Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club’s Middle Island facility on the south of Hong Kong Island was buzzing from early this morning as crews readied their boats for the first day’s racing in the St. Regis International China Coast Regatta.
The talk on the dock was all doom and gloom as people discussed the dearth of wind forecast, however when Race Officer Charlie Manzoni reached the race area off the south east corner of Lamma Island, it was clear that, while not exactly ‘blowing dogs off chains’, there was a healthy 8 to 10 kts of swinging easterly on offer for the first race.
IRC Racing 0 was the first class away on a 1.5nm, two lap course, and Frank Pong’s Jelik quickly drew ahead of the fleet to show her pedigree and take line honours. However it was Sam Chan’s Freefire which took the race on corrected time ahead of Ernesto Echauz on Jelik V. Having finished so quickly, Manzoni elected to start the fleet on their second race, an islands course, while Racing 1 and 2 were still finishing. That caught them unawares! The two TP52s were on the line fir the gun, but Jelik was 100 yards or so OCS without a headsail and Antipodes was 500 yards behind the line having a tea break. After completing a 17.5nm course around Waglan, Beaufort and Stanley mark, Jelik took her second gun of the regatta, with Freefire taking her second single-pointer with Jelik V in second once again.
IRC Racing 1 features the ‘Roaring 40’s’ and a fiercely contested start with a pin end bias saw EFG Bank Mandrake go over first, closely followed by most of the remainder of the fleet, resulting in a general recall. In the melee, Elektra contrived to take the pin with her, so a brief delay was required to reset the mark. Manzoni set the sequence in motion once more and, yet again, it was EFG Bank Mandrake pushing the envelope and earning an individual recall, which she successfully cleared. While that disadvantaged her, it was clearly Peninsula Signal 8’s race, taking line honours and first on corrected, ahead of Elektra and EFG in third.
The IRC Racing 2 start again resulted in an individual recall, this time X-35 Vixen was the guilty party, but cleared the line and continued to race. The Premier Cruising, Classic Cruising and HKPN fleets had a quieter day of it today, with only one islands course to negotiate. With limited wind on offer, the RO selected an 11nm course for HKPN and Classic Cruisers, taking in Beaufort Island, Castle Rock and Stanley while the Premier Cruisers sailed a similar course, but including Fury Rocks as well.
In Premier Cruising, Peter Forsythe’s Xena took line honours and first place on corrected time ahead of Shawn Kang’s Lighthorse, while Blackjack claimed the gun in Classic Cruisers, with Torben Kristensen’s Authority taking first on corrected time and in HKPN, Xanadu II emerging victorious.
The racing fleets had a combination of one windward/ leeward and one islands course today, and the second race for Racing 1 earned Ambush an individual recall before the fleet completed the same course as Premier Cruising. Positions on corrected time were reversed this time, with EFG Bank Mandrake in first, Peninsula Signal 8 in third and Stella forming the meat in the sandwich. Racing 2 got off to a clean start on their 11nm course and after over two hours of racing, corrected out to the same positions as Race 1, with Red Kite II taking first, ahead of Vixen with China Cup No. 9 in third.
With a relatively early finish and no protests, the Day Prizegiving, sponsored by Lewmar, got underway at 1800hrs and sailors were able to get an early night, in preparation for tomorrow’s three-race schedule.
Full results are available at http://www.rhkyc.org.hk/CCRResults.apsx.aspx
by Lindsay Lyons
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3:11 PM Fri 12 Oct 2012GMT
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