Typhoon Series 2019, Race 9 & round up

The black shirts were out in force in Port Shelter on Saturday, the 24th of August 2019. Race officials on the committee boat, Hebe One, were not protesting but wearing their sponsored polo shirts for the final race of the UK Sailmakers Typhoon Series 2019.

Before leaving Hebe Haven Yacht Club, with flags barely fluttering, race officer, Inge Strompf sounded ominous: “There could be wind but there may not be.” She explained that a tropical storm (Typhoon Bailu) was affecting the area. “We need at least 5 knots to start racing today.” she added.

On dropping anchor off Shelter Island, there was indeed a 5-knot northwesterly so the management team promptly set about laying marks for Course 24, a two-lap windward / leeward course for Race 9, the last in the series. The top mark for IRC and Sportsboats was set at 1.2nm and 1nm for the HKPN and J-80 fleets.

Forty-two of the total 82 boats participating in the series made it out for the final day.

In IRC A, after two discards in the eight races held prior to the final day, Lighthorse Alpha+ held a one-point lead over Seawolf with the TP52, Phoenix, and Quest tied on 28 points each for 5th and 6th. Lighthorse Alpha+ lead over the line in the first start of the day for IRC A and B on schedule at 1400. However, it was the Phoenix that rounded the leeward mark ahead, a position it refused to concede claiming 4th overall in the series. Ambush finished 2nd, for 3rd overall. Seawolf got the better of Lighthorse Alpha+ to finish 3rd in Race 9 tying the series and winning the series on countback, relegating Lighthorse Alpha + to 2nd.

In IRC B, Blackjack led Juggerknot in the series by 3 points going into the final day, while Outrageous and Kiasu! were tied on 24 points for 3rd and 4th respectively. Line and handicap honours for Juggerknot and 2nd place for Blackjack, one second ahead of Rampage in 3rd place gave Blackjack the series title ahead of Juggerknot. Problems for Outrageous in hoisting its headsail rounding the leeward mark for the first time (and other incidents) saw them concede 3rd place overall to Kiasu!

In IRC C, Red Kite II comfortably led the series going into the final race with Dexter II 2nd and only one point separating Gambit in 3rd, Moll 4th and Arcturus 5th. In the second start for IRC C and Sportsboats, the breeze had picked up to 8 knots but Ding Dong, Talkinghead and Goddess were all caught OCS – Goddess failed to restart. With Red Kite II a no show, it was left to Dexter II to take line and handicap honours with Gambit 2nd and Arcturus 3rd. Red Kite II still won the series while arch rival, Dexter II, had to accept 2nd and Gambit 3rd.

Hotwired led the Sportsboats series going into the final race with Gnarwhal and No Rush both on 15 points lying 2nd and 3rd respectively. Hotwired led across the line at the pin end but, opting for the left side of the course, lost out big time to Gnarwhal, which favoured the right, to claim line and handicap honours. No Rush came in 2nd and Havoc 3rd.

Hotwired hung on for the series win with Gnarwhal 2nd and No Rush 3rd.

HKPN A and the J-80s followed in the third start at 1410. Baring Asia 2 held a commanding lead in the J-80 series with Footloose in 2nd. 3rd in the series was still up for grabs between Baring Asia 1 on 21 points, May 13 on 23 and Jive on 25.  Once again, the Chinese Hangtang team continued their winning ways on Baring Asia 2 to clinch the series.

Footloose finished 2nd and 2nd in the series. Two protests by the J-80s meant 3rd place remained undetermined.

In HKPN A, after Race 8 LoTech comfortably topped the series leader-board with Temujin 2nd on 19 points followed by Amaze on 21. Bits & Pieces took line honours in Race 9 and 3rd on handicap with Amaze winning on handicap ahead of Temujin, leaving the overall results unchanged.

The closest contest was in the final start for HKPN B at 1415. Scrumpy was leading the series on 17 points and Raptor and Gecko 2nd and 3rd respectively, both on 18 points.

Getafix led from the start whilst the others hardly seemed in a hurry. The veteran X-99 went on to take line and handicap honours ahead of Windseeker and Raptor. Raptor’s 3rd place was sufficient for it to tie with Scrumpy on 22 points and claim the series victory on countback. Windseeker finished 3rd. Trailing the fleet, Seahorse, much to the relief of the race officials, retired.

There was a good turnout at the Garden Bar for the awards night and sponsored curry. Frank Pong of titled sponsors UK Sailmakers was in attendance, along with Jeremy and Tiffany Koo who presented awards including pennants, bottles of wine and Mount Gay caps. Fragrant Harbour’s Spirit of the Series awards were well received by Outrageous, Ricochet, Scrumpy, Temujin and Windseeker.

The music was then cranked up and the partying with games and dancing began with those staying benefitting from the sponsored San Miguel.

Organiser Hebe Haven Yacht Club has been particularly fortunate this year with the weather and that, despite the typhoon signal No.1 being in effect for the last race, the full nine races of the series were completed.

During the course of the evening farewell presentations were made to Ruth Franco and Sharkey Xia, both of whom have contributed significantly to sailing at the club.

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