Open Dinghy Regatta 2020

Day 1   It was somewhat overcast as the 150 boats and 188 sailors convened in Port Shelter on Saturday, the 31st of October, for the first day of racing in the Sun Hung Kai Scallywag Foundation Open Dinghy Regatta 2020.

The fleet comprised 10 single-handed and four double-handed classes, and was divided into four separate race areas.
However, by the time of the first warning signals, the sun had broken through and the sky had brightened.

Race Area 1 was located just outside Hebe Haven where Gregoire Bourrut Lacouture oversaw the Optimist Green Fleet comprising 29 novices. Initially, for familiarisation purposes, they were given two practice starts before embarking on four windward / leeward races. The first was quite ‘chaotic’ but by the end some 90% of the fleet were considered relatively capable.

At the end of the day, having won three races and finishing 2nd in Race 2, Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club’s Bram Ten Berge led the fleet with Hebe Haven Yacht Club’s Jonathan Zeppezauer 2nd and RHKYC’s Rosie Woolterton 3rd.

Barry Truhol was the race officer in Race Area 2, almost in the middle of Port Shelter, where the breeze was from 90 degrees blowing 12 knots gusting 15 to 17. First off, on schedule at noon, were five of the six 2.4mRs with Mark Houghton’s Truant playing truant for the first two of their three windward / leewards. The furthest windward mark was at 0.4nm at 90 degrees with the boats completing three laps for the first two races and two for the second. Virgile Bertrand scored three bullets with Yuen Wa Foo 2nd, both of Sailability, and RHKYC’s Greg Downes 3rd.

Two Laser Standards and six Laser Radials, in their first race, were joined by a seventh for Races 2 and 3, all on three laps of the long course. Hong Kong Sports Institute’s Ben Koppelaar won all three Laser Radial races with Stephanie Norton scoring three 2nds. Nicholas Bezy also won all three races in Laser Standard.

The Laser 4.7s, likewise, completed three races, comprising three laps of the shorter course, with the mark at 0.35nm. At the end of the day, Hong Kong Sailing Federation’s Adrian Mak led the 10-boat fleet, followed by Ryan Kan and HHYC’s Richard Tsui.

It took three attempts to get the 43 Optimists away on their first race with two general recalls of the over enthusiastic youngsters before a more disciplined start once the U flag was hoisted. The fleet comprised 26 in the Main fleet of which 13 were 12 & Under and two 10 & Under. A further 17 made up the Intermediate fleet. The Main fleet started with two laps of the long course whilst the Intermediates tackled two laps of the shorter course. With the breeze beginning to ease to 8 knots both divisions were given two laps of the shorter course for their final two races. RHKYC’s Emily Polson won all three races in the Main fleet and also led in 12 & Under category. Aberdeen Boat Club’s Cameron Law finished 2nd on the day with Seb Van Ommeren 3rd. After three races Chloe Kong  led the 10 & Under category. RHKYC’s Zhu Tongan led the Intermediate division with ABC’s Skyler Lam 2nd and RHKYC’s Louis Polson 3rd.

Race Area 3 was located in the vicinity of Cascade Bay where conditions were considered calmer and more consistent. Their race officer, Simon Jones, oversaw the nine RS Quests, five Laser Pico, three single-handed Hansa Liberty, four single-handed and 10 double-handed Hansa 303s. Their first race comprised two laps with the top mark at 0.7nm and, the next two, three laps with the mark at 0.6nm.

At the end of the day, with two bullets and a 2nd, HHYC’s Joe Chan and Michael Wong led the RS Quest Class with Nathan and Maxwell Turner 2nd and Ryan Ho and Tommy Wong of Sailability 3rd. Likewise, with two wins and a 2nd, HHYC’s Donovan Chow led the Laser Picos with Trevor Yim 2nd and Sze Ching Cheng 3rd. After three bullets, Chi Yeung Puk led the Hansa Liberty Class ahead of Wun Wa Leung and Paul Tyson. Leung Yuk Chun led the single-handed Hansa 303s with Wai On Fung 2nd and Chi Shing Tang 3rd. Three bullets for Joel Suarez and Leo Purdie of Sailability saw them lead the double-handed Hansa 303s.

Brenda Davies was the officer in charge of Race Area 4 catering for thirteen 29ers, six double-handed 420s and three Waszps. There, conditions were lumpier than elsewhere with the 15-knot breeze easing as the day progressed. The 29ers started with two laps of the windward / leeward course with the top mark at 0.78nm whilst the 420s and Waszps went out to 0.85nm. Their second and third races were reduced to two laps with the mark at 0.65nm. By the third race, only one Waszp was still flying and completed just one lap.

RHKYC’s Adam Neveux led the Waszps after the three races with Nicolai Jacobsen 2nd and Thibault Minne 3rd.
Three bullets for Duncan Gregor and Julia Jacobson saw them leading the 420 fleet ahead of Sorcha Whyte and Oriane Voets with Karise Li and Kyle Tam 3rd.

Pei Yip and Pasu Chu, with two bullets, led the 29er Class, while two boats ruled OCS in Race 2 resulted in a change in the provisional results. Douglas Leung and Chak Sum Lam were elevated to 2nd and Casey Law and Augustin Clot 3rd.

Overseeing the regatta was principal race officer, Inge Strompf, who, on the day, along with the sailors and officials, was blessed with good winds and fine weather. The few technical glitches, such as the missing, accidently-borrowed, gate buoy for Race Area 3, were resolved with racing expected to run even more like clockwork on Sunday, the final day.

Day 2   The flags at Hebe Haven Yacht Club were barely fluttering as the committee boats headed out into  Port Shelter on Sunday, the 1st of November, for the final day of racing in the Sun Hung Kai Scallywag Foundation Open Dinghy Regatta 2020.

The predicted 8 knots were indeed looking suspect as Barry Truhol, race officer for Race Area 2, ventured out in search of at least 5 knots to start racing, with the first warning signal scheduled at 1055.
A fickle easterly was blowing through the gap above Cascade Bay before swinging 50 degrees and settling in at a more constant 4.5 to 6 knots. Consequently, he set up a slightly shorter course, with the top windward mark at 3.5 nautical miles and the inner at 0.3 nautical miles at 140 degrees, with a slight pin-end bias to the line.

The postponement flag was briefly hoisted at 1050 to allow the pin boat to settle. Thereafter, they found themselves chasing the breeze which continued to build as the day progressed, stretching the courses to 0.35nm and 0.4nm for the inner marks and 0.4nm and 0.45nm for the outer top marks for Races 5 and 6 respectively.

First off were the six 2.4mRs on the first of three 3-lap races around the shorter courses. Virgile Bertrand added three further bullets for a clean sweep of the series. Foo Yuen Wai added two more 2nds and a 3rd for 2nd place. Two 3rds and a 4th for Mark Houghton saw him tied on the day with Greg Downes who placed 3rd in the series after the dropped race came into play.

Next off were the Laser Radial and Laser Standard Classes, also completing three 3-lap races but of the longer courses.

Just one Laser Standard returned for the final day of racing with Day 1’s leader, Nicholas Bezy, opting to sail a Laser Radial instead, leaving David Salembler with the series title. 

The eight Laser Radials again saw Ben Koppelaar add two more bullets to make five for the series and claim the title. Stephanie Norton had a mixed day but had done enough on Saturday to secure 2nd. Charles Robinson, with a 1-3-3, elevated himself into 3rd overall.

The 10 Laser 4.7s, returned to do battle over three 3-lap races of the shorter courses. HHYC’s Richard Tsui, after a poor start in Saturday’s Race 1, led the charge adding two bullets for a total of four and, with a 2nd in Race 5, comfortably claimed the series. Improved performances by Lucas Minne and Joshua Tse saw them finish 2nd and 3rd respectively.

The Optimist Main and Intermediate fleets were again given combined starts. The Intermediates were joined by an additional competitor and completed three 2-lap races over the shorter courses. Two wins and a 4th saw Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club’s Tongan Zhu claim the series victory. Dropping her 15th place in Saturday’s Race 1 allowed Hong Kong Sailing Federation’s Karen Leung to leapfrog into 2nd place, while Louis Polson was just able to hang on to 3rd place.

The Main fleet completed three 2-lap races of the longer courses where consistency paid off for RHKYC’s Emily Polson with a 3-1-2 to add to her three bullets from Day 1, giving her both the Main and 12 & Under category titles. Aberdeen Boat Club’s Cameron Law missed Race 5 but, winning both Race 4 and 6, finished 2ndin the series with Seb van Ommeren 3rd. Yijiang Nicholas Zhan finished 2nd in the 12 & Under category, with Jai Mutreja 3rd. Zihan Liu claimed 1st place, while Sienne Thiry overhauled Chloe Kong to claim 2nd in the 10 & Under title.

Race Area 1 was again located just outside Hebe Haven, where one additional sailor joined the Optimist Green Fleet.

Six, it would seem, had had enough after Day 1. The remaining 24 youngsters were given three races comprising a variety of triangular and triangular and sausage courses. On Day 2, various rules of racing were introduced, including 360 penalty turns for hitting the marks and collisions. At the end of the day, having won the three final races RHKYC’s Bram Ten Berge claimed the series with Jonathan Zeppezauer 2nd and Matthieu Tancock 3rd, both from HHYC.

Race officer Gregoire Bourrut Lacouture was greatly impressed with their improved performance and optimistic that a new group of Optimist sailors is ready to step up in the future. At the end of the day he was delighted to see so many smiling faces, making it all worthwhile for him and his team.

Simon Jones was again overseeing Race Area 3, where instructions were given in both English and Cantonese. They were again located in the vicinity of Cascade Bay where the breeze was initially coming through the gap before swinging right, resulting in the top mark being laid at 0.6nm, halfway towards Shelter Island, with the inner top mark at 0.5nm.

The first two races for the nine RS Quests involved two laps of the long course whilst the Laser Pico, the three single-handed Hansa Libertys, four single-handed and nine double-handed Hansa 303s did two of the short course, with the aim to complete races within 45 to 50 minutes. By Race 6, the breeze had already strengthened to 10 knots so that race was extended to three laps on the same courses as before.

Having retrieved their ‘borrowed’ gate buoy, they were able to at least provide some variety for the sailors in the courses on Sunday, instead of just having a leeward mark.

In the RS Quest Class, despite two OCSs for Juan Pascual and Tomas Ortiz in the final two races they still managed to beat last-placed Natasha Williams and partner, who even managed to capsize after the race!

Two bullets for HHYC’s Nathan and Maxwell Turner saw them elevated to 1st in the series, relegating Day 1 leaders, Joe Chan and Michael Wong, to 2nd with Ryan Ho and Tommy Wong 3rd.

The Laser Picos were joined by two additional sailors, making seven in the class with Heen Chen only completing the first race before retiring.

HHYC’s Donovan Chow didn’t have it all his own way winning the first but finishing 3rd in Races 5 and 6. New entrant, Ethan Walker, placed 2nd in Race 4 and won the last two. Chow still took the title with Thomas Lynch 2nd and Trevor Yim 3rd.

According to Jones, the Hansa fleets were the most disciplined and competitive.

In the Hansa Liberty Class, Puk Chi Yeung scored a clean sweep of all six races with Leung Wun Wa 2nd and Paul Tyson 3rd.

Sylvia Leung Yuk Chun continued to excel in the single-handed Hansa 303s, finishing with three bullets. Tang Chi-shing was 2nd and Fung Wai-on 3rd.

Joel Suarez and Leo Purdie added one further bullet to their tally to claim the double-handed Hansa 303 series title, while a win in the last race helped Leung On-ki and partner beat Kwok Wing-hang and Lau Wing-wai for 2nd place.

In Race Area 4, race officer Brenda Davies, finding 5 knots, had set up in the same location as Day 1. However, already in sequence, the wind dropped to 2 knots, swinging between 70 and 130 degrees. Finally it settled down around 130 degrees so she raised the L flag and moved the start area into the centre of the approaches to Port Shelter from where her team relayed the courses with windward marks at 0.45nm and 0.52nm.

Only 12 of the 13 29ers re-appeared on Sunday but competition was still keen. Fortunately for Juliette Clot and Maddalena di Salvo, they were able to drop their OCS from Race 2 on Saturday and adding a 2nd and two bullets tied on points with Yip Pei and Pasu Chu, but winning the last race took the series. Douglas Leung and Lam Chak-sum finished 3rd.
For the final day of the inaugural regatta for the Waszp class in Hong Kong, only two appeared. Conditions where such that foiling was difficult. The good news, though, is that another six boats are on order.

RHKYC’s Adam Neveux won all three races to take the title with Thibault Minne 2nd in the three for 2nd overall, with Nicolai Jacobsen 3rd in the series.

Adding three further bullets, Duncan Gregor and Julia Jacobson finished with a clean sweep of the 420 fleet. Sorcha Whyte and Oriane Voets with six 2nd places finished 2nd with Karise Li and Kyle Tam 3rd.

Principal race officer, Inge Strompf, was delighted with how smoothly it had all run. She was especially grateful to the 90 volunteers who manned start and finish boats, handled scoring, monitored slipways, safety, and so on. Of particular note was that the volunteers were from so many of the different Hong Kong sailing organisations, all working harmoniously together! If such a trend can continue, then sailing will be the beneficiary. Whilst not wanting to highlight any one individual’s contribution, HHYC’s Rob Allen deserves special mention for co-ordinating the whole event.

Fortunately, with social distancing regulations further relaxed, trophies were able to be presented to the worthy winners.

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