Competition Hots Up for Final Typhoon Series Race

Yachting—Typhoon Series
By Bill Cox
Bill Cox
Bill Cox
August 14, 2013 Updated: August 15, 2013

With one race to go in the Hebe Haven Yacht Club 2013 Typhoon Series the title is undecided in all divisions.

However, some skippers already have their hands on their division trophy and are just waiting to lift it, while some are hoping for a miracle to steal the win in their relative division.

IRC-A

“Signal 8” leads the IRC-A Typhoon series standing with 8-points (after three discards) followed by “Mandrake” on 10-points, “FreeFire” on 11-points, “Ambush” on 12-points and “Mojito” on 14-points. Any of these boats could win the series title, but to be realistic the current top three should be in the prizes.

Frank Pong’s, Reichel Pugh 75 “Jelik” sailed majestically to take line honours in Race-8 of the IRC-A Typhoon series, but was pushed into third place on calculated time by Sam Chan’s “Freefire”, who took first place and Jamie McWilliam’s “Signal 8” came second.

This year’s IRC-A division is much larger than last year, combining last year’s IRC-A and -B categories. “Freefire” won a small IRC-A division last year, while “Mandrake” won the IRC-B trophy ahead of “Ambush” and “Electra”. “Signal 8” is a newcomer to this series.

IRC-B

Failing a disaster in the final race, Anthony Root’s “Red Kite II”, who came second in Race-8, is set to win the IRC-B series trophy to repeat her performance in last year’s IRC-C division.

Currently on 6-points after three discards, “Red Kite II” is five points clear of “Vixen” (11-points) and seven points clear of “Whiskey Jack” (13), while this week’s winner Yun Lau’s “Gearbox” is lying fourth on 15-points.

“Gearbox” took line honours and won the Race-8 islands race on calculated time, followed by “Red Kite II”, with “Rampage” and “St Happens” taking third and fourth places respectively.

IRC-C

It feels like deja vu in the Impala class battle. “Impala I”, “Taxi” and “Boss Hogg”, who finished first, second and third, respectively, in last year’s Typhoon Series are set for a repeat this year.

After the two allowed discards “Impala I” is on 9-points, “Taxi” is on 12-points and “Boss Hogg” is on 16-points in the series standings. Mathematically, Taxi still has a chance to win the series, but it will need “Impala I” to have a bad day for this to happen.

“Taxi” took the winner’s pennant in IRC-C division Race-8, “Impala I” came second and “Boss Hogg” came third.

HKPN

Chalking up her fourth win in the HKPN division in the series, 30ft Sloop “Dea II” finished ahead of “Jive” (Cheuk Wai Ki) in second place and “JeNa PaBe” (Ben Chong) who came third in last Sunday’s race.

“Dea II” Skipper Bonnie Cheng was delighted with their win and praised her crew’s commitment.

“It is all about teamwork,” she told the Epoch Times after the race, “they are really dedicated.

“The new sailors, every weekend, all come back for practice and training for the Typhoon race. They are very good to do that and it’s good for team spirit.

“This time I really enjoyed the race and won the race and I am very happy now,” she added.

Cheng also said she is training two teams, a men’s team and a ladies team, for the China Sea Race in October. The two 12-person teams will race in Beneteau First 40.7 boats provided by the sponsor.

“It will be the first ‘lady team’ to take part in that race,” she explained.

After taking her two allowed discards “Dea II” (11-points) is 11 points clear of “JeNa PaBe” (22), the second placed boat, and she only has to finish the final race in a reasonable position to win the HKPN Typhoon trophy. “GA” (24), “Scintilla” (28) and “Ex Libris” (29) all still have a chance of being in the series prizes.

“Bits & Pieces” again took line honours in the HKP division race, but was in sixth position on calculated time.

Sports Boats

After a fine win in Race-8 of the Sports Boat division, in which Frank van Kempen helmed “Fly By Wire” to finish just ahead of Steve Bourne in “Merlin”, brings the two boats level on 12 points each after taking the two allowed discards.

After having a good lead over all the other boats throughout the series, Bourne seemed a bit disappointed at being caught by his old adversary “Fly By Wire” with just one race to go.

Talking with the Epoch Times soon after the race, Bourne explained his light-hearted view of the race.

“We were one point different going into today’s race and we got to a point where we had him two boats behind us and because he was losing in dismal failure, he jibed off and came out smelling of roses, as only Frank can.

“Just because he is Dutch Laser Champion it does not mean he is any good – just jammy,” Bourne added.

“We are now level [on points] and it will be match racing next weekend and we are going to take him to China before the start so that he cannot get a result,” said Bourne jokingly.

So it will be racing to the wire for the Typhoon Series Sports Boat title between these prominent competitors, while “R2B2” (17) will be fighting it out with “Catch 22” (19) for third place.

Next Event

The final race of the Hebe Haven Typhoon Series takes place this coming Saturday Aug 17.

Bill Cox
Bill Cox