Please select your home edition
Edition
Bakewell-White Yacht Design

Round Hainan Regatta - Battle for leadership ensues

by Juerg Kaufmann on 22 Mar 2014
2014 Round Hainan Regatta Racing day one J. Kaufmann / Round Hainan Regatta
The Round Hainan Regatta kicked off on Friday in great style, with fresh conditions that at times tested the sailors and their boats. Despite the overcast skies and light rain at start time, the breeze topped 17 knots and allowed for close and exciting races on off Serenity Marina in Sanya. In the hotly-contested IRC B2 division, Dongfeng 2, skippered by British round-the-world record man Brian Thompson, took the upper hand over Vatti, where two-time Olympic gold medalist Malcolm Page is joined by a crew of world champions and Olympic medalists.

A mere five years have passed since its inception, but the Round Hainan Regatta proved to be today the battleground for some of the world's best sailors, especially in the IRC B2 division where the day's only race was a very good indicator of what is to come in the next seven days. Despite the early-morning rain and the light-air start, conditions on Sanya bay got brisker as the breeze reached 17 knots.


The Jeanneau 32 Dongfeng 2, skippered by Britain's round-the-world record man Brian Thompson and crewed by three aspiring Chinese sailors beat Vatti in corrected time. Not only is Thompson sailing for the first time ever in China, the Dongfeng 2 boat is crewed by only four sailors, instead of the usual seven under IRC, and helmed by Chinese Finn sailor Zhang Peng. What makes this victory even more impressive is the fact the three Chinese sailors hardly spoke any word of English two months ago and despite being Olympic sailors, some of them had never sailed with a gennaker or spinnaker up to two weeks prior to the Round Hainan Regatta.

Still, even with Friday's strong wind the four sailors had an excellent day. Thompson was impressed by the progress Chinese sailors have made. Jokingly, he said that today, 'Zhang Peng was driving while the rest of us were hiking.' Thompson was impressed by the level of enthusiasm he encountered and the number of boats taking part in the Round Hainan Regatta and was convinced the sport of sailing was destined to grow in China.

Malcolm Page isn't a newcomer in China but this is the first time he is back after the Beijing Olympics in 2008 where he took the gold medal in the 470 class. He feels it is 'obviously very exciting to be back here again', not only because it is his first time sailing in Sanya but also because he sees China 'growing in the sport of sailing a lot.'

According to Page, the Chinese 'obviously, won medals in Beijing, that was their home games, but they did keep up and won a medal in the London Olympics in great style. They are really starting to make their mark in the sport of sailing and, obviously, having a Volvo Ocean Race team from here is really impressive and a stopover of that race as well. So, to be here and race in the Round Hainan Regatta is only natural.'

What advice does a two-time Olympic gold medalist have for the Chinese? Page thinks that 'the Chinese should take this opportunity from many different angles. I guess that one angle, in order to increase the race-management side of things is to learn not only from the competitors but also from the international connections they have through ISAF. The Chinese sailors as well should take this opportunity in their country to have the international sailors and learn from them. I'm sure though that international sailors will also learn from the Chinese and this is a natural progression.'

For Page, the Round Hainan Regatta is a perfect start to the season and serves as a team-building exercise. They can focus on getting the right communications and the right mechanics on the boat so that they can be at their best in summer time.

In the Soto 27 one-design fleet, today's three bullets propelled GMGE - Koo Racing Team to first place. The two Malaysian siblings, Jeremy and Tiffany Koo, together with Singapore's Maximilian Soh, all three being Asia's top match racers, proved unbeatable for their opponents.

In the Beneteau Oceanis 40 fleet, the all-Russian crew on the Wanning-sponsored boat took the day's only race. Maibo, skippered by Huabing Wang, claimed leadership in the IRC-A division while Youbao and Yunda lead, respectively, the IRC B1 and Fareast 26 divisions.

Racing on Sanya bay continues on Saturday, with two windward-leeward races scheduled for the IRC A, IRC B and Beneteau Oceanis 40 while the one-design Soto 27's and Fareast 26's will hold three races.

Guy Nowell - Blue 660Pantaenius - Worldwide SupportT Clewring J-class

Related Articles

America's Cup - Arbitration Panel Hearing over Kiwi Qualifier for July
ACEA CEO, Russell Coutts has confirmed that the Arbitration Panel will hold its first Hearing in July. In a yet to be published interview in Sail-World, America’s Cup Events Authority CEO, Russell Coutts has confirmed that the Arbitration Panel will hold its first Hearing in July. This is the first official indication that the three person Arbitration Panel had even been formed, however Sail-World’s sources indicated that it had been empanelled since last January, possibly earlier.
Posted on 27 May
Rio 2016 - The Qualification Games - Part 2
Yachting NZ's refusal to nominate in three classes won in the first round of 2016 Olympic Qualification is unprecedented Yachting New Zealand's refusal to nominate in three classes won in the first round of 2016 Olympic Qualification is without precedent. Subject to Appeal, the Kiwis have signaled that they will reject 30% of the positions gained in the ISAF World Sailing Championships in Santander in 2014.
Posted on 22 May
Gladwell's Line - World Sailing changes tack after IOC windshift
Over the past year, we've given the International Sailing Federation (now re-badged as World Sailing) a bit of stick Over the past year, we've given the International Sailing Federation (now re-badged as World Sailing) a bit of stick. Every blow well earned over issues such as the pollution at Rio, the Israeli exclusion abomination plus a few more. But now World Sailing is getting it right.
Posted on 21 May
Rio 2016 - The Qualification Games - Part 1
Antipodean selection shenanigans aside, the Qualification system for the Rio Olympics appears to be achieving its goals Antipodean selection shenanigans aside, the Qualification system for the Rio Olympics appears to be achieving goals set in the Olympic Commission report of 2010. Around 64 countries are expected to be represented in Rio de Janeiro in August. That is a slight increase on Qingdao and Weymouth, but more importantly a full regional qualification system is now in place
Posted on 19 May
Taming the beast-a conversation with Stuart Meurer of Parker Hannifin
While AC72 cats were fast, they difficult to control, so Oracle partnered with Parker Hannifin to innovate a better way. If you watched videos of the AC72s racing in the 34th America’s Cup (2013), you’re familiar with the mind-boggling speeds that are possible when wingsail-powered catamarans switch from displacement sailing to foiling mode. While foiling is fast, there’s no disguising the platform’s inherent instability. Now, Oracle Team USA has teamed up with Parker Hannifin to innovate a better way.
Posted on 18 May
From foiling Moths to Olympic starting lines-a Q&A with Bora Gulari
Bora Gulari’s is representing the USA at the Rio 2016 Olympics in the Nacra 17 class, along with teammate Louisa Chafee. Bora Gulari (USA) has made a strong name for himself within high-performance sailing circles, with wins at the 2009 and 2013 Moth Worlds. In between, he broke the 30-knort barrier and was the 2009 US SAILING Rolex Yachtsman of the Year. His latest challenge is representing the USA at the Rio 2016 Olympics in the Nacra 17 class as skipper, along with his teammate Louisa Chafee.
Posted on 12 May
Concern for Zika at Rio Olympics is now deadly serious
Alphabet soup is one description that has thus far not been used for either Guanabara Bay, Alphabet soup is one description that has thus far not been used for either Guanabara Bay, or the Rio Olympics. Many others have, and they were apt, but things have changed. So here now we have a situation where one man, Associate Professor Amir Attaran, who does have a more than decent string of letters after his name, is bringing nearly as many facts to bear as references at the article's end
Posted on 12 May
The importance of being Alive
Since buying the stunningly pretty Reichel-Pugh canting keel 66-footer, and re-naming her Alive, Since buying the stunningly pretty Reichel-Pugh canting keel 66-footer, and re-naming her Alive, the team have lined up for a lot of things, won plenty and nabbed a record, as well. She’s presently in a yard in the Philippines having a minor refit in readiness for the Australian season. It will commence with the upcoming Brisbane to Keppel and then head sharply into this year’s Hobart.
Posted on 10 May
Zhik - The brand born of a notion, not its history
here is probably every reason that ocean rhymes with notion. Zhik’s tagline is officially marketed as Made For Water There is probably every reason that ocean rhymes with notion. Zhik’s tagline has been officially marketed as Made For Water, and this is precisely what the company has done for the last eight years before the succinct and apt strapline came from out of R&D and into mainstream visibility.
Posted on 8 May
Shape of next Volvo Ocean Race revealed at Southern Spars - Part 1
Southern Spars has been confirmed as the supplier of spars for the 2017-18 Volvo Ocean Race. In mid-April, Race Director, Jack Lloyd and Stopover Manager Richard Mason outlined the changes expected for the 40,000nm Race during a tour of Southern Spars 10,000sq metre specialist spar construction facility. A total of up to seven boats is expected to enter, but time is running out for the construction of any new boats.
Posted on 3 May