Typhoon Series 6 & 7

At 0935, Hebe One, the committee boat, left its berth at the Hebe Haven Yacht Club, venturing outside into Port Shelter for the start of Races 6 & 7 of the UK Sailmakers Typhoon Series 2021.

Prior to departure the race officer, Barry Truhol, had briefed his race management team. Then, assisted by his deputy race officer, Leslie Anderson, and assistant race officer, Howie Suen, set about determining the lengths of the geometric courses to be sailed, given the predicted wind conditions and out-going tide.

Further out than usual, the anchor of Hebe One was dropped near the western approach to the channel between Bluff and Basalt Islands. There, a 6- to 7-knot southwesterly was flicking between 220 and 250 degrees. Having initially set up the marks for 230 degrees, a major wind shift to 195 degrees, meant relaying the marks to 195 degrees. The outer windward mark for the IRC fleet was set at a distance of 1.0 nautical mile, and at 0.8nm for the J-80 and HKPN fleets, both with offset marks. A leeward gate was laid in front of the 250-metre start line.

But this all meant an AP flag which, fortuitously, gave more time for the fleet to assemble – critical given the new 4-minute start window.

First off at 1126 were the 10 IRC A boats, on three laps of the long course. Alpha Plus, Ambush, Zannekin, Witchcraft and Xena were closely aligned at the start. Quest brought up the rear on port tack.
Next off, after five minutes, were the eight IRC B boats, on two laps of the long course, with Outrageous, H3O, Nightshift, Juggerknot, Daydream and Kiasu! all running the line. But Outrageous ran out of line and had to circle around to start.

At 1136, the nine IRC C boats followed, also on two laps of the long course, with Arcturus, at the pin- end almost OCS.

The J-80s followed at 1141 with Footloose getting the best start, on two laps of the inner course.
Next it was the turn of the eleven HKPN A boats. Team Michael Li on Baring Asia 1 and Ichiban were both over early and obliged to restart. Baring Asia 1, on their first attempt, they failed to clear the line and had to try again, by which time the four-minute start window had closed. Oh dear.

The breeze had swung further south, and briefly eased to 3.5 knots, when nine HKPN B boats started at 1151. Baby Beluga led off the line.

At the gate it was the TP52, Alpha Plus, that completed the first lap in front. As it did for the remaining two laps followed by the other two TP52s, Free Fire and Phoenix.

Several boats left it late to drop their kites at the gate and came unstuck. None more so than Ichiban, while others, including Phoenix, washed theirs. Ding Dong kissed the starboard gate buoy, and exonerated itself with a penalty turn.
Meanwhile the breeze steadily built to 10 knots resulting in all the competitors, other than seven HKPN boats, finishing within the estimated 60 to 90 minutes. The last of the HKPN B boats – La Folia – finished in an elapsed time of 1:59:14.

With the breeze relatively constant between 9 and 11 knots, the course was extended out to 1.3nm for IRC and 1.1nm for the rest, with again three laps for IRC A and two for the rest.

Race 7 for IRC A followed at 1315 with the three TP52s leading the fleet around the track.

The same start sequence followed for the rest of the classes and divisions, at five-minute intervals.

Rampage, Nightshift, Kiasu! and H3O were best placed on the line in IRC B, while Rampage 28, Arcturus and Dexter II led off the line in IRC C.

Jelik 7, at 1330, had a strong start in the J-80s before the HKPN A fleet followed, Scintilla leading the charge.

Finally, Baby Beluga and Pepper & Salt were ahead in the HKPN B pack at 1340.

There was plenty of action at both windward marks as well as the downwind gate, testing the sailing skills and seamanship of skippers and crews of the 48 boats on the water.

In IRC A, Alpha Plus took line honours in both races with handicap honours in Race 6, but lost out to Witchcraft for handicap honours in Race 7. Witchcraft finished 2nd on handicap in Race 6 with Free Fire3rd. Ambush claimed 3rd on handicap in Race 7. Zannekin finished with two 4th places, just five seconds behind Free Fire in Race 6 on corrected.

Kingsman took the daily double in IRC B’s Race 6 and handicap honours, with Rampage just 15 seconds behind on corrected 2nd. Nightshift finished 3rd. In Race 7, Nightshift repeated the feat with Rampage again 2nd and Kingsman 3rd on corrected.

Dexter II claimed line and handicap honours in IRC C’s Race 6 with Whiskey Jack 2nd and Blu 3rd. In Race 7, Blu took both honours with Goddess 2nd and Dexter II 3rd. Ding Dong was scored NSC (did not sail the course).

Footloose won both J-80 races with Jelik 7 2nd and Baring Asia 1 3rd in both.

Minnie the Moocher took line honours in HKPN A’s Race 6 but was relegated to 3rd on handicap.

The men’s team on LoTech claimed handicap honours with the women’s team on Jibulai 3rd. Just 65 seconds separated the six boats in 3rd to 8th places in a closely fought duel. Jibulai was 1st across the line and scored handicap honours in Race 7 followed by Ichiban and Baring Asia 2.

La Vida Loca took line honours and 2nd place in both of HKPN B’s races. Scrumpy came out on top in Race 6 with Foxzhead 3rd. Baby Beluga claimed handicap honours by five seconds in Race 7 with Scrumpy 3rd.

The day’s thrills were not confined to the sailors. The race management team was most impressed by the sight of FH skinny dipping, when diving off the committee boat to retrieve the media RIB, which had not been properly secured and was drifting away!

There was no prize-giving but sponsored San Miguel was provided to those crews who returned to the Garden Bar.

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