Chinese New Year (Spring Festival as it is known in China) signifies the coming of Spring.
Every year in northern China the same phenomena unfolds: Outside the weather is still bitterly cold during Spring Festival, but amazingly within one to two weeks miraculously the temperature seemed to increase.
In Hong Kong, the weather can still be cold in February, and even in March cold snaps occur, but in the sporting world CNY heralds Spring events.
The Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club is preparing for the Big Boat Spring Cup, which is contested in the extended area of Shelter Cove and will take place with five races on Sunday Feb 17 (3) and Saturday Feb 23 (2) with four IRC Divisions and a Cruising Division.
Last year’s winners were EFG Mandrake for IRC-1 and Red Kite II in IRC-2.
The final Race day of the Top Dog Series takes place on Mar 2 for the HKRNVR Vase. The series, which includes the Lipton Trophy, Round the Island Race, Tomes Cup and HKRNVR, is currently led by Ambush followed by Peninsula Signal 8 and Red Kite II.
Hebe Haven Yacht Club
At the Hebe Haven Yacht Club, all the buzz is about the start of the Jeanneau Spring Saturday Series 2013, which commences on Feb 16 with 12 races over six race days ending with a finals day on Saturday May 11. This event promises to provide an excellent test of sailing skills.
Last year the IRC Division was won by Vixen with Outrageous second and Surfdude third; while in the HKPN Division, GA took series honours followed by Windseeker and X-Terminator.
The Hong Kong Rugby Association is heading into the Grand Championship Finals, having concluded the Premier Championship League fixtures just before Chinese New Year.
Abacus Kowloon, leading the table ahead of Newedge Club, will have a bye in the first of the three-week finals series.
The knockout matches take place on Feb 16 (Quarter Finals), Feb 23 (Semi-finals) with the Grand Championship Final taking place at Kings Park on Mar 2.
After the Premiership League Grand Championship Final comes the Hong Kong Rugby Sevens leg of the 2012-13 IRB Sevens World Series, arguably the most prestigious tournament of the sporting year in Hong Kong (although Hong Kong Golf Association might justifiably dispute this). However, it is definitely the world’s rugby seven’s most-prestigious event known as their “Jewel in the Crown”.
According to a HKRFU press release the Hong Kong Sevens was: “First established in 1976 and organised by the Hong Kong Rugby Football Union, the Hong Kong Sevens is the world’s premier international sevens event, marking its 37th year in 2012.
“In 1999, the Hong Kong Sevens became a part of the International Rugby Board’s World Sevens Series. To date, it is the only HSBC Sevens World Series event to host 28 international teams, more than any other tournament, along with the largest prize purse in international sevens, US$150,000 (HK$1.2 million).
“The Hong Kong Rugby Football Union is the only international rugby union to have hosted two Rugby World Cup Sevens in 1997 and 2005.”
The Sevens takes place on Mar 22 to 24 with the usual International teams taking part. The organisers say it is a ticket sell-out, which was said last year and still there were lots of vacant seats. Let’s see what happens this time. Only 4,000 tickets were for sale to the general public.
The Hong Kong Hockey Association men’s Premier League has a further five matches to play and conclude their matches on Mar 17.
Looking ahead to Easter, the Hong Kong Football Cub is again running their Hockey 6’s. This tournament running from the evening of Mar 28 to Sun Mar 30 is raising it’s level year-on-year.
This year the tournament will kick off with a full blown 11 a-side FIA sanctioned International match between two star-studded international teams. These international players will then split into smaller groups to take part in an International Sixes competition.
With world class players such as Australia’s Jamie Dwyer (five times FIA World Player of the Year and Olympic Gold Medalist) and Barry Middleton (current captain of England), top class hockey is guaranteed. According to the organisers “they will be joined by a host of current Olympians stars”.
The tournament will also attract up to 32 men’s and women’s top club teams from around the Asia/Pacific region for this short-form tournament as well as the top players from Hong Kong and China teams.
This is quickly followed by the men’s Holland Cup knock-out competition which starts on Sunday April 7 and goes through to the Final on Sunday Apr 28.
The Hong Kong Cricket Association Sunday League Championship and the Premier one and two day competitions are moving into their final phases.
The Sunday Championship League has six rounds left to play and completes on Mar 31, with the competition tight at the top. KCC Templars had led the table almost all season, with Pakistan Association AMSUA having led for one week prior to the pair’s match. KCC Templars (32-points) regained the lead after beating Pakistan Association AMSUA (30) on Feb 4 at Mission Road. It should be noted that Pakistan have played one less match than Templars at this point in the season, making that two point margin very precarious.
The Premier League 1-Day competition has two rounds to play, one on Mar 10 and the other on Apr 4. KCC are leading this league followed by LSW Prism and Pakistan Association AMSUA.
The 2-Day League has one round remaining to be played on Apr 27. KCC are currently leading HKCC and Pakistan Association AMSUA in this competition.
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