Now in its fourth year the China (Shanghai) International Boat Show Charity Regatta (CIBS) attracted sailors from all corners of Dianshan Lake.
In spite of numbers being somewhat down this year in the 'full size' boat fleet, in part due to internal difficulties at one of the clubs and more particularly on account of the lake being unseasonably low due to lack of rain, the addition of a radio controlled class – well, two actually, mean that overall numbers were relatively unchanged.
This regatta is a perfect example of disparate groups coming together for the common good. The named supporters CIBS lend their support, media contacts, space at Show and so on. Team Four Dragons provide the overall management and organization of the event, the glue if you like while the Shanghai Yacht Club provide the wonderful scenic venue on the Western shores of Dianshan Lake. The final piece of the organizational jigsaw is Shanghai Boat & Yacht Club, China’s oldest members-run sailing club.
That was on the big lake. On the inner lagoon around 20 young radio sailors competed in their own class as part of the regatta.
It should also be noted that all those assisting in the running of the regatta made no charge or deduction for their part in helping run the event.
The day was cooler than the previous two of the boat show but the cooler weather brought with it a decent 8-10 knots of breeze allowing for competitive sailing in the three classes of Optimist, Monohulls and multihulls.
In the Optimists it came down to the last race as two sailors had a win and a second each, in the monohulls a Red Dragon that missed the first race then sailed reasonably in the other two to take second slot behind a J-24 with a former world champion on board, a difficult boat to beat while in the multihulls a catamaran that had sailed 8km to get to the event – and therefore had 8km to sail back tied with an SBYC sailor who had just borrowed the trimaran for the day. The cat sailor’s journey was proven worthwhile when he took top position on count-back.
The radio controlled (calling them models is almost insulting) yachts were no less competitive with the young sailors getting quite excited at times with the closeness of the racing.
A fun regatta then, but with a more serious purpose behind it, to raise money for the nominated charity which this year was 'Hands on Shanghai'. Hands on Shanghai as a charity that provides digital cameras to children of migrant workers in Shanghai, one of the most disadvantaged sectors of society in the city. This enables these youngsters to see, and record, Shanghai from a different perspective and therefore help to improve their self esteem and feelings about their position and opportunity.
The China (Shanghai) International Boat Show Charity Regatta, as it has done in previous years, hit all of its declared aims. Firstly to raise funds to assist the charity in its work, and - added to this - give the youngsters with whom the charity works with a day out to remember. Finally the charity regatta aims to raise the profile of the work of the charity, this year Hands on Shanghai.