The last major regatta of Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club’s 2010-2011 season featured 92 boats from eight one-design classes, Sportsboats and two divisions of ‘Big Boats’, dual rated on HKPN and IRC. Race Officer Simon Boyde could find only 6 to 8 knots south easterly in Hong Kong’s Victoria Harbour, so opted for a Hung Hom start with courses running west to east, taking in Tai Koo Shing and Shau Kei Wan.
With a trough of low pressure affecting the region, sailors were more than happy to get racing underway in dry conditions with the Big Boats leading the way at 1350hrs on a quick two lap course to Shau Kei Wan. A strong incoming tide caught some competitors unawares, with Stella, amongst others, doing a tack and a gybe after being carried onto Shau Kei Wan mark. Protests?
The largest fleet on the water by numbers was the Etchells fleet, and in spite of its reputation for close fleet racing, Ante Razmilovic finished first of 14 by ‘a country mile’ - and then some.
As the skies darkened, a patchy breeze topped out at 10 knots. Tomorrow features two races back-to-back, with Wind Guru suggesting that the breeze will soften slightly and shift to the south while Hong Kong Observatory is banking on conditions remaining much the same.
The first race will get underway with the ‘Big Boat’ A Division at 1110hrs.
In first place after Day 1 of RHKYC Spring Regatta Day 1 are;
IRC A Blondie IV Helmuth Hennig
IRC B Vixen Peter McCaffrey
HKPN No One Else Jack Ng
Dragon Maiden Hong Kong Pierre Buet
Etchells Swedish Blue Ante Razmilovic
Flying Fifteen Squiffy Suzanne / David
Impala Rainbow Chaser Wilcox Tam
J/80 Tigrina Andrew Moore
Pandora Windfall Tom Ho
Ruffian Schannuleke Edwin van den Berge
Sportsboat Merlin Steve Bourne