MINOX Middle Island Regatta 2012 - dinghies, wall to wall

MINOX Middle Island Regatta 2012
We get to see a lot of big boat regattas around the region, so it was a real refresher to be on the water last weekend (21-22 April) for the MINOX Middle Island Regatta, run by the RHKYC out of their seriously impressive facility at Middle Island. What used to be around 800 sq m of hard standing has recently been increased to almost 4,500 sq m, and the Club is actively courting international events – with success! The Flying 15 Worlds will be hosted by RHKYC out of Middle Island next year (2013), and the Etchells 22 Worlds ditto in 2015. Not to mention the Police Sailing Club Worlds, which will be sailed in J/80s in October 2013.

82 entries (and there are plenty of regattas would love to be able to say ’82 entries’!) produced four divisions - Optimist, 29er, Div A (420, Wayfarers, Lasers, Laser 2000, RS 500, RS 400)
and Div B (RS Feva, Laser Radial, Laser 4.7). With some of those being double-handed, that meant a total of 114 sailors out on the water. It looked good – really good.

Weather-wise, Saturday afternoon was not exactly Hong Kong in a party frock. There was enough south westerly breeze to start proceedings, but not sufficient to blow away the clinging pall of haze draped over Deep Water Bay. Never mind, PRO Charlie Manzoni was on top of it all, and set inside/outside trapezoid courses to keep everyone moving and racing, and leaving enough organisational slack in the system to allow shortened courses towards the end of the afternoon. (Yr Humble Reporter hasn’t been on a dinghy race course for a while, and had to ask about the courses laid, ouch! – but hey, if the youngsters can figure it out…)

Two races Saturday, with the second shortened by the dying breeze, and back to Middle Island in time for tea. By that time, Calum Gregor had opened the score sheet in the Optimist class with two straight wins, with David Tulloch/Vincenzo Sicignaho pulling off the same trick in a Div A RS400, and so had James Johnson in a Laser Radial in the B Division. Nathan Bradley/Cosmas Grelon were leading the 29er class with 2,1 but only had the lead from Florrie Manzoni/Isabel Tulloch (1,2) on countback. Clearly, all divisions were going to see some fierce competition the next day.

Sunday looked a great deal nicer on the water and indeed in the pictures. Sunshine, and a solid 10kts from due east, and the PRO took the combined fleets out of Repulse Bay and round to Stanley. Div A and B and the 29ers were all very well behaved, and fired off three races in quick succession. Some ‘youthful over-enthusiasm’ from the Optimist sailors gave rise to two General Recalls (the last two starts being black-flagged) and 12 disqualifications before race 4 got under way.
After five races for all classes, Calum Gregor (Optimist) left himself in the happy situation of having to discard one of his five first places to score a clean 4 points. ‘Closest to the pin’ was Ka Chun Siu with 12 points, and then Sophie Tulloch on 16. Predictably enough the 29ers made a fight of it, with Grelon/Bradley (2,1,1,[2],1) coming out on top after Manzoni/Tulloch dropped their lead in the last race with a dodgy spinnaker hoist and a stumble – not quite a capsize – at the top mark. With fast skiffs, everything can change in a moment, and it did, with the young ladies recording 1,2,4,1,[4]) and being forced to keep a fourth place on the card.

Chi Wai Wan and Sui Lun Tze (420) took out the A Div with just 7 points (3,[5],1,1,2) from five races, sailing a 420, and
James Johnston (Laser Radial) also scored a clean sheet of first places to discard a bullet and take home the title for Div B.

The prize table was groaning at RHKYC Middle Island. Binoculars from title sponsors MINOX, emergency mobile phones from SpareOne, and bottles and product from Pocari Sweat (which were kindly distributed to all competitors) meant that nobody went home empty-handed. And the sun was still shining for the prize-giving ceremony! Events such as the MINOX Middle Island Regatta, involving sailors from RHKYC, HHYC, ABC and HK Sea School, demonstrate that small boat sailing is alive and well in Hong Kong. Some of the competitors will be competing in the dinghy classes at the Top of the Gulf Regatta (5-8 May), with some tackling the Thai National Optimist Champs – watch this space. One and all, we wish them well.

Short Results

Div B
1 James Johnston (Laser Radial) 1*,1,1,1,1 (4)
2 Sam Cooke (Laser Radial) 2,2,3,2,11 OCS* (9)
3 Sophia-Marie Mascia (Laser 4.7) 3,4,2,11 OCS*,3 (12)

Div A
1 Chi Wai Wan/Sui Lun Tze (420) 3,5*,1,1,2 (7)
2 Tulloch/Sicignaho (RS400) 1,1,2,9,29 DNC* (13)
3 Nils Razmilovic (Laser) 2,18*,3,7,3 (15)

1 Grelon/Bradley 2*,1,1,2,1 (5)
2 Manzoni/Tulloch 1,2,4*,1,4 (8)
3 Salmon/Gillard 3,3,2,8*,3 (11)

1 Calum Gregor 1,1,1,1,1* (4)
2 Ka Chun Siu 4*,4,3,3,2 (12)
3 Sophie Tulloch 5,8*,2,2,7 (16)

Full Results are available at www.rhkyc.org.hk