Please select your home edition
Edition
Naiad

China Club Challenge Match – China’s No 1 regatta?

by Alistair Skinner on 8 Oct 2011
Close Racing at the Final Fleet Racing Day - China Club Challenge Match 2011 Alistair Skinner
The China Club Challenge Match is the premier Chinese sailing event for Chinese sailors, with 34 teams from around the country battling it out for the right to challenge the 2010 trophy holder. It is run on the waters off Xiamen in Fujian Province, which this time of year serves up good breezes every day, almost like clockwork.

The event is open to all sailors in China - including foreigners who live and work in the country - and has earned a reputation in recent years for good winds, tight courses, fair, unbiased umpiring and rulings, and good tight racing in the ‘proper’ spirit of sailing. We have even observed defeated teams crossing the line a few boat lengths behind the victors, and spontaneously raising their hands in applause for the victor!

It was expected that the fleet racing element of the event would sort out the men from the boys. The breeze was providing a steady 20kts, and with some sailors on the J/80s for the first time it proved so, with some of the fleet opting to avoid the spinnaker. But with the committee boat recording 30+ kts in the gusts perhaps this wasn’t surprising.

Spin outs were very much in evidence, with some skippers failing to keep their boats under the rig, providing some dramatic viewing for those on the spectator boats.

A busy time was had by the on-the-water judges who then were back sitting behind the table in the protest room for much of the evening, especially on day 1 when they left the venue at 2250h. Altogether around a dozen protests were lodged, but it could easily have been more as the racing was close, competitive and at times a little too combatative.

Having said that, boat damage and breakdowns were remarkably light considering the conditions, and the J/80s lent by built and lent by Hudson Yachts proved to be more than up to the task, and only two requests for redress due to gear failure were lodged in the entire fleet racing section of the regatta.



Three days racing, 14 races, and the fleet whittled down from 34 to 16.

The event then shifted gear into the match racing phase with the round of 16 requiring 24 races in one day. Sounds incredible, but that is what the race management team managed to squeeze out on day four.

Race Officers Russ Parker and Tony Liu, along with umpires Al, Ewan, Peter and Tim certainly earned their corn on this day. with all of them on the water for every race.

The fleet were gradually whittled down to four semi-finalists from all over China - Sanya, Shenzhen, Ironrock of Xiamen (the hosts for the event) and Shanghai. Two matches later, Seawolf from Longcheer Yacht Club in Shenzhen emerged the winners of the China Club Cup Challengers Trophy, earning the right to sail against the defenders on the final day of the event.



It was a bit of a David and Goliath event, with the defender Hudson Fei Peng (the J-80 builder) helmed by American professional sailor and President of Hudson Yachts, Jim Johnstone, against the team from Shenzhen.

Unfortunately for the part timers, the result wasn’t the same as the biblical encounter, with Fei Peng successfully defending their trophy, although the amateurs from the south were hardly embarrassed by the 4-1 score line and never finished a race more than eight boat lengths down on the winners.

What an event. For the numbers people amongst you there were 34 teams, 72 races, 12 protests, too many blue, yellow and green flags to count (along with a couple of reds and blacks thrown in for good measure), a worthy winner in the challenger series and a fair and penalty free challenger/defender series. And just like Queen Victoria was told all those years ago – there was no second.

Ancasta Ker 40+ 660x82Schaefer 2016 Ratchet Block 660x82North Technology - Southern Spars

Related Articles

Oman Air in peak form going into final day at Extreme Sailing Series
A fresher breeze on the third day gave the GC32 fleet a chance to give the spectators an invigorating show of action A fresher breeze on the third day gave the GC32 fleet a chance to give the spectators lining the shores on the south coast of the island an invigorating show of speed and action and it was Oman Air that led the way with seven podium places – including two outright wins – in seven races.
Posted today at 6:56 pm
Perfect birthday for Sébastien at GC32 La Reserva de Sotogrande Cup
The westerly Levante breeze was expected to blow at about 10 to 11 knots for day three of the regatta The westerly Levante breeze was expected to blow at about 10 to 11 knots for day three of the regatta, but the long white cloud hanging over the Rock of Gibraltar signified that there might be less. Even with just five or six knots the GC32s were still able to get on the foils as they launched off the start line of the first race.
Posted today at 5:45 pm
Extreme Sailing Series – Red Bull Sailing Team collides with Alinghi
At 1515 BST today during race eight, Red Bull Sailing Team collided with Alinghi, resulting in Alinghi losing its mast. At 1515 BST today during race eight of the series in the Madeira Islands, Red Bull Sailing Team collided with Alinghi, resulting in Alinghi losing its mast.
Posted today at 4:40 pm
Sailing World Cup - Qingdao chances shorten as top tens confirmed
It was all about a place in the Medal Race on day four of the SWC Qingdao as top ten were confirmed in all seven fleets. It was all about a place in the Medal Race on day four of the Sailing World Cup Qingdao as the top ten were confirmed in all seven fleets.
Posted today at 11:40 am
Panerai Classic Yachts Challenge - More images from Régates Royales
Second gallery from the final round of the Panerai Classic Yachts Challenge at Cannes The 38th Régates Royales, the final round of the Panerai Classic Yachts Challenge is underway at Cannes. Eugenia Bakunova of mainsail.ru was on the water at Cannes and provided this second gallery of images.
Posted today at 9:52 am
Day 4 - Sailing World Cup Qingdao Medal Race places at stake
There are places in Medal Race at stake on day four of the Sailing World Cup Qingdao, and it's another hot and humid one There are places in the Medal Race at stake on day four of the Sailing World Cup Qingdao, and it's another hot and humid one.
Posted today at 8:39 am
US Sailing remembers sailing enthusiast Terry Kohler
Terry Kohler, a renowned businessman and passionate sailor, passed away Tuesday at the age of 82. Terry Kohler, a renowned businessman and passionate sailor, passed away Tuesday at the age of 82. In 2009, Kohler received the Nathanael G. Herreshoff Trophy, US Sailing’s highest honor, for his outstanding contributions to the sport of sailing in the U.S.
Posted today at 8:11 am
2016 Match Racing World Championship - Long wait finally over
Five teams of blind sailors were finally able to commence the Blind Match Racing World Championship After several days waiting for the wind to pick up and the fog to clear out, five teams of blind sailors from the United States, Canada, Great Britain and Israel were finally able to commence the Blind Match Racing World Championship Friday.
Posted today at 6:33 am
WIM Series - Stephanie Roble is leading on her home waters
The Buddy Melges Challenge, the third event of the 2016 WIM Series finally got underway Friday. The Buddy Melges Challenge, the third event of the 2016 WIM Series and also the Women’s World Match Racing Championship, finally got underway Friday.
Posted today at 5:20 am
Gladwell's Line - Tough questions ahead for World Sailing
The hard questions relating to the future shape of the sport have to be answered over the four months or less. While several of the so-called 'developed' sailing nations bathe in their Olympic and Paralympic success, the hard questions relating to the future shape of the sport have to be answered over the four months or less.
Posted today at 12:04 am