Amazing - the ‘Around Hong Kong Island’ sailing record still stands after 20 years. 1990 record holders Paul Zimmerman, Dennis Wong and Francis Ong recently had a lunch reunion, and reflected on the events of the record-setting day. Zimmerman commented that he was 'surprised that no one has managed to beat the record since then, given the advancement in recent boat design. Maybe people have forgotten that there is a record out there to beat?' he quipped. 'We did manage a pretty awesome time of 2 hours, 41 mins and 57 sec, and the Hobie 21 was the perfect boat for the record.'
Rene Appel (now Hong Kong's National Windsurfing Coach) was the time keeper on the day (01 December), although several people were on call for the job, as they had to be approved by the Hong Kong Yachting Association (now the Hong Kong Sailing Federation). 'We were not sure which day would be the best for making the attempt,' said the helm, Dennis Wong. He remembers that they were waiting for the first surge in the monsoon: 'We needed the wind directly from the north, as that would be the only wind direction that would give something like a beam reach for the majority of the way around the island'. According to Dennis, the wind the day before the attempt was too strong, 'we postponed, as I was afraid that we would capsize. The next day was perfect, and we had 25kts of breeze and reasonable seas all the way around.'
Francis remembers that there was only one touchy moment, going around Shek O, where the waves were a big bigger. 'The hull dug in, but we had enough weight out on the trapeze, so we were ok.' The lads, who not seen each other in 20 years, reflected on their achievement of what seemed like a long time ago, and decided it was time for someone else to take on the challenge. They have found the Cariad Trophy (which was still parked in the HKSF office!) - but what happened to the bronze trophy? Does anyone know anything about that?
The SIs for a record attempt have been revised, and they are on the HKSF website (www.sailing.org.hk
). Any takers for a crack at Hong Kong's ultimate speed sailing record?
If any one is interested in the record, or has any further information about previous record holders, please contact RHKYC member Paul Zimmerman at email@example.com
Boat (Skipper's Name) Date Time Boat
Cariad VIII (Reg Maynard), c 1976, 4h-12m-0s, Contessa 35
Ceil V (William Turnbull), c 1977, 3h-52m-59s, Miller (Ben Lexen) 48
Uin-na-Mara (Hector Ross), c 1979, 3h-30m-00s, Supercraft 44
La Pantera (Chris Ostenfeld), November 1979, 3h-21m-56s, Contessa 43
Defiance (Bob Lavoo), 8 July 1984, 3h-20m-45s, Swan 51
(R. I. Walker), 14 October 1984, 3h-15m-33s, Hobie 18
(Woody Bliss, Russell West), 27 November 1988, 3h-11m-42s, Hobie 21
(Woody Bliss, Russell West), 5 February 1989, 3h-01m-24s, Hobie 21
Force Eight (Dennis Wong Shun-kit ???, Francis Ong, Paul Zimmerman), 1 December 1990, 2h-41m-57s, Hobie 21