RHKYC resumes sailing events
Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club recently hosted big fleets for the Tomes Cup and Nations’ Cup, back-to-back events that marked the club’s first regattas for five months.
Sailors were happy to be back on the water in the Tomes Cup; Photos: RHKYC / Guy Nowell.
After five months without racing due to Government anti-epidemic measures, Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club resumed its sailing calendar on April 30 with the One Global Tomes Cup, which featured 75 boats and marked the third leg of the Top Dog Trophy Series.
On an overcast day with a moderate 10-knot easterly breeze at the start of racing, the Pandora fleet was first to set off on the pursuit race at 14:00, followed by the Ruffians, Dragons and Flying Fifteen classes. Chasing them down to the projected target finish time of 16:30 were the Impala, J/80 and Etchells fleets, followed by the Sportsboats and the eight Big Boats catching up from behind.
Race Officer Gareth Williams set a start line just off Hung Hom and sent the fleet off on four laps between Tai Koo Shing and Hung Hom.
The wind weakened to 6 knots in the middle of the race, so the Race Officer decided to shorten the course at the top mark. A valiant effort by Pandora Panopae saw her hold the lead until the third lap around Tai Koo Shing before being passed by the Dragons and Vx One.
The Tomes Cup featured 75 boats
Dragon Zephyr crossed the finish line at 16:30:35 to take the win. Dragon Davinloong crossed the line almost two minutes later to take second place and Vx One Serendipity kept up her strong performance to take third.
This regatta is the third of four constituent events that make up the Top Dog Trophy Series which is designed to identify the most successful Club boat competing across various courses and conditions.
The Tomes Cup was the third leg of the Top Dog Trophy Series
After three events, Patrick Pender’s Vx One Serendipity led the Top Dog Trophy Series by almost six points ahead of Lowell Chang’s Dragon Davinloong. This year’s Top Dog will be determined after the fourth and final event of the series, the One Global HKRNVR Memorial Vase on May 7.
On May 1, the day after the Tomes Cup, RHKYC then hosted the Nations’ Cup. Despite heavy rain and unseasonably cold weather, sailors on 59 boats dressed up to represent 18 nations – or 19 if including the Metaverse.
Sailors dress up for the annual Nations’ Cup: Photos: RHKYC / Guy Nowell
Hong Kong was represented by 21 boats, 10 entries represented England, while Belgium, Canada, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Netherlands, New Zealand, Philippines, Scotland, South Africa, Sweden, Switzerland, USA and Wales were also represented.
The crew of Amaze sailed in full Covid-protective clothing, while Pandora Class sailing crew on board Hakuna Matata, Panopae and Windfall came in cheongsams and qipao; featuring as the main characters of the legendary Hong Kong film Rouge. An American all-girls team on board Ruffian Scallywag all dressed as Britney Spears, although many amazing outfits were eventually covered up and hidden under foul-weather gear.
Amaze in the Nations’ Cup
Boats were split into six starts based on their RHKATI or HKPN ratings, with the two HKPN divisions starting first. Sailors were greeted with around 10 knots of easterly breeze (gusting up to 15 knots) at the Club start line.
Race Officer Bonnie Cheng sent the fleet to Junk Bay rounding TCS4 and then back to Tin Hau, upwind back to Kowloon Bay before heading back to the Club finish line. The wind was weakened at the Lei Yue Mun and Junk Bay, where the fleets parked up twice.
Mike Burrell’s Impala 1 was victorious
Mike Burrell’s Impala 1 representing Scotland was crowned top nation, while they also snagged the most important bragging rights by having the Scottish flag displayed over the Main Bar until next year’s Nations’ Cup.
“This was the perfect weather for the Scottish as all the English are too cold to sail fast,” Burrell said. “This is the second Scottish win for the Nations’ Cup and we’re nearly up to New Zealand’s standard, who have won three times, so we plan to win again next year.”
England teams were dressed for the cold
England was second and Ireland was third, while Fukushima Kunihiro’s White Rabbit representing Japan topped the HKPN division.