At the half-way mark of the Hebe Haven Yacht Club’s current Hong Kong racing series the leaders in the two respective classes, Vixen and Kyte, still need good performances to win the titles.
Day 2 of the 4-day, 8-race Jebsen Wines title sponsored HHYC Winter Saturday Series 2012 was completed on Nov 26 in calm waters with a light north to north-easterly breeze. Rather murky conditions with occasional drizzly rain was not the most wonderful of sailing conditions. The course for both races was straight up and down wind sausage—with two windward markers, the longer one for IRC and the shorter one for HKPN.
Four races remain—with four races successfully held and two races planned for each of the remaining two race days on Dec 1 and Dec 15—and there are still plenty of opportunities for new leaders to emerge.
Peter McCaffery’s X-35, Vixen, is leading the IRC category on seven points, with one win and three second places; Jim Daly’s DP26, Stingray is lying in second place on 13 points after three third places and a fourth place; and RB, a Holland 37, is in third place on 20 points.
In the HKPN Class Jeanneau Selection 37, Kyte, skippered by Laurent Benhacine, is leading with 11 points; Jive, Eliza Yeung’s Chartered J80, is lying in second place on 15 points; and Toby Jenkyn-Jones’s B32, Bits & Pieces is third on 17 points.
But all could change in both categories as two discards are allowed if seven or eight races are completed and this could open opportunities for a number of other competitors. For instance, in the IRC category, Peninsula Signal 8 won both races on Day 1, but missed Race Day 2—the Ker 40 could come back to compete for the series title.
Likewise, Stella, a Sydney 38, is in a similar position claiming second and first place in races 3 and 4, respectively.
Ichiban, with her high HKPN handicap, showed good capability in races 3 and 4, with a first and second place, and could be a contender in final HKPN results if she competes in the remaining four races.
Bits & Pieces had a poor Race Day 2 by her standards, but she has a low HKPN handicap and was further slowed as she was light on crew—she tried sailing x-Spinnaker, but still finished Race 4 in fifth place.
Steve Bourne’s Magic 25 Sports Boat, Merlin—a frequent winner in her class—will have her work cut out to get near the leading positions due to a difficult HKPN handicap. However, skipper Bourne stormed away from the field in Race 4 to claim Line Honours and first on corrected time, finishing some five minutes ahead of second placed Ichiban.
With the series coming to a climax, many eyes will be on Race Day 3 and 4.
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