It was not much like typhoon weather in Port Shelter for Race 9 of the Hebe Haven Yacht Club Nautica Typhoon Series 2012. Following this, the penultimate race in the series, IRC-A and J80 Division series winners are decided; IRC-B has a slim chance that the leader may change; while, the title for the other four divisions is still open.
On a nearly cloudless summer’s day, there was enough breeze to start the race and slightly stronger winds further out to sea. As this was an Island course, conditions were, in fact, rather pleasant for most of the race, although competitors complained of the heat and the very slight wind at the finish line.
Race 9 was unusual in that—except for HKPN Division—all boats that won line honors also won their respective races on calculated time. In HKPN Division Kiasu again took line honors, but finished second to Dexter I on calculated time.
FreeFire continued her dominant form, finishing the race 45 minutes ahead of Surfdude, with Tornado another seven minutes later. FreeFire has already sealed the trophy for this division. But, Surfdude and Tornado 2 both have 15 points, so it will be a fight for second place in the last race of the series.
By winning Race 9, Electra closed the gap a little on her competitors, but Ambush and Sell Side Dream kept up the pressure by finishing second and third, respectively.
EFG Bank Mandrake has the divisional title in her pocket in the 13-boat field failing a disaster in the final race. Ambush has a good chance of retaining second place, but there will be heavy competition for third place from Sell Side Dream, Minnie the Moocher and Electra.
After a good win this week, Dexter II is within one point of Red Kite II in first place; but, because of early races count back, she will need to win by two clear points in the last race to secure the series title. Meanwhile, Gambit, Vixen and St Happens will contest third place.
Walder Ip of Dexter II said that he is expecting a hard race next week.
“I think it will be a very short race, but it will still be very competitive,” he told The Epoch Times.
Impala I won, with Taxi second and Moll third. Taxi and Boss Hogg are now tied on 11 points and leading the series going into the last race. After this week’s win, Impala I on 16 points is still in striking distance should either of the top two falter.
Fly By Wire won, followed by Merlin and R2B2 with Ricochet in fourth position. Fly By Wire on 10 points has a five point lead over Merlin (the winner of the Quest Summer Saturday Series 2012) and Sidewinder is another four points further back.
Fly By Wire should clinch this Sportsboats’ title if she continues to perform as she has throughout the series so far. But, this is a large division with 14 entries, so she is not home and dry yet. Second and third spots should go to Merlin and Sidewinder, but we will have to wait until next week’s race to find out who gets second spot.
It is still conceivable that Black Magic, currently on 32 points, could pick up some of the spoils, but it is a bit unlikely.
Hakawati finished first in this race, her third win in succession.
Ikiko of Hakawati said that despite already winning the series in the division, they will still compete next week.
“I think we have won the series, but of course we are going to race next week. It wouldn’t be fun if we didn’t,” she told The Epoch Times.
“Individually, one or two of us have sailed a couple of times before, but it is the first time we have all sailed together. So, with new crew and some people that have not been on a boat before, I think it is really good.”
Ikiko said there is no key person aboard. “Everybody smiles all around the course and it is all teamwork,” she added.
Hakawati may have claimed the series title, but second and third spots will be strongly contested by Jive (currently in second place), J Qi and Jazz. J Qi has not taken part in any of the last three races, but all those she has started, she has won. If she races in the last race, she could finish as high as second place overall.
Dexter I, Kiasu and Spaceship finished Race 9 in first, second and third, respectively, with Kiasu again taking line honors. Although Pepper & Salt is currently in first place, the points are extremely close between her, Eclipse, Kiasu and Jil Jik who are all within a five point band.
“Today, it was really good. In the morning there was no wind, but after the sunshine the wind picked up; for our boat and the race, it is good for today,” Yeung said.
Next weekend: A geometric course will be set for the final race of the Hebe Haven Nautica Typhoon Series 2012, which will be held on Saturday Aug 25.
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