Impalas Pipped at the Post by Etchells in Hong Kong Nations’ Cup
Impalas Pipped at the Post by Etchells in Hong Kong Nations’ Cup
Yachting—Hong Kong
Etchells ‘Dream On’ helmed by Greg Farrell (New Zealand) winner of the Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club GREAT Nations’ Cup heading upwind out of Victoria Harbour on Saturday Mar 8, 2014. (Bill Cox/Epoch Times)

Etchells ‘Dream On’ helmed by Greg Farrell (New Zealand) winner of the Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club GREAT Nations’ Cup heading upwind out of Victoria Harbour on Saturday Mar 8, 2014. (Bill Cox/Epoch Times)

Impalas start their GREAT Nations Cup journey heading East out of Victoria harbour on Saturday Mar 8, 2014. It was a good day for Impalas with ‘Boss Hogg’, ‘Rainbow Chaser’ and ‘Gnu’ finishing in 2nd, 3rd and 4th respectively on corrected time. (Bill Cox/Epoch Times)

Impalas start their GREAT Nations Cup journey heading East out of Victoria harbour on Saturday Mar 8, 2014. It was a good day for Impalas with ‘Boss Hogg’, ‘Rainbow Chaser’ and ‘Gnu’ finishing in 2nd, 3rd and 4th respectively on corrected time. (Bill Cox/Epoch Times)

The all-female, yellow panda crew sailing Ruffian ‘Skellum’ for Hong Kong added fun and colour to the GREAT Nations’ Cup in Victoria Harbour on Saturday Mar 8, 2014. (Bill Cox/Epoch Times)

The all-female, yellow panda crew sailing Ruffian ‘Skellum’ for Hong Kong added fun and colour to the GREAT Nations’ Cup in Victoria Harbour on Saturday Mar 8, 2014. (Bill Cox/Epoch Times)

Etchells ‘Dream On’ (1269) helmed by Greg Farrell (New Zealand) winner of the GREAT Nations’ Cup heading East out of Victoria Harbour with Etchells ‘No Name’ (1364) (Frank van Kempen – Netherlands) and ‘Diva Deux’ (Mark Yeadon – England) on Saturday Mar 8, 2014. (Bill Cox/Epoch Times)

Etchells ‘Dream On’ (1269) helmed by Greg Farrell (New Zealand) winner of the GREAT Nations’ Cup heading East out of Victoria Harbour with Etchells ‘No Name’ (1364) (Frank van Kempen – Netherlands) and ‘Diva Deux’ (Mark Yeadon – England) on Saturday Mar 8, 2014. (Bill Cox/Epoch Times)

It is still neck-and-neck … Etchells ‘Dream On’ (1269) helmed by Greg Farrell (New Zealand) winner of the GREAT Nations’ Cup heading East out of Victoria Harbour with Etchells ‘1364’ (Frank van Kempen – Netherlands) and ‘Diva Deux’ (Mark Yeadon – England) on Saturday Mar 8, 2014. (Bill Cox/Epoch Times)

It is still neck-and-neck … Etchells ‘Dream On’ (1269) helmed by Greg Farrell (New Zealand) winner of the GREAT Nations’ Cup heading East out of Victoria Harbour with Etchells ‘1364’ (Frank van Kempen – Netherlands) and ‘Diva Deux’ (Mark Yeadon – England) on Saturday Mar 8, 2014. (Bill Cox/Epoch Times)

Disruption at the start of Race-3 for the first of Saturday Mar 8’s Big Boat groups in the GREAT Nations Cup ... Although a tow boat ploughed through the start line just as the start gun fired, the race was successfully restarted 5-minutes later. (Bill Cox/Epoch Times)

Disruption at the start of Race-3 for the first of Saturday Mar 8’s Big Boat groups in the GREAT Nations Cup ... Although a tow boat ploughed through the start line just as the start gun fired, the race was successfully restarted 5-minutes later. (Bill Cox/Epoch Times)

Aliens from Uranus ... Steve Bourne and crew in ‘Merlin’, followed by ‘Sidewinder’ helmed by Gareth Williams (068) under the Welsh flag, set off in their Magic 25’s in the GREAT Nations’ Cup Race on Saturday Mar 8. (Bill Cox/Epoch Times)

Aliens from Uranus ... Steve Bourne and crew in ‘Merlin’, followed by ‘Sidewinder’ helmed by Gareth Williams (068) under the Welsh flag, set off in their Magic 25’s in the GREAT Nations’ Cup Race on Saturday Mar 8. (Bill Cox/Epoch Times)

Etchells ‘Quest’ (1051), J80 ‘Footloose’ (2252) and Flying Fifteen ‘Frantic Forties’ (3469) approaching Shek O Rock turning point during the Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club’s GREAT Nations’ Cup Race on Saturday Mar 8, 2014. (Bill Cox/Epoch Times)

Etchells ‘Quest’ (1051), J80 ‘Footloose’ (2252) and Flying Fifteen ‘Frantic Forties’ (3469) approaching Shek O Rock turning point during the Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club’s GREAT Nations’ Cup Race on Saturday Mar 8, 2014. (Bill Cox/Epoch Times)

Impala ‘Shikarn’ helmed by Raymond Wu about to Turn at Shek O Rock during the GREAT Nations’ Cup Race on Saturday Mar 8, 2014. (Bill Cox/Epoch Times)

Impala ‘Shikarn’ helmed by Raymond Wu about to Turn at Shek O Rock during the GREAT Nations’ Cup Race on Saturday Mar 8, 2014. (Bill Cox/Epoch Times)

Impala ‘Madame K’ ... Conditions became rough near the turning point of Shek O Rock in the GREAT Nations’ Cup Race on Saturday Mar 8, 2014. (Bill Cox/Epoch Times)

Impala ‘Madame K’ ... Conditions became rough near the turning point of Shek O Rock in the GREAT Nations’ Cup Race on Saturday Mar 8, 2014. (Bill Cox/Epoch Times)

The Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club’s GREAT Nations’ Cup race took place on Saturday (Mar 8) in drizzle and light rain with a 9 to 12 knot Easterly breeze.

Despite 85 boats entering the race, only 65 boats assembled at the start point at Hung Hom Bay—four did not get off the start line; four did not finish; and one boat retired.

The water was a little choppy at the start, but smoothed out towards LeiYue Mun Gap before becoming quite rough on the way to the turn-around mark of Shek O Rock – where waves were making quite a splash.

One notable rule for the race required all crew of a boat to have the same nationality.

There were four starts raced under the Round the Island Race handicapping system. Start times were 20 minutes apart with the slower boats leaving first. Flying 15’s and Impalas were predominant in Start-1, Etchells and J80’s were the main competitors in Start-2 and the final starts were for two groupings of Big Boats.

Start-1 and -2 got off on time, but as can often happen in Victoria Harbour a tug boat ploughed through the start line just as the gun sounded for Start-3, causing some chaos and consternation—the start was aborted and immediately reset for five minutes later. The boats got off to a good start the second time.

Impala’s were first to start and first to round Shek O Rock, and at the end of the race Impalas Boss Hogg, Rainbow Chaser, Gnu took 2nd to 4th places, respectively, for Hong Kong. Also other Impalas—England flagged Moll and Scottish flagged Impala 1—took 6th and 7th places, respectively.

Greg Farrell and crew of Etchells Dream On flying under the New Zealand Flag started 20 minutes after the Impalas, but just beat Boss Hogg to the finish post and took first place by some four minutes on corrected time.

Meanwhile, the first three Impalas finished within a second of each other so Race Officer Sofia Mascia and her assistants had to be on their toes.

Another Etchells, 3722 helmed by Frank van Kempen took 4th place for the Netherlands. While Flying Fifteens Noisyforefather (France), 3882 (Japan) and Tchaikoffsky (Wales) took positions 8 to 10, respectively.

The first of the Big Boats, EFG Mc Mandrake (Ireland), finished in 20th spot and well ahead of her next direct competitor Whiskey Jack (England) in 29th place.

Next Races

Day-2 of the Hebe Haven Spring Saturday Series takes place on Saturday March 15.

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