Memorial Vase

Sixty-five boats turned out on Saturday, the 7th of January 2023, to compete in the One Global HKRNVR Memorial Vase. Organised by Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club, the race forms part of the Top Dog Trophy Series which combines the season’s pursuit races to crown the winning helm or ‘Top Dog’ for the year.

The HKRNVR Memorial Vase is held in honour of the Hong Kong Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve (HKRNVR), formed by members of the Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club. The trophy was gifted in memory of all HKRNVR amateur sailors who engaged in regular patrol duties around the waters of Hong Kong to help ensure its security. The Deed of Gift contains the proviso that the race should take competitors into those waters once patrolled by the HKRNVR.

The day began with 8 knots of easterly breeze at the start line area of Hung Hom. Race officer, Gareth Williams, opted for a course of 8.1 nautical miles, sending the fleet upwind through Lei Yue Mun, rounding TCS4, before returning to the eastern end of Hong Kong’s Victoria Harbour, to satisfy the requirement of the HKRNVR Deed of Gift.

The objective of a pursuit race is to start the fastest boats last and then watch them catch the slower fleets. By the time the last two yachts – both TP52s – had started, the first boat, Solstice (a Pandora), was making its way around the top mark at TCS4. The wind softened to 2 knots at the Junk Bay area, concentrating the gap between the fleet but, after 20 minutes, filled in again sending the fleet downwind into the harbour. Given the light conditions, Williams elected to shorten the course at Kowloon Bay.

Congratulations go to Mike Burrell and his crew aboard Impala 1 who chased down the leading group of Pandoras and Ruffians on the return leg to finish 1st.  Ruffian, Victory 9, finished only 17 seconds behind to take 2nd place and Flying Fifteen, French Fries, took 3rd.

The race was followed by the long-awaited return to a prize-giving (an all-important element of the regatta which has suffered a long hiatus due to Covid restrictions).  Supported by title sponsor One Global and partner Peroni, Gareth Williams presented the top three prizes to Mike Burrell, Wan Kit Kot and Jun Komatsu. The prizes for 1st Big Boat, 1st Inshore Keelboat and 1st Day Boat went to Capitano, Taxi and Kerfuffle respectively.

The One Global HKRNVR Memorial Vase is the third constituent event of the Top Dog Trophy Series, with the final winner being determined after the One Global Tomes Cup on the 29th of April 2023.

                                                                                                                                        – photos by Guy Nowell / RHKYC

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