Hong Kong—Races 7 and 8 of the Hebe Haven Yacht Club’s Jeanneau Spring Saturday Series took place last Saturday April 25 with a fleet of 31 boats. Eight IRC, eight HKPN and 13 Dragon Class boats registered for the afternoon’s racing in fine weather with a gentle 5kt to 8kt breeze, sufficient to get the spinnakers bulging and the boats moving at a steady manageable speed.
In the IRC Division, Joachim Isler and Drew Taylor brought their new Mills 41 “Ambush” to race against Simon Blore’s “Mojito” (J111), Xiaoyang Kang’s “Lighthorse” (Beneteau First 50) and Jamie McWilliam’s “Signal 8” (Kerr 40) and other competitors including “Stella” (Sydney 38), “Outrageous” (Dubois 43), “Ymir” (Jeanneau Sun Fast 3600) and “Goddess” (Beneteau First 34.7).
An assortment of boats also took part in the HKPN races: “Jazz” and “Jive” (J80), “Ricochet” (GP26), “Applause” (Tripp 33), “Ichiban” (Beneteau First 40.5), “Tara” (Farr 36), “DEA II” (30ft Sloop) and “Lazy Piggy” (Beneteau First 23.5).
The large fleet of Dragon Class boats all built to the same specification, produced competitive racing that added to the afternoon’s enjoyment.
Leading ISAF Trainer, Rob Lamb was on one of his regular training visits to Hong Kong joined the racing keeping an eye on race proceedings and making suggestions where he thought improvements or easier methods could be adopted. As a result, there were a larger number of race assistants than usual on the Committee Boat under the command of Race Officer of the Day, Rob Allen.
The first race of the day (race 7 of the series) was started at the planned time of 2.30 pm. Three starts were used, one for each race division (IRC, HKPN and Dragon) all completing the same windward, Leeward sausage course except IRC boats did three circuits and the other divisions completed two.
There was competitive racing on the water in each category but it was “Ambush” that showed the turn of speed to take line honours in each of the two races in the IRC Division. “Ambush” had sufficient winning margin in race-7 to take first place on corrected time followed by “Mojito” 2nd and “Lighthorse” 3rd. In the second Race, “Signal 8” came to the fore on corrected time while “Mojito” came 2nd “Ambush” took 3rd.
In the HKPN Races, “Applause” took line honours and first place on corrected time in both races. In race 7, “DEA II” came 2nd and “Ricochet” was 3rd. “DEA II” struggled in race 8 finishing in 7th place, while “Ricochet” improved to take 2nd position and Justin Shave in Jazz took 3rd.
The Series has been a bit disrupted as races 1 and 2 were cancelled for lack of wind and many boats have only taken part on selected dates. Regular competitors “Mojito”, “Lighthorse”, “Outrageous”, “Goddess” (in IRC) and “Applause”, “DEA II”, “Tara”, “Jazz”, “Jive” and “X-Terminator” (in HKPN) have all logged good results. “Mojito” leads IRC Division, followed by “Lighthorse” and “Outrageous”; while in the HKPN Division “Applause” is in the lead, with “DEA II” lying 2nd and “Tara” is in 3rd place (however if “Jazz” competes in race 9 and 10, with 1-discard could move into the prizes).