Record entries for Spring Regatta
This year’s Spring Regatta sponsored by HSBC Expat attracted four TP52s among 118 yachts, who enjoyed two days of glorious weather and great conditions.
A record 118 boats signed up for this year’s Spring Regatta sponsored by HSBC Expat, which was held over two days in late May and was the last major event of the Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club’s 2020-21 racing season.
The first of the three races was held on Saturday afternoon and featured 10 starts across 12 divisions and classes. The first appearance of four TP52s in a club regatta was a highlight of the four big boat divisions comprising 33 yachts, while other divisions comprised Sportsboats and seven one-design classes – Dragons, Etchells, Flying Fifteens, Impalas, J/80s, Ruffians and Pandoras.
Yachts race in front of the Kai Tak Cruise Terminal
Saturday kicked off with an incredible blue sky and soaring temperatures. There was a southerly breeze of around 10kts in the starting area around Kowloon Bay, although the wind was shadowed by Hong Kong Island, which led to it softening occasionally to 3kts at the eastern part of the Harbour.
Race Officer Barry Truhol sent off the TP52s – Alpha+, Freefire, Phoenix and Rampage88 – and then IRC Division 1 on a 14.6nm course out of the Harbour towards Shek O Rock and back, while the other two Big Boat divisions were sent on a shorter course of 11.37nm. The class boats were sent on 2.5 to 3 laps around PWD, Kowloon Bay and Tai Koo Shing with distances of about 5nm to 11.37nm.
Phoenix was among four TP52s
Sunday provided another superb day for sailing. Showcasing Hong Kong yachting at its best, over 100 yachts sailed two races in a gentle 8-9kt easterly breeze. With the audience including some watching from hotel quarantine in Hung Hom, the first race of the day featured courses within Victoria Harbour with a target time of one hour, resulting in close, competitive racing.
As the breeze continued to build up to 14kts, longer courses with a target time of two hours were set for the regatta’s final race. The TP52s and IRC Divisions 1 and 2 were able to stretch their legs and enjoy a longer course out to Shek O Rock and Junk Bay, while HKPN and the class boats remained in the Harbour.
The Spring Regatta was sponsored by HSBC Expat
Almost all Big Boat divisions winners on the first day stayed at the top after the second day of racing, with Alpha+ winning all three of its races to win the battle of the TP52s.
Ambush and Red Kite 2 both maintained their leads in IRC Division 1 and Division 2 respectively. In the HKPN Division (Big Boat Division 3), Saturday’s leader Jibulai retired from both Sunday races as Baby Beluga climbed from third place to class winner with two second-place finishes on Sunday.
Zephyr (Dragon), Noisy Forefather (Flying Fifteen), Windfall (Pandora) and Buster (Ruffian) retained their leads in their divisions to lift trophies.
Molly Highfield won the Sportsboat division on F.A.B
In the biggest participating class, Etchells, Les Freaks Sont Chic remained first overall, although by only one point from Noddy. In Impala, Rainbow Chaser climbed from second to first overall, just one point ahead of Taxi. In J/80, Tigrina claimed a first, third and a second to win, while F.A.B helmed by Molly Highfield took three firsts to top the Sportsboat division.
Truhol said: “When we went out to check the wind this morning, there was breeze from the east and southeast. However, nothing close to the forecasted southerly. Finally, the race management team decided to pick the easterly courses and luckily the decision worked out fine. We had a solid, stable easterly breeze for at least six hours. We had two races with good breeze and not too much tide and a fantastic backdrop. What more could we ask for?”
Held in place of the biennial Hong Kong to Hainan Race, the first China Coastal Race concluded a new-look China Coast Race Week in Hong Kong.