The inaugural Hong Kong Coastal Rowing Association (HKCRA) championships were held on Sunday Jan 20, at Middle Island in choppy conditions.
Sheryl Slater, who won the women’s singles, discussed the race with The Epoch Times.
“It was pretty rough,” said Slater, who set the faster singles time for both women’s and men’s of 47 minutes 9 seconds.
“Pretty horrid coming back from Round Island. It [the wind] was on the side so it makes it very tippy and [I was] rowing with one oar for a lot of the time.
“It was really difficult,” added Slater, who has been rowing for Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club (RHKYC) for two-and-half years.
“We often do time trials with the outriggers and surf skis around Round Island, but it was pretty rough conditions comparatively. I was out there [today] wishing I was in a sail boat, but it was good fun.”
While Sheryl Slater—who has been rowing for “a fair while”—said that conditions on Sunday were challenging, HKCRA Chairman Mr Robert Wilson explained in a press release how the sport is growing in Hong Kong’s waters where he says it is safe to row.
“Coastal rowing is a rapidly growing sport in Hong Kong with considerable interest among our university students as well as from established rowing clubs such as Lantau Island Rowing Club, Lion Rock Rowing Club and the Royal Yacht Club.
“Hong Kong is ideally suited to coastal rowing with its amazing scenery, many islands and generally safe waters.
“The boats are very stable and designed to be rowed on the ocean,” he added.
Coastal rowing is a fairly new sport in Hong Kong and there is a limitation as to the number of the special boats needed for the event–boats are currently owned by RHKYC, Stanley Sea School and Lantau Island Rowing Club.
The course for the RHKYC hosted and organised inaugural Hong Kong Coastal Rowing Championships was approximately 6.5 km and held in the waters of Repulse Bay and Deep Water Bay. Boats started from marker gates in Repulse Bay travelled south to ‘Round Island’ rowed round the Island and then back north to the RHKYC finish mark in Deep Water Bay.
A total of 35 teams took part in the championship covering men’s and women’s singles, doubles, and quads; and mixed quads.
The races took place from early morning until mid afternoon with heats for the events with larger numbers of competitor crews. The weather was a little cold and the northerly wind picked up as the day progressed to a steady 10 knots and gusting at times to 15 knots.
Winners came from a spread of leading rowing clubs in Hong Kong. The RHKYC won the Women’s Singles and Men’s Quads, Lantau Island Rowing Club won the Men’s singles and Women’s Doubles, CUHK won Men’s Doubles and the Mixed Quads and the CU Alumina Society Rowing Club won the Women’s Quads.
The RHKYC-B Quad team–Andew Russell, Simon Walpole, Oliver Ernst, Brian Henderson, and Jelita Pandjaihan (cox)–set the fastest time of the day in 31 minutes 7 seconds in their heat.
Winners (first and second)
Men’s Singles: 1. Jonathan Rodda representing LIRC (Lantau Island) (50:08); 2. Fung Pui Wa, CUHK (Chinese University Rowing Club) (57:37).
Men’s Doubles: 1. Cheng To and Tang Man Song, CUHK-A (36:21); 2. Richard Allin and Matt Torlesse, RHKYC-A (38:16).
Men’s Quads: 1. Andew Russell, Simon Walpole, Oliver Ernst, Brian Henderson, and Jelita Pandjaihan (cox), RHKYC-B (31:50); 2. Mike Kukreja, Luc Moron, Oliver Shutte Koon Chong and Stella Xu (cox), RHKYC-A (37:53).
Women’s Singles: 1. Sheryl Slater, RHKYC (47:09); 2. Karen Rodda, LIRC (1:06:03).
Women’s Doubles: 1. Marianne Kolding and Sephanie Gräfin vom Hagen, LIRC (44.59); 2. May Leung Mei Yee and Yeh Fang Yin, HKU-A (45:54).
Women’s Quads: 1. Chan Yue Yan, Stella Hon, Crystal Li, Cheng Ching To and Chiu Tak Wing (cox), CU Alumina (48:15) – only competitor.
Mixed Quads: 1. Chang Chun Yin, Joanne Li, Tsang Yuen man, Choi Tsz Hei and Jamie Li (cox), CUHK-A (40:17); 2. Yuen Shing Lam, Lau Hiu Tung, Shing Wing Yan, Wong Sze Ting and Lai Wai Lun (cox), CUHK-C (40.21).
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