Spring Regatta

The Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club’s last major event of the sailing season – the Spring Regatta – sponsored by HSBC Expat was held over the weekend of the 22nd and 23rd of May, officially closing the club’s 2020-21 sailing season.
A record 118 boats signed up for the two days, comprising of three races. The first race was held on Saturday with 10 starts across 12 divisions and classes. The race fleet included 33 Big Boats split into four divisions as well as the Sportsboats and one design classes – Dragons, Etchells, Flying Fifteens, Impalas, J-80s, Ruffians and Pandoras – all of which gathered and filled the start area around Kowloon Bay.
Saturday kicked off with an incredible blue sky and soaring temperatures. There was a southerly breeze of around 10 knots in the starting area but the breeze was shadowed by Hong Kong Island, which led to the wind softening occasionally to 3 knots at the eastern part of the Harbour. 

The highlight was the first appearance of four TP52s – Alpha PlusFree FirePhoenix and Rampage88 —in a club regatta. Race officer, Barry Truhol, sent them off, along with IRC Division 1, on a 14.6-nautical-mile course out of the Harbour towards Shek O Rock and back, while the other two Big Boat divisions were sent on a shorter course of 11.37nm. The Class Boats were sent on 2.5 to 3 laps around PWD, Kowloon Bay and Tai Koo Shing with distances of approximately 5nm to 11.37nm.
On Sunday, Day 2, Hong Kong turned on yet another superb day. Showcasing local yachting at its best, over 100 yachts sailed two races in a gentle 8-9 knots of easterly breeze. No doubt to the envy of those watching from hotel quarantine in Hung Hom, the RO started the first race of the day in the area and sent the fleet on courses within Victoria Harbour with a target time of one hour, all boats enjoying very close competitive racing.

As the breeze continued to build to 14 knots, longer courses with a target time of two hours were set for the final race of the regatta. The TP52s and IRC Divisions 1 and 2 were able to stretch their legs and enjoy a longer course out to Shek O Rock and Junk Bay, whilst HKPN and the class boats remained in the Harbour.

Truhol commented: "When we went out to check the wind this morning, there was breeze from the east and southeast; however nothing close to the forecasted southerly. Finally the race management team decided to pick the easterly courses and luckily the decision worked out fine. We had a solid, stable easterly for at least six hours. We had two races with good breeze and not too much tide. And a fantastic backdrop – what more could we ask for?" 
 Almost all Big Boat divisions winners of Day 1 stayed at the top after the second day of racing.  TP52 Alpha Plus stayed strong with three bullets in hand and lifting the trophy.
Ambush and Red Kite II both maintained their leads in IRC Division 1 and Division 2 respectively. With Saturday’s leader Jibulai retiring from both races, Baby Beluga climbed from 3rd place to 1st place with a stable performance in the HKPN Division. 

Dragon Zephyr, Flying Fifteen Noisy Forefather, Pandora Windfall and Ruffian Buster kept their leads in their divisions, lifting their respective trophies.
In the biggest participating class, the Etchells, Les Freaks Sont Chic claimed 1st overall, only one point ahead of Noddy. Impala Rainbow Chaser climbed from 2nd to overall 1st place, just one point ahead of Taxi. The J-80, Tigrina, took a 1st and 2nd win in its division. Sportsboat, FAB, helmed by Molly Highfield, took three 1st places which guaranteed it a 1st place in the division.

Photos RHKYC/Guy Nowell

Widget is loading comments...