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UK Sailmakers Typhoon Series at Hebe Haven Yacht Club - Races 6 and 7

by Rob Allen 6 Aug 2019 07:31 BST

As predicted by the race officer, Inge Strompf, conditions were 'lumpy' in the open water outside Port Shelter, between Trio Island and East Nine Pins, where the committee boat dropped anchor for Races 6 & 7 of the UK Sailmakers Typhoon Series 2019.

The RO chose Course 24 for all boats - a two-lap windward / leeward with offsets. The longer course for the IRC divisions and Sportsboats was set at 1.7 nautical miles, bearing 60 degrees, with the mark for the HKPN divisions and J-80s at 1.4 nautical miles.

Fortunately the tropical storm, Wipha, that skirted Hong Kong earlier in the week leaving behind the disturbed seas, had dissipated. Conditions remained overcast early on with spots of rain but, initially, the breeze remained constant at 8 to 9 knots, occasionally gusting 12.

At 1100, the eight IRC A and eight IRC B boats had a frenetic start with Ambush involved in a close encounter with Mandrake III. But once the fleet spread out, it was the TP52, Phoenix, that led Lighthorse Alpha+ around the course.

Allowing an additional five minutes for late arrivals, the nine IRC C and six Sportsboats were next off. No Rush, a Magic 25, was squeezed out at the committee boat end by Moll and Fly By Wire, and had to restart.

Six HKPN A boats and an impressive eight J-80s formed the third start, followed by the HKPN B fleet (eight) at 1120.

There was plenty of action at the top marks with gusts catching crews unawares, particularly among the Sportsboats. Havoc and Hotwired were tested to their limits!

IRC A finished within an hour and a half so the RO and her team of volunteers (which included the crew of Lazy Piggy) quickly sent them off on Race 7, again on the same course. There was an interval of 13 minutes before IRC B's second race got under way. Both Avant Garde and Rampage were OCS... but only Avant Garde returned. The J-80s followed at 1305 along with HKPN A.

The leeward mark was laid in front of the start line to avoid rounding boats interfering with the finish. But, in one dramatic incident, it was the start line that was affected. Approaching the leeward mark, Mandrake III had problems during an intended 'Kiwi' drop and, with its kite full, had nowhere to go! Heading for the committee boat it went through the fleet of IRC C and Sportsboats approaching the start of their Race 7. After some tense moments, the RO abandoned the sequence and re-started the two divisions.

Finally, the slow boats of HKPN B got away at 1333.

While the IRC A fleet finished by 1403 and IRC B by 1450, it proved a frustrating afternoon for many of the other classes when the breeze died... to barely 1 knot.

With little prospect of completing two laps, the HKPN B course was shortened at their second leg windward mark but there was still an interval of over two hours between the first HKPN B finisher, Pepper & Salt, and the last, Windseeker, at 17:43:13.

At the end of the day Phoenix took IRC A line honours in both races and finished 3rd on handicap in Race 7. Lighthorse Alpha+ claimed handicap honours in both. Ambush finished 2nd and Seawolf 3rd in Race 6 with Rampage II 2nd in Race 7.

In IRC B, Blackjack secured handicap honours in Race 6 whilst Kiasu! took line honours and 2nd place with Intrigue plus 3rd. Juggerknot won Race 7 with Outrageous 2nd (also with line honours) and Kiasu! 3rd. Results are provisional as a protest has been lodged.

Red Kite II claimed line and handicap honours in both IRC C races with Dexter II 2nd and Talkinghead 3rd in Race 6, while Ding Dong finished 2nd and Goddess 3rd in Race 7.

Hotwired finished with line and handicap honours in Race 6 for the Sportsboats with Gnarwhal 2nd and 3rd in Race 7. Havoc tied with No Rush for 3rd in Race 6, improving with a daily double in Race 7.

Baring Asia 2 took line and corrected time honours and Baring Asia 1 finished 2nd in both. Footloose and Jive finished 3rd in Races 6 and 7 respectively.

LoTech again dominated HKPN A with twin line and handicap honours. Ichiban finished with a 2nd and 3rd and Amaze 3rd and 2nd.

Scrumpy took handicap honours in HKPN B's Race 6 with Gecko and Simplicity 2nd and 3rd. Pepper & Salt claimed the honours in Race 7 followed by Raptors and Gecko.

The awards were presented at the HHYC Garden Bar where the early finishers were already well oiled before the sponsored San Miguel beer appeared! The next race in the series, Race 8, is scheduled for Sunday, the 18th of August 2019.

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