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2019 Port Shelter Regatta at Hebe Haven Yacht Club

by Rob Allen 24 Sep 2019 09:03 BST 21-22 September 2019

Conditions before the start of the Hebe Haven Yacht Club's Port Shelter Regatta 2019 were very exciting. In fact, more than the 25 knots blowing from the north could have posed problems for the smaller boats and less experienced crews who would have struggled to complete the scheduled islands courses for Race 1.

But, as the 1400 start approached on Saturday, the 21st of September 2019, the wind eased to an ideal 12 knots for the two entries in IRC A and six in IRC B. Zannekin and Ambush led the boats through the Kau Sai Chau passage on their respective courses (35 and 36).

Five minutes later, it was the turn of the three Sportsboats who were also given Course 36 by race officer, Nigel Slattery.

At 1410, the 13-strong HKPN division crossed the line, following the faster boats past the historic church on Yim Tin Tsai and into the strait between Tai Tau Chau and High Island Reservoir. They sailed Course 37.

With the wind dropping, the RO decided to finish the boats off Steep Island. First home in IRC A was Zannekin, in IRC B, Juggerknot, in Sportsboats, Catch 22, and in HKPN, H30.

The next day, Sunday, the 22nd of September 2019, conditions were again exciting as 22 boats assembled in Port Shelter for two windward / leewards. Under clear, blue skies with white horses on the water, the IRC A and B boats crossed the line at 1210 in 20 knots of wind, and made for a mark in the direction of Sai Kung.

The Sportsboats followed at 1215, and at 1220 the 13-strong HKPN fleet powered over the line and tacked to a top mark 100 metres short of the IRC mark.

Sadly, at the top mark, Jibulai and the J-80 Baring Asia 1 were involved in collision. Baring Asia 1 lost its rig and both boats duly retired.

This time it was Ambush first home in IRC A as Zannekin did not start. Second over the line was Mandrake III (which had missed the first day's racing). In IRC B, Talkinghead put in a determined performance to take line honours and, in HKPN, Generations, with its long waterline, was first home. Catch 22 again excelled in the Sportsboats.

Anxious to keep momentum and benefit from the wind, race officer Bridget Chan started Race 3 for IRC A at 1320. IRC B, along with the Sportsboats, got their start for Race 3 at 1350. Just shows how quickly the boats were getting around their two-lap courses!

Five minutes later, at 1355, HKPN had a very lively start with Bits & Pieces narrowly missing Authority... and Authority narrowly missing the committee boat!

After an exhilarating day's racing, most of the boats headed back for the prize-giving in the Garden Bar of the Hebe Haven Yacht Club.

On handicap, deserved IRC A winner of the Port Shelter Regatta 2019 overall was Ambush with Mandrake III runner-up.

In IRC B, Calamansi won the regatta on handicap, with Talkinghead in 2nd and Goddess 3rd.

In Sportsboats, consistency won Catch 22 the regatta overall, followed by Fly By Wire and Ricochet.

In the hotly contested HKPN division, overall honours went to the determined Bits & Pieces, followed by Port Shelter stalwart, Temujin, and a quiet yet impressive Generations.

After the presentations, and a delicious buffet, it was a convivial gathering around the club's monitor to watch England play Tonga in the Rugby World Cup.

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