RHKYC Autumn Regatta features over 600 sailors
Autumn Regatta Sponsored by HSBC Expat provided a spectacular launch for Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club’s 2021-22 sailing season.
Open to keelboat sailors in Hong Kong, Autumn Regatta Sponsored by HSBC Expat attracted more than 600 sailors and over 100 boats across seven one-design classes, sportsboats and big boats, as Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club’s 2021-2022 sailing season got off to a flying start.
Organisers hadn’t banked on its success as light winds had been predicted due to two typhoons in the region, but decent breeze held over the weekend, with an 8-10 knot westerly awaiting the 109 boats that gathered in a hot and hazy afternoon for the start of the first race. As usual, the biggest fleet on the start line was the Etchells class, with 22 boats.
The Saturday race was also designated for Bart’s Bash, a global fundraising sailing even taking place at more than 1,000 yacht clubs across 63 countries over the same weekend.
Race Officer Barry Truhol opted for a start in Hung Hom, sending the fleet up Victoria Harbour before the fleets hoisted their kites, offering a spectacular view to those watching from both Hong Kong Island and Kowloon.
Hong Kong is one of the few places in the world featuring four TP52s racing in a small harbour and there were quite a few skippers in the smaller fleets nervously checking as they converged on Kowloon Bay mark.
Truhol said: “Hong Kong has been sandwiched between two typhoons over the past three days. The forecast was for zero wind, even this morning, but at 10:00, we had a westerly breeze that remained stable for the day, allowing us to run westerly courses. The racing has been close, with the fleets not as spread out as the easterly courses. It was a good day.”
The subsiding air of the super typhoon brought extremely hot and hazy weather on the Sunday as the westerly breeze dropped to 6-8 knots. All classes took part in two races, with the start off Kowloon Bay and the courses covering the Victoria Harbour area, mainly between North Point and Kowloon Bay.
Big Boat Division 1 was given a longer course, beating up to the Wan Chai Convention Centre as the four TP52s sailed through Victoria Harbour and passed the Kellett Island Clubhouse, a spectacular sight for those enjoying the newly-opened Wanchai Promenade. Although the wind weakened to 4 knots near Kowloon Bay at noon, the breeze held at the western part of the course, so all fleets were allowed to complete their full course.
In Big Boat Division 1, Marcel Liedts’ Ker 46 Zannekin took the title on countback after tying with Shawn Kang’s TP 52 Alpha+ on five points. James Verner’s Nightshift won Division 2, while Dean Chisholm’s Hanse 40 Darling claimed Division 3.
Jamie Boag’s Noddy won the Etchells division after two bullets in three races. The J/80 Footloose, Dragon Zephyr, Pandora Solstice, Ruffian Helios and Flying Fifteen Niffty held on to their first-day leads to top their respective classes, while Taxi won Impala and Ironman topped the Sportsboat class.
Asia Yachting is organising the Private Premiere of Asia’s first Prestige X70 at the Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club from August 17-18.