Monsoon Spring 3

The Observatory got its forecast wrong for Saturday, the 20th of March 2021. Instead of a Force 2, winds were a good 12-13 knots from the southeast as the committee boat, Hebe One, dropped anchor in the middle of Port Shelter in preparation for Race 3 of the San Miguel Monsoon Spring Series 2021.

Ten IRC boats, two sportsboats and 12 HKPN entries circled Hebe One as race officer, Rob Allen, selected the islands courses for all three divisions. For IRC: Course #57 which takes in Trio Island (s), Steep (p), Bay (s), Bluff (s) and Table (s) – a distance of approximately 19 nautical miles. For SMS: Course #54 which takes in Trio (p), Bluff (p), Table (s) and Bay (p) – a distance of some 15nm. For HKPN: Table (p), Bluff (p), Bay (p) and Table (s) – a much shorter distance of 10nm. Allen decided there was no need for a club mark, while all boats would finish at Little Palm Beach as per the Sailing Instructions.

Come 1350, the warning signal sounded for the IRC division and, on schedule, nine boats got away cleanly at 1400. Latecomer, RB, crossed four minutes later. The breeze had eased slightly to 10 knots but this was good enough for the faster boats to slip out of Port Shelter in quick time.

Then came the two sportsboats at 1405 and, five minutes after that, the 12 boats in HKPN.

There was much grouping at the committee boat end of the line, while No One Else opted to come about – with seconds to go – and start at the pin end.

By this time, Zannekin had established a lead which it held for the next hour and 47 minutes, claiming line and handicap honours at 15:47:05. Well done Steve and crew! The Mills 41, Ambush, took 2nd on handicap with the improved Blu in 3rd.

Because the breeze had dropped to 6 knots, the RO decided to shorten course and finish everyone off Table Island. A wise call as some looked likely to finish in the dark. As it turned out, RB threw in the towel behind Bluff and retired, while Jedai persevered and took its own time passing Table at 17:54:00.

It was quite a battle between the two sportsboats with Catch 22 beating Ricochet over the line, and on handicap. Better luck next time, Julie.

With almost half the distance to cover, the HKPN boats were finishing among the IRC entries.

AmaZe claimed line honours and 1st on handicap. Good teamwork by No One Else saw them score a 2nd, with Sunny Wong’s LoTech in 3rd.

Back in the Garden Bar, appreciative crews collected their ice cold bottles of San Miguel beer but, sadly, still no official prize-giving due to social distancing regulations.

Races 4 and 5 of the Hebe Haven Yacht Club’s Monsoon Spring Series will be held on Saturday, the 27th of March 2021.

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