Summer 2 and 25th Anniversary Cup, ABC

This year is the 25th anniversary of Hong Kong’s return to China and, as part of the celebrations, the Hong Kong Sailing Federation organized a three-club Anniversary Sailing Cup which, to date, has been well supported by the sailing community. Three races were scheduled, two have been completed.

The opening race was hosted by the Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club on Saturday, the 11th of June.

The second was hosted by the Aberdeen Boat Club, on the 19th of June, and was held together with Race 2 of the club’s popular Summer Series. The final race of the 25th Anniversary Cup will be held at Hebe Haven Yacht Club on the 25th of June.

The committee boat, Shun Fung, left the dock early and was on station by 1000 off Tung O Wan, Lamma Island. Boats began arriving, rounding the eastern tip of Lamma and approaching through Sheung Sze Mun. At a distance, many looked as though they wouldn’t make it but, fortunately, with nine divisions and seven starts, all but a few were on time for their starting guns.

Given a possible entry of 81 very diverse boats, race management had decided on splitting IRC into 0, 1 and 2 Divisions and, likewise, HKPN into A1, A2, B1 and B2 Divisions. There was also a One Design Division and a special HKPN C Division for the multihull, Carbon3.

Principal race officer, Barry Truhol, and his team had quite a tight sequence to follow although, bang on 1030, the first away, on a very long line, were the Hobie 16s, Impalas, Ruffians and Pandoras of the One Design Division.

Next off were the HKPN B2 boats at 1035. Familiar names included Pepper & Salt, Water Rabbit, Ragamuffin and the beautiful Hans Christian, Bowline. As often, over-eager Water Rabbit was too early and had to come back.

The third start at 1040 was for the HKPN B1 Division which included stalwarts such as Five O One and Taka Ano.  Some chose to start close to the committee boat, others thought there would be advantage at the ODM. In the middle it was a little sparse.

HKPN A2 was the fourth and largest start at 1045. Sixteen boats crossed the line with Jibulai looking strong in the middle. Ti’punch, too, with tactician Olivier Decamps adding his experience, was soon into clear air at the front of the fleet.

The fifth start at 1050, saw the cream of the HKPN boats do battle in A1. Ding Dong led the fleet off the line and, in fact, for the entire race not counting, that is, HKPN C Division’s sole entry, Carbon3, which also started at 1050.

Then, after a minute’s delay announced over VHF, Truhol got the 13 boats of IRC 1 and 2 started at 1056. Incidentally, this small ‘blip’ in the starting sequences led to some confusion as Ocean’s Five and Next thought the one-minute warning signal was the start. Ocean’s Five came back, while Next went on to score an OCS. A shame as Eddy Lee and crew have been doing a lot of training in their new Neo 430 Roma racing machine.

Witchcraft, with Nick Burns at the helm, was in fine form and soon rounding the south of Lamma, with Intrigue and Redeye close behind.

Last to start was the IRC 0 Division at 1101, sadly depleted as Alpha Plus didn’t make it.

All boats in both HKPN and IRC were sent on the same Course 27 covering 14.3 nautical miles.

With southeasterly winds of up to 12 knots, it was going to be a quick race.

And quick it was for the trimaran, Carbon3. Barely had the committee boat finished its customary observation of the race from Tai Kok than assistant race officer, Alex Johnston, was calling for a rapid return to lay the finish line. Minutes after the buoy was laid, in a cloud of spray and a wake stretching back forever, Niccolo Manno and crew smoked across the finish at 12:04:26, or in an elapsed time of just over an hour and 14 minutes.

Next to finish was a Hobie 16, piloted by Karl Chan. Chan took 1st position in the One Design Division, followed by the Hobie 16 of Ronald Tam.

In summary, IRC 0 was won by Free Fire, IRC 1 by Witchcraft and IRC 2 by Red Kite II.
Out of the 43 boats in HKPN, Ding Dong won the A1 Division, Ti’punch claimed victory in A2, Five O One topped B1 and Marmalade claimed the honours in B2.

Out of 66 starters, there were 64 finishers, one OCS (on course side) and one RTD (retired) – a good day’s racing for both the Aberdeen Boat Club’s Summer Series (Race 2) and the Hong Kong Sailing Federation’s 25th Anniversary Sailing Cup, ABC.

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