The results of penultimate Race Day in Hebe Haven’s Quest Yachting Summer Saturday Series 2012 on July 28 has kept the title open in four of the five class divisions. This sets up an enticing day of racing when the regatta resumes on the second weekend in August.
Another outstanding performance in Races 9 and 10 on the weekend by Zephyr—with a double first – has all but sealed this year’s title in the Dragon Class.
Meanwhile, Kiasu, who took double line honours in the HKPN Division, and Impala I, who won both IRC races on corrected time, also performed notably. Honours were shared by R2B2 and Merlin in the SMS Sportsboats races, with Mei Fei winning second spot in each race. IRC competitors Barnstormer and Stella both excelled, sharing line honours in Race 9 and Race 10, respectively.
Tim Somerville, stand-in skipper on R2B2, was happy with his day.
“Fantastic, after the weather we have had over this past week,” Somerville told The Epoch Times. “It was good to see the Typhoon clear and some really good racing and good fun. We had a first and a third today. I was just taking the boat out for the owner [Dion Horton] who is in Europe. It was a little bit lighter in the first race, but it was consistent breeze with not too many wind shifts.
“Come off the start line, bang a left hand corner and go to the top Mark. It was a pretty simple racecourse actually. I was quite happy with the windward marks; it means more overtaking lanes and overtaking moves. It’s a lot more tactical than triangles,” he enthused.
Nine Dragon class boats completed the first start with no problem, but when it came to the remaining 28 boats, there was such a crush near the Committee Boat that many of the yachts were forced over the line prematurely. Many boats made false starts and a general recall was ordered. The race was restarted five minutes later without incident.
Skipper Roland Buser, along with crew members Russell Bennett and Garry Jessop of Stella, explained the ups and downs of their day to The Epoch Times.
“We had drama and then victory—you can’t get better than that!” they remarked. “We got squeezed upwind at the start of the first race on the starboard side. They had right of way, but went straight through our spinnaker and we could not do anything about it. They should have borne away to avoid collision. We couldn’t move; we had someone on our port side. Anyway that is racing.
“We had to use the smaller spinnaker, the A2, but it was good, it worked quite well. We had a very good drop start and we crossed the line in the first three. We had clean hoists and our drops were clinical and well timed—good team work,” they added.
Rhapsody, who did not finish Race 9, took 38 minutes longer than any other boat in her class and almost twice the time of the winner to complete Race 10. There was much discussion on the Committee boats at to whether she was going to finish before the 6.00 pm cut-off time—but her timing was perfect!
With only one race day to go, Race 11 and Race 12 (designated a re-run for the cancelled Race 4), overall standings are becoming very significant. Final positions will not be known until after calculations on the final day. If two races take place on Race Day 6, two discards will be allowed by each boat, but if only one race takes place, only one discard will be possible—this decision may change some final positions. A ccording to the rules, no discards are allowed for up to nine races in this competition and since Race 4 was cancelled, only nine races have taken place so far. Two races on the final day will bring this total to 11.
Impala I did not compete (DNC) in two races and could save 24 points if two discards are allowed, this compares with Taxi (8 points) and Moll (12 points). If two races take place on Race Day 6 it looks like Impala boats (Taxi, Moll and Impala I) are likely to take the first three places in IRC division. Some will say: “We are not surprised!”
In the SMS Division, Merlin and R2B2 will fight it out for the top spot, but it is all to play for third position between Good Vibrations, Northern Lights (NL) and Phoenix.
Zephyr looks in an uncatchable position in the Dragon Division, but with a number of boats having two DNC’s (equivalent to 22 points), positions two and three will still be strongly contested between Eaux Vives, Moonraker II, Kamloong and possibly Mei Fei.
With discards, the final placings in HKPN Division could be closely contested between Tara, Kiasu and X-Terminator.
It all adds up to an exciting day of racing on Saturday Aug 11.
Next weekend: There will be two days of racing (Saturday Aug 4 and Sunday Aug 5) in the Hebe Haven Nautica Typhoon Series 2012 when boats compete in the Mirs Bay Passage race on Saturday with the Return Race on Sunday.
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