Organised by Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club, and sponsored for the second successive year by National Australia Bank, the 2010-2011 Top Dog Trophy series culminated on 9 April with the HKRNVR Memorial Vase, a race which celebrates the contribution of volunteers to Hong Kong’s maritime security in days gone by.
With a sunny 6.5 knot easterly on offer, Race Officer Gareth Williams had no hesitation in setting Course 5 ('only to be used if conditions are exceptionally light and fluky') and a Hung Hom start.
The 58-strong fleet made their way out through Hong Kong’s eastern approaches, as required by the event's Deed of Gift, and rounded government buoy TCS 4 before hoisting their kites for the run back into Victoria Harbour through Lei Yue Mun gap.
First round TCS4 was RHKYC’s elder statesman and Vice Patron, Li Fook Hing on Ruffian Victory 9 with Schannuleke right behind and the Flying Fifteens gaining rapidly. The conditions held steady at 6 to 8 knots, giving almost perfect pursuit conditions.
The chase continued, with the ‘big boats’ making up ground on the early starters.
Competitors were given one lap of the ‘perpetual loop’ finish before Williams hoisted the ‘S’ flag to finish 7 minutes from the target time of 1630hrs. Joachim Isler, on Mills 41 Ambush, made good ground on the last leg to take the gun, followed closely by the Kinmonth / Burns owned Mills 40, EFG Bank Mandrake and Victory 9 holding on valiantly for third place.
Taken together with the results from Lipton Trophy, the Zoke Around The Island Race and Tomes Cup, the final scores for the 2010-2011 National Australia Bank Top Dog Trophy Series revealed a close battle.
Going into today’s race, Howard Willams was leading with 10.92 points on Flying Fifteen Squiffy, with Impala 1 less than 8 points adrift, and Puff’n’Stuff, Blondie IV and Ambush only 5 points further back. A bad day at the office for Williams allowed Impala 1 to leapfrog into first place, with Blondie IV and Ambush taking second and third place respectively.
At a packed prizegiving, National Australia Bank CEO, Mike Beckingham was welcomed to the stage to award the prizes and the silverware for the most consistent skipper of the pursuit race season.
1st Dayboat Swedish Blue Ante Razmilovich
1st Cruiser Blondie IV Helmuth Hennig
1st Fence Boat Schannuleke Barry Hayes
3rd overall Victory 9 Li Fook Hing
2nd EFG Bank Mandrake Nick Burns / Fred Kinmonth
1st Ambush Joachim Isler / Drew Taylor
National Australia Bank Top Dog Trophy Series
10th Gambit Keith Mowser
9th Noisy Forefather Sam Chan
8th Moll Philip Bowring
7th Capoeira Godfrey / Mead
6th Paddy B Herman Wong
5th Puff’n’Stuff David Chow
4th Squiffy Howard Williams
3rd Ambush Isler / Taylor
2nd Blondie VI Helmuth Hennig
1st Impala 1 Burrell / King