Taxi, Merlin, Tara and Zephyr were series winners in their respective divisions as the Hebe Haven Yacht Club Quest Summer Saturday Series for 2012 drew to a close on the weekend.
A record total of 50 boats entered the series this year and 34 boats took to the water on Saturday Aug 11 for the last races of the series.
Two races were completed, Races 11 and 12, although the second race was shortened to one lap as the wind was rather weak. For similar reason, it was also decided not to have a re-sail race for Race 4, which was cancelled on Race Day 2.
In IRC Division Barnstormer took line honors in Race 11, but it was Taxi, Impala I and Barnstormer first, second and third on calculated time.
In Race 12, Ricochet took line honors and first place, followed by Barnstormer and Bits & Pieces.
However, as expected, with 11 races completed, Taxi had ample spare points to retain the top spot in the series. After discarding two results, Impala I jumped up to second place, while Moll held on to third place just ahead of Ricochet.
Although Bits & Pieces, Barnstormer, Ricochet and, early on in the series, Wild at Heart frequently crossed the line ahead of the Impala boats, because of their seemingly generous IRC Rating, it was Impala’s one, two and three in the overall series.
“In the last race today, the wind dropped a lot so the Impala class boats were a bit lacking of wind, to get any favor. But overall, this series is pretty good,” Walder Ip of Taxi told The Epoch Times.
Ricochet’s owner Julie MacKenzie was very pleased with their racing in this last day of the series.
“We were only just behind Barnstormer in the first race and took first place, and line honors in the second,” MacKenzie told The Epoch Times.
“I have one of the best tacticians in Hong Kong in Japanese sailor, Tets Sakai—his only job is doing tactics. I have an ace foredeck; one of the guys that has been in the 49er Worlds, sailing trim and he will be with us for the rest of the season. Also, some long-time sailors have been with me for a couple of years so we had an absolutely ace team today.
“The main thing was on tactics [in Race 12] because the wind was shifting so the tactics were everything and there was a massive wind shift on the second [down-wind] leg, and we just seemed to be in the right place. We had a good spinnaker trim and we overtook basically the whole fleet. We were just in the right place. It is very unusual for this to happen, but we overtook the whole fleet, got down to the bottom mark and then onto the finish as it was a shortened course,” she enthused.
For the SMS Sportsboats, Fly By Wire did the double, with R2B2 and Merlin coming second and third in each of the races.
Although being pushed into third place for these races, with five points in their favor at the start, Merlin won the series overall, with R2B2 second and Phoenix in third place.
Fly By Wire had excellent results for the last four races, coming first or second in each race, but because she did not compete in the earlier races, she ended up in seventh place. But wonderful sailing when she did take part.
Merlin did particularly well in winning five of the 11 races, but she was often hard pressed by R2B2.
“It was not my series, my daughter [Jade] sailed 50 per cent of the races. She did not always do the difficult bits, but as a beginner she has done exceptionally well,” Steve Bourne of Merlin told The Epoch Times.
“We got beaten by two boats twice today and it was very tight in the series. You did not know where the wind was coming from—it was all over the place and incredibly difficult sailing conditions, and because of that it was a tight finish in the series. Dion [Houghton of R2B2] was doing really well and he beat us in both races so there was only 3 points between us,” he explained.
Bourne went on to sum up the series.
“Fantastic racing. Fantastic sponsor. Because the sponsors really make it and we would not be here if we did not have such good sponsors. So a big thank you to them,” Bourne said.
HKPN Division was the largest division with 18 boats entered. Hakawati, Jive and Epekwit were the first three home in Race 11, with Epekwit taking line honors. In Race 12, the provisional order on calculated time is Hakawati, Epekwit and J Chi, with J Chi taking line honors.
Tara won the series on 33 points, with Jive (Eliza Yeung) second and Kiasu third.
Three boats finished on 36 points, Jive, Kiasu and X-Terminator, and final placing was decided on the better performances in the early races as set out in the ISAF Racing Rules of Sailing.
Kiasu did particularly well throughout the series by taking line honors five times.
In the final races for Dragon Division, Kamaloong, Mei Fei, Zephyr finished first, second and third, respectively, in Race 11. Mei Fei, Eaux Vives, Moonraker II were the respective top three in Race 12.
Zephyr won the series with brilliantly consistent sailing, achieving four wins out of nine races, Eau Vives was second and Moonraker II was third. Dragons competed in only nine races as no boats turned out on Race Day 3 so no discards were allowed.
Dragon boats have had the opportunity to see how they measure up against the bigger competitors throughout the series and, in fact, they have shown themselves to be very good competitors—particularly in the light winds of this week’s racing where they were some of the quickest boats on the water.
Overall, it has been a most enjoyable series. Conditions have generally been good for sailing except for Race Day 3 when the weather was rough and blustery.
Next weekend: An island course will be set when the Hebe Haven Nautica Typhoon Series 2012 holds its penultimate race day on Sunday Aug 19.
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