The Island Race put the 62 entrants through a test in the fourth race of the planned 10-race Hebe Haven, Nautica Typhoon Series 2012 on Sunday July 8.
With sunny weather and a fair breeze, racing was good for most of the afternoon; although, towards the end of the race, clouds and rain showers drifted in, producing some variable sailing conditions.
All four divisional starts were accomplished smoothly and all boats set off on the same route up to the Second Mark (Table Island).
IRC A and B Divisions completed the full 20-mile island course, while IRC Division C and SMS Sportsboats cut across directly from Bluff Island to Steep Island instead of negotiating the Table Island to North Ninepin Island leg. IRC Division D, HKPN, J80’s and the sole multihull, Tempt Fate, did an even shorter course by omitting the initial East Ninepin Island leg.
Free Fire is now showing her dominance in IRC-A Division by finishing 1 hour and 20 minutes ahead of second place boat Surfdude, with Tornado 2 coming in third. Even on corrected time, Free Fire was still an hour ahead of her nearest rival.
“It’s a lovely boat and very, very fast. We enjoyed it; we had a good sail and it was a nice course. The wind was great,” Russ Parker of Free Fire told The Epoch Times.
In the IRC-B Division, Elektra crossed the line first ahead of Ambush and EFG Bank Mandrake, but the order on corrected time was EFG Bank Mandrake, Elektra, Ambush. Although she did not take part in Race 1, EFG Bank Mandrake has now won the last three races, so she is building up a good position.
Peter Austin of Mandrake explained how they recovered from an early tactical mistake.
“We had a really bad first half of the race. We went the wrong side of the beat upwind, but we learnt from our mistake and managed to pull it back with some good crew work,” Austin told The Epoch Times
“It was quite a long course for us today. We came to Table and then had to go back out to Nine Pin, but it benefitted us, otherwise I don’t think we would have done so well. We made a lot of our gains in the latter half of the race. So it was good for us today.”
In IRC-C Division, although Vixen took line honours, she was placed fourth on corrected time behind Whiskey Jack, Dexter II and Red Kite II.
The final order for IRC-D Division race was Taxi followed by Boss Hogg, Impala 1 and Moll.
There has been no change in IRC-A Division standings, while overall positions in Divisions B and C has changed only slightly; Electra has moved up one place to fourth in Division B; Taxi has moved into first place; and Moll has dropped back to third in Division D.
Scintilla continued her excellent performances by winning the HKPN Division Race ahead of GA, Kiasu and Eclipse. Scintilla now has an impressive overall lead with a total score of four points, with Pepper & Salt her nearest rival on 14 points. Eclipse has moved up a place to third position and Jil Jik has dropped to fourth.
For SMS Sportsboats, Merlin had another good day coming in ahead of Fly By Wire and R2B2. In the overall standings, Fly By Wire retains first place on eight points, Merlin moved up into second place with 12 points and then Black Magic, R2B2 and Sidewinder are all on 18 points.
Hakawati won the J80 Division and has moved up to take the lead position, pushing J Qi (who did not compete in Race 4) down to second place, while Jive (Eliza Yeung), Jazz (Frances Cheung) and Epekwit remain the next three in line.
Next week: Race Day Four of Six in the Hebe Haven Yacht Club’s Quest Yachting Summer Saturday Series 2012.
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