Waglan Series 1

Conditions had stabilised for the first race of the Waglan Series 2020-21, held on Sunday, the 4th of October 2020, after a blustery week. Race officer, Alex Johnston, setting up the start line at the mouth of Repulse Bay for the Island Race, was relieved to find conditions stronger than expected. There an 8- to 9-knot east-southeasterly was prevailing.

Eleven of the 12 boats entered in divisions IRC 1 and 2 in the Series set off, in a combined start, on the gun at 1100, with Jarrah in IRC 1 the only absentee. Daydream in IRC 1 and Arcturus in IRC 2 led the fleet heading for the Tai Tam Club Mark, on Course #18 A, with no windward mark set and the Chesterman Buoy eliminated on both the outward and inward legs. Jinn (IRC 1) and Ding Dong (IRC 2) brought up the rear.

Seven boats in HKPN A and B followed five minutes later. Shun Shui and the J-80, JeNa PaBe, on Course #18B, also headed for the Tai Tam Club Mark to be taken to starboard. Boss brought up the rear.

The majority of boats passed well clear of the Tai Tam mark whilst Jinn passed relatively close. The IRC fleet then continued on their 16-nautical-mile race to Fury Rocks (p), Sung Kong (s), returning via Castle Rock (s) and into the finish off Round Island.

Meanwhile the HKPN fleet, having passed the Tai Tam mark (s) then headed for Beaufort Island (s) Castle Rock (s) and back to Round Island, a distance of approximately 12 nautical miles.

It was not long before the first spinnakers appeared approaching and passing Castle Rock. The breeze had eased to 3-5 knots where they found themselves fighting the ebbing spring tide after the recent Moon Festival.

First back after nearly 2.5 hours was JeNa PaBe followed by Jibulai, which claimed handicap honours. JeNe PaBe finished 2nd with Generations 3rd.

Boss was the first of the four HKPN B boats to finish after three hours, but slipped to 2nd on handicap. Shun Shui took handicap honours with Five-O-One 3rd. Under white sails only, without a spinnaker, White Crane brought up the rear, finishing 4th in the division after four hours and sixteen minutes.

Neo One crossed the finish line first in IRC 1 but was relegated to 3rd on handicap. It was a close finish between Jinn and Juggerknot. Juggerknot gybed just before the line and lost time. Jinn finished 22 seconds ahead and claimed handicap honours. Juggerknot placed 2nd.

Red Kite II comfortably led the five IRC 2 boats home, to take both line and handicap honours. Wicked finished 2nd but was relegated to 4th on corrected with Ding Dong 2nd and Arcturus 3rd. Zesst placed 5th, while Sea Wings, the penultimate boat to finish, placed 6th after an elapsed time of four hours, six minutes and 31 seconds.

Covid-19 restrictions again meant there was no awards presentation, but the race officials at the Aberdeen Boat Club were pleased to have the first race completed in the 12-race series.

The second Island Race in the Waglan Series 2020-21 will be held on Sunday, the 25th of October 2020, with the final race, if all goes to plan, on the 28th of March 2021.

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