by RHKYC Media
The third and final day of the St. Regis China Coast Regatta was a full on, 20-24kt, two-stugeron day with white horses, tidal swell and everything else that makes this one of the region’s top three-day sailing regattas.
Race day 3 - Mandrake
All divisions were scheduled to complete a windward/leeward followed by an islands course, and Race Officer Inge Strompf-Jepsen got matters underway bang on schedule with IRC Racer 0 at 1030hrs. In the absence of Ragamuffin90 it was left to Jelik to take line honours, but the battle royal was between the two TP52’s – Ray Roberts’ OneSails Racing (on six points going in to today) and Sam Chan’s FreeFire (on eight).
Although Chan finished exactly one minute ahead of Roberts on the water after three laps, the Australian boat took first on corrected time. Meanwhile in Racer one, Paul Winkelmann’s new HH42, Island Fling, took the gun eight seconds ahead of Marcel Liedts’ Elektra, but had to concede first place on IRC and A40 Seawolf took the gun for Racer two, only to be nudged into second by Red Kite II on corrected time.
Redeye kept up her perfect record in Cruiser Division, while Moonblue 2 took the gun for IRC Premier, and finally took first on corrected time ahead of Lighthorse and Pepper & Salt also kept up her dominance of HKPN.
While DRO Sofia Mascia was finishing Cruiser and HKPN, Strompf-Jepsen decided not to keep the racers hanging around and promptly set them off on their final race, an islands course around Beaufort and beyond of 21nm for Racer 0, 17nm for Racer one and 16nm for Racer two.
It was then the turn of the Premier and Cruiser Divisions to embark on their final race, with Premier on a 17nm course and an 11nm route for Cruiser. The final start of the Regatta for HKPN went smoothly then Race Management was heartily relieved to lift the anchor and head for more sheltered waters at the finish line near Round Island.
The conditions were prefect for sailing, but also came with challenges, as many boats found out as they experienced gear failure of one sort or another. Ambush radioed in to report that she had lost her steering, but was able to fix a tiller and motor back to Kellett Island, while Signal 8 carried out an impromptu double-man-overboard drill which probably cost them the Regatta.
The three guns given to the first three boats to reach the finish line, having completed different courses, were a testament to the RO’s course setting skills. Redeye was first boat home, completing a perfect score for the Regatta in Cruiser Division and discarding a one in the process, while Seawolf claimed yet another gun, followed by Jelik in Racer 0.
OneSails Racing left that division title in no doubt as she coasted home just 20 seconds ahead of FreeFire to take first on corrected and the IRC Racer 0 title by four points. Seawolf was delighted to win her race on IRC, however had to be content with second overall in Racer two, behind Red Kite II, who claimed the IRC Racer two title for the fourth successive year.
Island Fling again showed her speed on the water to take the gun for Racer one, however Elektra finished two minutes ahead of arch–rival Walawala 2 to take the Regatta title for Racer one by one point.
Moonblue two took her second double for the day, however Shawn Kang’s Lighthorse edged the Warwick out by one point to take her first ever China Coast Regatta title for Premier Division. Barracuda, one of the China entries, took the gun in HKPN, much to their delight, however Pepper and Salt claimed the win on HKPN, and completed a perfect regatta, also discarding a first.
All-in-all there was a great buzz in the bar back at Kellett Island, with sun-burned, wind-burned, grizzled sailors claiming it was the best China Coast Regatta they could remember in years. A packed poolside prizegiving gave everyone the chance to applaud their rivals, before the tale-telling went on long into the night.