Beneteau Cup HK right on the button
The third Beneteau Cup Hong Kong featured 19 boats racing in solid sailing conditions, with Easy Breezy II retaining her overall title. By Guy Nowell.
Beneteau Asia-Pacific and regional dealer Simpson Marine celebrated a day of brand camaraderie with the third annual Beneteau Cup Hong Kong. This is when every Beneteau owner in Hong Kong is invited to join in an event that includes a little light-hearted racing followed by some après-sail socials that are just as important as the on-water activity.
Beneteau Cup regattas have been a successful item in the European sailing calendar for some years, and the addition of the Hong Kong edition has been welcomed enthusiastically by local sailors.
It was a good sailing day. Warm, but not too hot. Breezy, but not overpowering. A little more sunshine would have been welcome, but let’s not be churlish. The racing part of the Beneteau Cup was organised by Aberdeen Boat Club and its Marine Services Manager, Alex Johnston, who is well experienced in this sort of thing.
From a start outside Deep Water Bay, a 12nm course left Chesterman Buoy and Castle Rock to port, a rounding mark in Tai Tam Bay to starboard, and then retracing the steps all the way back to the finish.
The breeze was moderate, but enough to be useful. It’s worth remembering that not all the sailors in this fleet are diehard racers, and there were plenty of guests on board, so 8-10 knots was just what the doctor ordered. It was ‘white sails’ all the way to the Tai Tam turning mark and Castle Rock, and spinnakers all the way home.
The nature of the course made little call for tactical decisions. Tak Chung Leung’s vintage Beneteau 47.7, Polar Star III, took line honours in just 99 minutes, ahead of Philippe Grelon’s undiluted racing machine, the Figaro Beneteau 3 Rosy Sky.
Richard Allen, Simpson Marine’s Group General Manager, skippered a new, very sporty Beneteau First 36 and was third over the line after covering some extra distance on account of an ‘unforced error’. Handicap honours went to Alfred Lau and Castor Kong’s beautifully turned-out Easy Breezy II, a Beneteau First 41 S5, having completed the distance in a splash less than two hours.
Then it was time for some après-sail. The Aberdeen Boat Club’s outstation at Middle Island is a wonderful venue for sipping a glass or two of chilled rosé, and offered quite the most magnificent charcuterie buffet that we’ve seen in a long while. The restaurant terrace is a very special space for some alfresco dining, accompanied by the race postmortem conversations at which sailors excel!
Erwan Her and Richard Allen
Erwan Her, Sales Director of Beneteau Asia-Pacific, added: “Building on the success of the previous editions, this event once again brought together our passionate community of sailors. It goes beyond mere competition; it is an opportunity to forge lasting connections and create a vibrant social community for Beneteau owners who share a deep love for sailing and the sea.
“As always, the Beneteau Cup enhances the thrill of racing in Hong Kong waters, creating unforgettable memories to be enjoyed over the year ahead.”
Allen added: “The third Beneteau Cup went a long way to cementing the reputation of these excellent boats, with a day of first-class racing and even better socials afterwards. Owners and their crews enjoyed near-perfect sailing conditions and even the occasional splash of sunshine. We’re already looking forward to the 2024 Beneteau Cup!”