Summer Saturday Series 1 & 2

With Typhoon Signal No.1 still hoisted, it was a surprise to see patches of blue sky over Port Shelter as the committee boat, Hebe One, headed out for Races 1 & 2 of the Peroni Summer Saturday Series 2021 on Saturday, the 12th of June. Thunder and lightning warnings were still in place, with predictions of heavy squalls and showers.

Hebe One anchored in the middle of Port Shelter and the race management team soon had the relatively simple windward / leeward course set, with a new variation included. The top A1 black mark was laid at 0.9 nautical miles for the IRC fleet and the A2 orange mark at 0.7 nautical miles for the HKPN, J-80 and Dragon classes both at 110 degrees. However, instead of laying a separate ‘C‘ leeward mark, the finish mark was also made the ‘C’ mark.

With 15 boats in the combined HKPN and J-80 start a relatively long start line, of 250 metres, was laid marked by a white buoy.

First off on schedule at 1400, on two laps of the course for all, were the eight IRC boats with Arcturus and RB bringing up the rear in the 12-knot breeze from 125 degrees. Both started within the four-minute start window.

The second start, for HKPN and J-80s combined, followed five minutes later, with the breeze having picked up to 15 knots from 130 degrees. LoTech was over anxious and, starting early, was obliged to restart, again within the four-minute start window. 

Finally, at 1410, the four Dragons got away into a further strengthening breeze of 16 to 18 knots, swinging 104 to 120 degrees.

All up, 27 boats competing in lively conditions.

On the first downwind leg several boats, including H30, Kiasu!, Ichiban, Baring Asia 1 and Fuzzy Duck, left it late to drop their kites and sailed well beyond the C mark.

The conditions meant that the first of the two scheduled geometric races was over within an hour. Consequently, the race management team set up for the second geometric on the same course, the only variation giving IRC three laps.

First away again were IRC, although missing Vixen, which retired after Race 1. Conditions had deteriorated with a squall briefly passing over the race area. Fortunately it didn’t last long before the sky brightened. Goddess was well placed at the start.

Five minutes later, the combined HKPN and J-80 fleet followed with close action on the line particularly at the pin end. The four dragons were last off at 1520.

Lessons seemed to have been learned over dowsing kites before the mark in Race 2, with fewer incidents. Arcturus led H3O around the leeward mark on the first lap.

In Race 1, in IRC, H3O took line honours but lost out to Arcturus for handicap honours with Kiasu! 3rd. In Race 2, H3O retired having run over its spinnaker, leaving Arcturus to take line and handicap honours with Goddess 2nd and X-Terminator 3rd.

In the J-80 class Mozzie took the honours in Race 1 with Baring Asia 2 2nd and Jazz 3rd.

Baring Asia 2 and Mozzie reversed positions in Race 2, with Jive 3rd.

Bits & Pieces claimed line honours in HKPN’s Race 1 to finish 3rd on corrected behind Bucephalus 1st and Lazy Piggy 2nd. LoTech took line and handicap honours in Race 2 with Bucephalus 2nd and the Hebe Dragons on Getafix in 3rd.

Wudi won both Dragon races with Arrow 2nd and Shiva 3rd in Race 1, while Minion finished 2nd and Shiva 3rd in Race 2.

The skipper and crew of Bucephalus were delighted with their 1st and 2nd place finishes having relished the conditions. Strong wind, with gusts of 20 plus knots, suited them well.

Social distancing restrictions meant, yet again, there was no prize-giving. So the winners of the races will just have to wait to celebrate.

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