Port Shelter Regatta 2

Day 2 of the Port Shelter Regatta 2021 was comprised of two geometric races, both of which proved challenging for the race management team.

Having opted to remain within Port Shelter, the race officer, Barry Truhol, and his team on Hebe One, set about determining the optimal course for Race 2. The breeze was oscillating widely between 040 and 090 degrees so he settled on a bearing of 85 degrees to the top A1 mark at a distance of 1.1 nautical mile for the IRC fleet and Sportsboats, and an inner A2 mark for HKPN and the J-80s, both with offset marks.

First off on schedule was IRC A, with Quest well placed on the line. IRC C and Sportsboats followed with both Talkinghead and the VX One, Serendipity, caught on course side (OCS).

Then came the drama: it was realised that the windward marks did not correspond to the layout of the proposed course and some marks had drifted out of position! The third start for HKPN A and the J-80s was quickly postponed and the N flag hoisted, abandoning Race 2 for those that had already started.

Support boats sped to the top marks to assist in repositioning the marks before returning to adjust the pin-end start line mark.

With the course finally reset at 90 degrees, countdown procedures recommenced for a 1303 start for IRC A. Pent up frustrations got the better of the 10 starters and there was a general recall, putting the fleet at the back of the queue for a re-start.

The eight IRC C boats and four Sportsboats started at 1308, followed five minutes later by the three J-80s and seven HKPN A boats. The Swan 53, Athena, Bits & Pieces and the J-80 Baring Asia II, led off the line.

At 1318 it was the turn of the seven HKPN B boats, before IRC A finally got its turn at 1323.

But, again, frustration got the better of the crews and, again, there was a general recall. To impose some discipline, the RO hoisted a black flag. That meant disqualification for any further transgressors.

It was a case of third time lucky for IRC A as everyone enjoyed a clean start at 13:32:00.
All classes were sailing Course 6 which comprised two laps of the inner or outer course with a leeward gate providing options.

The breeze remained fluky throughout the race but all boats finished, apart from Outrageous in IRC A, and Naiad and Scrumpy in HKPN B. Thereafter, it was straight into countdown for Race 3.

Having lost one hour in the morning, the race officer was keen to get the last race underway quickly, choosing to leave the windward marks unchanged with a leeward mark, settling on a two-lap race for IRC A and one lap for the rest. Unfortunately, the wind had swung further south, fluctuating between 120 and even 180 degrees. After consulting the IRC A fleet, the majority were in favour of continuing on what would be a reaching course.

First off in Race 3 were IRC C and Sportsboats at 1449 in 7.7 knots with the VX One, FAB, well placed on the line. The Magic 25, Red Herring II, came through at speed beside the committee boat.

The J-80s and HKPN A boats followed five minutes later, in 7.8 knots from 155 degrees.

IRC A was next off, fortunately, in a clear start with Quest again well placed with Kingsman , DEA III Fire and Daydream bringing up the rear.

Last off on their one lap was HKPN B at 1504, by which time the breeze had eased to 5.3 knots. It remained fluky – between 3 and 6 knots – but enough for all starters to finish.

In IRC A, the TP52 Alpha Plus took line and handicap honours, whilst the Ker 46, Zannekin, finished 2nd in both races. Having likewise finished 1st and 2nd in Race 1, Alpha Plus claimed overall honours with Zannekin 2nd. Quest finished the day with two 3rds but, having missed Race 1, finished 5th overall with Witchcraft elevated to 3rd overall.

In IRC C, Whiskey Jack took line and handicap honours beating Juice into 2nd by 27 seconds on handicap in Race 1. Juice took revenge in Race 2 winning line and then handicap honours by nine seconds. Having won Race 1 Whiskey Jack took overall with Juice 2nd. Blu finished 3rd in both races which, added to a 4th from Race 1, gave them 3rd overall.

In Sportsboats, FAB finished 1st in Race 2 and 4th in Race 3. Serendipity placed 2nd in Race 2 and won Race 3. Red Herring II finished 3rd in Race 2 and 2nd in Race 3. Serendipity, with a win in Race 1, took overall honours with Red Herring II 2nd and FAB 3rd.

Baring Asia 2 added two bullets to its tally to take a clean sweep of the J-80 class overall. Eliza Yeung’s Jelik 7 scored two 2nds but, with an RTD in Race 1, tied on eight points with Alex Chan’s Jive but still finished 2nd overall on countback.

In HKPN A, Bits & Pieces took line honours in Race 2, finishing 3rd on handicap. Temujin finished 1st on corrected with No One Else beating Bits & Pieces by 16 seconds for 2nd. In Race 3, Athena took line honours and 3rd on corrected with No One Else 1st and Bits & Pieces 2nd. With 1st place in Race 1, No One Else won overall. Temujin and Bits & Pieces tied on 10 points each with countback favouring Temujin for 2nd.

Generations won line honours in both HKPN B races finishing 2nd in Race 2 and 1st in Race 3 on handicap. A 2nd place in Race 1 gave it the overall title. Foxzhead won Race 2 and finished 2nd in Race 3 on handicap to claim 2nd overall. DEA II finished strongly with two 3rd places but a 6th in Race 1 meant it lost out to La Vida Loca for 3rd overall.

Although not ideal, the race management team did a good job to overcome the challenges they faced and complete the two races. Hopefully lessons will have been learnt to avoid any repetition.

The Garden Bar was relatively quiet as prize-givings are still not allowed but the sponsored Carlsberg beer helped contribute to a memorable regatta.

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