Monsoon Winter 1 & 2

The Monsoon Series 2021-22 comprises three events which, like last year, is organised by the Hebe Haven Yacht Club (HHYC) in conjunction with the Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club (RHKYC). The first event in the Series is the HHYC Monsoon Winter Series 2021, held over five Saturdays between the 23rd of October and the 11thof December 2021. The second event comprises the RHKYC’s Monsoon Spring Cup 2022 to be held on the 13th and 14th of February 2022. The Series concludes with the HHYC Monsoon Spring Series 2022, again over five Saturdays between the 26th of February and 9th of April 2022.

There was only a light breeze in Pak Sha Wan when the committee boat headed out into Port Shelter to appraise conditions in preparation for Races 1 & 2 of the HHYC Monsoon Winter Series 2021 on Saturday the 23rd of October 2022.

There the race officer, Rob Allen, was relieved to find the predicted 11- to 14-knot northerly.

Settling on two geometric races, the top windward mark, A1, was laid at 0.8nm for IRC and the Sportsboats, with an inner mark, A2, at 0.6nm for HKPN and the J-80s, both at 15 degrees.

Countdown procedures for the 1400 start for IRC were going according to plan when it was realised that the outer distance mark of the start line had drifted out of position. With just 30 seconds to go, the AP flag was hoisted.

Having relayed the mark, the AP flag was lowered at 1404 with the IRC warning signal hoisted one minute later. Only two IRC boats, Talkinghead and Ricochet joined the race out of the four entered for the Series, with Talkinghead leading over the line on two laps of the long course.

The second start involved nine Sportsboats and three J-80s. It was a congested start line with the competitive Sportsboats approaching at speed.

Finally at 1420 it was the turn of the 10 boats in HKPN. Bucephalus led Ichiban at the committee boat end but seemed to stall on the line, forcing Ichiban to take evasive action and tack on to port.

Meanwhile the breeze was gusting 14 knots before easing to 8, flicking between 0 and 14 degrees.

This Saturday series is intended to give participants – and especially new owners, skippers and novice crews, including those on the newly-acquired Tolo – a chance to hone their skills. The need for this was quite apparent out on the course. Approaching the leeward mark on its first lap, the J-80 Baring Asia 2 veered violently towards the Magic 25 Merlin forcing it to bear away and almost broach before returning to round the mark.

Despite starting five minutes after IRC, the Magic 25, Red Herring, was first to finish followed by Talkinghead in IRC. The Longtze, Too Bogan, washed its kite approaching the finish whilst Scrumpy in HKPN and Havoc in Sportsboats brought up the rear.

It was a quick turnaround for the start of Race 2 on, again, two laps of the same courses, with IRC away at 1515. Talkinghead again led Ricochet over the line, the latter having resolved rigging issues which slowed its progress in Race 1.

In the second start for Sportsboats and J-80s, towards the rear of the fleet Too Bogan approached the line on port but had to tack quickly to avoid two J-80s. Havoc brought up the rear but missed the four-minute start window.

On the first rounding of the inner A2 windward mark LoTech snared the mark, dragging it three boat lengths before managing to free it. Scrumpy following behind was only slightly disadvantaged with the mark in its new position.

On its second rounding, the J-80 Baring Asia 2 grazed the mark and completed its obligatory penalty turn.

In IRC, Talkinghead scored line and handicap honours in both races with Ricochet 2nd in both.

Red Herring took line honours and 2nd on corrected in Sportsboats’ Race 1. Phoenix placed 3rd in Race 1 and to line honours and 2nd in Race 2. Serendipity took handicap honours in both.

Alex Chan’s Jive won the J-80’s first race with Eliza Yeung’s Jelik 7 in 2nd and Edmond Yew’s Baring Asia 2 in 3rd.  In Race 2, Jelik 7 came out on top with Jive 2nd and Baring Asia 2 again 3rd.

With no prize-giving, back at the Garden Bar Rob Cook and crew on Ichiban were celebrating their first line honours for some time, not only in HKPN’s Race 1 but also in Race 2, and no doubt continued celebrating on learning they had also taken handicap honours in both as well. Lazy Piggy and Bucephalus traded places in Races 1 and 2 with Lazy Piggy 2nd and Bucephalus 3rd in Race 1.

Positions were reversed in Race 2.

All in all a great start to the Series for the 24 competing boats.

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