Typoon Series 2019, Race 5

It was touch and go whether race officer, Gareth Williams, would give the 51 boats milling around Shelter Island a start, or not? The breeze had swung from 160 to 300 degrees . . . and fallen from 6 knots to 1 knot. It was spitting with rain, and would be a long, hot and very humid day for the crews. But then you never know with the weather around Port Shelter. Things can change. And they did.

Choosing Courses 74, 77, 84 and 69 for the respective fleets, Williams started the eight IRC A and eight IRC B entries at 1100 on Sunday, the 21st of July 2019 for Race 5 of the UK Sailmakers Typhoon Series 2019. They hadn’t all cleared before IRC C and the Sportsboats made their approach – 16 of them – drifting towards the line.

Passing the committee boat, Dexter II asked if the course would be shortened at the windward mark. Merlin called for water but RB couldn’t oblige and promised to do a 360. Oh dear, and the tide wasn’t helping . . .

The J-80s (seven) and HKPN A (six) then joined the bobbing mass and finally, as the leaders inched forward, the six boats in HKPN B brought up the rear. Moll (10 minutes late to the line) had a lot to say to Scrumpy at the committee boat end. Scrumpy (the windward boat) was forced over and later retired.

Phoenix rounded the windward mark at 1130 and then things began to change. The breeze picked up and the main fleet moved forward. It was game on!

Mandrake III and Lighthorse Alpha+ were being chased by Rampage II and Jelik as they sped off to a Steep Island mark. From there it was around the Nine Pins with Jelik eventually taking line honours at 14:51:47. 1st on handicap in IRC A, though, was Ambush thanks to some slick crew work while Lighthorse Alpha+, usually at the top of the leader board, could only manage a 4th.

In IRC B, the elderly Intrigue Plus put in a great performance to take 1st ahead of Rampage and Kiasu!.

The competitive and always-lively IRC C Division, saw some exciting inter-boat duels but, ultimately, Red Kite 2 prevailed with both line and handicap honours. Dexter II came in 2nd and Gambit 3rd.

The Sportsboats were won by consistent performer, Hotwired. Merlin, with Steve Bourne back in town and at the helm, came in 2nd and No Rush 3rd.

Footloose triumphed in the J-80 Class (line and handicap honours) followed by Baring Asia 2 and May13. Having set off in the same start, the HKPN A division was taken by LoTech, with Generations and XT 2nd and 3rd respectively. Surfdude, with its hefty PN rating of 929, crossed the line first but came last on handicap.

Raptors finished at 14:30:0 to take line and handicap honours in HKPN B. Simplicity followed with Janet Chan’s Windseeker in 3rd.

What started in gloomy conditions, with barely a knot of breeze and shortened courses for all, ended in 7 knots and a beautiful summer afternoon as the boats finished off Bluff and Table Islands, most returning to the Hebe Haven Yacht Club’s Garden Bar for the prize-giving.

Races 6 & 7 of the UK Sailmakers Typhoon Series 2019 will be held on Sunday, the 4th of August 2019.

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