Typhoon Series 2018, Race 9

The final race of the UK Sailmakers Typhoon Series 2018 was held during the afternoon of the 25th of August amid expectations of a strong turnout. And so it proved, with 59 boats heading out into Port Shelter to find . . .  oh dear, haze and just 3 knots of breeze. Race officer, Ben Chong, waited in vain for the wind to build but, after an AP flag was raised, and the scheduled 1400 start time had long passed, he upped anchor and motored out past Shelter Island where a 5-knot southerly was found.

The fleet dutifully followed and, at 1501, the IRC A & B divisions’ countdown began. Enthusiasm got the better of half the crews, though, and a general recall was sounded. To the back of the queue went the big guys, and the horn on the committee vessel was soon beckoning contenders for IRC C and Sportsboats.

And then the fun began. In the light airs and adverse tide, making headway became an effort and Ding Dong had a close encounter with Intrigue plus, which then drifted towards the committee vessel. The RO began the countdown for HKPN A and the J-80s and, crossing the line, May 13 got squashed between a powerless Intrigue plus and the committee vessel.

Late starters made it difficult for the RO to see who was OCS and it is fair to say that chaos reigned, especially since the starting sequence for HKPN B was underway. And five minutes after that, the re-starting IRC A & B boats descended on the relatively short line and were forced to weave their way through the slower boats.

Once into clearer air, though, the leaders picked up speed and spinnakers soon appeared as boats rounded the top marks of a windward / leeward course, about a kilometre in length. Wing marks at both ends kept the boats apart. The wind steadied at 4.5 knots and 56 boats made it home, with three retiring.

Lighthorse Alpha+ took IRC A, followed by Ambush and Mandrake III. IRC B was won by Kiasu! with Juggerknot and Outrageous following. The winner of IRC C was Red Kite II, with Dexter II in 2nd and Gambit in 3rd. The Sportsboat division saw Hot Wired, Merlin and Ricochet top the results while Jazz took 1st place, followed by Footloose and May 13 in the J-80s.

In the no less competitive HKPN fleets, Lazy Piggy took a deserved 1st place in Division A, followed by Tornado and Dexter. In Division B, regular campaigner Pepper & Salt scored a 1st , followed by Scrumpy and LoTech.

Then it was back to the Hebe Haven Yacht Club to await the Series results. Three protests were heard before Rob Allen, at a lively awards ceremony in the Garden Bar, announced the division winners of the UK Sailmakers Typhoon Series 2018 : in HKPN B – LoTech, in HKPN A – Temujin, in the J-80s – Jazz, in Sportsboats – Hot Wired, in IRC C – Red Kite II, in IRC B – Kiasu!, and finally in IRC A – the Ker 46+ owned by Shawn Kang, Lighthorse Alpha+.

The nine-race Typhoon Series is, by far, the most successful keelboat racing series in Hong Kong, this year attracting 82 entries and averaging 58 boats per race. Its format is appealing in transient Hong Kong, its courses suit boats of many types and sizes, and its parties are legendary. Roll on 2019!

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