Please select your home edition
Edition
upffront 728x90

China Cup International Regatta 2012 – the view astern

by Guy Nowell, Sail-World Asia on 31 Oct 2012
CCIR 2012 - Weary Sea Warriors wind up the China Cup with a spot of cultural beer drinking Guy Nowell © http://www.guynowell.com
The brown smog squatting heavily on the hills behind Longcheer didn’t look so good, but the breeze felt fantastic. 20kts and some as we poked our nose out from the marina, and that’s the way it stayed. The RO probably didn’t want another boat-breaker of a day (and probably nor did any of the owners) so where the programme said ‘geometric or islands course’, it was geometric.

The starting sequence was changed from Sunday – Beneteau 40.7s away first, then IRC 1 and 2 together, and IRC 3 at the very back of the draw. This was a ploy to keep the sharks out of the paddling pool, or the biggest IRC boats away from the smallest ones. Speaking from experience, it is pretty scary to be rolled over on the start line by a boat more than twice your own length. Actually, we spoke to a crew member from the big boat and suggested politely that on Sunday they had failed to respond to a luffing call (fat chance!). We were quickly told that we had made no luffing movement, and were quickly referred to a Rule number which I now forget.

So, it has to be asked, is it a realistic suggestion that a J/109 should deliberately barge into the side of an 83’ cruiser? – after all, it’s big (the cruiser), it has lots of momentum and it has less manoeuvrability than the 35-footer. Or might it not have been a more considerate thing for the big boat to have kept clear of the smaller boats in the first place? Buffalo girls, and all that. Of course, rules are rules, and we’re not trying to sidestep them, but where there are big boats and (relatively) little boats starting together, a bit of common sense might sometimes over ride a stand on ‘rights’.

Moving swiftly on – two sausages, and yesterday Whisky Jack blew out her heavier spinnaker, so the choice was between the flimsy stuff and soak down, or Code 0 and go for the angles. The latter seemed to be the better call. Let’s just say that the execution wasn’t bad, but there were some stomach-churning mark roundings with boats in close quarters. In the strong breeze, everyone had their hands full from bow to helm, and knew it. Thankfully, there were no excessively large boats rounding with us.

Second race of the day, triangle and a sausage, better for the code 0 which was pressed into service again. The gybe mark was ‘interesting’ and so was the leeward mark, and different fleets going in opposite directions in the same patch of water all added to the fun. One thing we learned this weekend – when there are an awful lot of boats in a small patch of water, there are no clear lanes in the middle, and banging the corner suddenly becomes a much better idea.

Another thing we learned – in good breeze it’s very hard for a J/109 to hang on to an Archambault 40. Congratulations to Sea Wolf who took out the IRC 3 division with eight bullets form eight races. It was a bit of a mixed bag of results for the rest of us, but Whiskey Jack did indeed come home second overall in her division. Reason to be Cheerful Part 1.

Reason to be Cheerful Part 2 was the ride home to Hong Kong on Monday evening – but first we had to get past the Immigration dept. The desks were still there on the quayside, but they were unmanned. Bits & Pieces and Outrageous presented their passports around midday, and we joined in as soon as racing was finished, but it turned out that there were NO immigration arrangements at the venue, and helpful chaps were rushing backwards and forwards to the nearest immigration office (some 30min away by car) with batches of passports. At least it wasn’t raining.

Eventual departure time – after 1700hrs. A punchy trip to ‘the corner’ under engine and main in 25kts of breeze gave way to a glorious run in the dark with the wind on the port quarter. Novice night sailors were introduced to the joys of identifying navigation lights and trying to work out which way something is going (today we have an Answer Sheet – it’s called AIS). Gradually the sea calmed as we approached Hong Kong, and then it was time to gybe and head up Port Shelter and into Pak Sha Wan. The breeze carried all the way – there was still 18kts blowing us in through the entrance to Hebe Haven at just after 2200hrs. Welcome to Hong Kong!

The China Cup International Regatta has come a fair way since its inception in 2007, but one can’t help thinking that it could have come a great deal further if organisers had listened to the substantial amount of very good advice that it has received over the years.

Many competitors strongly dislike the 45-min separation between Longcheer and Da Mei Sha. I know because they told me. To fix that means either moving the regatta or building hotels at Longcheer, both solutions being a fairly major undertaking. On Monday, Whisky Jack declined to attend the prizegiving party (and collect the spoils due to sea warriors) because it would have meant going to Da Mei Sha for a party that started at 1900hrs – by which time we were almost half way back to Hong Kong by sea. Waiting until after the party and then returning to Longcheer and then getting embroiled in immigration would have taken something close to forever.

Immigration has been a bugbear since the event started. Agreed, the bureaucratic shortcomings of a government department are not the ‘fault’ of the regatta, but inevitably make a very poor impression on arriving international sailors. Hainan, Vietnam and the Philippines can all process a boat load of arriving sailors faster than Longcheer. Fact.

For some reason the CCIR’s enduring obsession with their Beneteau 40.7 shows no sign of waning. Read the press releases and stories emanating from the CCIR website and you’d be excused for thinking that the B40.7s are the only boats in the regatta – in fact there 61 more out there, spread over the IRC 1, 2, 3, HKPN 1, 2, FarEast 26 and Soto 27 divisions. Congratulations to Peninsula Signal 8 (Jamie McWilliam), Lighthorse (Shawn Kang), Sea Wolf (Yan Yueye), Windseeker, Shanghe, Constant Wind (Stanley Chan) and Team Goldrooster (Agustin Eujanian) for prevailing in what were challenging conditions all through the regatta.

It is was noticeable that once again the majority of Grand Prix boats in the region were absent, many of them having sailed the Hong Kong-Hainan Race and then continued south towards the Raja Muda and King’s Cup. A couple of years ago CCIR asked AsianYachting.com if they (the regatta) could please be included in the point-score list for the AY Grand Prix. The answer – 'when you’ve got a Grand Prix division.'

This time next year the RHKYC will be busy hosting the Flying 15 World Championships, and will therefore not be available to provide race management for CCIR. So the 2013 China Cup will be ‘under new management’, at least as far as the racing is concerned. Having provided full-service race management for six years now – ROs, AROs, scorers, Committee Boat, support boats, buoy wranglers, ground tackle, flags, and everything the PRO needs from radios to anemometers – it’s going to be a tough act for someone to follow.

Once again, Weary Sea Warrior signing off. Next event: Raja Muda Selangor International Regatta, starts 16 November. See you in Port Klang at the RSYC.
Pantaenius - Fixed ValueZhik Dinghy 660x82Barz Optics - Kids range

Related Articles

ORC World Championship 2016 – Final race action shots by Max Ranchi
Photographer Max Ranchi has provided this gallery of images from final race Photographer Max Ranchi has provided this gallery of images from final race
Posted today at 4:27 pm
Teams gather for Brewin Dolphin Commodores' Cup
Sunday sees the start of racing at the Brewin Dolphin Commodores' Cup, where eight teams will be competing 2016 Brewin Dolphin Commodores' Cup - Sunday sees the start of racing at the Brewin Dolphin Commodores' Cup, where eight teams will be competing in this the 13th edition of the Royal Ocean Racing Club's biennial championship for three boat teams with Corinthian crews.
Posted today at 5:02 am
Transat Québec Saint-Malo - Gonzalo Botin (Tales II) takes Class40 win
Transat Québec Saint-Malo - Gonzalo Botin (Tales II) takes the Class40 win in Saint-Malo While it started on July 10 resembling a friendly Sunday regatta on the St. Lawrence River, the fleet racing in close contact, this ninth edition of the Transat Québec Saint-Malo presented in collaboration with the City of Lévis is drawing to a more dramatic close today as competition in the lead-up to the finish line remains fierce after many of the racers spent the night in the English Channel
Posted today at 4:33 am
Island courses shake up Day 3 of Cape Panwa Hotel Phuket Raceweek 2016
After a short delay this morning fleet headed out to a start-line off Lone Island for the third day of racing 2016 Cape Panwa Hotel Phuket Raceweek - After a short delay this morning when the PRO kept the fleet onshore, the AP was down at 09:45 and the fleet headed out to a start-line off Lone Island for the third day of racing at the 2016 Cape Panwa Hotel Phuket Raceweek.
Posted today at 1:10 am
One day left to decide medal winners at ORC World Championship 2016
The high pressure system that has brought warm sunny conditions to Denmark this week did the same again today The high pressure system that has brought warm sunny conditions to Denmark this week did the same again today, but this time so effectively that it was doubtful any wind would be sufficiently strong and stable enough to race.
Posted on 22 Jul
LV America's Cup World Series – Pushing for speed in Portsmouth
Oracle Team USA finished practice on Friday looking to find more speed before racing starts to count on the weekend. Oracle Team USA finished official practice in Portsmouth on Friday looking to find more speed before racing starts to count on the weekend. It was a day of mixed results on a practice day that had skipper Jimmy Spithill wanting more when he pushed the pedal down.
Posted on 22 Jul
Series back on track on Day 2 of Cape Panwa Hotel Phuket Raceweek 2016
No quarter was given between evenly-matched TP52's contesting IRC Racing I and with Millenium Racing drawing first blood No quarter was given between the evenly-matched TP52's contesting IRC Racing I and with Millenium Racing drawing first blood yesterday, the tables were turned and the syndicated Oi! corrected out less than 30 seconds ahead in race one. Race two was even closer – an eight second winning margin for Millenium Racing sees them hold a slim one point lead at the half way point.
Posted on 22 Jul
52 Super Series – Making the last day count
Consistency across the first racing days is a crucial component of winning on the highly charged, evenly matched series Consistency across the first racing days is a fundamental component of winning on the highly charged, very evenly matched series, but this season has seen several different teams blow their chances of a podium finish with a miserable finale. It seems that delivering solid results amidst the pressure cooker environment of the last races is telling.
Posted on 22 Jul
Who can replace the Vendée Globe skippers?
What happens if one of the candidates for the upcoming event injures himself or falls ill prior to the start? What happens if one of the candidates for the upcoming event injures himself or falls ill prior to the start, to the extent that his participation in the event proves impossible? Such a scenario has never come up before, though the procedure in such an eventuality is set out in the Sailing Instructions. Explanations from Guillaume Evrard, Assistant Race Director.
Posted on 22 Jul
Vendée Globe – The round-up on the qualifications - 28 out of 30
Some 107 days before the start, 28 sailors have satisfied marine obligations and qualified for the Everest of the Seas. Two more skippers have this week completed their qualification: Nandor Fa, who has covered considerably more than the 1,500 nautical miles he was required to sail. Next up, Stéphane Le Diraison, who is about to cross the finish line of the Transat Quebec-Saint Malo this Friday.
Posted on 22 Jul