At the 2013 Korea Cup International Yacht Race, the 25 teams competing are on the island of Ulleung, off the eastern coast of Korea, where they arrived yesterday after leg 1 of the two offshore races. A volcanic island, the main activities on Ulleung are fishing, and in particular harvesting squid, which is considered a delicacy and even has its own festival. The island’s wild beauty attracts tourists and walkers who enjoy the unique landscape and diversity between the green hills and steep rocky coastline. However, for the teams, today was all about the inshore race series.
2013 Korea Cup International Yacht Race
The inshore race course was set as a downwind upwind course starting in front of Ulleung port and going around Juk-do island, to the north, before returning upwind to Ulleung. Strong southerly winds provided stunning racing conditions, with big waves and gusts reaching up to 20 knots. The more experienced teams hoisted their spinnakers for the high speed downwind leg to the island, whilst others opted for a more conservative approach in order to protect their equipment for the second and longest offshore leg that will get underway on Tuesday.
Impressive boat speeds as the yachts surfed downwind to Juk-do island, where the racing got distinctly trickier. The height of this volcanic island forces the wind around each side, with the breeze stronger nearer the coast. The fleet became compressed together as they came into lighter wind as they rounded the island further offshore, and the race practically restarted, with those finding the clear.
Track and the breeze closer to the island’s coastline making enormous gains over the rest of the fleet. Tactics were intense as teams crossed each other repeatedly, trying to play the shifts and seek out the gust that would give them the extra speed needed to break free from the island.
First to get clear wind was Team Bare Essentials, who without their rivals on Linda Vista breathing down their necks, were able to take a clean lead. Linda Vista had remained in harbour, so the crew could repair some damage in order to be ready for the offshore leg. Team Bare Essentials, a Robinson Grant 56 Design, with a Korean and Kiwi crew put in some impressive teamwork to easily take line honours. Right behind them was the Russian team on Elena, who were the winners of the ORC Class last year and keen to defend their success. On corrected time, the race victory went to Elena.
Ashore after racing, the winners of the first offshore leg and today’s inshore race were presented with prizes at a welcome party and awards ceremony organized by the island of Ulleung. Next stop is Dokdo Island, and the teams set off soon after the ceremony for the overnight Friendship Parade to Dokdo, from where on Tuesday they will start the second leg of the offshore race, which will take them back to the city of Uljin – and with it determine the overall winners in the ORC and Open classes at the Korea Cup International Yacht Race.
Top Five Results –Ulleung Inshore Race
ORC Class – corrected time
1. Elena (RUS) – skippered by Nikolay Korolev
2. Carrera (RUS) – skippered by Sergei Beliaev
3. Thalassa (RUS) – skippered by Nikolay Smirnov
4. Band Poe (KOR) – skippered by Jongyeol Oh
5. Team Bare Essentials (KOR) – skippered by Hosun Lee
Open Class – corrected time
1. Uzuki (RUS) – skippered by Igor Korobitcyn
2. Decision (RUS) – skippered by Nikolay Chubenko
3. Diva (KOR/CAN) – skippered by Chonghoi Kim
4. Team Haemaru (KOR/FRA) – skippered by Choseong Kim
5. Carnival (KOR) – skippered by Hyeonggon Park