Monsoon Winter Series 2020, Races 4 & 5

It was overcast and murky, yet there was talk ashore of Force 4 or 5 winds, blowing from the northeast. Certainly worth getting excited about as the crews gathered on the Hebe Haven Yacht Club pontoon, waiting to be ferried out to their boats. On the committee boat, Hebe One, race officer Rob Allen briefed his race management team and assigned the volunteers to their various tasks.

The entry list for the Monsoon Winter Series 2020 is impressive: nine boats in the IRC Division, eight in Sportsboats and 12 in HKPN. But, on the day, six IRC boats turned up, 10 HKPN boats, and only one sportsboat. Apparently the others had decided to race in the harbour. Total on the water: 17 boats.

The plan was for two windward / leewards so the RO chose Course #24 and positioned the committee boat due east of the University in Port Shelter. Two windward marks were laid between Shelter Island and Tiu Chung Chau, the farthest (A1) for the IRC fleet and the nearest (A2) for the HKPN fleet. A bottom mark was positioned in front of Hebe One. Wind direction: 100 degrees.

The countdown for Race 4 began and, at 1400, six IRC boats started with Ambush taking the lead. Five minutes later, 10 boats in the HKPN Division and one sportsboat had a lively start, notably Bits & Pieces and Ricochet.

Like a well-oiled machine, Drew Taylor and crew on Ambush flew around the course and finished in 41 minutes and 26 seconds to take line honours in IRC. They placed 3rd on handicap behind winner, Talkinghead, and 2nd-placed Kingsman.

Ricochet had entered as a Sportsboat and was given a result as a Sportsboat but was asked to join HKPN for the second race of the day.

H3O, with some slick crew work, romped took line honours in HKPN after a mere 40 minutes and 27 seconds. But, on handicap, it was the consistent No One Else that topped the leader board, followed by Ichiban in 2nd and veteran campaigner, Temujin, in 3rd.

Last boat home at 15:00:46 was Bucephalus (racing without a spinnaker).

Anxious to press on, the RO began the countdown for Race 5 at 1505. It was going to be a combined IRC / HKPN start, still on Course #24. In the approach to the line, Blu was squeezed out at the committee boat end by Outrageous and then, towards the pin end, four boats were OCS, including Ambush.

Ambush came back, crossed, and went on to take line honours in 41 minutes and 34 seconds and 1st on handicap. In 2nd was the X-99, X-Terminator, and in 3rd, making up for their initial setback, Blu.

HKPN saw H3O again sweep the course in an amazing 40 minutes and 6 seconds for line honours but had to settle for 5th on handicap. 1st on handicap was LoTech followed by Ichiban and No One Else.

Due to Covid-19 restrictions, there was no prize-giving. Race 6 will be held on the 5th of December 2020.

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