Port Shelter Regatta 1

A quick recce by one of Hebe Haven Yacht Club’s support boats on Saturday, the 25th of September, found an encouraging 15 knots of easterly breeze outside Port Shelter. Great for big boats, not really so great for J-80s and Sportsboats having to contend with big swells and choppy seas for two and a half hours.

So, given the conditions, race officer, Barry Truhol, avoided Courses 69, 72, 74, 77 and 107, and chose Course 114 for IRC Division A (20 nautical miles); Course 115 for IRC Division C, Sportsboats, J-80s and HKPN A (15 nautical miles); and Course 116 for HKPN B (10 nautical miles).

This selection, he believed, would primarily suit the capabilities of the mid-fleet and ensure that everyone else had a good afternoon’s racing.

He then made his official welcome on VHF to the 38 boats assembled for Race 1 of the Port Shelter Regatta 2021. There would be four starts and, once again, no prizegiving but there were bottles of champagne on board for the winners . . .

Assistant race officer, Leon Man, announced the courses and starting sequences in Cantonese as an acknowledgement to the growing number of Chinese crews that are taking part in Hebe Haven Yacht Club events. Incidentally, more than 21 of the 38 boats in Race 1 had all-Chinese crews.

This is due, in large part, to the Club’s effective sail training programmes and diverse membership.
Truhol positioned the committee boat, Shun Fung, southeast of Sharp Island with the outer distance mark laid towards Sharp Island. The AP was raised at 1355 to re-position the pin which had moved 30 degrees. Finally, at 1416, eight boats in IRC A crossed the line, Alpha Plus taking an early lead into the 13-knot breeze from 110 degrees.

Next came the six IRC C entries and seven Sportsboats, followed five minutes later by three J-80s and six HKPN A cruisers. Last off was the seven-boat HKPN B division, DEA II once again showing it is never short of crew. Newcomer, Naiad, a Taipan 28, brought up the rear.

Alpha Plus, chased by Zannekin, reveled in the conditions, taking the swells in its stride and gybing into the finish to claim line honours at 16:41:24, five minutes shy of Truhol’s predicted two and a half hour race time. Alpha Plus also claimed handicap honours in IRC A, followed by Zannekin and Witchcraft. Daydream found the going tough and retired just before six ’o clock. In fact, two other tail enders in Division A also struggled in the dying breeze – Outrageous finished 6th at 18:06:12 and DEA III Fire finished 7th in an elapsed time of three hours and 48 minutes.

Whiskey Jack put in a fine performance to take line honours in IRC C and win on handicap, followed by Juice and Talkinghead. Calamansi scored a DNS. The Sportsboats were won by Serendipity, followed by the Magic 25 Red Herring II and Russ Parker’s FAB.

Veteran campaigner, No One Else, won HKPN A on handicap, followed by Ichiban and Jibulai with its crew in colourful attire. Out of the three J-80s, Jelik 7 retired leaving Baring Asia 2 in the top slot and Jive 2nd. The 8-metre J boats had struggled through the chop between Town and Basalt Islands Generations easily won line honours in HKPN B but was relegated to 2nd on handicap.

Scrumpy scored a victory on handicap and, in 3rd place, was La Vida Loca. Brave Naiad retired.

Day 2 of the Port Shelter Regatta 2021 will be on Sunday, the 26th of September.

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