Opening Regatta, Day 1

Fortunately the thunderstorm that drenched Wong Chuk Hang cleared as the committee boat, Shun Fung, headed out to the Lamma Patch on Saturday, the 18th of September, for Day 1 of the Aberdeen Boat Club’s Opening Regatta 2021. Avoiding the squid boats and fishing nets, race officer Alex Johnston set a 1.15-nautical-mile windward mark for the IRC fleet and a 1-nautical-mile mark for HKPN, both at 75 degrees.

First off on schedule at 1030, into a 9-knot breeze, on the first of three windward / leewards, was the combined fleet of two IRC 0, five IRC 1 and nine IRC 2 boats. Five minutes later, the six HKPN A and six HKPN B boats followed with Water Rabbit best-placed on the start line. Muxu was a late arrival and initially OCS before returning and eventually managing to cross the line!

With the breeze expected to fill in later, the RO opted for two laps for the first race. The TP52 Rampage 88 was fastest around the course and led IRC 0 home, whilst Intrigue led the IRC 1 fleet. Gaston Chan’s Calamansi, as well as Five-O-One, both had problems dropping their kites at the leeward mark.

Several IRC boats were over eager for the start of Race 2 at 1155, and the RO had to call everyone back. HKPN started on schedule at 1200, and Johnston gave the IRC fleet a restart at 1205.

Rampage 88 continued to lead the IRC fleet around the track while Kingsman led HKPN.

There was a close call when Lisa Elaine, Five-O-One and Sea Wings closed on the inner windward mark – Lisa Elaine had to do two penalty turns. Daydream and Wicked, and the two Jeanneau Sun Fast 3600s Zesst and Ding Dong, also got close at the windward mark on their third lap. XT brushed the mark and exonerated itself by completing its penalty.

Having completed their two races, the HKPN fleet retired for the day.

The IRC was given a third race of three laps, starting at 1345 on the same course. The breeze had strengthened to 10-12 knots, gusting 15. Intrigue and Nightshift led off the line but Rampage 88 soon accelerated away to, again, lead around the track.

There was plenty of action at the leeward mark where several crews had problems dousing their kites. In IRC 0, with Redeye not competing, Rampage 88 comfortably won all three races ahead of Neo One. Intrigue, likewise, scored a hat-trick of line and handicap honours in IRC 1. Nightshift was 2nd in Race 1 and 3rd in Races 2 & 3. Jinn finished 2nd in Races 2 & 3 with Daydream 3rd in Race 1.

Red Kite II took line and handicap honours in Races 1 & 2 in IRC 2, with Juice 2nd in both.

Arcturus won line honours in Race 3, finishing 2nd on handicap behind Juice. Red Kite II was 3rd.

In HKPN A, Kingsman claimed line honours while Jibulai and Jarrah crossed the line together in 2nd place. Jibulai was 1st on handicap. XT claimed 2nd on handicap with Sea Wings 3rd.
In Race 2, Kingsman again took line honours but was relegated to 4th on handicap with Jibulai claiming handicap honours ahead of XT and Jarrah.

Generations comfortably won both line and handicap honours in HKPN B in both races with Shun Shui 2nd in Race 2 and 3rd in Race 3. Five-O-One filled 3rd position in Race 1 and 2nd in Race 2.
Returning to the ABC, the comments, particularly from the exhausted IRC sailors after three races, were all favourable. “A really great day’s sailing,” Gambit’s Rob Berkley and Gideon Mowser agreed.

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