The final offshore leg of the Korea Cup International Regatta was the longest and most exciting one, and would determine the overall winners of this year’s event. This leg took the 25 boat fleet from the Dokdo islands, off the eastern coast of Korea, back to the mainland and the city of Uljin, which they had left on 18 May.
To get to the start just off the Dokdo islands, the fleet took a long overnight trip from Ulleung island, the destination for the first offshore leg, and arrived at the Dokdo islands ready for a 1100 hours start. Holding special status as a nature reserve, the Dokdo islands are stunning volcanic islands, with a warm and humid climate, and host to numerous bird species, insects and plants.
The two classes, ORC and Open, started together in light winds under the watchful eyes of the Race Committee on the schooner Koreana. The race track took them around the islands and then back upwind to Uljin. Off the line first were Carrera and Linda Vista, with Carrera keeping to windward and taking a course closer to the islands, while Linda Vista decided to follow a wider route and avoid the potential lack of wind under the islands.
The rest of the fleet followed closely, with Carrera’s tactic favoured by many of the teams. Team Bare Essentials desperately tried to catch up and claw back some of the distance they lost at the start, with a particular focus on Linda Vista, their closest rival who had claimed line honours in the first offshore race.
The crew of Carrera had made a smart strategic move, and with less distance sailed, were the first to round the island followed by Linda Vista in second and Team Bare Essentials in third. The rest of the fleet were chasing hard as they headed upwind, but with the prospect of a 134 nautical mile ahead of them, crews needed to conserve themselves for the long return leg.
Just before sunset the wind picked up and the boat speeds increased. The fleet were now on a close reach to Uljin and eating away at the race course, with the all Korean crew on the Open 60 Linda Vista safely in the lead with the rest of the fleet trailing. The breeze picked up more overnight, averaging around 20 knots, before decreasing as the fleet approached the finish line off the city of Uljin. Linda Vista continued her dominance and again claimed line honours, with Team Bare Essentials finishing just ten minutes behind, having caught up in the light wind. In the Open Class, line honours went to Diva, whose crew celebrated their victory with champagne.
By the afternoon, most of the fleet had crossed the finish line, and the hosts and organizers welcomed the teams back to Uljin, and on to the closing and awards ceremony which paid tribute to the winning teams with the
presentation of trophies and prize money. The overall winner from the two offshore legs was Russia’s Carrera. In second place was Accanito, racing with a French and Korean crew, and the Korean, Australian, British, Japanese and Kiwi crew on Team Bare Essentials were third. The evening was a real celebration of the teams’ week long odyssey of offshore and inshore racing in some of the most beautiful and wild places South Korea has to offer. Recognizing the unique camaraderie that has prevailed throughout the event, all competitors signed the traditional Korean kite which had been flying at Dokdo island.
The 2013 Korea Cup International Yacht Race had it all, with thrilling conditions over a week’s competitive racing, which justly reflects its position as the largest and most respected yachting event in Korea. Top five Results – Sixth Korea Cup International Yacht Race ORC Class 1. Carrera (RUS) – skippered by Sergei Beliaev 2. Accantino (FRA/KOR) – skippered by Jean-Luc Seguin 3. Team Bare Essentials (KOR) – skippered by Hosun Lee 4. Elena (RUS) – skippered by Nikolay Korolev 5. Linda Vista(KOR) – skippered by Gisung Kwon