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Hong Kong’s Around The Island Race attracts over 220 yachts

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Organised by the Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club, this year’s Sun Hung Kai & Co. Around The Island Race featured 228 boats, with Ambush first to complete the 26nm race.

 

Around The Island Race, Hong Kong, RHKYC, Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club, Ambush, Seawolf, Tiffany Koo, Jeremy Koo, Joachim Isler, Andrew Taylor, yachts, boats, sailing, Helmuth Hennig, David Kong, Race Officer, David Norton

Photo: RHKYC / Vivian Ngan

 

Joachim Isler and Andrew Taylor’s Mills 41 Ambush was first to finish this year’s Sun Hung Kai & Co Around the Island Race, followed by Tiffany and Jeremy Koo’s Ker 42 Custom Seawolf in the 26nm circumnavigation of Hong Kong Island. Hong Kong’s largest annual celebration of sail featured 228 boats from 14 classes including seven one-design classes, sportsboats, HKPN, IRC, dinghies and beach catamarans.

 

Around The Island Race, Hong Kong, RHKYC, Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club, Ambush, Seawolf, Tiffany Koo, Jeremy Koo, Joachim Isler, Andrew Taylor, yachts, boats, sailing, Helmuth Hennig, David Kong, Race Officer, David Norton

Photo: RHKYC / Vivian Ngan

 

With the race starting in picture-perfect conditions under a beautiful blue sky, Race Officer David Norton set two start lines off Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club’s Kellett Island Clubhouse. The line closest to Kellett Island was used for starting the day boats, with the outside line for the cruisers, racer and beach catamaran divisions.

 

Around The Island Race, Hong Kong, RHKYC, Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club, Ambush, Seawolf, Tiffany Koo, Jeremy Koo, Joachim Isler, Andrew Taylor, yachts, boats, sailing, Helmuth Hennig, David Kong, Race Officer, David Norton

Photo: RHKYC / Vivian Ngan

 

The first start was at 08:30 with the Pandoras, HKPN Monohulls and Multihull Cruisers setting off in a northeasterly breeze of around 8-10 knots. By the completion of the 21 start sequences, the breeze had built up to 15 knots, ideal for the 11:00 start for the quickest yachts, the Fast Fleet 3, consisting of three TP52s and the Trimaran 40 Carbon 3.

 

Around The Island Race, Hong Kong, RHKYC, Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club, Ambush, Seawolf, Tiffany Koo, Jeremy Koo, Joachim Isler, Andrew Taylor, yachts, boats, sailing, Helmuth Hennig, David Kong, Race Officer, David Norton

Photo: RHKYC / Guy Nowell

 

Members of the public gathered at the newly opened East Coast Park precinct to watch the amazing spectacle of sail, which presented a breathtaking sight from either land, sea or sky.

 

Around The Island Race, Hong Kong, RHKYC, Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club, Ambush, Seawolf, Tiffany Koo, Jeremy Koo, Joachim Isler, Andrew Taylor, yachts, boats, sailing, Helmuth Hennig, David Kong, Race Officer, David Norton

Photo: RHKYC / Guy Nowell

 

The steady breeze in the harbour enabled the fleet to sail effortlessly through Lei Yue Mun gap and enjoy a fresh 15-knot northeasterly by Shek O and Stanley, where hundreds of colourful spinnakers could be seen highlighting the horizon.

 

 

Around The Island Race, Hong Kong, RHKYC, Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club, Ambush, Seawolf, Tiffany Koo, Jeremy Koo, Joachim Isler, Andrew Taylor, yachts, boats, sailing, Helmuth Hennig, David Kong, Race Officer, David Norton

Photo: RHKYC / Guy Nowell

 

A softening breeze by noon slowed and compressed the fleet as they approached the notoriously low-wind section of the course between Ap Lei Chau and Cyberport. With 6 knots of breeze making for slow progress through the Cyberport Gate, the fleet made for the final turning mark into the harbour and on to the finish.

 

Around The Island Race, Hong Kong, RHKYC, Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club, Ambush, Seawolf, Tiffany Koo, Jeremy Koo, Joachim Isler, Andrew Taylor, yachts, boats, sailing, Helmuth Hennig, David Kong, Race Officer, David Norton

Photo: RHKYC / Guy Nowell

 

Ambush was the first boat to cross the line at Kellett Island at 13:41 followed by Seawolf and Quest, Helmuth Hennig and David Kong’s Mills 41. Brian Tsang’s Hobie 16 Curry crossed the finishing line in eighth place, with Frank Van Kempen’s Etchells King of the Pin the first Class boat to finish.

 

Photo: RHKYC / Guy Nowell

 

“It’s our first line honours for the ATIR. We almost didn’t stop at all save for some 40-odd seconds, which is a big difference from last year’s experience,” said Ambush’s co-skippers, who described it as one of the best years in terms of wind conditions for the Around the Island Race.

 

Photo: RHKYC / Guy Nowell

 

“We benefitted by using our Code 0 down past Shek O and our crew did a great job changing from the Code 0 to spinnaker. Ambush had a great run from Lei Yue Mun to Cape D’Aguilar and from Cape D’Aguilar to Ap Lei Chau, and we had a good battle with Seawolf all the way at the south side.”

 

Around The Island Race, Hong Kong, RHKYC, Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club, Ambush, Seawolf, Tiffany Koo, Jeremy Koo, Joachim Isler, Andrew Taylor, yachts, boats, sailing, Helmuth Hennig, David Kong, Race Officer, David Norton

Photo: RHKYC / Guy Nowell

 

The Race Officer echoed similar sentiments, agreeing that this had been one of the best editions for many years. ”Almost 95 per cent of the fleet finished the full circumnavigation and there were boats from each of the classes finishing before 16:00, so the great conditions made it an easy decision to run the full circumnavigation,” Norton said.

 

Around The Island Race, Hong Kong, RHKYC, Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club, Ambush, Seawolf, Tiffany Koo, Jeremy Koo, Joachim Isler, Andrew Taylor, yachts, boats, sailing, Helmuth Hennig, David Kong, Race Officer, David Norton

Photo: RHKYC / Guy Nowell

 

“It was a splendid day with beautiful weather, except the strong tide at the last leg in the harbour approaching the finishing line. Even though we didn’t quite hit the race record set in 2013, it was a fantastic day.”
www.rhkyc.org.hk

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Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club’s postponed China Coast Regatta benefited from clear skies and great sailing conditions, with Alpha+ and Ambush among division winners.

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