Autumn Regatta 2019

In 1849, the first club-organised regatta in Hong Kong took place in Victoria Harbour. 170 years later, the harbour is still a hive of sailing activity as the Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club raised the curtain on yet another season with its annual ‘opening’ event – the Autumn Regatta.

Held over the weekend of the 7th and 8th of September 2019, and open to all Hong Kong’s keelboat sailors, the regatta attracted 76 boats and more than 300 sailors hailing from seven one-design classes as well as the Big Boats.
 
Race officer, Barry Truhol, certainly had his work cut out for him over the weekend which comprised of one race on Saturday and two on Sunday.

Saturday’s race was dubbed the 170th Anniversary Hong Kong Harbour Charity Race and this was in a pursuit race format. Racing started in picture-perfect conditions with 11 to 12 knots of breeze. In all, there were 24 separate starts, staggered from the slowest to the fastest boats. Later, the wind died to 2 knots, resulting in a park up of the fleet at Kowloon Bay.

Day 2 brought typical ‘September weather’ for the second day of the regatta – hot and sunny in the morning with a downpour around midday to help sailors cool down.



The wind forecast had been grim at first but the RO found a south-easterly breeze of between 5 to 7 knots off Hung Hom. Most divisions were sent on Course 322 which entailed sailing upwind to Tai Koo Shing and then back to the finish off Hung Hom. The Big Boats Division 1 were given a slightly longer course; sailing to Tai Koo Shing, Eastern Harbour Mark 1, returning to Tai Koo Shing and finishing at Hung Hom. With the wind speed increasing gradually to around 12 knots, most of the boats finished the race happily in pretty good breeze.

Truhol decided to start Race 3 right after all the bigger boats returned. Big Boats Division 1 started at 1205 and were given a course that meant sailing further to Shau Kei Wan and back to Hung Hom for three laps. Big Boats Division 2 and the Etchells were set to sail three rounds between Tai Koo Shing and Hung Hom;  Big Boats Divisions 3, Dragons and Pandoras were set to sail upwind to Shau Kei Wan, Eastern Harbour Mark 2, back to Shau Kei Wan and down to Hung Hom for finish, while the J-80s, Impalas and Flying Fifteens were set to sail between Shau Kei Wan and Hung Hom for two rounds.

However, the rain poured down at 1240, just before the Dragons started and the wind direction swung around so the Pandoras ended up with a downwind start. Although the rain stopped fairly quickly, it killed all the breeze and the boats stopped dead in their tracks. Truhol decided to shorten Big Boats Division 1 at Dock mark at 1413 for the third rounding, and abandoned the rest of the classes at 1424.

Sailors enjoyed a prizegiving back at Kellett Island where they expressed their gratitude for the support of sponsors Kuehne & Nagel, Solaris Yachts and Peroni at this year’s event.

Provisional results are available at http://bit.ly/2lHW0cc

Photos RHKYC / Guy Nowell

 
 
 
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