pleasure (and 22 minutes later) Merlin – were all given a start by a sympathetic RO and headed off for the islands.

At that point, rain clouds were visible between the hills of Kau Sai Chau as the RO got the HKPN A boats (10) and the J-80s (6) started at 1110. Dolphin six was over and stalled, becoming a hazard. Further back, Lazy Piggy collided with Temujin and, although starting the race, the former retired.

Meanwhile, the wind had picked up and gusts of 15 knots were recorded on the committee vessel. But conditions eased for the final start and the eight boats in HKPN B which headed off on the same course as the J-80s – around Trio (p), Bluff (p), Table (s) and in to the finish.

Altogether, 58 boats had started. Then the first rain squall hit. Out at Trio Island, the fleet struggled to make progress as they did again later when the IRC B fleet rounded and headed for the Port Shelter Mark. Outrageous, parked up for one hour, decided to retire.

There were some close finishes particularly between the Sun Fast 3600s Ymir and Ding Dong and the J-80, May 13, which beat Jazz by one second. That was before another squall hit, speeding the tail-enders home! There was much cheering from the committee vessel when the HHYC’s Rear Commodore Sailing appropriately brought up the rear on Windseeker.

In IRC 1, the top three were Seawolf, Lighthorse Alpha+ and Vineta. In IRC B, it was Kingsman, Kiasu! and Juggerknot, while in IRC C, Dexter II took the honours followed by Red Kite II and Whiskey Jack. Gnarwhal won in the Sportsboats, followed by Hotwired and FAB. TheJ-80 Footloose bested May 13 and Jazz. Amaze won HKPN A, followed by Dexter and Bits & Pieces while the no less competitive HKPN B saw Bleu come out on top, ahead of Pepper & Salt and LoTech.

The series continues with the Mirs Bay Passage Race on Saturday, the 21st of July 2018.

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