Typhoon Series Mirs Bay Passage Race 2019

Conditions proved ideal for the start of the second race in the UK Sailmakers Typhoon Series – the Mirs Bay Passage Race. Normally held towards the end of the series the event has been brought forward in the hope of more favourable winds and, hopefully, greater participation in the return leg on Sunday, the 23rd.

In a brisk southwesterly, first off at 1100 were the IRC A and B boats. Their 25-nautical-mile course (Course 4) included rounding a Club Mark at 200 degrees before heading for East Nine Pin, Shek Ngau Chau (Gau Tau), Mirs Bay Mark N, Cham Pai Mark, Mirs Bay Mark S, back to Mirs Bay Mark N and finishing off Cham Pai Light. There Inge Strompf-Jepsen and her team of volunteers recorded finishing times.

Having circled the committee vessel Jelik got caught in traffic making it back to the start line, but came in at speed and was soon the front-runner in the fleet of eight IRC A boats and seven IRC B.

Five minutes later, race officer Julie Mackenzie then sent the 11 IRC C and four Sportsboats on the 17nm Course 5, again rounding the Club Mark, Basalt Island, through an offshore  gate before taking Shek Ngau Chau to port followed by the Mirs Bay Mark N and in to the finish.

At 1110 HKPN A’s 11 boats and five J-80s followed on the same course. Early Bird barged through at the committee boat end but was pushed on-course side (OCS) and obliged to restart.

Last off at 1115 were the nine HKPN B yachts, also on Course 5.

Numerous stragglers then appeared but, using her discretion, the RO allowed all to start making a total of 55 participants.

The Sportsboats and J-80s had chosen to finish at the gate so, in the 10- to 12-knot breeze, it was all over remarkably soon with Havoc taking the honours in Sportsboats followed by Hotwired. Footloose won the J-80 Class with JeNa PaBe 2nd.

Conditions out on the course proved testing with gusts of up to 20 knots! Ichiban had a wild ride home and crossed the line doing close to 12 knots although it finished 3rd in HKPN A, just 15 seconds behind LoTech and 43 seconds behind 1st placed Lisa Elaine.

Scrumpy claimed handicap honours in HKPN B ahead of Gecko and Pepper & Salt.

Red Kite II claimed line honours but was beaten on handicap by the Impala Moll with Dexter II 3rdin IRC C. Whiskey Jack retired.

Blackjack took both line and handicap honours in IRC B with Juggerknot 2nd and Avant Garde 3rd.
It was very close racing in IRC Division A with a mere 18 seconds separating the finishers from, 5th to  8th place. Jelik claimed line honours but lost out to Mandrake III, which made gains changing to its A3 to finish 3rd. Lighthorse Alpha+ claimed 2nd whilst Seawolf, benefitting most from its Code Zero, won the division.

Although many of the IRC boats returned to Hebe Haven (perhaps because of a relatively quick race) the awards party and barbecue at Wong Shek again proved popular with those who enjoy partying and, of course, those taking part in the return race the following day.

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