China Coast Week
China Coast Race Week
Regatta Day 1
Competitors on day one of the RHKYC China Coast Regatta were treated to hazy sunshine and a gently swinging North Easterly breeze that built gradually from 7 to 17 knots. Five boats braved the early HKPN start and spent the next 4 hours completing an islands course, starting and finishing just off Middle Island. The eventual winner of Race 1 on corrected time was Ben Chong's Paterson 37, 'Xanadu II' followed by 'GA' and 'Bewitched'.
IRC entrants had two windward leeward races to look forward to, and Race Officer Les Charles ensured that boats were given the maximum amount of racing possible, setting a 1.3nm six leg race followed by a shorter seven leg course. An unusually well behaved fleet produced four impeccable starts, so the hot topic of conversation was the new incarnation of Frank Pong's 'Jelik', scything though her opposition to reach the top mark in 15 minutes, only to hoist her Brand HK spinnaker and complete the downwind leg in 11. Alas, Jelik's two line honours finishes could not translate into bullets on corrected time, with Fred Kinmonth's Sydney 38, 'Stella Minter Ellison', edging both and making a great start to her defence of last year's Regatta IRC A title.
In Division B, the fleet were very closely matched in race one, all coming home within 12 minutes of Y.K.Szeto's line honours finish on 'Tornado'. The Mumm 30 also took race two line honours in style, finishing four minutes ahead of 'Wild At Heart', however Lowell Chang's X99, 'Dexter' was the winner of both races on corrected time ahead of 'RB' and 'Getafix'. As defending Regatta champion in the IRC B Division, Inge Strompf-Jepsen scored a disappointing 8th and 12th on X99 'Fox in Soxs'.
It was a great opportunity for local sailors to compete in the company of Melbourne-Osaka 2003 winner 'Maverick II' and the overseas competitors who were hosted on 'Pinta Husavik', 'Hocux Pocux II', 'China Blues II' and 'Siren'. Having had today to settle in, it remains to be seen whether their talents will result in improved boat performance for the remainder of the Regatta, however there can be no doubt that the regatta's profile has been raised as a result of their presence.