Yellow Sea International Yacht Race 2012, hosted by the beautiful Incheon in Korea, started with a magnificent opening ceremony yesterday, where the fireworks drew everybody’s attention.
Early next morning the crews prepared their boats for the many miles as they waited ahead at this first offshore leg of the race. But first they had to compete at an inshore race where the light winds were the main characteristic today in Incheon. The boats from USA, China, Korea, Canada and Russia sailed in front of the bay of Incheon and did a windward leeward course. Team Irene started really well and soon had a clear distance from the rest of the fleet. Team Sunny followed right behind but a mistake in the second upwind dropped her in fourth place, whereas Haemaru managed to climb from fifth to second.
Right after the inshore race the wind picked up a bit. The beautiful four masted tall ship Koreana was used as race committee and gave the start for the first offshore leg of the regatta to Weihai in China. The three favorites, Team Sunny, Team Haemaru and Team Irene soon left the slower boats of the fleet behind and prepared for the long night ahead. Team Sunny has a strong sailing background after competing at the World Match Racing Tour. The boats have 210 nautical miles to cover in rough seas and strong currents. Koreana will escort the fleet to Weihai in order to secure their safety.
Finish is expected on Monday and Weihai is ready to welcome the sailors with a big festival and the prize giving ceremony on Wednesday. The boats will then leave for Quindao on Thursday for the 183 nautical miles second leg and will conclude the race by returning to Incheon on the 21st of August.
The rough and demanding offshore sailing event of the Far East has just started. Ten days of sailing competition and celebrations are waiting for the sailors from all around the world. Stay tuned to experience it.