'It was like the Rugby Sevens on the water!' was the comment heard from more than one sailor after the inaugural Nations’ Cup organised by RHKYC. 'I felt like Ban Ki-moon!' was the verdict of RO Jimmy Farquhar.
This new event on RHKYC’s sailing calendar caught the imagination of 58 teams from 19 nations, providing a thoroughly entertaining spectacle in Victoria Harbour and Hong Kong’s eastern approaches.
Pre-start rituals ranged from decorating the RHKYC Main Bar with orange bunting (Netherlands) to throwing a towel down on the start line (Germany), and the day was conducted with great good humour, in keeping with the spirit of the event.
Race Officer Jimmy Farquhar made the most of an easterly breeze, which at 8 to 12 knots was better than forecast, and sent the boats east through Lei Yue Mun gap after a Hung Hom start.
From there, it was round Shek O Rock in light breeze, leave TCS4 to Port, avoid the hole at Junk Bay (which the Philippine team found first on Frank Pong’s TP52, Mui Mui) and return into Victoria Harbour to a Club finish line in front of RHKYC Kellett Island.
First boat home was England (TP52 FfreeFire) followed swiftly on the water by Sweden (Etchells Swedish Blue), Scotland (Longtze Premier MacLongtze), Australia (Etchells Gunga Din), New Zealand (Mumm 36 Wicked) and Japan (Quarter Tonner ST Happens).
Competitors were racing on their RHKATI pursuit race ratings, with four start bands, and after calculating corrected times, it was apparent that England had secured bragging rights for the year, just ahead of Ireland, Australia, Sweden, Scotland and Japan … the weapons of choice for these teams included a TP52, and Etchells, a Longtze Premier and a Flying Fifteen, so there were no complaints about advantageous ratings.
At a rowdy prizegiving, nations applauded the winners by singing along with their national songs and the event received a unanimous ‘Thumbs Up’ … roll on Nations’ Cup 2012!
And the winner was …..
Nation Class Boat Place
England Cru FreeFire 1
Ireland Cru Blondie IV 2
Australia FF15 Flying Fifteen 3
Sweden E22 Swedish Blue 4
Scotland Longtze MacLongtze 5
England Cru EFG Bank Mandrake 6
Australia E22 Gunga Din 7
Japan Cru S T Happens 8
Netherlands FF15 My Fair Lady 9
England Cru Whiskey Jack 10