HONG KONG—On a drizzly overcast weekend 91 boats took to the water to compete in the Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club’s Spring Regatta. Although not entirely Spring weather, the full three races were completed over two days of racing in Victoria Harbour last weekend, May 20-21.
In RHKYC races, individual competitions are run for class categories, but rather than the slowest classes starting first, a mixed starting sequence was adopted interweaving boats of different speeds. This approach seemed to work well without major interference and the overall effect looked pleasing to onlookers.
Although the weather overhead was rather poor the wind speed was good, generally ranging from 8 to 15 knots, with some stronger gusts giving fast downwind speeds and billowing kites.
Boats were segregated into Classes: Big Boats (1, 2 and 3), J80, Sportsboat, Etchells, Impala, Flying Fifteen, Dragon, Ruffian and Pandora.
With just 4 boats competing in the Big Boat 1 category Andrew Taylor helming “Ambush” finished 1st in each race to take the overall class prize, “Straight Up” came 2nd, “Kiasu” was 3rd and “Rampage II” 4th.
With 9 boats competing in the Big Boat 2 group, “Calamansi” came first followed by “Gambit” and “Red Kite II”.
Six boats competed in Big Boat 3 with Harry Leong’s “XT” the overall winner followed by Patrick Yam’s “Baby Beluga” and Tim Ridley in “Scintilla”.
In the Dragon Class, having the most entries (12) for the regatta, Tam Nguyen helmed “Zephyr” to a total of 5 points secured top position, 3 points ahead of “Wudi” helmed by Frederic Azemard, with Yuuzou Fujii’s “La Reina” 3rd on 10 points and Marc Castagnet’s “Celine” 4th with 12 points.
From the 11-boat Etchells fleet, Frank van Kempen in “King of the Pin” came 1st in each of the 3 races to win the Class with Marty Kaye 2nd helming “Easy Tiger” and Greg Farrell in “Dream On” 3rd.
From the 9 Flying Fifteen entries Carlyon Knight-Evans came top in “Kerfuffle” just 1 point ahead of Peter Britten with “Noisy Forefather” followed by “Forty Forte” of Warwick Simons and “Tchaikoffsky” helmed by Howard Williams.
In the 10 boat Impala fleet, “Impala 1” of Burrell and Chan took 1st place with 2 wins and a 3rd place, followed by Top Dog series winner Dennis Chien’s “Taxi”, Bob Yu and Francis Cheung’s “Boss Hogg” and KK Lee’s “Rainbow Chaser”.
Alan Tse’s “Bumphead” took top prize in the J80 with three 2nd place finishes, Ernest Wei in “Sail La Vie” came 2nd and Henry Wong in “Footloose” came 3rd.
In the Ruffian Class Simon Soo in “”Bandolero” came top, Li Fook Hing was 2nd in “Victory 9”, and Jarl Borthwick in “Larrikin” just pipped Nick Bryan’s “Buster” to take 3rd place on countback.
And in Sportsboat Class Dion Houghton in “R2B2” hit back after taking 3rd place in race 1 to win races 2 and 3 to outplace Steve Bourne in “Merlin”, while Victor Kuk and David Ho’s “Phoenix” came 3rd, with Johan Leven in “San Long” 4th.
Taking all factors into account it was a highly successful Spring Regatta.
The event was sponsored by St James’s Place wealth management, Peroni Italy, Sail World, ETA logistics and Gaastra the apparel and sportswear manufacturer, having a range of sailing jackets, T-shirts and wind resistant tops.
The 35th America’s Cup will take place off Bermuda starting today May 26 and will go through to June 12 for the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup Qualifiers and Challenger playoffs. The winner of the qualifiers will go head to head with defending champions Oracle Team USA on June 17-18 and June 24-27 for the 35th America’s Cup.
The teams taking part this year are defending champions Oracle Team USA, Artimis Racing (Sweden), Emirates Team New Zealand, Groupama Team France, Land Rover BAR (UK), and Softbank Team Japan.,