by Tam Nguyen
Last Saturday 13 August was the final day of the Tumi Saturday Series organised by the Hebe Haven Yacht Club in Hong Kong. Ahead of the two last races, the victory in the Dragon division was still possible for Shiva (D41 skippered by Tam Nguyen), Maiden Hong Kong (D40 - skippered by Andreas Brechbul) and Fei Chi (D51 - skippered by Karl Grebstadt) with D41 being 4 and 5 points ahead of D40 and D51 respectively.
Dragon racing in the Tumi Summer Series, HHYC
The theme of the day was 'right' as the right hand side was clearly favoured. The boats choosing the left of the course got a 30 degree header half way through the beat and were heavily penalised! In the first race, D51 took the middle on the first beat and managed to win by a large margin over D40 and D41 by staying on the right side on the second beat. It was then clear that D41 had to come third on the last race to take the victory - which they did. D40 made a bullet on that race thanks to a good start at the Committee Boat which enabled them to tack to the the favoured right side of the course while D41 and D51 were getting buried in the middle of the fleet with larger boats of other classes. Despite these efforts, D40 came second overall, just one point behind D41, and D51 was third, one point behind D40. This was extremely close racing after with 12 races! Full results on www.hhyc.org.hk
This was a fantastic series, very well organised by HHYC with perfect courses from the Race Officers. In addition, the fleet had the further benefit from great sailing conditions this summer with average wind of 7-12 knots - even better than during the normal season.
While the Dragon season usually stops in May with the end of the RHKYC, the Hong Kong Dragon class has this year joined the Tumi Summer Saturday Series organised by the Hebe Have Yacht Club every other Saturday from June to Mid August. It's been many years since the Dragon Class has raced through the summer - Summer usually meant 'Restaurant Runs' or training. This was a great opportunity for the Dragon Sailors to race.
Nine boats entered the series - the other Dragons went into 'storage' or to the boatyard as a number of owners were overseas for the summer. It was also a great opportunity to welcome new helms and crews who will hopefully join the regular season which will start on the first weekend of September. The big event of the start of the season will be Part 1 of the Hong Kong Dragon Championship on fifth-6th November. 12-17 Dragons are expected on the starting line as new boats are being added to the very dynamic Hong Kong fleet.
More information about the Hong Kong Dragon class on the Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club website: www.rhkyc.org.hk