Waglan 11

It was a grey and overcast morning on Sunday, the 21st of March 2021, as the Aberdeen Boat Club’s committee boat arrived between Round Island and Repulse Bay in preparation for Race 11 of the Waglan Series 2020-21. The breeze was oscillating between 25 and 90 degrees and varying from 5 to 11 knots.

Race officer of the day, Jennifer Li, the Aberdeen Boat Club’s sailing manager, opted for a windward mark at 50 degrees, at a distance of about 600 metres in the direction of the feng shui hole in The Repulse Bay apartment building.

At 1100, ably assisted with signals by Wong Tim Fuk, the ABC’s marine supervisor, Li got the combined 12-boat IRC 1 and IRC 2 Divisions off on Course 15A. Distance – 18.7 nautical miles.

The Dehler 42, Daydream, had a dream start with the J-111, Juggerknot, at the slightly biased pin end and led the fleet around the windward mark, before hoisting its orange kite and heading out of the bay for Chesterman Buoy. In hot pursuit came Redeye, Neo One and Juggerknot. Red Kite II, Arcturus and Ding Dong led the IRC 2 pack over the line.

Five minutes later, the breeze had eased for the start of the combined seven HKPN A and B Division yachts, sent on the shorter 14.2nm Course 15B. There the J-80, Mozzie, was well placed whilst the Beneteau Oceanis 43, Five-O-One, the Bavaria 34 cruiser, Shun Shui, and the Jeanneau Sun Odyssey 409, Boss, initially struggled to make it across the start line.

Fortunately, away from the land the breeze had strengthened to 11 knots . . . but not to the Force 4 & 5 forecast by the Observatory.

Having taken the Chesterman Buoy to port, the fleet headed for a port rounding of Castle Rock, followed by a starboard rounding of the Tai Tam Club Mark.

The reefed Redeye had taken the lead in IRC 1 at Castle Rock while the Jeanneau SunFast 3600,  Arcturus, led IRC 2 with the A35, Red Kite II, on its heels.

The big Oceanis 51.1, Legende II, led the HKPN A fleet followed by Mozzie (HKPN B) as they turned the corner at Castle Rock with Five-O-One bringing up the rear.

After rounding the Tai Tam Club Mark, the IRC yachts headed for channel marker TCS 2 where, after hoisting their kites, returned for a starboard rounding of Chesterman Buoy and into the finish off Round Island. Unfortunately, it was during this leg of the race that the Oceanis 45, Sea Wings, shredded its kite.

The Neo 400, Neo One, took line honours in IRC 1 in an elapsed time of 2:35:56 but was relegated to 4th on handicap. Redeye crossed 2nd to claim 3rd on handicap. Daydream inched out the X-55, Xena, at the line by six seconds to claim handicap honours. Xena slipped to 6th.

There was much celebration on board the SunFast 3600, Zesst, when it took the gun for line and handicap honours in IRC 2 with chants of “We are the champions” resonating from the rail. Red Kite II finished 12 seconds ahead of Arcturus for 2nd and 3rd respectively on handicap.

Meanwhile, the HKPN fleet, having taken the Tai Tam Club Mark to starboard, rounded Beaufort Island returning to the finish line off Round Island, after passing Castle Rock to port and rounding Chesterman Buoy to starboard.

Legende II, in HKPNA, was the first to exit the Po Toi Channel and first home in 2:27:25 to finish 2nd on handicap. The Oceanis 46, Jibulai, was briefly slowed when it sailed too close to Beaufort Island’s shoreline but still finished 1st on handicap. Generations claimed 3rd.

Mozzie led the HKPN B fleet at Castle Rock and continued to extend its lead to claim the daily double. Boss finished 2nd in both line and handicap placings. Five-O-One overhauled – but lost out to Shun Shui – for 3rd on handicap.

Once again, social distancing regulations prevented any prize-presentation so participants are looking forward to a bumper celebration once restrictions are eased.

Island Race 12 in the Waglan Series 2020-2021 will be held on Sunday, the 28th of March 2021, with re-sails of the windward / leeward Races 8 & 9 on Saturday, the 10th of April, and the Island Race 7 wrapping up the Series on Sunday, the 11th of April 2021.

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