Squally Start to Typhoon Series

By Bill Cox, Epoch Times
June 14, 2012 Updated: October 1, 2015
'Red Kite II' (far right with sail number 2093)
'Red Kite II' (far right with sail number 2093) won line honours and IRC-C Division's first place on corrected time in the first race of Hebe Haven Yacht Club's Nautica Typhoon Series 2012 on Sunday June 10. She followed 'Barnstormer' (2023) through the start line, with 'Vixen' (1378) in third. (Bill Cox/The Epoch Times)

Hebe Haven Yacht Club’s Nautica Typhoon Series 2012 got off to a good start in quite difficult yachting conditions, ranging from sunshine and light breeze to rain and squally showers. While some incidental controversies unfolded, it was the trying weather that tested the competence of competitors over the island course.

As Paul Bayfield from Red Kite II put it: “Today we had everything. It rained at the start, but then we did not have any rain for the rest of the race. You know what they say? ‘It doesn’t rain on a sail boat, but from time to time you get wet!’

“Plenty of breeze. Some squalls. We only got wet once. It was a good day. Different winds—so it gave everyone a chance. If you were at the right place at the right time everything worked,” Bayfield told The Epoch Times.

A total of 56 boats took part on Sunday (June 10) across the eight divisions: IRC-B with 10 entrants, IRC-C (13), IRC-D (5), SMS (12), J80 (4), HKPN (11), while IRC-A and Multihull Divisions had only one competitor in this race–Tornado 2 and Tempt Fate, respectively–as many of the larger boats were away due to the Taiwan Strait Race and Koh Samui Regatta. But, according to the official entry list, only Surfdude, which took part in the Taiwan Strait Race, was missing.

The island course was set to challenge the sailors in the changing conditions–22 nm for IRC-A & B and 17 nm for all other divisions.

There was a great deal of controversy at the start of the race with many captains complaining that no Leeward Mark had been set. Hebe Haven Yacht Club (HHYC) Race Officer, Vice Commodore Mark Newman, explained that a Leeward Mark is not mandatory and with the varying wind, had he tried to set them, he would never have gotten the race started.

A second incident occurred late in the race when it was noticed that two boats had the same sail numbers, but after some persistent talking by Race Officer Mark Newman to the skipper of Jazz (J80 Division), it was agreed that her number should have been 220 not 221 as displayed.

Red Kite II (IRC-C Division) was first home around the shorter course with a time of 2:19:42, followed by Black Magic (SMS Division), Vixen (IRC-C) and Whiskey Jack (IRC-C). The fastest elapsed time for the longer course was achieved by Ambush (IRC-B) in 2:49:54, about one minute ahead of Minnie the Moocher (who was actually placed first on corrected time). Then there was quite a gap to Stella, the next home at 3:08:38.

Duel for Line Honours

Red Kite II‘s spokesman Paul Bayfield discussed their IRC-C victory and their duel against second across the line Vixen–the overall winner in HHYC Jeanneau Spring Saturday Series 2012.

“It was a bit of a struggle from time to time with changing conditions, shifting winds with big gusts at times, which we mostly did okay with,” said Bayfield.

“We had a fight against Vixen, which is an X35 [model]. Upwind they are a good boat and downwind, one time, because they had a symmetrical kite [sail-type], they did better than us. But after that, we beat them tactically so we finished up crossing the line first.

“A boat like Red Kite II has a very good handicap and a lot of guys around Hong Kong hate the boat because it has such a good handicap. But in the last 18 months or so, the key for us is to win on the water, then it’s no discussion about handicaps. Mind you, it still does not stop people talking about it, and that is good,” explained Bayfield.

“We had a brilliant start. We were at the right point in the line and the only boat that did better, briefly, was Barnstormer–the 40–just happened to be at the right spot, but we were at that end as well so we were round within a few minutes.

“We had a few exciting moments—a couple of broaches just before the end between [course markers] Trio and Table we had a kite up and a few gusts came through, and we were semi-broached [boat veered to windward], that was pretty exciting. Just before that, when we went from Bluff to Trio and had a duel against Vixen. They were one side and we were the other; we had this duel at a distance and we finished up ahead of them on the tacking duel. That was pretty exciting.”

Sandra, one of the owners of Minnie the Moocher explained: “The race was excellent. We had a good long course and it suited Minnie very well. We had good wind speed and it was her day. We loved it, it was great. Excellent start for the series; we are really happy.

“It’s always very exciting in the gusts, but we held on and we all sailed well, it was well worth it—an excellent day. Minnie performed well, the crew performed well, good teamwork, good crew work so we can’t complain,” said Sandra.

(The Epoch Times)

Next week, the other Hebe Haven Yacht Club concurrently running regatta, the Quest Yachting Summer Saturday Series 2012, resumes in its second race day.

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