Light craft given their chance in Typhoon
By BRUCE MACDONALD
A FLEET of about 40 yachts are expected to contest the first round of the annual Fosters Typhoon Series in the Port Shelter area today.
The seven-race series organised by the Hebe Haven Yacht Club features three divisions allowing a wide range of craft to compete on an equal footing.
This year the format will be Division A for cruiser/racers on Channel Handicap System (CHS); Division B on Portsmouth Yardstick (PYS); and Division C for boats with a PYS number of 100 or greater. Division C boats will sail a slightly shorter course.
The C division has been introduced to cater for a significant increase in interest among smaller craft owners.
Yachts expected to enter the series include X-Rated, Rick Strompf's 51-footer and winner of the recent Dunhill San Fernando Race, Jelik, Frank Pong's CHS-optimised Castro design, and Henry Kaye's Lethal Weapon, an X-119 which has had a new lease of life since modifications were made to her keel.
Other boats to watch are the Tripp 40 Beau Geste, the J35 Sky Song, X-412 Xiabu-Xiabu V and Excalibur, the X-99 raced by Jim Hobbs which recently won an X-99 championship series.
On the PYS handicap system, Gerry Daughton's Cuchulain is expected to be very competitive as is Shogun II sailed by Peter Goode, which did well in the San Fernando race.
One-class designs such as X-99s and Impalas, while competing in the main handicap divisions, will also be racing for their own ''in house'' one design trophies.
The series culminates with a race to Mirs Bay on August 28.
All of Hongkong's keen racers will be using the Typhoon events as a tune-up for the new China Coast Series set for late October which will feature six races culminating in the 150 nautical-mile Pedro Blanco Race.